• Visiting Professor of Art Clint Sleeper likes to make work about the humorous and tragic end of an economic and political system.

  • 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.

  • "Curran approaches dance making with the sharp intelligence of a conceptualist and the raw physicality of an athlete." - The Boston Globe (© Julieta Cervantes)

  • Sarah Ruhl reimagines the classic myth of Orpheus through the eyes of its heroine, creating a beautiful fable of love, loss, memory and mischief.

  • Filmmaker Alia Syed examines the hopes and fears that are driving the movements of current migrants and refugees in On a Wing and a Prayer (2015).

  • Allan deSouza's photography, installation, text and performance works restage historical evidence through counter-strategies of fiction, erase, and (mis)translation.

  • The Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning comedy takes on the issues of gentrification in our communities, leaving no stone unturned in the process.

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

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

UPCOMING EVENTS 2015-16

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.

male and female actors pointing left

Student Directed One Act Series II

The Most Massive Woman Wins

by Madeleine George, directed by Sarah Kostoryz '17

Life Underwater

by Richard Greenberg, directed by Savannah Deal '18, scenic design by Anna Catherine McCrary '18

Wednesday, April 27  •  7:30 p.m.  •  Tickets
Thursday, April 28  •  5 p.m.  •  Tickets

The Barber Theatre, Cunningham Fine Arts Center

In The Most Massive Woman Wins, audiences will travel to a plastic surgeon's waiting room and beyond as four women trace how their negative perceptions of themselves have left them craving reconstruction. After a brief intermission, we dive head first into Life Underwater, a story of timeless friendships and emotional recklessness on the edge of the world.

close-up of cymbals and sheet music

Jazz Combo Spring Concert

Thursday, April 28  •  6:30 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  •  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

color photo of boys playing violins

Spring Concert

Tuesday, May 3  •  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.

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.

PAST EVENTS 2015-16

Koresh Dance Company presents Mezze

Koresh Dance Company was founded in Philadelphia in 1991 by Israeli-born choreographer and artistic director Roni Koresh, and is widely recognized for its superb technique and emotionally-compelling appeal. Mezze, meaning many flavors in the Middle East, is a dynamic program-lyrical and dynamic, dreamlike and simply human-that includes music from the Middle East set aside classical favorites. This performance is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council.

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.

Christopher O'Riley/Matt Haimovitz: Shuffle.Play.Listen

Grammy Award winning cellist Matt Haimovitz and leading American pianist and host of NPR's From the Top program Christopher O'Riley joined together in a collaboration that blurred the boundaries between the classical and pop music genres. In Shuffle.Play.Listen., audiences heard a unique lineup of works from J.S. Bach, Bernard Hermann, Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Piazzolla, and Prokofiev.

An Evening with Jagoda Marinić

German novelist, playwright, and essayist, Jagoda Marinić melds literary work with political action. Born to immigrant parents from Dalmatia, she speaks and writes about identity, memory, and integration. She is director of The Intercultural Center, Heidelberg.

Symphony Orchestra Season Opener

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

The Good Writer: Literary Ethics & the Literary Artist

Featured Amy Bagwell, poet and mixed-media artist, teaches English at Central Piedmont Community College. Jeff Jackson is the author of Mira Corpora, a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize, and teaches at UNC Charlotte. Douglas C. Houchens Professor of English Alan Michael Parker is the author or editor of 15 works, including The Ladder and The Manifesto Project; both will be published in 2016. Visiting Assistant Professor L. Lamar Wilson is the author of Sacrilegion, winner of the Carolina Wren Press Poetry Series, and co-author with the Phantastique Five, of Prime.

The Birds

Two fellows reject America, declare God an illegitimate ruler and set out to establish a paradise among the birds. Prof. Keyne Cheshire provides this new translation of Aristophanes' comedy, preserving the subversive, riotous humor of its native Greek. Expect a fun production marked by inventive gags, a healthy dose of filth and a live rock band.

Chorale Family Weekend Concert

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."

Family Weekend featuring Jim Kuster '80

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.

Tadeu Coelho, flute & David Gilliland, piano

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.

Read Davidson: Lee Smith

Lee Smith is the author of 17 works of fiction including Fair and Tender Ladies, Oral History, and Guests on Earth. Her many awards include the North Carolina Award for Literature, and an American Academy of Arts and Letters award; her novel, The Last Girls, was a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. Dimestore, a collection of personal essays, will be published in 2016.

