Professor of Music (Men's Glee Club, Women's Chorale), Director of Performance Studies
On Faculty since 1979
Office: McAlister Hall 102
D.M.A, choral conducting, University of Iowa, 1985
M.A., choral conducting, University of Iowa, 1977
B.M.E., music education, Wheaton College, 1973
About Mary Hopper
Mary Hopper, Professor of Choral Music and Director of Performance Studies at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, conducts the Wheaton College Men’s Glee Club and the Women’s Chorale and is a frequent conductor for the Wheaton Opera production. 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. The Men’s Glee Club appeared on an Illinois ACDA State Fall Conference and Illinois Music Educator’s Conference under Dr. Hopper’s leadership.
Dr. Hopper is currently the National President-elect for ACDA and was conference chair for the ACDA 2015 National Conference in Salt Lake City. She has served ACDA on the state and division levels as Central Division Women’s Choir R & S Chair, Illinois State Treasurer, Illinois State President and Central Division President.
Dr. Hopper holds degrees from Wheaton College and the University of Iowa, where she studied with Don V Moses. Before coming to Wheaton, 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 presently serves as Minister of Music at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Warrenville, IL.
Dr. Hopper is a frequent guest conductor, clinician and judge. She has conducted All-State Choirs in Indiana, Illinois, Delaware, Georgia, New York, Idaho, Wisconsin and Louisiana and several 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.
Most of 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 Conducting Women’s Choirs: Strategies for Success published by GIA.
She has been honored by Wheaton College with a Senior Teaching Achievement Award and the Distinguished Service of Alma Mater Award. In 2014 Illinois ACDA awarded Dr. Hopper the Harold A. Decker Award in recognition and appreciation of the significant contribution she has made to choral music.