Now in its eighty-eighth year, the annual presentation of Handel’s Messiah at Duke Chapel is one of the oldest and most beloved musical traditions at Duke University. This year, that tradition continues with an online Messiah concert on Sunday, December 6, at 4:00 p.m.
This year’s Messiah program will blend live performances of arias and recitatives with virtual, sing-along choruses created from recordings from last year’s concerts. The online program will include all of Part I—the Christmas portion—plus the “Hallelujah” chorus. Watch an excerpt from one of the choruses:
In offering this year’s re-imagined presentation of Messiah, Chapel Music Director Dr. Zebulon Highben said the music takes on added meaning during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Music and art in general can offer hope at a time when everyone is feeling the strain and the stress of the pandemic,” Dr. Highben said. “And, Messiah in particular has such strong themes of hope for a weary world, as it retells the story of God’s enduring promise of salvation.”
Although tickets are free this year, donations are welcomed to ensure that Messiah continues at Duke Chapel for generations to come. To donate, click here and select “Duke Chapel Choir and Chapel Music Endowment.” All donors will receive a copy of a special commemorative Messiah program.
This concert is made possible through the support of the F. M. Kirby Foundation Endowment Fund for Chapel Music and the friends of Duke University Chapel, as well as the many supporters who have given to the Duke Chapel Choir and Chapel Music Endowment, and many other areas of ministry at the Chapel.
This performance will adhere to all state and local public health guidelines and is subject to change or postponement on short notice. It is presented with enhanced health and safety precautions, in consultation with Duke’s Occupational and Environmental Safety Office, enabling the musicians to safely perform. In addition to adhering to all university protocols, those precautions include maintaining physical separation among performers, testing airflow, requiring negative COVID tests from participants, and self-monitoring of symptoms. Note: Camera angles may reduce or distort the appearance of distances between performers.