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.

Davidson Reads: Keyne Cheshire & Steph Post '04

Keyne Cheshire, professor of Classics, is a scholar, poet, and the author of a textbook on Alexander the Great. He rendered Aristophanes' Birds for performance at Davidson. Steph Post '04 is the author of A Tree Born Crooked. A Patricia Cornwell Scholar and winner of the Vereen Bell Memorial Award, she has an M.A. from UNC Wilmington.

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.

The Great God Pan

Jamie's life in Brooklyn seems fine: a beautiful girlfriend, a budding journalism career and parents who live just far enough away. But his life is thrown into turmoil by the discovery that he may have been the victim of childhood sexual abuse. Unsettling and deeply compassionate, The Great God Pan tells the intimate tale of what is lost and won when a hidden truth is unloosed into the world.

Ta-Nehisi Coates: Race in America

Reynolds Lecture

Ta-Nehisi Coates' George Polk Award-winning Atlantic cover story on slavery and race, "The Case for Reparations," is one of the most talked-about pieces of nonfiction in recent years. A National Correspondent for The Atlantic, Coates is the author of The Beautiful Struggle and Between the World and Me.

Piano Recital: Music of Brazil

This performance from artist associate in piano Cynthia Lawing highlighted the music of Brazil and Brazilian composers.

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.

Soweto Gospel Choir

Drawing on the best talent from the many churches and communities in and around Soweto, South Africa, the two-time Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir returned to Davidson this season. The ensemble performs in six different languages and brings audiences around the world to their feet with the joy and power of authentic African gospel music and dynamic renditions of western spirituals.

Holiday Gala

Two nights of sold out shows ushered in the season of holiday cheer with festive music, dance, theatre, and art all in one exciting and family-friendly show that featured the finest talent Davidson has to offer by showcasing the college choirs, symphony orchestra, and jazz band, along with community ensembles: Davidson Community Players, Dance Davidson, and Young Voices of the Carolinas. Make plans to attend next year as many people are calling the Gala their "new holiday tradition."

Christmas Vespers

Our annual Lessons & Carols Christmas Vespers service featured music from the Davidson College Chorale and Brass Ensemble with prelude music by the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra.

Messiah Sing-Along

The Davidson College Choirs performed a 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, many enjoyed this evening of jubilant choral revelry.

Opera Theatre Workshop: Susannah

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.

Sheila Kay Adams

To launch the Old Time Music Series, Davidson gladly welcomed 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 featured her accomplished claw-hammer banjo playing and famously hilarious storytelling.

Timisha Barnes-Jones '92, Guest Artist Concert

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 is the principal of West Charlotte High School and director of its Project LIFT Academy.

Sparky & Rhonda Rucker

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.

Anne Balay

Anne Balay is the author of Steel Closets: Voices of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Steelworkers. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Her current project, while at Yale on an LGBT Studies Research Fellowship, is on LGBT truckers and the long-haul industry. Sponsored by the Bacca Foundation Visiting Scholar and Artist Program.

Aquila Theatre presents The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Sprung from the brilliant mind of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this was an exhilarating tale of mystery, suspense, and intrigue. Sherlock Holmes skillfully maneuvered through the twisted web of London's most fascinating cases that only he could solve. Presented by the acclaimed British-American touring troupe Aquila Theatre, this thrilling performance was an unforgettable ride that kept you on the edge of your seat.

An Evening of Love Songs: Ilana Lubitsch, soprano & David Gilliland, piano

Adjunct instructor Ilana Lubitsch and artist associate in accompanying David Gilliland preformed a romantic evening of love songs and arias. Lubitsch joined the Davidson faculty in January 2015, sharing her brilliant voice with students and community. Her powerful and versatile soprano has earned her many prominent operatic and musical theatre roles, while also establishing her as an accomplished soloist and chamber musician.

Carolina Sax & Barbecue

Featuring top musicians Tim Gordon, Jeff Tippett, Doug Henry, and Phil Thompson, Carolina Sax & Barbecue offered 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 Wood, and Bob Mintzer.

Russ Warren: Works 1971-2015

Van Every Gallery
Curated by Les Yeux du Monde, Charlottesville, Va.

Seán Curran Company

Called a "breathtaking tour de force" by the New York Times, the Seán Curran Company is known for its wit, intelligence, ingenuity and uncanny physical humor. Artistic Director Seán Curran, who serves as the chair of the department of dance at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, successfully blends a myriad of influences into a purely original style of dance.

