Choirs, Organ & Carillon
A vibrant music program
The organ, carillon, and choirs are at the center of a vibrant music life at Rockefeller Chapel that includes performances by international stars from Cassandra Wilson to the Tallis Scholars. The Chapel's organ, carillon, and choirs perform regularly in concerts both intimate and grand, including masterworks of all periods and growing list of world premieres.
The Chapel Choir performs sacred music of all periods, styles, and cultural backgrounds in the resplendent acoustic of Rockefeller Chapel. Firmly rooted in the tradition of Palestrina, Victoria, Bach, and Mozart, the choir also performs music of Africa and South America, modern and forgotten treasures, and liturgical chant from Hildegard to contemporary Anglican. With a vision to be on the cutting edge of the great academic cathedrals of Europe, the choir aims to provide professional level performances and continues to work towards this goal, with a University of Chicago flair for innovation and re-creation. The University's Motet Choir and University Chorus also perform regularly in the Chapel, including a Hyde Park holiday tradition: the December Messiah performance.
The organ and carillon are at the musical and architectural heart of the Chapel. As two of the grandest instruments in the Chicago area and the world beyond, these gems attract thousands of visitors from all walks of life each year. The organ's weekly Tea and Pipes series provides an informal organ treat each Tuesday, with appreciative listeners of all ages coming for a feast of music, and Sunday services and concert series bring the best international artists to the Chicago area to play the biggest organ in town. The carillon is a musical and architectural marvel. Hundreds of tourists brave the winding steps every year for a chance to see the bells that are measured in tons suspended from the Chapel's graceful East tower. The cabin room offers a chance to see the keyboard of this rarely experienced instrument and to watch the bells be played, and international artists are constantly in queue to send carillon music over the Chapel's lawns and the University's classic quadrangles.