Music education is facing hard times: as Rider University negotiates the sale of Westminster Choir College, another famed Princeton-area institution, the American Boychoir School, is closing down for good. The school declared bankruptcy in 2015 and had relocated to the Rambling Pines Day Camp in Hopewell (U.S. 1, April 15, 2015).
In a message posted to the school’s website August 15, ABS chairman Rob D’Avanzo wrote that the school only had 19 to 21 students for the 2017-’18 school year, which would not provide enough revenue to support operations of the school. “Our recruiting efforts for new students failed to materialize at the levels we had seen in recent years,” he wrote.
He also said the school had not raised enough money through fundraising to make it through the fall semester. “The trustees decided that the school cannot be opened this fall. We will proceed to wind down operations as soon as practicable, return all tuition deposits, notify Rambling Pines that ABS will not renew its lease, address the impact on our staff and students, and cancel all concert commitments,” he wrote.
The school was founded in 1937 in Columbus, Ohio, and in 1950 it moved to Lambert Drive in Princeton, where it stayed until 2013. It then moved to the former St. Joseph’s Seminary. The Boychoir school had 50 students in 2015.
In addition to educating students, the Boychoir was a touring group that traveled the world performing with famous orchestras, recording albums, and appearing on television and radio.