• Providing an irreverent look at America's electoral insanity, Free Speech features brand new political satire straight from sold out shows in Chicago and Toronto .

  • William Cordova's works are bound up in his transcultural biography with subjects drawn from a continuum of radical movements and struggles for self-determination.

  • Celebrating its 45th anniversary, Ballet Hispanic's mission is to make the beauty of the arts and Latino culture accessible to all communities.

  • The Harlem Gospel Choir performs worldwide, logging in two million travel miles. Trivia fact: They paid tribute to Prince, performing "Purple Rain" on Good Morning America.

  • (l-r) Selena Kimball uses printed documentary evidence and works into constructed surfaces. Liz Nielsen's photographs are printed in an analog color darkroom.

The Arts

The arts—performing, visual and literary—are a part of the daily educational experience at Davidson. Students, alumni and the greater Davidson family are invited to enjoy and participate in various art forms on campus throughout the year. Sculpture. Readings. Plays. Exhibitions. Chorale. It is all happening here.

As Davidson grows its focus on broad collaboration across the arts and sciences, opportunities for involvement in the arts and a transdisciplinary approach to learning will continue to develop on and off campus.

Events are free-except those having a link to tickets-and open to the public.

Key: 900 Room = C. Shaw Smith 900 Room, Alvarez College Union; BT = Barber Theatre, Cunningham Fine Arts Center; CI = Carolina Inn; DCPC = Davidson College Presbyterian Church, DFPH = Duke Family Performance Hall, Knobloch Campus Center; Hance = Hance Auditorium, Chambers; Lilly = Lilly Family Gallery, Chambers; TTH = Tyler-Tallman Hall, Sloan Music Center


color head shot photo of Tom Gilroy


Visiting McGee Professor of Writing

Tuesday, Sept. 13  •  7:30 p.m.  •  TTH

Tom Gilroy has written and directed three award-winning films, including the critically acclaimed feature film Spring Forward, starring Liev Schreiber, Ned Beatty, Ian Hart, and Campbell Scott. A two-time fellow of the Sundance Labs, he was commissioned by R.E.M. to create "It Happened Today," a video-work inspired by the band's final album. Gilroy frequently teaches film at Columbia University, and is the author of three books of haiku and various political columns in The Huffington Post.

For additional information, please contact Alan Michael Parker at amparker@davidson.edu. Sponsored by the English department.

boy playing a trombone


Sunday, Sept. 18  •  6 p.m.  •  Davidson Town Green

Join the orchestra on the Davidson Town Green for a sneak peek at our 2016-17 season.

Second City, two guys sitting and talking


Saturday, Sept. 24  •  8 p.m.  •  DFPH  •  Tickets

Chicago's legendary sketch and improv comedy theater returns to Davidson with this irreverent look at America's electoral insanity. This topical new show features political satire made famous by Second City stars like Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and Keegan Michael Key, as well as brand new scenes, songs and improv straight from their sold out shows in Chicago and Toronto.

color head shot of William Fried


Sunday, Sept. 25  •  3 p.m.  •  TTH

Composed 1909-13, the two books of Preludes are Debussy at his most imaginative, concise and compositionally daring, while the eclectic mix of subjects he references provides a unique glimpse into artistic and intellectual life of pre-war Paris. Davidson Artist Associate in Piano William Fried has received critical acclaim internationally for his interpretations of French repertoire; here he performs Preludes in their entirety.

color head shot of Jeanne-Marie Jackson


Wednesday, Sept. 28  •  7:30 p.m.  •  CI

Jeanne-Marie Jackson is assistant professor of English at the Johns Hopkins University. Trained as a comparatist at Yale University, Jackson works in Russian, Afrikaans and Shona. Her book, South African Literature's Russian Soul: Forms of Global Isolation, was published in 2015 and shows how Russia's nineteenth-century Golden Age of literature and ideas provides a model for South African writers during and after Apartheid.

For additional information, please contact Roman Utkin at routkin@davidson.edu. Sponsored by the Russian Studies, Africana Studies and English departments; the Public Lectures Committee and the Dean Rusk International Studies Program.

Ernesto Lecuona at piano CBS mic


Thursday, Sept. 29  •  7:30 p.m.  •  900 Room, ACU

As a part of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the DCSO presents a festive concert of Latin American music, featuring the works of Piazzolla, Ginastera, Moncayo, Lecuona, and more. (photo of Ernesto Lecuona)

Dan Boye and Jacque Culpeper duet


Sunday, Oct. 2  •  3 p.m.  •  TTH  •  Tickets

Over There! is a musical revue honoring the 100th Centennial of World War I and serves as a tribute to the Americans who served so bravely on the battlefields. Musical selections feature two iconic American composers and showmen, George M. Cohan and Irving Berlin. Over There! features the artistry of soprano Jacquelyn Culpepper, baritone Dan Boye, accompanist DeWitt Tipton and writer/director/narrator Francis Cullinan. Musical highlights include Alexander's "Ragtime Band," "Give my Regards to Broadway," "Over There," "You're a Grand Old Flag," and "God Bless America" Narration includes excerpts from touching letters from the battlefront, as well as comments from military personnel. From start to finish, Over There! revives the spirit of patriotism in audiences of all ages.

color head shot of Reggie Love


Wednesday, Oct. 5  •  7 p.m.  •  DFPH

Reggie Love, author of Power Forward: My Presidential Education, speaks about his time as personal assistant to President Barack Obama. A graduate of Providence Day School in Charlotte, Love played basketball for Duke University before going to work for then senator Obama later transitioning to the White House. After leaving the White House, Love attended the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business and is now a partner and vice president of Transatlantic Holdings. Join us to hear his first-hand account of life as the president's "body man" and reflections on the upcoming presidential election.

For additional information, please contact Elizabeth White at elwhite@davidson.edu. Sponsored by the Africana Studies, athletics and economics departments, and the Public Lectures Committee.

color close-up photo of fiddle


October 19  •  7:30 p.m.  •  TTH

Charlotte's own bluegrass and folk music legend Jon Singleton will take the stage to offer up some traditional Irish fiddle tunes alongside our gifted pianist David Gilliland.

Davidson Reads photos of Alan Michael Parker and Karl Plank


Thursday, Oct. 20  •  4:30 p.m.  •  CI

Alan Michael Parker is the Douglas C. Houchens Professor of English, and the author of eight collections of poems, including The Ladder, and four novels, including the forthcoming Christmas in July. His honors include three Pushcart Prizes, two inclusions in Best American Poetry, the Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize in 2013 and 2014, and the North Carolina Book Award.
Karl Plank is the J.W. Cannon Professor of Religion at Davidson. His recent poetry and creative work has appeared in publications such as Notre Dame Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Zone 3. He is a past winner of the Thomas Carter Prize for nonfiction and a Pushcart nominee.

For additional information, please contact Alan Michael Parker at amparker@davidson.edu. Sponsored by the English department.

close-up color photo of hands playing a piano and artwork for A Midsummer Night's Dream


Friday, Oct. 28


5 p.m.  •  DCPC

Join the Davidson College Chorale & Davidson Singers as they offer the first choral concert of the season. This special performance for friends and family will highlight some of the vibrant and challenging repertoire the ensembles will be performing this year.


7 p.m.  •  900 Room, ACU

Join the DCSO in an eclectic performance of season highlights, featuring music from our Southern Excursion concert, a preview of The Planets, and more.


9 p.m.  •  TTH

New York-based renowned jazz pianist and Davidson parent Jerry Korman will join the Davidson College Jazz Ensemble, including his daughter, violinist and vocalist Arielle Korman '17, for this special Family Weekend performance.



October 26-30  •  DFPH  •  Tickets
By William Shakespeare  •  Directed by Ann Marie Costa  •  Scenic design by Joe Gardner

Perhaps Shakespeare's most popular and (let's face it) approachable work, this romantic comedy features a few of his favorite themes: the mystical difference between city and woods, lovers who must suffer before their happy ending, hyper-truth revealed through the play-within-a-play. And the bard ain't afraid to be a little bawdy. Likewise, this contemporary production expresses a bold vision: anything can happen if you open your mind to a new rhythm.This play is generally recommended for ages 13 and up due to sexual themes and complexity of language.

girl dancing


Wednesday, Nov. 2  •  7:30 p.m.  •  DFPH

This concert features the winners of the 2016 annual Concerto Competition, along with a refreshing dive into the realm of orchestral dance music.

photo of a female singing with two males singing behind her


Friday, Nov. 4  •  8 p.m.  •  DFPH  •    Tickets

America's premier gospel choir, the Harlem Gospel Choir, is synonymous with power vocals, glorious sound, and infectious energy. The unique musical tradition of gospel music arose out of the hardships of slavery and forever changed the landscape of music. The Harlem Gospel Choir will share the rich history of gospel as it relates to African-American culture and present a night of contemporary gospel classics as performed in the churches of Harlem today. Their harmonious songs of love, hope, and inspiration aim to touch the depths of your soul, lift your spirit, and take your breath away.

