Conservatory of Music
Professor of Choral Music and Conducting, Women's Chorale & Men's Glee Club Director
On Faculty since 1979
Office: McAlister Hall 134
DMA, University of Iowa
About Mary Hopper
Mary Hopper is Professor of Choral Music and Director of Performance Studies at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music. Before coming to Wheaton College in 1979, Dr. Hopper taught both junior high and high school choral music in the Chicago area and choral conducting and voice at the University of Minnesota (Morris). Also an active church musician, she has served in several parishes and is currently Minister of Music at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Warrenville, IL.
Her current responsibilities at Wheaton College include conducting the Men’s Glee Club and the Women’s Chorale and teaching choral methods. Both of her choirs have appeared on ACDA conferences. The Women’s Chorale has been invited to sing at two National Conferences (Salt Lake City and New York City) and four Central Division Conferences including an upcoming 2012 appearance in Fort Wayne. The Men’s Glee Club appeared on an Illinois State Fall Conference under Dr. Hopper’s leadership. She has toured both nationally and internationally with both choirs.
Throughout her career, Dr. Hopper has been called upon as a frequent guest conductor, clinician and judge. She has conducted All-State Choirs in Indiana, Illinois, Delaware, Georgia, New York, Idaho and Louisiana and numerous Women’s Choir festivals including both Southern and Western ACDA Division Women’s Honors Choirs. In 2007 and 2011 Dr Hopper was a guest conductor, mentor and plenary speaker at the International Summer School in Choral Conducting sponsored by the New Zealand Choral Federation. In January 2011, she was a participant in the founding of the New Zealand Choral Director’s Association.
Dr. Hopper’s research and publications have dealt with repertoire and women’s choirs. She co-authored the article “Teaching with Standards: Repertoire in the Age of Glee” published in the Choral Journal February 2011. She presented an interest session at the National ACDA Conference in 2011 titled “Expanding the Repertoire: Uncovering a Neglected American Music Genre; Black Composers Writing for Women’s Voices.” As a result of this research the Wheaton College Women’s Chorale produced a recording of music for women’s voices by Black composers titled “Lead Gently, Lord.” Dr. Hopper has contributed a chapter on “Community in Women’s Choirs” to a forthcoming book to be published by GIA in 2012.
Dr. Hopper has served ACDA on the state and division levels since 1983 when she was a member of the planning committee for the Central Division convention. Since then she has held positions as Central Division Women’s Choir R & S Chair, Illinois State Treasurer, Illinois Newsletter Editor, Illinois State President and Central Division President.
After earning a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College, Dr. Hopper completed her graduate studies at the University of Iowa with Don V Moses. She has been honored by Wheaton College with a Senior Teaching Achievement Award and the Distinguished Service of Alma Mater Award.