Westminster Choir College

Anne Sears

As students at Westminster Choir College rehearse Julia Wolfe's Pulitzer Prize Winning oratorio Anthracite Fields, A Tempo recently looked at how the performance at the Roebling Wireworks brings together the work's exploration of life in Pennsylvania coal mining communities and the industrial history of cities like Trenton.

Rider University's Board of Trustees voted this week to search for another school or institution to buy Westminster Choir College, together, if possible, with the 23-acre Princeton parcel that Westminster has called home since 1932. The decision was met with guarded optimism from Westminster students, alumni and other supporters, who had feared the college would be merged onto Rider's main campus in Lawrenceville, NJ. This week, A Tempo presents some of the voices from that discussion, and explores some of the challenges that still like ahead.

Rider University’s Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to find a buyer for Westminster Choir College that will enable the college to continue its musical and educational legacy, a decision that was music to the ears of students and alumni who feared that the college’s programs might be merged onto the main Rider campus or closed down completely.

(Update: Corrects name of director of choral activities)

Students, alumni, faculty and community members gathered on the campus of Rider University Tuesday morning to rally in support of  Westminster Choir College as Rider’s Board of Trustees met to vote on the future of the institution’s.

“I just learned, grew and thrived at this place, and to see this situation even being considered just breaks my heart,” said junior Jade Blocker, who stood with a sign that read “Hear Our Voices!  Keep Westminster in Princeton!”

Supporters of preserving Westminster Choir College’s Princeton, NJ home are making a final push to prevent Rider University from moving the college to its Lawrenceville campus in advance of a vote that might put the Princeton land up for sale.

A Tempo host Rachel Katz speaks with the co-chairs of the Congressional Arts Caucus, Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), about the Trump Administration's proposal to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts; Matthew Shaftel, Dean of Rider University's Westminster College of the Arts, discusses how NEA funding has supported some recent Westminster programs.