color head shot of Dan Forrest


Sunday, Nov. 6  •  3 p.m.  •  DCPC

Contemporary composer Dan Forrest's works have been hailed as "magnificent, very cleverly constructed sound sculpture" (Classical Voice), and "superb choral writing...full of spine-tingling moments" (Salt Lake Tribune). In the last decade, Forrest's music has become well established in the repertoire of choirs in the U.S. and abroad. His choral works have received dozens of awards and distinctions, and have been premiered in major venues around the world. Join Davidson's Choral Arts Society and Pro Arte Orchestra for a lush and heartfelt performance of Forrest's work Requiem for the Living.

choir singing


Friday, Nov. 11  •  7 p.m.  •  900 Room, ACU

The Davidson College Chorale and Davidson Singers bring beautiful music to a new venue this fall, performing in the 900 Room for the first time. This program will include fresh and fun offerings to start your weekend off right!

color photo of a couple dancing flamenco


Saturday, Nov. 12  •  8 p.m.  •  DFPH  •  Tickets

Ballet Hispanico is the nation's premier Latino dance that explores, preserves, and celebrates Latino culture. Their performance at Davidson will include staple works from their vast repertoire as well as a preview of the new work Línea Recta by Belgian-Colombian Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, one of today's most sought-after choreographers. Línea Recta pairs the hallmark passion of flamenco dance with highly inventive and intricate partnering, performed to Spanish classical guitar.

photo of a viola, a violin and a cello


Sunday, Nov. 13  •  3 p.m.  •  TTH  •  Tickets

The Central String Quartet returns to perform the great Schubert "C Major String Quintet" with guest cellist Alan Black. The ensemble includes Charlotte Symphony Orchestra violinists Joseph Meyer and Jenny Topilow, violist Kirsten Swanson, and cellist Marlene Ballena. Join us for this breathtaking afternoon highlighted by the crown jewel of chamber music pieces.

drawing of a boy in a toboggan smoking with a girl resting her head in his lap


November 16-20  •  TBT  •  Tickets
By Naomi Iizuka  •  Directed by Mark Sutch  •  Scenic design by Anita Tripathi

Naomi Iizuka's riff on Georg Büchner's Woyzeck tells the story of a young couple working desperately to make sense of their relationship while toiling to survive. Skin moves with supernatural fluidity, creating a beautiful play in which we feel the world squeezing tighter and tighter.

Contains adult situations and strong language. Recommended for ages 16 and up.

close-up of "Night Train" sheet music


Thursday, Nov. 17  •  7:30 p.m.  •  TTH

Under the direction of accomplished saxophonist Tim Gordon, the popular Davidson College Jazz Combo presents a mesmerizing evening of small group jazz literature and improv.

ballerina dancing in front of DCSO


Monday & Tuesday, Nov. 28-29  •  7:30 p.m.  •  DFPH

In its fourth season, the Holiday Gala continues to delight sold-out audiences. The unofficial beginning of the town's annual "Christmas in Davidson" event, the Holiday Gala brings together the college choirs, symphony orchestra and jazz band with local community talent to ring in the holiday with dancing, singing, festive light, and seasonal sounds. Get your tickets before they're gone and see for yourself why the Holiday Gala is our newest beloved holiday tradition!

choir singing at Vespers service


Sunday, Dec. 4  •  7:30 p.m.  •  DCPC

The Davidson College Chorale and Davidson Singers are honored to once again raise their voices during this lessons and carols service. Additional music from Carolina Brass.

student singers singing by candelight on Chambers stairs


Monday, Dec. 5  •  9 p.m.  •  Chambers Lawn

Join the Davidson Singers as they lead this year's carols at the annual Campus Christmas Party.

Christopher Gilliam conducting a choir


Tuesday, Dec. 6  •  7 p.m.  •  DFPH

Capping off our seasonal offerings, join the Davidson College Choirs at the second annual Messiah! Sing-Along. Grab your score and join the festivities as we gather together to sing through the Christmas portion (and some honorable mentions) of Handel's Messiah! Featuring the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra and professional soloists.

color head shot of Lorrie Moore


2017 Conarroe Lecture

Monday, Feb. 6  •  7 p.m.  •  DFPH  •  Tickets TBA

Lorrie Moore is the author of seven works of fiction. Recipient of The Irish Times Prize for International Literature, the Rea Award for the Short Story, the PEN/Malamud Award, the O. Henry Award, and a Lannan fellowship, she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She received her B.A. from St. Lawrence, and her M.F.A. from Cornell University; she is Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor at Vanderbilt University.

Tickets are free but required. You may obtain tickets by emailing the Union Ticket Office at uniontix@davidson.edu, or by calling 704-894-2135. Sponsored by the Public Lectures Committee.