Friday, December 9, 2011

In the home stretch!

We've completed rehearsal week for this upcoming weekend's concerts at Duke Chapel! Some things you'll see or hear / experience this weekend:
*The chorus will have seated risers for the Christmas Oratorio, as this is a long piece. Remember, if you wish to hear the Oratorio in its entirety, you will wish to attend both of our performances.
*You will see/ hear our accompanist, Jane Lynch perform on the loveliest harpsichord.
*Our soloists will be elevated on a platform to the left of our conductor, so you will have an excellent opportunity to see them and hear their spectacular voices project in the Chapel.
*If you are accustomed to picking up or purchasing your tickets at the entrance to the Chapel, please note that we are now directing our patrons to Page Box Office for tickets. If you are not familiar with the location of the office, it is very close to the Chapel, and we will have signs posted outside of the Chapel to direct you to where you need to go. Since this is new and will be an extra step for your time with us, please allow for some extra time as you plan your visit.

Dr. Wynkoop has been working with us as diligently as usual to deliver an extraordinary experience of seasonal music at Duke Chapel for you. We'll see you this weekend!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Back at Arts Council for rehearsals

After a number of weeks at the lovely First Presbyterian Church, we have returned to the Durham Arts Council building and a newly-renovated IBM room. Photos from our time at First Presbyterian will be posted soon.

Work on the Christmas music continues, but a number of our female singers have taken on an additional task; they are collaborating with the Durham Symphony this weekend.

The Symphony's concert, entitled "War and Peace" includes selections from Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Hovhaness, Heinrich Von Biber, Tchaikovsky , and Durham composer Lance Hulme.
Hulme's composition, 'Threnody for the Victims of September 11, 2001', is scored for strings and female voices. That is where the vocalists from the Choral Society come in.
There have been a number of rehearsals for the singers leading up to this performance; including sessions with Mr. Hulme and Maestro William Henry Curry of the Durham Symphony.

The concert will be performed at the Carolina Theatre in Durham this Sunday, October 30th at 3pm.
Ticket information is at:

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Calling all fans!

Hello there!

Our rehearsals have been going well as our 2011-2012 season gets underway. we've been at a new site these last few weeks, as the Durham Arts Council building has been under renovation. We should be returning soon!
In the meantime, publicity is getting underway for Rodney Wynkoop's 25th season with the CSD. This promises to be the most exciting season of music and we want everyone to know about it!
Thats where we want your help. I'd like to hear from those who are responsible for their church newsletters, retirement center activity schedules, school music teachers, etc. Anyone who publishes musical events or who schedules musical activities for their groups. My goal is to have our concerts listed everywhere you turn for concert information! Exhausting? Yes, but thats why I'm asking for your help.
I'm hoping you'll post our concert information and encourage others to share in your enjoyment of the Choral Society of Durham!
Even if you do not participate in a newsletter or scheduling, I could still use your help. Perhaps there is a website you turn to for concert or event information. There are many out there we use and even more that I am discovering from day to day, but I don't know everything! Tell me about the websites on which you'd like to see our concert information. You can submit your suggestions to just put 'choral society' in the subject line.

This promises to be an amazing year for the Choral Society of Durham! I hope to hear from you soon, and we look forward to seeing you at our concerts this season!


Monday, September 12, 2011

re-post of Duke Chronicle article

Speeches, Requiem honor victims and heroes of 9/11
By Julian Spector
September 12, 2011

Performances in the Duke Chapel Sunday highlighted a weekend of remembrance.

By Julian Spector [2]
September 12, 2011 Print Article [3]

As the sounds of a Mozart classic reverberated through the Chapel, the memory of 9/11 fittingly echoed.

Four choirs and a full orchestra performed Mozart’s “Requiem” to a packed Duke Chapel Sunday afternoon to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The piece was featured in many remembrances around the world after the attacks in 2001. The combined singers of the Duke Chapel Choir, Duke Chorale, Duke Vespers Ensemble and the Choral Society of Durham sang the piece with music by the Orchestra Pro Cantores of Durham.

In an address after the performance, Brodhead recounted the events of 9/11 and remembered the six Duke alumni who died in the attacks.

“The power to dehumanize is best countered by our ability to recognize and humanize others,” Brodhead said.

Durham Mayor Bill Bell highlighted the strong sense of community in Durham in overcoming the tragedy of the event.

“This community truly sets the bar,” he said. “I’ve seen what we can do when we put our minds together to solve a problem.”

