Music Department
Musical activities
Halloween performance
Messiah performance
Signature event

Signature Events

The United States Naval Academy Department of Musical Activities is proud to present the following annual Signature Series performances:

About the Distinguished Artists Series
26th Season!

Launched with the opening of Alumni Hall in 1991, the USNA Distinguished Artist Series has presented the world’s finest classical and cultural performers to the Academy with an eclectic mix of Opera, Ballet, Orchestra, and diverse national ensembles as part of a comprehensive program developed by the Naval Academy’s Senior Leadership to enrich the education of midshipmen through exposure and involvement with fine arts. 

Over the past 25 years, we have hosted 117 world-class performances to include the National Ensemble of Republic of Guinea, Bamberg Symphony, Danish National Radio Symphony, Bolshoi Symphony, Kirov Orchestra of St. Petersburg, Central Ballet of China, Moscow Virtuosi, Stuttgart Philharmonic, Georgian State Dance Company, London City Opera, Ballet de L’Opera de Bordeaux, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Ballet, Venice Baroque Orchestra, L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Krasnoyarsk Dance Company of Siberia, Munich Symphony Orchestra, Russian National Ballet, Royal Drummers of Burundi, Hamburg Symphony, Ballet Folklórico de México, Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and Band of Coldstream Guards, Warsaw Philharmonic, Dublin Philharmonic, Orquestra de Sao Paulo, Virsky Ukrainian Dancers, Merchants of Bollywood, Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, German State Philharmonic, and the National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China to name only a few.

The existence of this flagship cultural program at the Naval Academy has long symbolized an institutional commitment to the educational role of the fine arts and the importance of cultural awareness – and we are thrilled to present our best season yet!Buy Tickets

Havana Cuba All-Stars
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Direct from Havana, Cuba!  Drawing their inspiration from traditional Cuban Son, Cuba’s greatest musicians have created and maintained the songs and music of the rich culture of the Cuban people in the program, “Cuban Nights.”  Staying true to an acoustic base, they have developed a fresh sound with inventive songwriting, and have preserved the traditions of the Cuban musical art form. The Cuban Nights program is representative of the extraordinary musical legacy of this wonderful country.  The Havana Cuba All-Stars is a band comprised of Cuba’s greatest and most prominent musicians, and is devoted to promoting the entire tapestry of Cuban music. The origin of the Havana Cuba All-Stars began when it was created to exemplify the great musical traditions of the Cuban people.  This is the debut tour of Cuba’s finest musicians to the United States and Canada.

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National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine
Monday, February 6, 2017

Formed by the Council of Ministers of Ukraine in 1918, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine is considered to be one of the finest symphony orchestras in Eastern Europe.  The NSOU was entrusted with the premier performances of the works of Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich, Aram Khatchaturian, Boris Lyatoshynsky, Valentyn Silvestrov, Myroslav Skoryk, and Evgen Stankovych.  After an appearance in Moscow, Dmitri Shostakovich commented: “This orchestra has as distinguished a group of performers as one would be likely to find anywhere.  The ensemble of the orchestra is of the highest level.  In addition, the various soloists and instrumental groups within the Orchestra play exceptionally and complement each other beautifully – as would the greatest of the world’s symphony orchestras.” 

Since 1993, the NSOU has released more than 100 recordings which include both Ukrainian and international repertoires.  Most of these recordings have received the highest international acclaim.  In 1994, the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) rated NSOU’s recording of Boris Lyatoshynsky’s Symphonies No. 2 and No. 3 as “The Best Recording of the Year,” their CD of Silvestrov’s “Requiem for Larissa” was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2005, and their CD of Bloch and Lees’ Violin Concertos was nominated for a Grammy Award four years later. 

The NSOU has performed in successful concert tours throughout Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Belarus, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, England, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, and the UAE.

USNA is proud to welcome, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine!

