Duke University Chapel enriches the aesthetic landscape of Duke and Durham through its annual series of choral concerts, organ recitals, and other artistic events.
Find below a listing of concerts in the Duke Chapel Music 2022–2023 season. Through the generous support of our partners and the friends of Duke Chapel, many of these concerts are free and open to the public. Events requiring tickets are indicated below. Tickets can be purchased at the Duke University Box Office. To receive updates on Chapel Music concerts and programs, sign up for our email newsletter.
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant… .
In the canticle of Mary found in Luke 1:46–55, we see a prototype for the church’s hymn of praise. Mary exults in God’s goodness while recounting who God is and what God has done, for her and for Israel. The Magnificat combines praise, prayer, and prophetic reminders of God’s justice—a justice that lifts up the lowly, feeds the hungry, and casts down the proud and the powerful.
Here at Duke Chapel, each year of programming in our 2019–2024 Strategic Plan focuses on one of the Chapel’s five values: creativity, hope, compassion, justice, and community. This year’s theme is justice, and, like the Magnificat, our Music at Duke Chapel concert season will resound with songs praising God’s goodness and reiterating the church’s desire for a more just world.
We begin with the Magnificat itself, featured in our first Bach program on September 18. The theme continues in a concert by the Jason Max Ferdinand Singers, our semesterly Jazz Vespers services, and a Lenten program of Black spirituals and German chorales. Our spring oratorio brings the theme to its culmination with Franz Joseph Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis (“Mass for Troubled Times”), and the world premiere of a new setting of Martín Espada’s poem “Heal the Cracks in the Bell of the World” for choir, carillon, and orchestra.
The listing below highlights these programs, as well as perennial favorites such as Handel’s Messiah, the organ recital series, and the myriad worship services led by the Chapel’s marvelous choirs, organists, and guest musicians. We hope that you will join us as we add our voice to Mary’s, singing of God’s justice, mercy, and peace.
The Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery
Dean of Duke University Chapel
Dr. Zebulon M. Highben
Director of Chapel Music
December 2 at 7:30 p.m.
December 3 at 3:00 p.m.
December 4 at 4:00 p.m.
Duke University Chapel Choir
Mallarmé Chamber Players
Zebulon M. Highben, conductor
Molly Quinn, soprano
Ellen Graham, mezzo soprano
Albert Lee, tenor
Brian Hupp, baritone
Since 1933, George Frideric Handel’s Messiah has been the fulcrum of the Chapel’s concert life and a cherished Duke holiday tradition. Handel’s masterwork traces the history of humanity’s divine redemption through Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection, in music that is both treasured and timeless.
Spring Oratorio: Music for Troubled Times
April 23 at 4:00 p.m.
Missa in Angustiis (“Lord Nelson” Mass) by Franz Joseph Haydn
premiere: Heal the Cracks in the Bell of the World by Zebulon M. Highben
The Chapel’s choirs are joined by the Mallarmé Chamber Players, the Durham Children’s Choir, and Chapel Carillonneur Chase Benefiel to present a program of musical responses to troubled times.
Robert Parkins, director
A beloved cornerstone of the Chapel Music calendar, the Organ Recital Series showcases internationally acclaimed organists performing enduring favorites, modern masterpieces, and original improvisations. The Chapel’s Kathleen Upton Byrns McClendon Organ (Aeolian, 1932), Benjamin N. Duke Memorial Organ (Flentrop, 1976), and Brombaugh Organ (1997) are all featured in the series.
Sundays at 5:00 p.m.
September 25: Ken Cowan, Professor of Organ at Rice University
November 6: Monica Czausz Berney, Director of Music and Artistic Ministries at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Dallas, Texas
January 29: Bálint Karosi, Director of Music at Saint Peter’s Church in New York City
March 26: Robert Parkins, University Organist and a Professor of the Practice of Music at Duke University
Bach Cantata Series
Philip Cave, director
Johann Sebastian Bach’s church cantatas are often considered the pinnacle of German sacred music, works whose theological depth and emotional resonance touch deep places in the human soul. The Bach Cantata Series presents these musical masterpieces accompanied by other notable choral and instrumental works of the Baroque era.
Sundays at 5:00 p.m.
September 18: Magnificat: Music of Celebration by Johann Sebastian Bach
Buxtehude: Magnificat Primi toni, BuxWV 204
J.S. Bach: Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn (German Magnificat), BWV 10
Fuga sopra il Magnificat, BWV 733
Magnificat in D major, BWV 243
November 20: Music for Christ the King Sunday by Johann Sebastian Bach
Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147
Du Friedefürst, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 116
March 5: Instrumental Concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach
Violin Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041
Violin Concerto in E major, BWV 1042
Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV 1043
May 7: A Concert of Solo Cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach
Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke, BWV 84
Ich habe genug, BWV 82a
J. Samuel Hammond Carillon Recital Series
Duke Chapel’s fifty-bell carillon is among the oldest and largest such instruments in the American South. Both the instrument and the recital series are named in honor of the late J. Samuel Hammond (1947–2021), University Carillonneur Emeritus, who played Duke’s carillon from 1964 until his retirement in 2018. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, and enjoy the music from the beautiful surroundings of Abele Quad. These recitals will be presented rain or shine.
