Westminster Choir College students hold 24-hour music marathon to save school

Wednesday, February 1, 2017
24 hour marathon of music to protest
They are singing for survival.

PRINCETON, N.J. (WPVI) -- They are singing for survival in Princeton.

Members of the Westminster Choir College are being joined by dozens of other performers in a 24-hour marathon of music at Nassau Presbyterian Church to voice opposition to a proposal to sell and move the world-renown music school.

"This is us saying that we are not OK with this proposed sale of Westminster Choir College and this is us demonstrating to the community the true intrinsic value of this university and what we have to offer," organizer Kimberly Reinagel said.

Westminster merged with Rider University in Lawrenceville back in 1992, but maintains a separate campus. Right now, Rider is facing a $13-million budget deficit and is considering selling the 23 acre Westminster campus in Princeton and moving everyone to Lawrenceville.

"They don't currently have office space or rehearsal studios or teaching studios to work with their students in Lawrenceville and that's a concern," WCC alumna Mickey Lazenby Gast said.

"I'm not in favor of it; to me, it would be very sad to see it go," retired faculty Marvin Keenze said.

"I want to say I got a degree from Westminster Choir College and they are this prestigious, wonderful place. I don't want to have to say it's Rider University and I know you haven't really heard of it," graduate student Gwen Cartwright said.

Rider officials released a statement saying: "We continue to ask the entire rider community for their patience and understanding as the Board of Trustees works to make a fact-based decision in the coming months."

The music marathon began at 11 a.m. Tuesday and runs to Wednesday at 11 a.m.

The students decided not to use picket signs or protest rallies. They want to make their case doing what they do best - making music.