Westminster Choir College
A division of Westminster College of the Arts, Westminster Choir College of Rider University is a professional college of music located on a 23-acre campus in Princeton, NJ, seven miles north of Rider’s Lawrenceville campus. Here, the Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degree is offered with majors in music education, organ performance, piano, sacred music, theory/composition, and voice performance. The Master of Music (M.M.) degree is offered in American and Public Musicology choral conducting, composition, music education, organ performance, piano accompanying and coaching, piano pedagogy and performance, piano performance, sacred music, and voice pedagogy and performance. In addition, the college offers the Master of Music Education (M.M.E.), Master of Voice Pedagogy (M.V.P.), and Bachelor of Arts in Music degrees.
A Tradition of Excellence
Choral music performance lies at the heart of the Westminster program, which involves daily choir rehearsals and required voice study for all its students. Preparation and performance of the choral/orchestral works at times takes precedence over all other facets of campus life. All undergraduates sing in one of the large ensembles: Chapel Choir, Schola Cantorum or Symphonic Choir. Auditioned ensembles include the Westminster Choir, Williamson Voices, Westminster Kantorei, Jubilee Singers, and Concert Bell Choir.
Th Symphonic Choir has performed hundreds of times and made many recordings with the principal orchestras of New York, Philadelphia, and Washington. It also has performed in New York with many touring orchestras such as the Atlanta Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and Vienna Philharmonic. Virtually every major conductor of the 20th century, from Toscanini and Walter through Bernstein, Muti, and Masur, has conducted the Symphonic Choir during the 80 years of the college’s history.
Private study in voice, piano, or organ is available on the Westminster campus during the fall and/or spring terms. Travel to the Westminster campus is the responsibility of the student. Full-time students from Rider’s Lawrenceville campus whose major program does not require private applied music study, or Westminster College of the Arts majors who have completed all applied music requirements, may apply to enroll in elective private study on a space available basis. Effective as of the fall 2009 semester for all new or readmitted Rider University students, there is a fee for these half-hour private lessons. Qualified Lawrenceville students may audition for organ study, for elective choirs, or for advanced courses in music for which they meet the prerequisites at Westminster Choir College.