- B.M., Music Education, Biola University
Director, Women's Chorus
Actively conducting and working with choirs throughout California, Aspling is the current conductor of the Women's Chorus. Working as a teacher in the Southern California area for over 20 years, she brings an infectious joy and deep passion for God to the young women she coaches and mentors in this ensemble. Dana McIntosh ('14), a student participating in Women's Chorus, shares her experience of learning from and being discipled by Aspling: "[her] love and dedication to Jesus Christ shapes everything that she does as a teacher. Her infectious joy makes it an absolute pleasure to learn from her everyday … She is an excellent teacher and widely respected director. Eager to facilitate learning, she is consistently coming up with new and creative ways to bring out the best in her singers... Seeing someone live out their life trusting fully and completely in God at every moment has truly been a life-changing experience for me. I lost my mom to cancer when I was 13, and having such an incredible example of a godly woman to look up to for the past 2 years in Mrs. Aspling has been one of the most valuable blessings of my life. I echo what Paul said in Philippians 1, and truly thank God every time I think of Mrs. Aspling."
Education & Influences
Aspling recalls that her love of teaching and of music began in her early childhood. "From the time I was a young girl, I would set up a little school in my backyard and I would teach the kids in the neighborhood. Music has always been a part of me. So, [music education] was just the combination of the two things I loved." She also recalls seeing a great need for effective music education, and feeling called to fill that role. She notes, "While I had a great upbringing and my parents sought great teachers for me, most of the teachers I encountered didn't know how to teach music to children. So, that was a passion that the Lord put on my heart."
One of the most influential mentors — both musically and spiritually — in Aspling's life has been one of her teachers during her studies at Biola, Loren Wiebe, who was then the director of choral studies at Biola. She recalls, "He is still my spiritual and musical mentor because of the way he has modeled his life for students. He lived out his faith, his deep reverence for Christ, everyday, in every class. It was who he was — both in class and out."
For many years, Aspling has worked with vocal ensembles and has been active in field of music education. For over 16 years, she was the Director of Music Education for Crystal Cathedral Academy, a K-12 performing arts school joined to the famous Crystal Cathedral church in Garden Grove, Calif. In addition to supervising music faculty and teaching many musical activities, she also conducted the C.C.A. Chorus and other vocal ensembles, which performed internationally on the Hour of Power. Some of their highlight performances included singing Fauré's Requiem with the Vancouver Symphony and Britten's War Requiem with the UCLA Chorale. Under her direction, the C.C.A. Chorus performed in magnificent halls such as Carnegie Hall, the Grand Ole Opry House and the Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago. Additional duties at the Crystal Cathedral also included programming and working with famous musical guests nationally and internationally. Performing with guests such as Michael Crawford and Michael W. Smith were some of the musical highlights for the children as well as for Aspling.
Since 1996, Aspling has also served as one of the directors of the Southern California Children's Chorus. Since the program's inception, she taught three levels of choirs (Apprentice, Intermediate, and Advanced). Aspling has directed the Advanced Choir in major works such as Handel's Judas Maccabeus and John Rutter's Mass of the Children.
Outside of Biola, Aspling works as a vocal coach and she is a member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). She has acted as a clinician and has presented workshops throughout California; she also serves as an adjudicator for music festivals and competitions.
Faith in Action
Aspling is passionate about spending time to nurture the spiritual lives of the students within the Biola Women's Chorus. She and other members of the ensemble's leadership team spend time mentoring a group of young women, who in turn mentor other women in the ensemble. She also feels strongly about the communal aspect of making music as part of an ensemble. "I believe that singing is an intimate gift that God gave us. When you are singing in a small group like ours, you are giving an intimate gift to each other, to the conductor, to the audience. Every song, whether secular or sacred, we look for spiritual meaning. I challenge them to think about the text; we are not just singing notes. How do we make this apply to us and to our spiritual journey?"
A Biola alumna, Aspling began conducting Women's Chorus in September 2011. She has been overjoyed to return to this university and to see the growth in the music department. "Seeing the whole music program, I'm very, very proud. I love what God has done and the faculty that he's brought here. There's some still here that were my teachers. He's done a good work in this place, and I know that He will be faithful to complete it each and every year." She is excited to work in a place in which the community shares a foundational love of Christ.
Aspling has been blessed so far to work with a group of students who are eager to raise the level of excellence in their ensemble, and she loves to share her life experiences with them. "I want each one of them to know that God has a plan for their lives, and that He loves them very much. Sometimes those plans may surprise us, but we need to have joy in the journey."
Southern California Children's Chorus