Music / Conservatory


Claire Coleman '17

On the common language of music: "In trying to redefine myself in a new place and establish my new identity as an Oberlin student, I soon realized that what had once made me stand out instead now connected me to everyone around me." [more]

Rob Jamner '17

On founding Oberlin Songwriters: "In just a few weeks I met a number of students and community members who shared my passion for songwriting." [more]

Maurice Cohn '17

On conducting a youth orchestra: "Music is a living art, not to be kept in the glass cases of history museums...I can help foster that kind of energy and excitement about performing in another generation of musicians." [more]

Matt Rivers '04

On musical training and non-musical careers: "I hadn't been in law enforcement for long before I realized that many of the same characteristics of police work are similar to playing in a jazz group." [more]

Zach Resnick '16

On creating Yafo Harmony: "I proposed a program that combined all my passions—social justice, music, and language learning—and with a generous CIGSIE grant, I was able to bring it to life in Yafo." [more]

Brenna Larson '14

On choosing an Oberlin path: "My Oberlin career, like many, has been far from linear, and I am glad that I have strayed from my plan. A planner at heart, changing gears, changing life goals, was a rocky and emotional process, and one I would not undo." [more]

Yue Qiu '14

On being a part of OCTaiko: "...being a good taiko drummer is not so much having the perfect techniques; it is more a commitment to being part of a group that shares the same energy and tries to figure out the key to ki together." [more]

Charles Abbott '14

On Oberlin's inclusive music scene: "Collaboration plays a fundamental role in the community's constant appetite for great art. This inclusivity is indicative of the communal Oberlin personality that makes it such an incredible place." [more]

Alicia Dudziak '13

On joining OSteel: "I loved that I began to feel like a good musician even though my musical experience had been limited since age 10, when I quit piano." [more]

Allison Lint '09

On founding Violin for Vasculitis: "I am more often labeled an 'activist' than a 'touring violin virtuoso,' [but] that doesn't alter my goal. I am musically fulfilled through this project more than I ever could be as a healthy performer." [more]

Jamie Helmsworth '13

On starting a band at Oberlin: "The music scene is merely a symptom of an infectious enthusiasm that pervades Oberlin's student body. The zeal with which students here plunge themselves into their personal pursuits is unparalleled." [more]

Kevin Hu '11

On singing with the Obertones: "But as I would realize, this love was a postulate of the Obertones; something so obvious it needed no proof through audible declaration. Everyone in the Obertones loves to sing." [more]

Mariko Meyer '11

On being a college violinist: "I never made it out of the back of the orchestra, but even so, my growth as a musician was immediately noticeable once I went to play in any other ensemble." [more]

Michael Vito '04

On skills learned in the Conservatory: "In [performance], we must take all of the experience and ability we have attained through our own development and integrate it with that of others... an exercise in fluid, nonhierarchical leadership." [more]

Karen Gebhart Flint '64

In summarizing her many Oberlin memories: "There is so much to do and learn at Oberlin... if you are admitted, choose Oberlin; when there, take as many different courses as you can, meet as many people as possible." [more]

Jeffrey Hill '09

On his voice teacher, Kendra Colton '83: "She taught with a firm, guided, and encouraging hand, but always listened openly to my thoughts and ideas. She allowed me to find my own voice instead of telling me what I should be." [more]

Nancy Chapple '83

On living the double-degree life: "There was no holding me back, and I plunged into both areas of study. My weekday schedule was intense ... the discipline to practice and study, the drive to learn came from inside." [more]

Martha Cargo '07

On singing with Collegium Musicum: "Monday and Wednesday afternoons, beginning promptly at 4:30 in Fairchild Chapel, were brief windows of respite from our otherwise whirlwind college lives." [more]

Sean Hanson '11

On learning to play the Gamelan: "...the difficulty helps me begin to lose my identity in the group and let me center myself. It's become a way of life for me, and changed the way I view everything around me." [more]

Prof. Lewis Nielson

On Oberlin's composition students: "It's routine for me to be told by our guests that our students are the best they encounter anywhere in the world, not just for the quality of the works they display but also for the incisiveness of their thinking and the well-informed nature of their views." [more]

Nathan Heidelberger '10

On working with composer Helmut Lachenmann: "Working with him was an opportunity of a lifetime, and I don't think it could have happened anywhere else, at least not for a non-pianist like me." [more]

Hannah Levinson '09

On playing Carnegie Hall: "I never truly understood the relationship between a conductor and an orchestra until I played under Robert Spano '83." [more]

Patty Stubel '09

On playing Ottavia: "While it's entertaining to talk about my grand expertise in lying on the floor, this experience truly did expand my abilities as a performer." [more]

Lillie Chilen '08

On playing Poppea: "It's still hard to believe that as a lowly undergrad, I got the chance to play Poppea - opera's earliest gold digger - and find the music that truly fits my voice." [more]

Avery Waite '10

On Oberlin's Contemporary Music Ensemble: "In this new music, I heard nothing, only an ugly idiom that my ear could not, would not grasp... Then something happened that I'll never forget." [more]

Steven Roth '77

On Oberlin students singing Sondheim songs... for Sondheim: "The students sang some of the more difficult songs in the Sondheim canon and nailed each one - fully knowing that he was backstage listening to them." [more]


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