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All it took was a campus tour and meeting a handful of professors for Charlie Hopta ’08 to fall in love with LVC. Hopta, who received strong recommendations for LVC from his high school teachers, quickly understood the College’s high praise.
“Professor Tom Strohman was one of my first interactions with the Music Department, and I couldn’t have asked for a better first impression,” said Hopta. “It was all I needed to know that LVC was for me.”
At LVC, Hopta fully embodied the Dutchman spirit, taking part in several campus groups and activities such as Student Government, Pride of The Valley Marching Band, Concert Choir, Symphony Orchestra, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Wig and Buckle Theater Company. Among all his experiences and memories, Hopta fondly recalls his time with LVC’s Concert Choir and Symphony Orchestra as some of his fondest memories.
“Some of my favorite experiences were singing in churches and cathedrals from Atlanta, Georgia, to Budapest, Hungary, with the choir,” said Hopta. “Performing with the orchestra in the Czech Republic and Austria were also some of the most fun I’ve had at LVC.”
With the knowledge and experiences gained as a music education major at LVC, Hopta worked to spread his spirit into the classrooms at North Hunterdon High School in Annandale, N.J., where he has worked for the past 10 years. Hopta teaches two vocal performing ensembles with fellow LVC alumna Katie Meo Cudworth ’08 and rock history, music theory, and individual music lessons.
Furthermore, Hopta continues to pursue his interest in theater and band by assisting in the winter musical, spring plays, and taking on leadership roles in band and marching band as assistant director.
“Working with grades 9-12 in every class is an interesting dynamic because each student is truly at a different point in their academic lives,” said Hopta. “It is fun to watch the kids work together positively, and see the older kids step up and take responsibility for being good stewards of the program.”
Having obtained his master’s in music education recently, Hopta looks forward to teaching at the collegiate level in the future or becoming a high school music department administrator.
“I am 100% a people person, so I knew I wanted to do a job where I interact with others daily. I realized my senior year that music was more than just a hobby I did with friends—I wanted to make music with others as a career.”
-- Parker Gallagher, Marketing & Communications Student Assistant