The Hopewell Valley Chorus was founded in 1959 by two Hopewell neighbors who “loved music and wanted to do something meaningful for the community.” (Hopewell Valley News, January 9, 1987)
In the spring of 1960, the chorus gave its first concert featuring folk songs, spirituals, show tunes and Beethoven’s Mass in C Minor. In 1962, a December holiday concert was added to the chorus’ calendar. At its two annual concerts, the chorus has continued to perform the works of major composers of the last three centuries, while introducing new works and arrangements.
Since 2000, the chorus has hosted Spring into Song. At this annual, multi-group, free concert, the chorus is joined by other local singing groups to perform in support and celebration of the Trenton Children’s Chorus (TCC). Through contributions, Spring into Song has raised more than $50,000, sending 50 happy and grateful TCC singers to top summer music programs.
Over the past 58 years, the chorus has grown, serving as a musical home to more than 800 singers. It includes 70 members from Mercer, Hunterdon, Burlington, and Middlesex counties, in New Jersey, and Bucks County, Pennsylvania. But the philosophy of the founders remains the same.
Financial Support for the Hopewell Valley Chorus
Hopewell Valley Chorus expenses include music purchases and royalties, insurance, honoraria for the director and accompanist, rental of space for rehearsals and concerts, payments to instrumentalists, printing and mailing. Our fall and spring fund drives, along with periodic fundraisers, support all of these costs as well as a $1,000 scholarship, annually awarded to a musically gifted high school senior from the Hopewell Valley who plans to pursue music studies at the college level.
Roughly half of the chorus’ income derives from ticket sales, with another quarter coming from member dues. The balance depends on the generosity of members and concert patrons along with friends, businesses, and community organizations including Hopewell Harvest Fair and Pennington Day.
Additional funding for the chorus has been made possible through funding from the New Jersey Council on the Arts / Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and by funds from the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission.
Endless hours of donated time from members and friends also help defray costs.