• The Holiday Gala has quickly become one of our signature events welcoming the holiday season with students, faculty, staff, and community members.

  • During the year, enjoy the light and comedic music of Rossini's Overture to La Gazza Ladra to the finger-picking guitar playing of Wayne Henderson.

  • An exciting season awaits featuring jazz, symphony, voice, and old-time music. Mark your calendar now! You won't want to miss a beat.

  • The Symphony Orchestra opened their season with a performance of Chabrier's Marche Joyeuse and Kalinnikov's Symphony No.1.

  • Beautiful voices fill the air when the choir takes the stage in Tyler-Tallman Hall and the Davidson College Presbyterian Church.

  • Music Department faculty members are active musicians, and perform recitals on campus regularly each season.


Each season, the Davidson College Music Department presents more than 50 events in support of the academic curriculum and arts culture on campus. Performances include those by world-renowned artists as part of the Davidson College Concert Series, as well as numerous performances from our faculty-led student ensembles such as the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Choral Arts Society and Chorale. In addition, we sponsor solo and collaborative recitals by faculty and students and host guest artists to work with student musicians in workshops, masterclasses and residencies with our various departmental ensembles. All performances are free except where noted with a link to ticket information.

Key: Davidson College Presbyterian Church = DCPC; Duke FamilyPerformance Hall = DFPH; Tyler-Tallman Hall = TTH


ballerina in front of orchestra at the 2014 Holiday Gala

Holiday Gala

Monday, Nov. 30  •  7:30 p.m.  •  DFPH  •  Tickets
Tuesday, Dec. 1  •  7:30 p.m.  •  DFPH  •  Tickets

Usher in your season of holiday cheer with festive music, dance, theatre, and art all in one exciting and family-friendly show featuring the finest talent Davidson has to offer. Showcasing the college choirs, symphony orchestra, jazz band, along with community ensembles: Davidson Community Players, Dance Davidson, and Young Voices of the Carolinas. Don't miss what many people in the surrounding communities are calling their "new holiday tradition."

Chorale singing in DCPC

Christmas Vespers

Sunday, Dec. 6  •  7:30 p.m.  •  DCPC

Join the Davidson community for our annual Lessons & Carols Christmas Vespers service featuring music from the Davidson College Chorale and Brass Ensemble. Prelude music by the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra.

Gilliam conducting singers in background

Messiah Sing-Along

Tuesday, Dec. 8  •  7 p.m.  •  DFPH  •  Tickets

All are invited to join the Davidson College Choirs in their one-night-only sing through of the Christmas portion (plus a few extras) of Handel's Messiah! Joined by an orchestral chamber ensemble, student soloists, and guests, enjoy with us this evening of jubilant choral revelry. Bring your own score; we'll have a few to share.

Sheila Kay Adams holding a banjo outside a log cabin

Sheila Kay Adams

Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016  •  7:30 p.m.  •  DFPH  •  Tickets

To launch the Old Time Music Series, Davidson gladly welcomes back NEA Heritage Award Winner Sheila Kay Adams to campus to share traditional folklore. Adams is a seventh generation ballad singer from Sodom in Madison County, a region highly regarded for its old time Appalachian roots. In addition to ballad singing, Adams's performance will feature her accomplished claw-hammer banjo playing and famously hilarious storytelling.

baritone and Prof. of Physics Dan Boye standing with hands on the shoulders of soprano Grace Hauser '16

Opera Theatre Workshop: Susannah

Friday & Saturday, January 22 & 23  •  7:30 p.m.  •  TTH  •  Tickets TBD

Set in rural Appalachia, the story focuses on 19-year-old Susannah (soprano Grace Hauser '16), a pretty girl who attracts the attention of the church elders. Despite her innocence, the church community shuns her and names her a sinner. When the local reverend (baritone and Professor of Physics Dan Boye) seeks Susannah out, he finds himself interested in more than saving her soul. A heartbreaking tale of lost innocence and isolation, Floyd's Susannah is not to be missed. Free but tickets are required.

color head shot of Timisha Barnes-Jones '92

Timisha Barnes-Jones '92, Guest Artist Concert

Saturday, Jan. 30  •  7:30 p.m.  •  TTH

Renowned vocalist and educator Timisha Barnes-Jones ‘92 earned a full scholarship to attend the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, completed two years, then moved to Bermuda and began singing professionally. She became an acclaimed jazz vocalist, and appeared at some of the top clubs and performance halls in the western hemisphere. In 1995, she won two first place awards at the nationally televised "Showtime at the Apollo." She currently serves as the principal of West Charlotte High School and director of its Project LIFT Academy.

Sparky and Rhonda Tucker holding musical instruments while sitting on a porch

Sparky & Rhonda Rucker

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016 • 7:30 p.m. • TTH  •  Tickets

Sparky and Rhonda Rucker perform throughout the U.S. as well as overseas, singing songs and telling stories from the American folk tradition. Sparky Rucker has been performing over forty years and is internationally recognized as a leading folklorist, musician, historian, storyteller, and author. He accompanies himself with finger-style picking and bottleneck blues guitar, banjo, and spoons. Rhonda Rucker is a musician, children's author, storyteller, and songwriter. Her blues-style harmonica, piano, old-time banjo, and bones add musical versatility to their performances. The duo has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and on NPR's A Prairie Home Companion.

close-up photo of a saxophone

Carolina Sax & Barbecue

Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016  •  3 p.m.  •  TTH  •  Tickets

Featuring top musicians Tim Gordon, Jeff Tippett, Doug Henry, and Phil Thompson, Carolina Sax & Barbecue offers a diverse blend in the saxophone tradition containing modern elements of harmony and rhythm with a strong jazz influence. Their repertoire includes works by Mike Mower, Russell Peck, Phil Woods and Bob Mintzer.

Wayne Henderson playing a guitar

Wayne Henderson

Thursday, Feb, 18, 2016  •  7:30 p.m.  •  TTH  •  Tickets

Guitarist Wayne Henderson is widely recognized as an exceedingly talented musician and expert luthier. Henderson has brought his finger-picking style of guitar playing from his shop in Virginia to the stage at Carnegie Hall, and has also won a NEA Heritage Award for his guitar making. Only producing about twenty instruments a year, the 10+ year waiting list for Henderson's instruments have included the likes of Eric Clapton and Doc Watson, among many others.

picture of Jonathan Andrew Govias

Winter Concert

Wednesday, Feb. 24  •  7:30 p.m  •  DFPH

Featuring guest conductor Jonathan Andrew Govias, assistant professor and director of orchestras at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

close-up of Steinway & Sons piano

Davidson Trio

Sunday, March 13, 2016 • 3 p.m.  •  TTH  •  Tickets

The Davidson Trio returns for its annual Concert Series performance with artist associate in violin Joseph Meyer, artist associate in cello Alan Black and guest pianist Dana Protopopescu for an afternoon of chamber music including Mozart's Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Enescu's Serenade lointaine and Tchaikovsky's challenging and rewarding Piano Trio in A Minor.

color photo of Aubrey singing

Sing with the Jazz Ensemble Live Thursday

Thursday, March 17  •  10 p.m.  • 7:30 p.m.  •  900 Room

Winners of the "2016 Sing with the Jazz Ensemble Competition" will bring down the house this St. Patrick's Day, backed by the big band ensemble in this annual crowd-favorite performance.

close-up of boys singing in a choir

Chorale Spring Concert

Friday, April 1  •  5 p.m.  •  DCPC

It's spring time and the Davidson Choirs are bursting into song! Join in their penultimate concert of the year singing repertoire that spans five centuries and includes multiple styles and genres of engaging choral music. This concert also features the department's own student-led ensembles–Collegium Musicum and After Hours Vocal Jazz. There's something for everyone at the Chorale's April concert-no foolin'!

Delfeayo Marsalis holding his trombone

Jazz Residency Concert featuring Delfeayo Marsalis, trombone

Friday, April 1  •  8 p.m.  •  DFPH  •  Tickets

International jazz superstar Delfeayo Marsalis will join the Jazz Ensemble for this special performance. Marsalis, one of the top trombonists, composers and producers in jazz today, is known for his "technical excellence, inventive mind and frequent touches of humor..." (Los Angeles Times). He is "...one of the best, most imaginative, and musical of the trombonists of his generation" (San Francisco Examiner).
In January 2011, Delfeayo and the Marsalis family (father Ellis and brothers Branford, Wynton, and Jason) earned the nation's highest jazz honor-a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award. You won't want to miss this exciting concert with a living jazz legend.

group photo of David Holt & The Lightening Bolts

David Holt & The Lightning Bolts

April 12, 2016  •  8 p.m. DFPH  •  Tickets

David Holt & The Lightning Bolts enlivens old-time music with a newtime jolt. The wide diversity of ages, styles, and dynamic personalities gives the spark that keeps their music fresh, fun, and fired up. At the heart of the group, four-time Grammy Award-winner, host of "Folkways" on PBS, radio host, recording artist and multi-instrumentalist David Holt has lead the charge to preserve, promote and perform traditional Appalachian music for the past three decades. Sample a few songs on Amazon.

