Dr. Jesse E. Hopkins, Professor, Emeritus of Bridgewater College, is a 1970 BC graduate. He joined the Bridgewater faculty in 1977, following several years of public school teaching. Dr. Hopkins retired at the conclusion of the 2012 academic year.
During the last decade, Hopkins and the Bridgewater choirs performed the world premieres of 15 new pieces composed by internationally known composers of choral music, including Alice Parker, Daniel Gawthrop, René Clausen, James Fritschel, Kinley Lange and Howard Helvey. Dr. Hopkins led the Bridgewater College Chorale on international concert tours to twelve European countries and the Peoples’ Republic of China.
Hopkins’ work and interest in travel have taken him abroad over 50 times, and in 1993, he was a composer-in-residence at the Cité International des Arts in Paris. He is active in the American Choral Directors’ Association, has served as an officer of the Virginia Choral Directors’ Association, and is a regular reviewer of choral works for the Choral Journal. Hopkins was honored by Bridgewater College with multiple teaching awards and in 1999, he was named the College’s first Edwin L. Turner Distinguished Professor.
In addition to his responsibilities at the College, Hopkins has been a frequent clinician and guest conductor for school and church events, including the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference on five occasions. He served as choir director at the Bridgewater Church of the Brethren for 35 years. He holds a Master of Music Education degree from Madison College and a doctorate in choral music education/conducting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Hopkins, as the Music Director and Conductor for Schola Cantorum of Waynesboro, is responsible for all artistic matters, including planning concert programs and selecting repertoire, choosing soloists and other guest artists to perform with Schola and, of course, conducting rehearsals and performances. Dr. Hopkins is utterly delighted to have the opportunity to explore great choral music with Schola Cantorum of Waynesboro.