The Oberlin Review

Indie Singer-Songwriter Anna Burch Gives Poignant, Intimate Performance

Indie Singer-Songwriter Anna Burch Gives Poignant, Intimate Performance

May 10, 2019

Detroit-based singer-songwriter Anna Burch gave an intimate performance at the Cat in the Cream Tuesday night as a stop before her show at the TREEVERB Music Festival in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on June 1.  Burch has been a part of a few folk-rock bands in the past, one of which is Frontier Ruckus. Her stab at the indie-rock genre is a stark contrast from Frontier Ruckus’ banjo-twanging songs, more personal and ambitious territory for Burch. Her song demos — which she wrote after finishing gradua...

Audience Fills Birenbaum for “Moonlight, My Heart”

Audience Fills Birenbaum for “Moonlight, My Heart”

May 3, 2019

 Editor’s Note: The interviews in this article were conducted in Chinese and translated into English. The Chinese Music Showcase, Moonlight, My Heart, hosted by the Chinese Students Association, drew an impressive turnout last Sunday for an evening of singing, musical performances, and celebration. Despite the fact that it was late in the week, and that the event saw sparse responses on Facebook, the audience almost filled the Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space, a bar on the lower lev...

One Song, One City Unites Community Around Music

Roman Broszkowski, Senior Staff Writer

April 26, 2019

In an effort to build stronger bonds between College and city communities, Oberlin’s Yeworkwha Belachew Center for Dialogue and the Office of the Ombudsperson have created a series of music listening and sharing sessions called One Song, One City.  The bi-monthly meetings, which began in March 2019, are held at the Oberlin Public Library and the Lewis House, bring community members together to discuss the historic and emotional contexts of songs that attendees care about.  Conservatory junior Griffin Woodard, who started the program through his work as a community relations intern for the Office of the Ombudsperson, explained that the purpose of the series is to facilitate interactions between Oberlin resident...

Spring Quartet Wows in Highly Anticipated Celebratory Performance

Spring Quartet Wows in Highly Anticipated Celebratory Performance

April 19, 2019

If you were on campus this week, chances are you heard the buzz about Esperanza Spalding’s Wednesday performance, which lasted over two hours in Finney Chapel. What you may not know, however, is that Spalding’s performance was part of a three-day festival marking the Conservatory Jazz Studies department’s 30th anniversary.  College junior George Hawk was ecstatic that a fellow member of the student acapella group ’Round Midnight ran into Spalding at the Hotel at Oberlin.  “’Round ...

Jean Rohe Plays to Few, Captures Hearts in Midweek Performance

Jean Rohe Plays to Few, Captures Hearts in Midweek Performance

April 12, 2019

Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Jean Rohe stopped by Oberlin to give a songwriting workshop last Wednesday before her 8 p.m. show with her band at the Cat in the Cream. She is currently on tour to promote her new record, Sisterly, which was produced with her longtime collaborator Liam Robinson, with whom who she plays in a duo called Robinson & Rohe.  Rohe first caught attention with her 2012 single “National Anthem: Arise! Arise!,” which was inspired by American history and social mo...

Eli Conley OC ’08, Queer Activist and Musician

Eli Conley OC ’08, Queer Activist and Musician

April 5, 2019

As an activist, educator, and musician, Eli Conley, OC ’08, is making strides in the Bay Area by cultivating spaces for free expression of gender and sexuality. A 2008 graduate of Oberlin College, with a major in Comparative American Studies, he is now the founder of Queer Country West Coast, a concert series for queer and transgender country artists in the Bay Area. When he’s not hosting workshops on songs promoting social justice for queer people, trans folks, and allies, he is writing and pe...