boys playing violins

Spring Concert

Thursday, April 21  •  7:30 p.m. •  DFPH

Join us for a special and unprecedented collaborative performance with the symphony orchestra of the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

close-up photo of females singing in a choir

Armed Man: Mass for Peace

Monday, April 25  •  7:30 p.m.  •  DFPH  •  Tickets

Join the Davidson Choirs and Pro Arte Orchestra as they combine to perform a work that has been described as a "firebomb of orchestral and human voices." Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace blends the universal themes of war and peace, and combines the traditional mass with other musical, religious, and historical sources. These include a fifteenth-century folk song, the Islamic call to prayer, texts from the Bible and the Mahabharata, along with words from the works of Rudyard Kipling, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Sankichi Toge, who survived the Hiroshima bombing.

close-up of cymbals and sheet music

Jazz Combo Spring Concert

Thursday, April 28  •  7:30 p.m.  •  TTH

The Davidson College Jazz Combo once again takes the stage of Tyler-Tallman Hall for an electrifying evening of small group jazz literature and improv.

WDAV - girl looking out from behind a violin

WDAV Young Chamber Musicians Competition

Sunday, May 1, 2016  •  DFPH  •  Tickets

Classical Public Radio 89.9 FM WDAV, with the generous support of OrthoCarolina, presents the Young Chamber Musicians Competition for musicians ages 14-24. Aspiring young chamber ensembles are invited to compete for a chance to win their share of $10,000 in cash prizes

boys singings

Chorale Farewell to Seniors Concert

Saturday, May 14  •  7:15 p.m.  •  DCPC

Celebrating and honoring the Class of 2016 on the eve of their graduation! This special performance will give the audience a taste of the ensemble's 2015-16 season, as well as offering performances of repertoire selected by senior vocalists.


Barnaby Bright

Since the release of their first album, "Wake the Hero," Barnaby Bright has garnered high accolades for their songwriting and sound. Grand prize winners of the NY Song Circle competition, their follow-up EP, "Gravity," was named one of the top 100 records of the year by Amazon. They continue to tour in support of their most recent album, "The Longest Day." Get a sample of Barnaby Bright's sound by watching their video for "Old Coats."

Voice Faculty Recital

Voice faculty teamed up for a dynamic launch of this season's faculty recitals. Sopranos Jacquelyn Culpepper and Ilana Lubitsch, along with pianist David Gilliland, collaborated on duets from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro and Strauss's Arabella, as well as sang solo works such as Whitacre's Goodnight Moon. In addition, Director of Choral Activities Christopher Gilliam and new adjunct faculty performed stunning vocal repertoire.

Concert on the Green

We hope you brought blankets, packed a picnic, and tapped your toes while mingling with fellow concert-goers by joining the orchestra on the Davidson town green for a sneak peak of our season opening concert at this entertaining annual event.

Symphony Orchestra Season Opener

The 2015-16 season opened with Chabrier's Marche Joyeuse and Kalinnikov's Symphony No.1.


This was the Chorale's first concert of the year for family and friends in this beautiful and resonant sanctuary. The Chorale's sound has been described as "ethereal, sensitive, and powerful," their repertoire "bold and challenging," and their performance "confident, artistic, and enjoyable."


For the first time during Family Weekend, the traditional "big band" ensemble welcomed a parent, keyboardist Jim Kuster '80. Kuster began his formal music education at the Manhattan School of Music, where he attended the prep division prior to enrolling at Davidson. While here, Jim formed a band with two other core members, Chip Carter '79 and Roger Brown '78, who now serves as president of the Berklee College of Music.


Internationally regarded flutist Tadeu Coelho was joined by artist associate in accompanying David Gilliland for Bach's Chaconne, Franck's Sonata in A Major, and Prokofiev's Sonata in D Major. Coelho, a member of the faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, is a champion of new music, a prolific recording artist, and leader of regional and national flute societies.

Chorale Fall Concert

Davidson's premier choral ensemble performed their fall concert-for the first time ever in Duke Family Performance Hall-singing challenging repertoire on the themes of life, hope, heartache, joy, and love. The audience enjoyed exquisite a cappella and accompanied choral music sung by our elite Chorale in the campus's own beautiful concert hall.

Rachmaninoff's "Vespers"

Rachmaninoff's "All-Night Vigil" is celebrating its 100th anniversary of the writing and premiere of the timeless "Vespers," a work that has been described as his finest achievement and called the "greatest musical achievement of the Russian Orthodox Church." The Davidson College Choral Arts Society joined with the Davidson Singers to perform the hour-long masterpiece sung in its original Church Slavonic.

Jazz Combo Fall Concert

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