On The Yard


    The Spookiest Show in Annapolis: USNA Halloween Concert

    By Bill the Goat on October 1, 2022

    The Spookiest Show in Annapolis: USNA Halloween Concert

    Do you think Jason is spooky in the “Friday the 13th” series? Do you jump with delicious surprise as you wander the haunted mansion that comes alive every Halloween? Then prepare to be immersed in a spooky sensation unlike anything else, as the midshipmen bring you to the brink of bone-chilling delight with their annual USNA Halloween Concert. It’s the top of terror, the height of fright and the absolute summit of spookiness, when one of the show’s enduring and talented stars hits the keys of the 15,688 pipe organ and fills the USNA Chapel with the “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor,” that instantly recognizable piece that conjures up haunted houses and iconic horror movies.


    His name is Monte Maxwell, and he’s the Director of Chapel Music and Chapel Organist of the Naval Academy. Maxwell is a Juilliard-trained musician who has wowed audiences for decades with his mastery of the sprawling Naval Academy organ. He’s also famous for his audition at the Naval Academy, when he offered the judges ten incredible pieces of music and proceeded to play their picks by heart. One year for the USNA Halloween Concert, Maxwell made a dramatic and unforgettable entrance when he sat up at the front of the chapel after he was carried up the long sweep of the aisle in a coffin! 


    Get Your Tickets Now!


    The USNA Halloween Concert is also exciting because it showcases the hard-working midshipmen’s other diverse talents. They sing, they act, they dance. Midshipmen practice hard for the show, which features an out of body, fully sensory experience. Guests are surrounded by skillful light shows, eerie special effects and the creeping ominousness of fog. The midshipmen perform the triumph of good over evil for All Saints’ Day, and they’ll choose from a number of moving pieces. Then the grand finale brings it all together with goose-bump inducing fervor! 

    The show each year is unique, so you never know quite what to expect. You may see a larger than life jack o'lantern making its way up the aisle. You could encounter phantoms, ghouls and ghosts floating by. Or, you’ll be treated to a hauntingly beautiful “Battle Hymn of the Republic” with singers stationed throughout the chapel with their angelic voices and crisp uniforms. It may wrap up with a powerful patriotic finale. In the past there has been an apparitional rendition of “God Bless America,” and so much more.

    The show brings in record-breaking crowds. Community members, faculty and midshipmen can’t get enough of this show. It’s a must see—one of the most popular Naval Academy events (and Annapolis events!) on the Yard. What started as a lark in 1997 has ballooned to three shows, and they’re consistently sold out. The USNA Halloween Concert 2021 set a high bar—but this year promises to be as scary as ever, with new surprises in store and some of the pieces that have kept everyone coming back for more.


    USNA Halloween Concert: 2022 Showtimes


    Friday, October 28, 2022
    USNA Chapel

    7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. 

    Saturday, October 29, 2022
    USNA Chapel
    7:00 p.m.


    Buy Tickets 


    Get your tickets now before they’re sold out!  In fact, the 7pm Friday night show is already sold out!


    Catch a Preview Here


    You can also get the tingles from the comfort of your own home. Watch a recent USNA Halloween Concert here! If you’re going to the concert, those in the know go early and wait outside the USNA Chapel to be ready when the doors are pulled open 45 minutes before the spookiness starts. Seating is first come first serve, so come early as the seats fill up fast!


    Up Next: Other Can’t Miss Naval Academy Events


    The USNA Halloween Concert is exceptional, and you’ll likely want to see what else is going on around the Yard. Here are two more upcoming don’t-miss performances:


    USNA Midshipmen Instrumental Ensemble Concert

    Two other powerful USNA traditions are the Midshipmen Instrumental Ensemble Concert and Midshipmen Classic Instrumental Recital, performed by the talented Naval Academy Symphony Orchestra on Friday, November 18th at 7:00 p.m. and Friday, January 27th at 7:00 p.m., respectively, in the Main Chapel. Tickets for both shows are available here. These amazing concerts will move you with gorgeous ensemble and solo performances from the Midshipmen String Quartet, to wind ensembles and string ensembles which possess a level of professionalism and capability far beyond their years. The midshipmen excel across instruments and many have been trained since early childhood. 


    We feel so grateful to have these world class performances right at our doorstep, performed by those who are already giving so much for their country. Their music is a real joy for all involved, from those of us who come to be spooked, moved or otherwise entertained, to the performers themselves, who are passionate about sharing their musical gifts. Plus, every time you visit you’ll be giving back to the midshipmen who always give their all, since every visit, tour, dining and shopping experience gives back to the Brigade. Come to the Yard and be amazed! Come see the spookiest show in Annapolis!



    Prepare to Be Scared

    Bill the Goat
    Written by Bill the Goat | October 1, 2022


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