Newark Boys Chorus School


1016 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102-2410
County: Essex


Mr. Richard E. Willett

Grant Amount


Program Area



Grant Details

To continue strengthening the academic and music programs at the Newark Boys Chorus School.

Organization Background

In 2015, The Newark Boys Chorus School celebrated 45 years of academic and musical excellence. NBCS is a fully accredited independent school for 4th through 8th grade boys, combining the training program for mastery of the thousand-year-old Boychoir tradition of choral music with a superior academic program.

Our Mission is to develop our students into successful young men of sound character through rigorous academic and musical training.

Our integrated educational experience promotes creativity and such traditional values as self-discipline, self-reliance, hard work, teamwork, and dedication to long-term goals. The Newark Boys Chorus, founded in 1965 has been a leader in choral music and a world-class performing ensemble. In 1969 following a period of significant unrest in Newark, the school was founded with the vision and help of the City of Newark, Trustees of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and New Jersey Ballet. Its goals were to serve the at-risk youth of the greater Newark area and to provide rich musical experiences for the entire City. For almost one-half century it has remained focused on these goals.

The Newark Boys Chorus School, often referred to as Newark's Musical Ambassadors, has been heard throughout the world, performing a diversified repertoire that includes traditional classical music, spirituals, folk music and jazz. The Chorus has performed at renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in addition to the White House and cathedrals throughout Europe. Not only does the Concert Chorus perform for entertainment, the boys also lend their voices to celebrate community events in the greater Newark area and raise awareness of important issues and participate in various causes including cancer awareness, AIDS, Sickle Cell Anemia and human rights. However, maintaining an active national and international touring schedule that features over 60 concerts a year continually challenges and rewards everyone associated with the school.

In July, 2015 the current Head of School resigned for personal reasons; the board of trustees was fortunate that one of its members, Richard Willett, volunteered to serve as Head of School. Prior to his service on this board, Mr. Willett served as a school administrator in the Westfield Public Schools and as the Principal of Columbia High School in the South Orange/Maplewood School District. During his career Mr. Willett also served as Superintendent of Schools in the Pascack Valley Regional School District and in the Kinnelon Public Schools. In these positions he had overall responsibility for the operation of each district including their educational programs, personnel and finances.

While active in public education, Mr. Willett developed New Jersey's first high school Crisis Management Team program. He served as chair of the Legislative Committee for the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, chaired the Bergen County Superintendents' Curriculum Committee, chaired the Pascack Valley Regional Superintendents' Roundtable and was a member of the county budget oversight committee. He also supervised the Pascack Valley Regional Special Education programs for students pre-school through adult and initiated specialized classes for autistic children as part of a high school child development program. Mr. Willett received a B.S. from Wittenberg University, a M.S. from Miami University of Ohio and a Ph.D. from New York University. He holds supervisory and administrative licenses in New Jersey and Connecticut.

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