85th Anniversary
Saturday, December 9, 2023

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To commemorate Heinz Memorial Chapel’s 85th Anniversary, a day-long celebration will be held on Saturday, December 9th and includes visitor hours, a docent-led tour, group vow renewals, and an evening concert. Read on for more details and ticketing information.

Schedule of festivities on Saturday, December 9, 2023:

Heinz Chapel 101 Tour

9-9:45 AM

The perfect introduction to Heinz Memorial Chapel! This tour includes the Chapel's history from inception through creation and an overview of its incredible architecture and artisan details. The tour will conclude with an opportunity for guests to view the stonework, woodwork, and stained-glass up-close while listening to a song on the magnificent pipe organ.

Tours are free to Pitt ID holders and $8 for the public. Tickets can be purchased here.


Visitor Hours

10 AM – 12 PM

Free and open to all


I Do, Take 2: Group Vow Renewal

1:30-2:30 PM

The Chapel will be filled with love as we welcome couples who would like to renew their vows among the soaring stained-glass windows. This event is open to all and includes an officiant-led group vow renewal, music on the pipe organ, time for guests to take photos on their own, plus a sweet treat to take home.

Tickets are $25 per couple and additional guest tickets are $10. Tickets can be purchased here.


I Do, Take 2: Enhanced Experience

4-5:30 PM

Perfect if you are celebrating a big anniversary or just want a more elaborate experience, this event includes an officiant-led group vow renewal, personal flowers for each couple, a chance to walk down the aisle, and a portrait taken by Kristen Wynn Photography. The ceremony features music from soprano Jennifer Russell and organist Jon Tyillian. After couples have said “I do” (again!), there will be a toast with sparkling wine or juice and a sweet treat to take home.

Tickets are limited and can be purchased here.

$150 per couple and $25 for each additional guest.

Couples who were married at Heinz Memorial Chapel receive a 10% discount on their tickets. Use promo code Vow10.


Concert featuring the Heinz Chapel Choir and Organist Jon Tyillian

8 PM, Doors open at 7:30 PM

Join us for a unique program celebrating the glorious music that has filled Heinz Chapel for the past 85 years. The Heinz Chapel Choir, under the direction of Dr. Susan Rice, join forces with organist Jon Tyillian and the mighty Reuter pipe organ to present a festival of both sacred and secular music. The choir will begin at the rear of the building and alternate selections with the organist as a grand procession builds. The choir and organ finally meet for the singing of Herbert Howell’s Hymn to Saint Cecilia - an ode to music and its patron saint. Come hear works of Bach, Mulet, Karg-Elert and others in one of the most beautiful spaces in all of Pittsburgh and celebrate 85 years with us!

Tickets are free for current Pitt students, $10 for Pitt faculty and staff, and $20 for the public.

Tickets can be purchased here.

The Heinz Chapel Choir was founded in 1938 to coincide with the dedication of the Heinz Memorial Chapel, a gift to the University of Pittsburgh from Henry John Heinz, founder of the H.J. Heinz Company, and his children. For 85 years, the Heinz Chapel Choir has presented music from a variety of time periods and cultural traditions and in a wealth of languages. During the first decades of its existence, the Choir’s primary responsibility was to sing the programs and services of the Chapel. While remaining an auditioned student ensemble inextricably intertwined with the Heinz Memorial Chapel, the Choir’s identity has transitioned to that of a concert ensemble, rooted in the a cappella idiom that resonates from its origin. Throughout its history, the Heinz Chapel Choir has always been a home for students at the University of Pittsburgh who study a wide range of academics but share a love for choral music, a dedication to excellence, and a passion for reaching the hearts and souls of their audience. The Choir is currently under the direction of its tenth conductor, Dr. Susan Rice, who has served as a Teaching Professor in the Department of Music at the University of Pittsburgh since 2014, teaching the aural skills/sight-singing course sequence. Rice has served the university as the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Music since 2017.

Jon Tyillian is a graduate of Duquesne University’s Sacred Music Program. He has held positions as the Associate Director of Music at East Liberty Presbyterian Church (Pittsburgh), as Assistant Organist at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown, NJ, as Organist at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Perth Amboy, NJ, and as accompanist for The Forest Hills Choir of NYC. Jon is currently the Assistant Organist at Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh, PA. He has performed with many musical organizations including The Renaissance City Choirs (Pittsburgh), The Astoria Choir and Symphony Orchestra, St. George’s Choral Society (NYC), The Baldwin Festival Chorus (NYC), The Choral Art Society of New Jersey, and The Steel City Men’s Chorus (Pittsburgh). He has also accompanied master classes for several conductors of note, including Robert Page, Anton Armstrong, and Andre Thomas. In addition to performing and accompanying, Jon works as an organ builder and business manager with local firm Luley Organ Company.