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News and Notes about the students, faculty and alumni at Westminster Choir College and Westminster Conservatory, our community music school. 

Cantus singing at the White House

Westminster Conservatory Children's Choir performs at the White House
Cantus, Westminster Conservatory’s Children’s Choir, and its conductor, Patricia Thel, performed for diplomat’s reception at White House on December 6.  LEARN MORE.

Alumna Kiera Duffy in the Spotlight
Kiera Duffy was featured in an article in the November 2017 issue Opera News. She took the opera world by storm in Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves in the 2016-17 season, and last summer she performed in Faranace at the Spoleto Festival USA and with the Boston Symphony in Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In November she presented a recital with Westminster faculty member J.J. Penna at the University of Notre Dame, where she's on the faculty.

Phyllis Alpert Lehrer on the Road
Piano Professor Phyllis Alpert Lehrer has been invited to participate in MusiQuest in Pune, India.  During the five-day event, she will be an adjudicator of pianists participating in auditions and competitions.  She will also present a lecture recital titled "Adventures in Contemporary Music and Classics Too!" and perform in a recital featuring Chopin’s Fantasy in F and a work of Westminster student composer John Franek.  Professor Lehrer will present a lecture and demonstration titled “Sight Reading and Memorizing: Intersecting Pathways” at the national Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Conference in Orlando in March 2018.

Westminster Neighborhood Children's Choir Brings Choral Music to Princeton's Children
Assistant Professor Tom T. Shelton leads this choral experience for young singers in grades 3 through 5, assisted by Westminster Choir College students, in collaboration with the Princeton Family YMCA.  The Westminster Neighborhood Children’s Choir offers participants the opportunity to sing together, play musical games and develop music reading skills.  Rehearsals are held at Henry Pannell Learning Center in Princeton. The ensemble will present an Informance at the Arts Council of Princeton on November 20.

Westminster Conservatory Announces Concerto Competition Winners 
Congratulations to the winners of Westminster Conservatory’s 2017 Concerto Competition: Alex Liu, clarinet student of Kenneth Ellison; Clarissa Cheung, flute student of Katherine McClure and Hope Lacson, voice student of Nancy Froysland Hoerl.  They’ll perform with the Westminster Community Orchestra as part of the Conservatory’s showcase at Richardson Auditorium on Sunday February 25, 2018.

John Franek’s Composition Performed in Russia
Mithridates, composed by senior composition major John Franek, will be premiered by the Siberian State Symphony Orchestra in Krasnoyarsk Philharmonic Hall in Krasnoyarsk on November 25. Mithridates is the final movement of his first symphony.  Reflecting on his success, John thanks faculty members Jay Kawarsky (composition) and Phyllis Alpert Lehrer (piano), saying, “Without them I would not be half the musician or person that I am today!”  Learn more about John at