The sacred music courses are ecumenical and emphasize both the musical and spiritual development of each student. Courses emphasize a high level of training in a variety of liturgical aspects, including organ, choral directing, cantoring, lectoring, and internships. Areas such as sacred music repertoire, history, scripture and liturgical planning are also covered.
Students practice and perform on eight organs on the Duquesne campus and often present recitals on concert-quality instruments throughout the Pittsburgh area, including Calvary Episcopal Church (1963 Casavant, four manuals), Church of the Ascension (1980 Austin, four manuals), St. Paul's Cathedral (1962 Beckerath, four manuals, mechanical action), Heinz Chapel of the University of Pittsburgh (1971 Moeller, four manuals), Christ Methodist Church (1987 Casavant, three manuals), and First Presbyterian Church (1988 Casavant, four manuals).
In addition to the rigorous coursework for the Bachelor of Music in Performance degree, courses such Hymnody, Liturgics, Development of Christian Worship, Sacred Solo and Choral Literature, Practicum, Organ Pedagogy, and Service Playing are available as electives for organ majors. These courses, offered on a rotating basis over a two-year period, may be taken to further prepare students for careers in sacred music.
To read about the history of the Organ/Sacred Music department, click here.