Music is the top priority at Westminster. Choral music alone, as given by the school's name, is the core of every students education. No other school offers its upperclassmen, whether a voice major or piano major, the chance to perform with the world's leading orchestras under the baton of the world's best conductors regularly. The Westminster Symphonic Choir is the resident choir of the New York Philharmonic, and every student beyond their sophomore year makes up the Symphonic Choir.
Choirs of Westminster:
After founding the Westminster Choir in 1920 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church of Dayton, Ohio, John Finley Williamson became convinced that well-trained musicians would best serve the needs of the church. As a result, he founded the Westminster Choir School in 1926. Graduates of this three year degree were known as "Ministers of Music."
History - 1926-1939:
In 1929, Westminster Choir School moved to Ithaca, New York, and quickly established a four year Bachelor of Music degree. Again, in 1932, Westminster Choir School moved to Princeton, New Jersey, as it was a prime location to perform with many of the nation's leading orchestras. In 1934, a Masters of Music degree was added. Several years later, in 1939, Westminster Choir School became Westminster Choir College.
History - 1939-Present:
Since its move to Princeton, Westminster Choir College quickly established itself as the leading school of performance on the east coast as its choir performed regularly with the leading orchestras of New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Atlanta, and Boston. In 1992, Westminster Choir College merged with Rider University, enabling the college to fully blossom in its unique, musical program due to Rider's substantial investment.