Westminster Choir College

When the American Boychoir School abruptly announced its closing this past week, it sent shock waves through not only the local Princeton arts community, but the broader choral music world as well.  This week on A Tempo (Saturday at 7 pm), host Rachel Katz will survey some of the thoughts from around these worlds.

Westminster Choir College may be one step closer to having a new owner, as Rider University announced it is set to begin negotiations with an interested “international partner” in its effort to sell the renowned choral institution.

Allison Vulgamore, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Orchestra, this week announced her plans to step down at the end of December, when her contract expires. During her tenure, she led the orchestra through bankruptcy proceedings and oversaw the expansion of community engagement initiatives, including its HEAR (Health, Education, Access and Research) program. This week on A Tempo (6/24), host Rachel Katz interviews Vulgamore about her legacy and the orchestra's next steps.

The effort to keep Westminster Choir College intact and on its Princeton campus as Rider University seeks a buyer for the institution received a boost this week, as former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean Sr. stepped up as an honorary chairman of the movement.

Westminster Choir College Professor James Jordan presents some of the recent research about the science of the human voice and how it can be applied to choral singing and teaching in the new book, The Anatomy of Tone, written together with some of his colleagues, and this week on A Tempo (Saturday 7 pm), host Rachel Katz will chat with him about some of these findings. Jordan will also discuss two of his other upcoming books - The Conductor as Prism, and Inside the Choral Rehearsal.

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.

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