Musical marathon to save Westminster Choir College set for Jan. 31

Hundreds of choir singers, students, alumni and other members of the music world will take part in a 24-hour marathon choir performance to voice their opposition to a proposal to shut down the Westminster Choir College campus in Princeton.

On Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 11 a.m., choir singers and other performers from throughout the New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia areas will gather at Nassau Presbyterian Church to kick off a 24-hour marathon to save the school’s campus.

“At a time when arts, music and theater programs are being threatened across the United States, this ninety year old institution which has trained many of our nation’s leading artists cannot be allowed to become a victim of the accountants balance sheet,” organizers from the Coalition to Save Westminster Choir College said.

Westminster, founded in 1926, is now part of Rider University, and Rider is facing a more than $13 million deficit. Officials are considering selling Westminster’s campus and moving the program to Rider’s main campus in Lawrenceville.

The announcement has outraged current Westminster students, parents and alumni, who say the historic Princeton campus is unique in the world in preparing performing artists for the rigors of concert halls, classrooms and recording studios.

Over the last ninety years, Westminster Choir College choirs have performed with premier orchestras and conductors, welcoming the likes of Arturo Toscanini, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy, Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Zubin Mehta, Kurt Mazur, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Dozens of choirs, prominent opera voices, quartets, organists, pianists, students, alumni and other members of the music world who support Westminster Choir College are slated to participate in the musical  marathon at Nassau Presbyterian Church. The event will run from 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31 to 11 a.m Wednesday, Feb. 1. Nassau Presbyterian Church is located at 61 Nassau Street in Princeton.