October 2 at 5:00 p.m.: Chase Benefiel, Duke Chapel Carillonneur
April 30 at 5:00 p.m.: Lisa J. Lonie, CGNA, Princeton University Carillonneur
Guest Artist: Jason Max Ferdinand Singers with the North Carolina Collegiate Festival Chorus
October 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Founded in 2021 by conductor, composer, and author Jason Max Ferdinand, the Jason Max Ferdinand Singers are an ensemble of professional Black musicians that performs music to unify, breathe life, and respond to societal deformities. The JMF Singers have performed to great acclaim around the United States and Canada, and in the Live from London broadcasts at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lord, Hear My Cry: An Evening of Spiritual Songs
March 2 at 7:00 p.m.
Duke Chapel Schola Cantorum
Zebulon M. Highben, conductor
Black spirituals and German chorales are disparate genres of sacred music, separated by centuries and continents. Yet both genres share a communal orientation, and a theological concern with justice and hope. This concert will feature settings of spirituals and chorales—historical and contemporary, choral and congregational—interspersed with thematic commentary.
Guest Artist: Cole Burger, piano
March 19 at 5:00 p.m.
We celebrate the arrival of Duke Chapel’s new Bösendorfer 225 Grand Piano with this dedicatory recital, performed by pianist Cole Burger and featuring repertoire by Albéniz, Bach, Alexina Louie, and more. Burger teaches piano at Bowling Green State University and Lutheran Summer Music. He has performed, taught, and presented in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. His recording Beyond the Traveler: Piano Music by Composers from Arkansas is available from MSR Classics, and his book Keyboard Skills for the Practical Musician is available from Routledge. He holds degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Texas.
The 2022–2023 concert season at the Chapel includes further performances by theChapel’s choirs and affiliate ensembles.
United in Praise and Something Borrowed Something Blue
October 23 at 4:00 p.m.
Performances by two Duke student-run music groups
Duke Chapel Evensong Singers
February 26 at 4:00 p.m.
Duke Chapel Vespers Ensemble
April 8 at 4:00 p.m.
Performed in Goodson Chapel in Duke Divinity School
Sunday Morning Worship
Highlights for this year's 11:00 a.m. Sunday services:
October 2: World Communion Sunday
October 30: Reformation Sunday with the Amalgam Brass
November 20: Christ the King with the Amalgam Brass
December 25: Christmas Day with the Mallarmé Chamber Players
February 19: Transfiguration of Our Lord featuring movements from Robert Ray’s Gospel Mass
April 2: Palm Sunday with the Durham Children’s Choir
April 9: Easter Sunday with the Amalgam Brass. Services at 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.
Sundays at 4:00 p.m.
October 2, 16, 30
November 13, 27
January 8, 22
April 2, 9, 30
September 29 at 7:00 p.m.: Michaelmas
October 9 at 3:00 p.m.: Blessing of the Animals
October 31 at 10:30 p.m.: All Hallows’ Eve
November 1 at 7:00 p.m.: All Saints’ Day Requiem Eucharist
December 8 at 7:00 p.m.: Advent Lessons & Carols
December 24 at 11:00 p.m.: Christmas Eve Lessons & Carols
January 5 at 7:00 p.m.: Twelfth Night
February 2 at 7:00 p.m.: Candlemas
February 22 at 7:00 p.m.: Ash Wednesday
April 6 at 7:00 p.m.: Maundy Thursday
April 7 at 7:30 p.m.: Good Friday Tenebrae
May 18 at 7:00 p.m.: Ascension Day Evensong
Jazz Vespers services are led by Chapel and community ministers, with music provided by the John Brown Little Big Band.
November 10 at 7:00 p.m.: A Service of Thanksgiving
March 23 at 7:00 p.m.: A Service of Hope
Supporters and Sponsors
We are once again grateful for the many supporters who make this season possible, including:
Duke Chapel Choir and Chapel Music Endowment
Director of Chapel Music Endowment
Agnus Dei Endowment Fund
Amy Geissinger Chapel Choir Quasi-Endowed Scholarship Fund
Barbara-Jean Ross Jones Music Education Fund
Carl A. Herring Carillon Endowment
CB Richardson Chapel Endowment Fund
Charles B. Wade Oratorio Endowment for Duke Chapel
Donald and Hazel Jansen Wallis Endowment
F. M. Kirby Foundation Endowment Fund for Chapel Music
Frances Wilson Leavenworth Endowment
Hurst Family Chapel Endowment
J. Benjamin Smith Endowment Fund
J. Foster Barnes Endowment
J. Horst & Ruth Mary Meyer Fund for Duke Chapel
James and Helen Burnett Coppridge Endowment Fund
Jefferson W. Kirby Duke Chapel Choir Scholarship Endowment Fund
John O. Blackburn Chapel Oratorio Fund
Kathleen Upton Byrns McClendon Aeolian Organ Fund
Marvin Boren and Elvira Lowe Smith Memorial Endowment Fund
Mary Duke Biddle Foundation Chapel Oratorio Endowment
Mildred Clusman Phillips Duke Chapel Choir Endowment
Mildred L. Hendrix Endowment
Professor Paul Young Endowment Fund
Roy A. Goss Memorial Fund
The Klove Family Fund
Thomas C. Clark Fund for Chapel Choral Music
Vereen Family Endowment for Choral Vespers
Waldo Beach Hymnody Endowment Fund
William Arthur Higgins Choir Scholarship Endowment Fund
... and the many friends of Chapel Music who generously support our program every year.