Westminster Choir College
is a residential college of music
, part of Rider University
, located in Princeton, New Jersey
, United States.
Westminster Choir College educates men and women at the undergraduate
levels for musical careers in music education, voice performance, piano performance, organ performance, pedagogy, music theory and composition, conducting, sacred music and arts management; professional training in musical skills with an emphasis on performance is complemented by studies in the liberal arts
. Westminster's proximity to New York City and Philadelphia
provides students with easy access to the musical resources of both cities.
1920-1932: Presbyterian beginnings to the creation of a college
John Finley Williamson
founded the Westminster Choir in 1920 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church
of Dayton, Ohio. Convinced that professionally trained musicians could best serve the church, he established the Westminster Choir School in September 1926 with sixty students and a faculty of ten. As the Choir School and its choir's reputation grew, the demand for the School's graduates increased. The graduates came to be known as Ministers of Music
, a term coined by Dr. Williamson and still being used today by many church music programs.
As early as 1922, the Choir, then known as the Dayton Westminster Choir, began touring the United States annually and sang in such prominent places as Carnegie Hall
(New York City), Symphony Hall
), the Academy of Music