First Church Celebrates Pete Seeger, Folk Musician and Activist

Roman Broszkowski, Senior Staff Writer

April 5, 2019

Community members celebrated the 100th birthday of famed folk musician and activist Pete Seeger with a concert and fundraiser at the First Church in Oberlin, United Church of Christ last Thursday, March 28. Annie Patterson and Charlie King, longtime friends of Seeger, performed songs inspired by Seeger’s commitment to labor organizing, as well as other selections from the songbook that Patterson created with Peter Blood, OC ’68, Rise Up Singing and Rise Again. Seeger gained national fame for his politically progressive songwriting in the ’60s but was blacklisted following his refusal to testify to the House Un-American Activities Committee. Oberlin remained one of the few places that still allowed Seeger to per...

Visiting Jazz Pianist and Composer Blurs Musical Categories

Matei Predescu

March 15, 2019

Last week, the Conservatory’s Performance & Improvisation program hosted Venezuelan-born jazz pianist and composer Luis Perdomo in a residency which brought his original compositions to the student-led PI ensembles as part of the Conservatory’s Artist Recital Series. The residency culminated in a performance Saturday night which featured six of Perdomo’s compositions performed by the student ensembles, alongside a solo set of his own.  Perdomo looks to salsa and other Latin American styles of music, as well as classical music, as sources of inspiration for his original compositions.  The New York-based jazz pianist has collaborated and performed with contemporary innovators like saxophonists Miguel ...

Jonas Brothers Back in Spotlight After Five-Year Hiatus

Carson Dowhan, Senior Staff Writer

March 8, 2019

Millennials around the world were in for a shocking surprise this month as the Jonas Brothers — one of the premier boy bands of the 2000s — released their first single in six years.  “Sucker,” released on March 1 has garnered worldwide attention, propelled the trio back into the spotlight since the song was announced a day before its release. Is this the beginning of a major comeback for the Jonas Brothers? Everyone on Twitter seems to think so; up until this wildly unexpected announcement, the band’s account had been silent since 2013.  The success of “Sucker” makes the Jonas Brothers the latest in a string of musicians in recent years to benefit from the “surprise release” marketing strate...

Joyce DiDonato Performs Brave New Arrangements of Timeless Classics

Carson Dowhan, Senior Staff Writer

March 1, 2019

Musician Joyce DiDonato and company brought an eclectic fusion of jazz and classical music to Finney Chapel on Wednesday, Feb. 27, performing songs from their new experimental compilation album, Songplay. This show is part of the Oberlin Artist Recital Series, an initiative known for bringing renowned musicians to Oberlin’s campus, joining campus and community together in a shared love of music.  What makes Songplay unique is not only the lineup of project collaborators, but also the arrangement of the songs. Pianist Craig Terry did that arranging, which ranged from Baroque epics to American contemporary classics. Terry approached the tracks from a jazz perspective, which resulted in a strong juxtaposition between the ori...

The Mystery of Things: Artistic Processes at Oberlin

The Mystery of Things: Artistic Processes at Oberlin

February 22, 2019

Many Oberlin students declare two majors that cross disciplines; it’s not uncommon to find people with surprisingly disparate double majors such as Theater and Computer Science or Viola performance and Biology. But what about the students with majors in two different creative fields? How do these students connect their majors through the work they create?  These questions struck me when I realized that my own majors, Dance and Creative Writing, weren’t as independent as I thought. The deeper I ...

Open Mic Culture Provides Performance, Community

Carson Dowhan, Senior Staff Writer

February 15, 2019

The lights go dim and the night begins with the sound of the emcee announcing the first act — welcome to the open mic. Here, you’ll see the creative headspaces of students come to life on the stage through slam poetry, diary readings, a capella covers, instrumental pieces, and original songs. Deep down, everyone is nervous to share their work — yet they still summon the courage to do exactly that.  The open mic is a positive atmosphere in which people can exercise their right brains, and where artists of all backgrounds can perform in a safe, low-pressure environment. Oberlin is lucky enough to have one held at the Cat in the Cream every month or so, with other themed nights springing up around campus sponsore...

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