Who We Are

Under the direction of Dr. Dan Wessler, The Westminster Chorus is the 2009 ‘Choir of the World’ Pavarotti Trophy winner and the International Chorus Gold Medalist of the Barbershop Harmony Society for 2007, 2010, 2015, 2019, and 2024. Uniquely composed of young and committed singers, the chorus in its current organization formed in 2002. They are the male performance and competition chorus of the Westminster, California Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS), with a mission to preserve and advance the Barbershop art form, while providing and encouraging an inclusive community for youth in Southern California and around the world to engage in lifelong singing, music, and artistic expression.

Member Snapshot

of members are under age 40
members on stage for most recent gold medal contest run
of members who are ethnically diverse
of members under age 25
members have been active members since 2002
per person average # of practice hours per contest run

For most members, time spent singing is an amateur endeavor, a labor of love done in addition to day jobs. Here are a few of many diverse career fields in which our members work:

  • PhD. student
  • Barista
  • Small Business Owner
  • Hospitality
  • Franchise Owner
  • Music Teacher
  • Talent Acquisition
  • IT support
  • Research & Analysis
  • Creative Producer
  • Property Management

“Westminster gave me life when I desperately needed something to hold on to during my college years. There was a time I didn't have much in my life and felt like everything was falling apart. But then I went to a Xmas show with W in it. They performed Bridge over troubled waters and I felt nothing but warmth and love. I cried really hard and ended up joining the chorus.

It not only gave me a purpose to be a better singer, but I've discovered many new musical ways to express that I'm still using in my own performance till this day.”

- Terrence Leung

“I was an old/new member a few times and had to leave for years at a time. Westminster took me back with open arms every time. It was like I had found family. On top of this, barbershop and Westminster has completely transformed my music as a composer.”

-Ed Park

"There is something really special about Westminster. The camaraderie and environment really inspires me to not just be a better musician but a better person as well. It is hard for me to envision being as inspired and passionate in my daily life without this community."

-John Edward Torres

“I would say that Westminster has changed my life in a lot of ways, from the meaningful friendships and connections I've made with all of the great people in and around the chorus, to giving me a welcoming space to experiment, learn, challenge, and improve myself as an artist and as a human being.”
-Sean Gibson

“It has made me more emotionally intelligent. I was going through something very difficult and Westminster was my support for getting through that. Learning to express my feelings through singing has helped me get through struggles and has helped me to grow into a better person as a result as well.”
- Richard Tran

“It was once explained to me that the root of the word inspire comes from the Latin inspirare, meaning “to breathe.”  I vividly recall sitting in the hall at the 2015 International Chorus Contest watching Westminster Chorus perform “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.” They had my attention from the first note of the song, however in the tag the chorus sings, “your rainbow will come smiling through” and the lead voice floats above the ensemble to reiterate, “smiling through” – that moment was so beautiful that I couldn’t help but breath in and hold back tears. I did not understand why that simple phrase had such an emotional impact on me, but in that moment, I knew I wanted to be a part of Westminster. One year later I was preparing to sing in our Swan Set performance in Nashville and Justin Miller tells us how we never know who in the audience will be moved by what we sing. I knew exactly what that feeling was, and each time I sing with my brothers it returns and a small part of me cannot believe I am here.”

- Nate Salvaza

“If I didn’t have Westminster, I wouldn’t know where else to go to find as many like-minded singers. It’s a brotherhood that not only enhances your musical abilities, but your character as well. Thanks to Westminster, I’ve learned to appreciate the bigger picture while singing with a chorus, and not get too focused on myself!”

- Jeremy Ingraham

“Being a part of Westminster goes way beyond just singing in a high level ensemble. Westminster has taught me some of the most profound life skills that I couldn't imagine having gotten anywhere else. The experience of bringing my truest and most authentic self on stage while singing and performing at my highest level uniquely in a way that only I can do while at the same time being one with the collective that is singing as one voice, one presence, the unity that is felt in this experience is one of the most profound experiences that I can imagine having. Westminster uniquely creates the environment for this to occur and the process of learning how to become available to it as a singer is one of the most transformative experiences I’ve gone through as an artist.”

- Kedar Shashidhar

“Without Westminster, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy making music with some of the best guys out there that I’m lucky enough to call brothers. Westminster has given me an outlet to become comfortable with who I am and I am all the better for it.”

- JJ Garcia

“Westminster has become a strong sense of community in my life. Being new to this barbershop art form, it was scary for me to jump into a group like Westminster. But with their strong sense of brotherhood and group motivation, it made the transition smooth and fulfilling as a performer and musician.”

- Jeremy Padrones


“I’ve been a member since it started in 2002. First and foremost I’ve made the most amazing friendships. I've never laughed harder or felt more deeply then when I am with this group. The moments and memories I have of feeling like I was part of something bigger than myself while also performing something that changed the lives of those in the audience and I can’t imagine stopping this 18 yr journey anytime soon. Making these moments happen has changed my life and I can’t express the gratitude that I have for the privilege of being in this chorus.”

-Chris Stewart

“I think Westminster has pushed me to become better in all things and to always aim to be a better version of myself. It's a chorus that is all about pushing the art to its limit, and that mentality has helped me become better at my craft and better as a person “

-Grant Goldstein

“What would I do without Westminster?  - 

Westminster has been such a huge part of my life.  I mean I got into barbershop right after high school.  Without Westminster, I don’t know what I would do.  It’s part of my life and this pandemic really has shown me how much Westminster has impacted my life.

In short, Westminster changed my perspective of what I thought I wanted socially. It humbled me and made me appreciate music on a whole new level.”

-Sergio Madrid

“Joining W was my dream after high school. Getting to sing with them over the last 8 years has changed my life. It has made me a better musician, better singer, better performer, better artist. I’ve gotten to do so many life changing experiences and performances around the country and around the world. My experience with them has really shaped who I am today. I will always cherish my experience with the chorus and hold them dear to my heart.”

- Ryan Wisniewski