Faculty Profiles

Mary Hopper Faculty Headshot

Mary Hopper, D.M.A.

Professor of Music Emerita

On Faculty since 1979. Retired in 2022.
Armerding 210


Mary Hopper, retired professor of Choral Music and Director of Performance Studies at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music. Dr. Hopper also conducted the Wheaton College Men’s Glee Club and the Women’s Chorale in addition to being a frequent conductor for the Wheaton College Opera production. During her tenure, both choirs appeared on ACDA conferences. The Women’s Chorale was 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 at an Illinois ACDA State Fall Conference and Illinois Music Educator’s Conference under Dr. Hopper’s leadership.

Dr. Hopper is also the past National President of ACDA and was the 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. 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 in 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.

University of Iowa
D.M.A., Choral Conducting, 1985

University of Iowa
M.A., Choral Conducting, 1977

Wheaton College
B.M.E., Music Education, 1973

  • Opera production
  • Repertoire
  • Music
  • Women's Choirs
  • American Choral Directors Association: President 2015-17