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Keyboards & Sacred Music

Piano

Our piano faculty consists of some of the finest performers and teachers in the country. To their credit are concert appearances in major cities from San Francisco to New York, and as far away as Hong Kong, Warsaw, Paris, Buenos Aires and Rome. As active performers they have won numerous awards and have served as adjudicators in national and international competitions.

The aim of the piano faculty is to develop the artistic personality of each individual student, regardless of degree emphasis. In addition to performance, piano majors have a wide variety of opportunities, including studio classes, chamber music coaching, piano ensemble and instrumental / vocal accompanying. Class and private instruction in classical piano are an integral part of all Duquesne music programs, providing every student with a working knowledge of the instrument, which enhances the total educational experience. In addition to classical studies, there is also an emphasis in Jazz Piano. Students in this area have many performing opportunities both on and off campus.

In 2001, Duquesne University became an “All Steinway” school by taking delivery of 68 beautiful new Steinway pianos. These marvelous instruments are the choice of 98% of the world’s concert artists. As one of approximately 34 “All Steinway” schools in America, Duquesne demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to quality learning opportunities for its music students.

Jazz Piano

Pianists at Duquesne have the opportunity to pursue jazz piano. Students are afforded many opportunities to develop the skills necessary to become successful jazz pianists through performances in big bands, combos, and recitals. Mastery of the tenants of jazz piano also creates the ability to play other styles of music. The School of Music has produced a steady stream of extremely capable jazz pianists who are actively performing all over the world. Many of our jazz piano students and alumni, alike, have successful careers in jazz, rock, or various forms of popular music.  

Duquesne students enjoy a thriving, vibrant musical environment in Pittsburgh. Home to jazz legends like Erroll Garner, Art Blakey, and Billy Strayhorn, the city also boasts a wide range of cultural amenities and performance venues including the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild. These cultural outlets provide unprecendented professional development opportunities for our music students.

Organ and Sacred Music

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). For more detailed information about organs available to students on campus, please click here.

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.