Planet Princeton

Coalition Formed to Try to Save Westminster Choir College in Princeton

Westminster Choir College alumni, parents, and students have created a coalition to try to keep the Westminster Choir College campus in Princeton.

Rider University is currently considering selling the Princeton campus and is conducting a study on the feasibility of merging the choir college into the main Rider campus in Lawrence.

The Coalition to Save Westminster Choir College in Princeton opposes the move, and members believe there is neither a realistic plan that could accommodate the needs of Westminster Choir College in a new location, nor the available funds to provide for such a move. Opponents of the move believe the future of the institution is in jeopardy, and that the leadership at Rider University has not adequately considered alternatives, demonstrated wise stewardship of the university’s resources, or effectively maintained transparent and open communication between Rider University and Westminster Choir College.

Coalition members include the Rider Students Union, the Alumni Association of Westminster Choir College of Rider University, and several other groups. Students from both campuses gathered to create a student chapter of the coalition on Dec. 15.

Opponents of the move say Westminster’s international stature and world-class reputation, and its rigorous, residential conservatory experience are tied to its historic Princeton campus.

The Westminster Symphonic Choir has performed hundreds of times, and made many recordings with the principal orchestras of New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Pittsburgh, Boston, and Atlanta. Conductors of the choir have included Bernstein, Ormandy, Steinberg, Stokowski, Toscanini and Walter, and such contemporary figures as Nézet-Séguin, Gilbert, Chailly, Leinsdorf, Levine, Macal, Masur, Muti, Ozawa, Sawallisch, Shaw, and Wolff. The choir has also received numerous invitations over the years to sing with world-class touring orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw, and the Vienna Philharmonic when the orchestras have come to perform in New York and Philadelphia.

For more information about the coalition, visit www.savewestminster.org.  The group also has a Facebook page called Save Westminster Choir College.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

  • JBosch92

    Westminster Choir College is a source of culture for the entire world. In areas where culture is sparser than in the Princeton region, WCC graduates are recognized and respected as having been trained at The. Best. School. in the USA for their chosen field. People come to WCC from everywhere, because nowhere else produces the WCC-caliber of cultural leaders and standard-bearers. WCC is the MIT in its category of higher education. So, preventing the destruction of the unique character of the College is less about students and alumni, and more about the widely scattered smaller communities whose local cultural scene is significantly influenced by their own Westminster graduate.

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