And Muslim Chaplain Abdullah Antepli related the U.S. response to 9/11 to the biblical and Koranic story of Joseph, who when confronted with evil, told his attackers that with God’s help he turned their evil into a blessing. Antepli then asked if Americans could say “you wanted to divide us, but you made us even stronger.”

He noted, however, that recovery remains a work in progress.

“Ten years later as a nation, our water is still muddy and the dust has not yet settled from 9/11,” Antepli said. “God willing, we will get there.... we will turn these post-9/11 challenges into blessings.”

Dean of the Chapel Sam Wells delivered a meditation on the power of 9/11 and the ways in which people can transcend death.

“We live in a culture that is an orchestrated denial of death,” Wells said. “This was what made the hijackers of 9/11 so powerful.... they were not afraid to die. And so they acted beyond our society’s comprehension.”

Wells argued that the murderous power of the hijackers cannot be overcome by further death-dealing, but by transcending their power, as did the first responders at Ground Zero and the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93. He noted that central to Christianity is Jesus’ transcending the power of death and that a requiem provides an opportunity to envision this transcendence.

“On 9/11, the hijackers manufactured death in unspeakable quantities,” Wells said. “But many people that day showed us how to die, how to transcend death and so how to dissolve its power. May our lives, and deaths, be worthy of theirs.”

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We're getting ready to dust off the pipes... come join us!

What a long, hot summer its been! Hopefully you've kept cool and have had some fun. We had an appearance earlier this summer singing the National Anthem at the Durham Bulls game (I'll post pics soon.) and maybe you saw that and thought, ' they look like a fun group! I ought to join!' Or perhaps you've attended our concerts for years and have finally gotten some free time to get to that goal of trying us out.

You have that chance coming up soon! Join us for a summer sing-through of 2011–12 repertoire, 7:30–10:00 p.m., Monday, August 8, at Blacknall Presbyterian Church (1902 Perry St, Durham). This is an open rehearsal, and all are welcome! Come meet us, see what its like to sing for Rodney, even hang out afterward at our social!

More information is available on our website hope to see you there!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rehearsal week for our Christmas concerts!

This week our rehearsals take us to Duke Chapel. We had our final rehearsal last night with the orchestra.
If you are looking for traditional Christmas carols in an amazing setting to get into the holiday spirit, this is the place to be this weekend. Choral Society of Durham is performing them along with other music for our December concert this year.
Our biggest challenge this year has been learning the french pronounciation for a few of the carols. However, being the diverse group we are,we have members who are fluent so you will be quite pleased at what you will hear.

For me personally, singing at Duke Chapel is an experience I never thought I'd have. I went to university in Illinois and happened to work for the public radio station at Western Illinois University (WIUM-FM). Aside from being a reporter, my duties included watching over the evening broadcasts of classic music. Some of the performances originated from Duke Chapel and I remembered making a note to myself that I needed to add a trip to Durham to my Goddard's list to hear music in this beautiful spot.

Fast-forward about ten years and I'm living in Durham. Not only do I get to hear music here anytime I want to, but I am fortunate enough to have made it into this fine group, and they sing in the Chapel! It seems that once a season I find myself at the brink of being overcome with emotion at how lucky I am.

I hope you will come to hear us and experience this for yourself. We have a lot of people in our audiences each year for our concerts (Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 4pm) but we always seem to manage to get everyone in to hear us. However, to be on the safe side, try to get there about 30-45 minutes early so you can get your tickets if you don't have them already(available from CSD members or check out this link:

We look forward to filling you with the Christmas spirit!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Silver tonsils unite....are you ready?

Its time to hydrate,find the comfy shoes and make friends again with good old A-440.
After a summer off for the Choral Society of Durham, our first rehearsal of the 2010-2011 season is tonight. Its always a fun reunion... we see who returned, who made it through auditions last week and who is auditioning this evening to become new members...and we swap 'how I spent my summer vacation' stories.
Then the music begins. Some folks have been singing throughout the summer and there are folks like myself who have only this as their musical outlet.In other words, for some of us, tonight will be a night of getting the dust out of the pipes!
If you've not yet heard our group, why not try us for the Holidays this year? If you've never been to Duke Chapel for some music, it is an amazing experience that you need to put on your list to do when you can.
We've made it much easier for you to get your season or individual concert tickets this year! We have now given you the convenience of PayPal,so get the family plans together, call your friends, make a night of it.. Check it out on our home page for concert and paypal information: