To the editor:
I am writing to let you know that there are those of us on the faculty at Westminster Choir College (WCC) who are feeling optimistic regarding the sale of WCC to Beijing Kaiwen Education Technology Co., Ltd. Your readers need to know that there are many of us who feel there are several reasons to be positive about the sale. I am hoping other faculty and staff who feel the same way will express their strong optimistic feelings too.
In my conversations with current and former students from Beijing regarding Kaiwen Education, they are excited about the acquisition. According to them, Kaiwen schools in Beijing have an excellent reputation. These schools have a connection with Tsinghua University High School, a pre-college to Tsinghua University, one of the best colleges in China. Kaiwen Education hires professors from Tsinghua University High School to co-teach at their campuses.
In addition, based on a recent article in the Bloomberg Report, there is even a greater reason to be optimistic about our future.
Xu Guangyu, the chairman of Beijing Kaiwen Education who runs K-12 schools in China, said, “Westminster could provide the knowledge to help upgrade arts education for his students.” He also stated he “won’t cut Westminster’s budget or staff,” which is another reason for all of us to feel optimistic. Guangyu’s vision includes “exchange programs with Chinese artistic groups, commercial performances and sales of Westminster recordings in China.” The article ended with Guangyu stating, “We will inherit and develop Westminster, so that not only is Westminster useful to us, but we are also useful to them.”
I have just returned from the National Conference of the Music Teachers National Association and have discussed our new partnership with Kaiwen with colleagues from Beijing. They also expressed strong, positive feelings about the company and felt this would be a very beneficial connection for WCC.
For all of the above reasons, I remain optimistic that this acquisition will be excellent for our wonderful institution. With all the negative articles I’ve read, it is important for your readers to know that there are many WCC faculty who are optimistic.
— Ingrid Clarfield
Professor of piano
Printed in the 3/28/18 issue.