Upcoming Events

Interior of Duke University Chapel

Announcing VAE’s annual summer concert!

What the Earth Says

Sunday, June 16, 4:00 pm, at Duke University Chapel in Durham
Free Admission


Two extended works:

  • Sacred Place (for violin, cello, piano, and choir)
    • the wonders of our world, wrapped in an “ecological lament” by Alex Berko (b. 1995)
    • texts from Wendell Berry, John Muir, Rabindranath Tagore, and Jewish prayer
  • Mass (double choir, unaccompanied)
    • a hidden gem from the 1920s by Swiss composer Frank Martin (1890-1974)
    • texts from the Catholic Mass

      One world premiere:

      • Invisible Angels (unaccompanied choir)
        • a gripping, hope-filled piece commissioned from composer Mark Kilstofte (b. 1958)
        • text by Rainer Maria Rilke

      One haunting recent piece:

      • The peace of wild things
        • an expression of the grace to be found in nature’s realm
        • text by Wendell Berry, set by celebrated young composer Jake Runestad (b. 1986)


      One beloved time-honored piece:

      • Ye shall have a song (fr. The Peaceable Kingdom)
        • a double-choir work celebrating the “gladness of heart” that can come from music
        • texts from Isaiah, set by esteemed composer Randall Thompson (1899-1984)


      Announcing VAE’s annual winter concert!

       O Holy Night

      Saturday, December 14, 4:00 pm, at Trinity United Methodist Church in Durham
      Free Admission

      Some rare and intensely beautiful fare that was almost without exception profoundly inspiring and moving, particularly given the magnificence of the singing… We may never take this art for granted, so it’s worthwhile reflecting on how much work goes into it… so what one remembers is the sheer beauty as each of the individual pieces unfold… so pure, so refined was the singing

      John Lambert


      About VAE

      The Vocal Arts Ensemble of Durham was founded in 1996 by Rodney Wynkoop to provide superior choral performance opportunities for outstanding singers in North Carolina’s Triangle region (Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh). Its 32 members are selected mainly from among musicians who have sung in other choral groups under Dr. Wynkoop’s direction. VAE’s mostly a cappella repertoire ranges from the Renaissance to the present.

      YouTube Channel

      Visit the VAE’s YouTube channel to see professionally recorded past live performances, including the 25th Anniversary Concert in Duke Chapel and the 2021 Holiday Concert at First Presbyterian Church.