Westminster Choir

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"The gold standard..." --- American Record Guide

About Westminster Choir
Joe Miller, conductor

Setting the standard for choral excellence since 1920, the Westminster Choir is composed of students at Westminster Choir College, a division of Rider University’s Westminster College of the Arts.  It has been the chorus-in-residence for the prestigious Spoleto Festival USA since 1977, performing both in concert and as the opera chorus.

  • Joe Miller and Malcolm Bruno discuss the choir's recording: Frank Martin: Mass for Double Choir – Listen on SoundCloud
  • Listen to samples of the Westminster Choir's recordings with Joe Miller – Listen on SoundCloud

The ensemble’s 2019-2020 season includes a concert tour of the western United States; a performance of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music’s Bach Festival 2020; a 100th Anniversary concert at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dayton, Ohio, where the Westminster Choir was founded in 1920; concerts and broadcasts at its home in Princeton; and its annual residency at the Spoleto Festival U.S.A.

Recent seasons have included concert tours in Beijing, China and Spain, as well as participation in the World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona and groundbreaking performances of Julia Wolfe’s Pulitzer Prize winning Anthracite Fields at the historic Roebling WireWorks as part of Westminster’s Transforming Space project.

The Westminster Choir has been hailed by audiences and critics for its creative programing and ability to deeply engage listeners. D.C. Theatre Scene praised its staged performance of Joby Talbot’s Path of Miracles at the 2019 Spoleto Festival USA, writing: “Joe Miller, and his famed Westminster Choir, has reimagined the art of a choir ‘concert,’ and, in the course of it, created before our eyes – for forty-one singers and an audience that filled the Galliard Auditorium – something of (their) own miracle.”

The ensemble’s performance of John Adams’ El Niño, conducted by Maestro Miller, at the 2014 Festival was praised by The New York Times as “… superb. Meticulously prepared, the chorus was remarkable for its precision, unanimity and power.”

The Westminster Choir has been recording choral masterworks for nine decades.  American Record Guide wrote about its newest recording, Frank Martin: Mass for Double Choir, “This is gorgeous singing…with perfect blend, intonation, diction, ensemble and musicality.” The Heart’s Reflection: Music of Daniel Elder, was described by Classics Today as “first rate” and “highly recommended.”  Noël, a collection of French Christmas music and sacred works, also features Westminster alumna Jennifer Larmore, mezzo-soprano, and organist Ken Cowan.  It was the centerpiece of the PRI Radio broadcast Noël – A Christmas from Paris, hosted by Bill McGlaughlin. The choir’s debut recording with Maestro Miller, Flower of Beauty, received four stars from Choir & Organ magazine and earned critical praise from American Record Guide, which described the Westminster Choir as “the gold standard for academic choirs in America.”

Praised by The New York Times for its “full-bodied, incisive singing,” the Westminster Choir also forms the core of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, which has performed and recorded with the leading conductors and orchestras of our time. The Symphonic Choir’s 2019-2020 season includes several performances with The Philadelphia Orchestra in Philadelphia and New York:  J. S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Ravel’s  L'Enfant et les sortilèges., conducted by Stéphane Denève.

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Headshot of Joe Miller
Professor; Director of Choral Activities
Williamson Hall 43

Joe Miller is conductor of two of America’s most renowned choral ensembles: the Westminster Choir and the Westminster Symphonic Choir.  He is also director of choral activities at Westminster Choir College of Rider University.  In addition to his responsibilities at Westminster, Dr. Miller is artistic director for choral activities for the renowned Spoleto Festival USA and director of the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir.