The Duke University Chapel Choir

Chapel Choir

Founded in 1932, the Duke University Chapel Choir is the oldest established music ensemble at Duke University. The Chapel Choir leads the music in worship services at Duke Chapel on Sunday mornings, during Holy Week, and at other times during the academic year, singing anthems, hymns, psalms, and liturgical music.

The Chapel Choir has toured extensively throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Ireland, Turkey, and continental Europe. Performance venues have included Carnegie Hall, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Washington National Cathedral, the Thomaskirche, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and St. Giles’ Cathedral.

The Chapel Choir regularly commissions and performs new works, many of which are published in the Music from Duke Chapel series with Morning Music/ECS Publishing. The choir’s critically acclaimed performances of Handel’s Messiah have been an annual Advent tradition at Duke since 1933; its spring oratorio concerts feature other major works with orchestra. Recent spring concerts have included:

  • Bach: St. Matthew Passion
  • Duruflé: Requiem
  • Haydn: “Lord Nelson” Mass
  • Lauridsen: Lux Æterna
  • MacMillan: St. Luke Passion
  • Mendelssohn: Elijah
  • Mozart: Requiem
  • Vaughan Williams: Dona nobis pacem

The Chapel Choir is led by Dr. Zebulon Highben, director of Chapel Music.

The Chapel Choir is open to students, faculty, staff, and community members by audition. Auditions are held at the beginning of the academic year, as well as by appointment.