The Oberlin Review

Conservatory second-year Jasper de Boor is a viola and violin performance double major. Similar to many Conservatory students, de Boor now practices primarily in his dorm room in East.

Oberlin Conservatory Students Live, Practice in the Same Space

October 9, 2020

Limited access to traditional practice spaces has created new roadblocks to making music and learning collaboratively for Oberlin Conservatory students. However, even in the face of challenge and change, Conservatory students have mostly retained and adapted their practice habits, even while many are practicing in their dorm rooms.  This semester, Conservatory students majoring in easily-transportable instruments were provided chairs and stands in their individual rooms to practice. Most of these...

For fifty years, Afrikan Heritage House’s in-person Soul Sessions have been filled with energy as the community comes together to perform, express themselves, and support each other. Now, virtual Soul Sessions share the same goal.

Soul Session Verzuz Retains Community Through Virtual Performance

October 9, 2020

With much of the Afrikan Heritage House community off-campus, and others socially distancing on-campus, residents have to take concerted steps to build Umoja. The Black community at Oberlin College did just that by translating the 50-year tradition of Soul Session to the digital space, sharing Black expression and creativity both on and off-campus. In June, a Soul Session was held completely via Zoom and despite some technical complications, it was a successful start. After arriving on campus, A-...

Audience members were encouraged to move between the socially-distanced performers during “Sila: The Breath of the World” last Friday.

Tappan Square Becomes Stage for “Sila: The Breath of the World”

September 16, 2020

Live music is yet another quintessential Oberlin experience complicated by the pandemic. But creativity and social-distancing prevailed last Friday when Oberlin Conservatory students took to the unusual stage of Tappan Square to perform “Sila: The Breath of the World” by John Luther Adams. The experience was comparable to an installation in an art gallery. The musicians were spread across the grass and in between trees, radiating outward from the center of the square. Many audience members...

SleepWalker’s 2020 Freshman List

Amari Newman and Quentin Zimbalist

July 3, 2020

We are SleepWalker Entertainment. Starting off in 2018 as a radio show on Oberlin College’s WOBC 91.5 FM dedicated to highlighting underground hip-hop and the community that surrounds it, we have expanded into the journalistic side of music, publishing various reviews, lists, and articles related to music. These have ranged from album of the year lists to interviews with different musicians who have performed at Oberlin including Suzi Analogue, VRITRA, Ethereal, NAPPYNAPPA, and SIR E.U. Right around this time last year we published our very first Freshman List, built off XXL magazine’s idea of highlighting artists relatively new to the rap game who gained a lot of attention in the past year. Seeing how XXL’s list seeme...

A promotional photo from We are King, the R&B trio that performed at the Cat in the Cream last Saturday.

Twin Sister Duo KING Brings Warm Vibes to the Cat

March 13, 2020

Minneapolis-born twin sisters Paris and Amber Strother performed as the duo KING in the Cat in the Cream this past Saturday, March 7. Now based in Los Angeles, the twins call their self-produced electronic sound “eclectic.” Their self-titled first album received a Grammy nomination for Best Urban Contemporary Album of the Year in 2016. On Saturday, KING lit up the cozy space of the Cat, with Amber on high, fluid vocals and Paris on three different synthesizers and a laptop. They used an effect...

Behind the Scenes: “Cosi Fan Tutte” Opens This Wednesday

Casey Troost, Staff Writer

March 6, 2020

Beginning Wednesday at 8 p.m., the Oberlin Opera Theater will continue to uphold a tradition that’s at least four decades old: producing Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte once every 10 years.  First performed in 1790, Cosi Fan Tutte is set in Naples and centered around a scheme between three military officers and a maid, Despina, to test the fidelity of two of the officers’ lovers. The eldest officer, Don Alfonso, bets against the younger Ferrando and Guglielmo that, by the end of the day, he will prove that their sweethearts, Dorabella and Fiordiligi, aren’t eternally loyal to them.  “It can be a harsh and bitter comedy,” said Costume Designer Chris Flaharty. “At the beginning of its life, it was taken as a...

