“Westminster Choir College’s reputation precedes itself. It is one of two schools in the American Classical Music Hall of Fame, so naturally, as a die-hard choir student in high school, that prestige and heritage were incredibly attractive to me. What won me over about Westminster was the abundance of performance opportunities I couldn’t find anywhere else, choral and solo singing alike. All this with such a warm sense of camaraderie and supportive community on campus sealed the deal for me.”
There is no other place that has this perfect balance of superior faculty, long-lasting heritage, and uplifting colleagues.
Westminster’s impact on James’ career
Aiming for a career in opera, James has progressed from roles in the undergraduate opera productions to leading roles in Westminster Opera Theatre’s mainstage productions. He says, “There were truly opportunities for growth and making professional connections around every corner. I was fortunate to acquaint myself with directors and conductors who had worked in regional opera houses around the country and even The Metropolitan Opera.” He also performed in several School of Fine and Performing Arts productions and says, “Working with Rider’s Fine Arts faculty and collaborating with dancers, Musical Theatre singers and acting majors opened up my world exponentially.”
Expanding professional perspectives
In addition to performing in Westminster’s choirs and opera productions, James has been involved with the student-run Westminster Players - first as a performer and now as the group’s Executive Director. He says, “Picking a show season, marketing, and negotiating budget and contracts has given me valuable knowledge for the real world of performing - even if I don’t ultimately become a theater administrator.”