of Duke University
• • •
Founded in 1979, The Pitchforks are the oldest a cappella group at Duke University. They perform on campus and across the country throughout the year, appearing in venues ranging from dorm common rooms to professional sports arenas. They have sung the national anthem at Chicago Bulls and Duke Basketball games, showcased themselves before the Queen of Jordan, and even opened for Ben Folds in 2009 and The Band Perry in 2015. In 2014, the ‘Forks crossed the Atlantic to tour with some of Britain’s best collegiate singers. Back at Duke, the Parents’ Weekend Fall Classic and the Gothic Christmas concert are two of the group’s favorite traditions.
With sixteen albums released so far, The Pitchforks have a long history of studio recording. Seven tracks have been featured on BOCA compilations since 1997, and the group has twice won the CARA Award for Best Male Collegiate Album nationally with Bring It Back (2006) and Disconcert (2008). Their 2010 album, All In, was awarded runner-up for the same distinction and won Best Male Collegiate Song and Best Male Collegiate Arrangement with its hit single, "Fireflies." The Pitchforks’ most recent release, Refraction (2012), another runner-up for Best Male Collegiate Album, also scored a CARA Arrangement Award for its unique take on “Hallelujah.”
The Pitchforks were led and mentored by Benjamin F. Ward (1948-2013) who served as both a creator and inspiration for the group. After his death in 2013, the Pitchforks began to work on an album to pay tribute to Ben and to reflect upon their future. The album, "Fall Asleep At Sunset", was released in December 2018.