Double degree fourth-year Max Addae dancing with audience members at the end of his recital.

TIMARA Recital Showcases Combination of Coding and Music

March 6, 2020

At the end of double-degree fourth-year Max Addae’s junior recital, audience members danced on stage as the Technology in Music and Related Arts and Computer Science major coded live beats. The recital, which was performed in Fairchild Chapel last Sunday, was aptly titled Algorhythm, a phrase that refers to the combination of computer algorithms and music used throughout the show. In this performance, Addae used his coding skills in multiple creative ways, capitalizing on the intersection of his...

Emerging Artists to Perform at WOBIE Fest 2020

Jaimie Yue, Arts & Culture Editor

February 21, 2020

 Over the next week, experimental, electronic, and rap genres will collide in WOBIE Fest 2020, a live music festival celebrating underrepresented and up-and-coming artists. The concerts will kick off tonight at The ’Sco with performances from HOOK and BKTHERULA. White Fence and L’Rain will perform this Saturday, with Nots and DANA closing the festival next Saturday. College third-year Bridget Conway and College fourth-years Amari Newman and Ben Stevens worked to organize these events. The three are leaders in Oberlin Hip Hop Collective, Student Union Program Committee, and F+ABB: FQTPOC Breaking Boundaries, and they decided to combine forces to host one blowout festival.  While this is Oberlin’s first-ever WOBIE...

Students at Solarity last semester dancing while opener Kota the Kid performs.

Behind the Scenes: How Bookers Bring Musicians to Campus

February 14, 2020

A few weeks ago at the 2020 Grammy Awards, pop legend, self-love queen, and all-around icon Lizzo opened the show with her back turned to the audience, arms waving as she conducted the full band in front of her while the celebrity audience cheered. Lizzo won three Grammys in this ceremony. Just over a year earlier, Lizzo headlined Oberlin College’s free rave-style concert, Solarity, in the Heisman Club Field House. This isn’t the only case in which Oberlin has booked musicians just...

Double-degree second-year Kenji Anderson will play the piano accompaniment to Conservatory second-year Julia Alexander’s vocals in their Sunday recital “Art song, etc.”

Pop and Classical Played Together in “Art song, etc.” Show

February 14, 2020

At “Art song, etc.” this upcoming Sunday at 3:00 p.m. in Stull Recital Hall, “Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles will be performed alongside the 1913 art song “À Chloris” composed by Reynaldo Hahn — and it works. Double-degree second-year Kenji Anderson and Conservatory second-year Julia Alexander are the duo behind every cover and performance. Anderson is a Piano and English major, while Alexander is majoring in Vocal Performance. “Art song, etc.” celebrates both stude...

Sing-Along Honors Composer Moses Hogan’s Legacy

Sing-Along Honors Composer Moses Hogan’s Legacy

February 14, 2020

The fourth annual Moses Hogan Sing-Along was an evening of beautiful music that brought the College and Conservatory as well as Oberlin community members together. This event — which honors Hogan’s legacy as a composer, pianist, arranger of choral music, and conductor — is one of the College’s many celebrations during Black History Month. Hogan graduated from the Conservatory in 1979 and later founded and conducted the Moses Hogan Chorale in 1993. The Chorale performed Hogan...

Students in the Phlox Ensemble sit with their instruments.

Oberlin Students for Gender Inclusivity in Music Presents Phlox

February 7, 2020

Can you think of a famous female, transgender, or nonbinary classical music composer? The average person would likely know the name Beethoven or Bach, but might struggle to recall a composer who’s not a cisgender man. The Phlox Ensembles, an intensive two-week Winter Term orchestra and choir, aim to combat this lack of gender inclusivity by performing works by composers that are not cisgender men. Organized by Oberlin Students for Gender Inclusivity in Music, the ensembles are a spa...

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