Any interested undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to audition. Please check the full Chorale and Chamber Choir schedules on this webpage prior to auditioning, and be prepared to list any conflicts you have with the posted schedule. Refer to schedule and ensemble contacts list
Chorale: Tuesday and Thursday, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
The Duke University Chorale, the primary choral group of the Department of Music at Duke, is composed of 50-55 singers; the Chamber Choir is 16-20 singers. After a year of health and safety restrictions, the groups will return fully to in-person rehearsals (as of now, these will need to be done while masked) and concerts for the 2021-22 year. Chorale rehearsals are scheduled for 7:30-9:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, in Bone Hall of the Biddle Music Building, and Chamber Choir rehearsals are 9:30-10:30 p.m. Singers must sing in the Chorale to be eligible for the Chamber Choir.
The Chorale and Chamber Choir repertoire features both sacred and secular music from many cultures and traditions, much of it unaccompanied, ranging from Renaissance motets to contemporary works, and including both simpler and more complex music. In recent years the Chorale has also performed many major works with orchestra, including Rutter’s Requiem, Philip Glass’s Itaipu, Bach's St. John Passion, Mendelssohn’s St. Paul, and Britten's War Requiem.
Because of its strong ties to the university and community, the Chorale sings not only on campus (in formal concerts as well as occasional university events and Duke basketball games) but also in the Durham community (at nursing homes and the Durham Rescue Mission, e.g.). Their annual family-style Christmas program fills Duke Chapel with audience members of all ages, who bring large amounts of food for area homeless shelters.
Formed in 1970 when the Men’s and Women’s Glee Clubs were combined into a single choir, the Chorale has a long-standing tradition of touring tours during Duke’s Spring Break. Past international tours, which occur every four years, have taken the group to China, Central America, and many parts of Europe, while their domestic tours alternate between California, the Northeast, and the Southeast. The destination of the 2022 spring break tour has not yet been determined.
The Chorale has been conducted by Rodney Wynkoop since 1984 and is accompanied by Hye-Bin Song.
The Chorale's 2021-22 calendar
Please be aware that this is a tentative schedule. It will be updated as changes are made during the year.
Monday, Aug. 23 – Friday, Aug. 27 – auditions for new singers only
Interested singers can fill out the audition form in advance here.
We will contact you in August, once audition procedures have been determined.
Returning singers will audition in small groups later in the fall.
Sunday, Aug. 22, 7:30 pm, Room 104 Biddle – info session and ice cream social, for anyone interested in choral singing
Tuesday, Aug. 24, 7:30-8:30 pm, Room 019 Biddle (Bone Hall) – open rehearsal (interested singers welcome; returning singers are expected to attend)
Tuesday, Aug. 31, 7:30-9:30 pm, Bone Hall – first rehearsal of fall semester
**Tu/Th rehearsals (7:30-9:30 pm) continue through Nov. 18, except as shown below**
Friday, Sept. 10 (6 pm) - Saturday, Sept. 11 (5 pm), Camp New Hope, Chapel Hill – overnight retreat
Saturday, Sept. 18, 8 pm, Baldwin Auditorium – Music Dept.’s Gala Concert
Saturday, Oct. 16, 8 pm concert, Baldwin Auditorium – Family Weekend Concert, with Duke Symphony Orchestra and Duke Wind Symphony
Friday, Oct. 22, 8 pm concert, Baldwin Auditorium – Music Dept.’s “Black Music and the Soul of America” concert
Sunday, Nov. 7, 1-10:30 pm – concert trip to Village Chapel in Pinehurst NC
Tuesday, Nov. 30, 5:30 pm rehearsal, 7 pm concert, Duke Chapel – annual Chorale Christmas concert
Thursday, Jan. 6, 7:30-9:30 pm, Bone Hall – first rehearsal of spring semester
**Tu/Th rehearsals (7:30-9:30 pm) continue through Apr. 19, except as shown below**
TBD date: shared concert with the Choral Society of Durham and orchestra
Friday, Mar. 4 through Sunday, Mar. 13 – annual spring tour (location TBD)
Tuesday, Mar. 15, 7:30 pm concert, Baldwin – annual spring tour concert
Thursday, Mar. 17, 7:30 pm concert, Baldwin – recording session
Friday, Apr. 22, 7 pm rehearsal in Bone Hall, 8 pm concert in Biddle lobby – Celebration concert
Optional summer event:
Saturday, June 4 through Monday, June 6 – Carnegie Hall (New York City) rehearsals and performance with the Choral Society of Durham: Michael Bussewitz-Quarm’s “Where We Find Ourselves”
Duke Chorale socially distanced recording session, Sept. 2020
These photos were taken during a video recording session on Sept. 12, 2020 in Baldwin Auditorium.
The Duke Chorale
- Rodney Wynkoop, conductor
- Rick Nelson, producer, video and photos
- Brooks Frederickson, audio recording and mixing
(Photo Credit: Rick Nelson)
Chorale Celebration Concert via Zoom
On April 24, the Duke Chorale would have performed their annual Celebration Concert in the Mary Duke Biddle Music Building. This year, they gathered via Zoom for a virtual concert that began with virtual back rubs to loosen up. Director Rodney Wynkoop describes the event: "For 2/3 of the concert, the singers were singing along (muted) with the video from our final tour concert (in Forsyth, GA). As always, the middle section of the concert featured solos and duets, which we performed either live or from a recording file. Rick [Nelson] was a great help in making this happen and recording the event." (Photo Credit: Rodney Wynkoop)