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Russian National Ballet
Tuesday, March 28, 2017


Music by Sergei Prokofiev

Russian National Ballet Theatre was founded in Moscow during the transitional period of Perestroika in the late 1980s, when many of the great dancers and choreographers of the Soviet Union's ballet institutions were exercising their new-found creative freedom by starting new, vibrant companies dedicated not only to the timeless tradition of classical Russian Ballet but to invigorate this tradition as the Russians began to accept new developments in the dance from around the world.  The company, then titled the Soviet National Ballet, was founded by and incorporated graduates from the great Russian choreographic schools of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Perm.  The principal dancers of the company came from the upper ranks of the great ballet companies and academies of Russia, and the companies of Riga, Kiev and even Warsaw.  Today, the Russian National Ballet Theatre is its own institution, with over 50 dancers of singular instruction and vast experience, many of whom have been with the company since its inception.  In 1994, legendary Bolshoi principal dancer, Elena Radchenko, was selected by Presidential decree to assume the 1st permanent artistic directorship of the company, and remains its leader.

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44th Annual Spring Oratorio
Sunday, April 23, 2017

Poulenc: Gloria
Whitacre: Deep Field

Gloria - by 20th-century French master Francis Poulenc, is one of the composer’s most celebrated works.  Premiered in 1961 by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, it was a commission of the Library of Congress.  Scored for soprano solo, large orchestra, and chorus, is a setting of the Roman Catholic Gloria in excelsis Deo text.  In some ways pious, it is also tinged with mischievous irreverence and a sense of rollicking enjoyment. “When I wrote this piece,” Poulenc famously recalled, “I had in mind those frescoes by Gozzoli where the angels stick out their tongues; and also some serious Benedictine monks I had once seen reveling in a game of football.” 

Deep Field - written by contemporary composer Eric Whitacre, is based upon images received by the Hubble Space Telescope.  Over 10 days in December 1995, the Hubble Space Telescope recorded a series of images in a small area of the constellation Ursa Major. The Hubble Deep Field, as the region is now known, contains traces of around 3,000 distinct galaxies, among the oldest and most distant yet observed, projecting the early universe.  “My goal was to see just how far I could stretch the concept of time and expectation while bringing the audience along on the journey,” Whitacre notes.  Deep Field seeks the active involvement of its audience, inviting listeners to ‘play’ music downloaded to a smartphone app. Deployed in the score’s closing pages it is intended to “create a delicate, shimmering sound in the concert hall, extending the music onstage into the audience.”

Join us for beautiful evening of music performed by the critically acclaimed USNA Men’s and Women’s Glee Clubs, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, and the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra!

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About the USNA Halloween Concerts

The USNA annual Halloween Concert is a spectacular event of music, light, drama, and dance. One of the most popular events on the Yard, this production is an experience you will not soon forget!

HC This electrifying concert features Monte Maxwell, Chapel Organist, with the multi-faceted talents of midshipmen in a presentation that has drawn record-breaking crowds into the Naval Academy Chapel.


A wide variety of music from multiple genres, including the famous Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, are featured in this concert celebrating the triumph of good over evil and All Saints’ Day. The incredible performances, special effects, and grand finale will leave you on the edge of your seat!

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2016 Performances

     Friday, October 28, 2016
     8:00 PM, USNA Chapel

     Saturday, October 29, 2016
     8:00 PM, USNA Chapel

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About the USNA Messiah Concert

Messiah Continuing a long-standing tradition, the USNA Glee Club combines with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, and soloists from the Metropolitan Opera Company to present selections from Handel's beloved Messiah on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon conducted by Dr. Aaron Smith, USNA Director of Musical Activities. This beautifully elegant concert has been broadcast on public television stations both regionally and nationwide. 

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2016 Concerts

     Saturday, December 3, 2016
     8:00 PM, USNA Chapel

     Sunday, December 4, 2016
     3:00 PM, USNA Chapel

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About the Winter Musical

Spamalot A highlight of each year is the USNA Glee Club Winter Musical. Produced in true Broadway style, it is a fully-staged, costumed, and choreographed production with live pit orchestra. 

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     Friday, February 24, 2017
     8:00 PM, USNA Mahan Hall

     Saturday, February 25, 2017
     8:00 PM, USNA Mahan Hall

     Sunday, February 26, 2017
     3:00 PM, USNA Mahan Hall

     Friday, March 3, 2017
     8:00 PM, USNA Mahan Hall

     Saturday, March 4, 2017
     8:00 PM, USNA Mahan Hall

     Sunday, March 5, 2017
     3:00 PM, USNA Mahan Hall


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