Eurydice

In Eurydice, Sarah Ruhl reimagined the classic myth of Orpheus through the eyes of its heroine. Dying too young on her wedding day, Eurydice must journey to the underworld, where she reunites with her father and struggles to remember her lost love. Eurydice is a beautiful theatrical fable of love, loss, memory and mischief.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Poet

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of three books of poetry: Lucky Fish, At the Drive-In Volcano, and Miracle Fruit. With Ross Gay, she co-authored Lace & Pyrite, a chapbook of nature poems. Her awards include an NEA Fellowship in poetry, a Pushcart Prize, and the Chancellor's Medal of Excellence from SUNY-Fredonia, where she teaches poetry writing and environmental literature. In 2016-17, Nezhukumatathil will be the Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi's MFA program in creative writing.

Wayne Henderson

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.

Winter Concert

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

Clint Sleeper: any percentage of a premonition or nearer the end

Smith Gallery

Concert Series: Duos, Trios & Quartets

A concert of Duos, Trios & Quartets featured Davidson artist associate in violin, Joseph Meyer; artist associate in cello, Alan Black and artist associate in accompanying David Gilliland. The performance also featured guest musicians Jenny Topilow, violin; Kirsten Swanson, viola; and Marlene Ballena, cello.

Randy Fertel


R. Windley Hall & Charles E. Lloyd Awards in Writing

Randy Fertel is the author of The Gorilla Man and the Empress of Steaks: A New Orleans Family Memoir, as well as A Taste for Chaos: The Art of Literary Improvisation. He holds a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Harvard University. President of the Fertel Foundation and co-founder of the Ridenhour Prizes for Courageous Truth-Telling, Fertel lives in New Orleans and New York.

Clybourne Park

In 1959, a white family moves out. In 2009, a white family moves in. In the intervening years, change overtakes a neighborhood. Damningly insightful, Bruce Norris's Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning comedy takes on the issues of gentrification in our communities, leaving no stone unturned in the process.

Laura Freixas

Laura Freixas is the author of novels, short stories, essays, diaries, and autobiographies. An advocate for and critic of women writers, her most recent book is El silencio de las madres (The Silence of Mothers).

Sing with the Jazz Ensemble Live Thursday

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

NIBBLER: A STAGED READING BY KEN URBAN

Q&A with Playwright and cast to follow reading. It's the summer of 1992 in Medford, N.J. Adam and his gang of friends face life after high school. Matt and Hayley are sweethearts with secrets. Tara is hoping she can ditch state school for an Ivy education. And Pete needs to face his not-so-secret desires. But when the fivesome encounters a mysterious visitor from another world, their lives are forever changed. A dark comedy about that time when everything and nothing feels possible. Q&A with playwright and cast followed the reading.

Variation: William Fried, piano

Three musical characters create a rich mosaic in Variation, by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Roger Reynolds. Additional music by J.S. Bach, Gabriel Fauré, Elainie Lillios and Paul Elwood

Jazz Residency Concert featuring Delfeayo Marsalis, trombone

International jazz superstar Delfeayo Marsalis joined 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.

David Holt & the Lightning Bolts

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.

Allan deSouza & Alia Syed

Curated in collaboration with Deepak Talwar '89 and Talwar Gallery

An Evening with Robert McDuffie & Friends

Grammy-nominee and one of the most sought-after violinists, Robert McDuffie presented a concert to benefit Davidson College and WDAV. He is founder of both the Rome Chamber Music Festival in Italy and the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University in his native city of Macon, Georgia. He was accompanied by an ensemble of students from Mercer.

Student Directed One Act Series I

Funnyhouse of a Negro
Action


Funnyhouse of a Negro is a classic work of African American dramatic literature that follows the journey of a college student struggling with her mixed-race heritage as she attempts to rid herself of a centuries old burden and cling to a life of freedom and comfort. Taking the stage after a quick set change was Sam Shepard's Action, a short play concerning desolation and chaos.

A. Van Jordan

Vereen Bell Memorial Award in Creative Writing

A. Van Jordan is the author of four collections of poetry, including The Cineaste and Rise, which won the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award. He has been awarded a Whiting Writers Award, an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and a Pushcart Prize, as well as Guggenheim and U.S. Artists fellowships. He is the Henry Rutgers Presidential Professor at Rutgers University-Newark.