Heinz Chapel Choir

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The Heinz Chapel Choir on the steps of Heinz Memorial Chapel during the 1938-39 school year, the first year the chapel was opened

The Heinz Chapel Choir is an internationally known[1] mixed a cappella choir from the University of Pittsburgh founded in 1938[2] which draws its members from the university's student body.[3] Performances are given in the Heinz Memorial Chapel.[4] The group was first founded as the school's A Capella Choir; it became the official chapel choir when Heinz Chapel was opened in 1938, thus changing its name accordingly.[5] The choir has been performing for over 70 years, becoming a signature part the Heinz Memorial Chapel. It is currently under the direction of Dr. Susan Rice after the retirement of John Goldsmith in 2014 following 25 years of conducting.

In addition to regular performances in Pittsburgh, the Heinz Chapel Choir regularly undertakes domestic and international tours. In spring of 2014, the group embarked on a tour of the Balkans.[6] Previous international tours have included: China and Hong Kong;[7] Peru and Bolivia in 2012;[3] Brazil (2006); Italy and Croatia (2001); Spain and France (1998); Greece and Italy (1995); Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Switzerland (1992);[4] Belgium, Ireland, and a 14 city tour of France (1984),[8] France (1982, 1980 and 1978);[9][10] and England, France, and Italy (1974).[11] The choir has also toured domestically throughout the United States, airing on a national radio broadcast from Washington, D.C. and appearing at the White House.[12] Other notable past performances range from singing for world leaders Pope Paul VI and Helmut Schmidt,[2] to accompanying performances of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre,[13] and appearing in a concert with Duke Ellington.[14] In the 1950s, the choir had its own Sunday television show air for five years on KDKA-TV, and its predecessor WDTV, in Pittsburgh.[12]


The Heinz Chapel Choir has recorded several CDs:[4][15]

  • Heinz Chapel Choir Christmas, 1999
  • A Cappella Music of the Americas
  • 2001 Adriatic Odyssey, 2001
  • Viking Adventure, 2003
  • "Blame it on Rio" Tour, 2006
  • Christmas in Heinz Chapel, 2007
  • Great Wall Tour, 2009


  1. ^ "Heinz Chapel choir program". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, PA. 1986-11-28. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  2. ^ a b Thomas, Mary Ann (1986-11-16). "Heinz Chapel Choir to Celebrate 50 Year Reunion" (Press release). University of Pittsburgh Department of University Relations. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  3. ^ a b "Heinz Chapel Choir - Homepage". University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  4. ^ a b c "Department of Music: Heinz Chapel Choir". University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 2010-10-11. 
  5. ^ The Owl. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh. 1939. p. 213. Retrieved 2010-08-11. 
  6. ^ "We Have Made Music". University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 2014-12-01. 
  7. ^ "Heinz Chapel Choir blog". University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  8. ^ Ziaukas, Tim (1984-06-01). "Heinz Chapel Choir Returns From Successful European Tour" (Press release). University of Pittsburgh Department of News & Publications. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  9. ^ "Pitt Heinz Chapel Choir in French concert tour". The Pittsburgh Press. Pittsburgh, PA. 1982-05-03. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  10. ^ Chester, Dewey E. (1980-03-27). "Pitt's Heinz Chapel Choir Returns To France May 1 - June 5" (Press release). University of Pittsburgh Department of News & Publications. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  11. ^ Smith, Marcia (1974-04-23). "Peanut Brittle Pays Off For Pitt Choir" (Press release). University of Pittsburgh Department of News and Publications. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  12. ^ a b Demas, Vida (1959-04-07). "Heinz Chapel Choir To Go On Tour" (Press release). University of Pittsburgh University Information Service. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  13. ^ Vranish, Jane (1978-11-11). "Ballet theater takes on a new varied approach". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, PA. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  14. ^ "Duke Ellington Concert Slated". Beaver County Times. 1968-08-31. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  15. ^ Heinz Chapel Choir - Music

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