The Oberlin Review

Conservatory Must Include More Work by Black Composers

J Holzen, OC ’20

June 10, 2020

Editor’s Note: This letter has been signed online by 356 members of the Oberlin community at the time of publication. To the deans and conductors at Oberlin Conservatory: Oberlin College, like many of our peer institutions, has recently issued statements on social media expressing its support for the Black community during this time. However, we request that you put a plan in place as an institution to hold the Conservatory accountable for these issues outside of its social media presence. Oberlin College prides itself on its liberalism and its progressivism, from being the first school to accept women and one of the first schools to accept African-Americans to its reputation for student activism. This in...

Bibbins Hall, which holds the Conservatory's main classrooms, is currently closed to students following Oberlin's transition to a remote campus.

Conservatory Adjusts Curricular Requirements Following Transition to Remote Campus

April 12, 2020

Following Oberlin’s transition to a remote campus in the wake of the ongoing health crisis, the Conservatory has had to adapt their curriculum including private lessons, ensembles, and culminating recitals to an online platform. The Conservatory has adjusted some of their requirements and set flexible guidelines for students in order to accomodate for the variety of departmental and individual circumstances.  This semester, to account for extenuating circumstances due to COVID-19, the deadline...

Amer Hasan.

Amer Hasan, Third-year Conservatory Clarinetist

March 13, 2020

Conservatory third-year Amer Hasan is now the clarinet finalist for the 2020 Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition. Hasan’s mentor is Oberlin Professor of Clarinet Richard Hawkins, who received the same award in 1990. Hasan now serves as the principal clarinetist for the Akron Symphony Orchestra, teaches clarinet at the Grafton Center of Musical Arts, and has already performed and taught in multiple countries. On good days, Hasan says, he plays the clarinet like it’s a part of his body...

College Announces New Music Minor

Katherine MacPhail, Editor-in-Chief

March 13, 2020

Oberlin is offering a new minor in Music following recommendations put forth by the One Oberlin report to expand “opportunities for private lessons, classroom study, and performing” for College students. Elizabeth Hamilton, associate dean of the College of the Arts and Sciences and co-chair of Musical Studies, highlighted the opportunity that this program creates for students to expand their studies. “The new minor creates a clearer formal structure than we’ve ever had for Arts and Sciences students to pursue rigorous study of music,” Hamilton wrote in an email to the Review. “It taps into their musical passions and talents and integrates advanced study from conservatory faculty into their overall B.A. d...

The Conservatory is set to launch two new certificate programs in Recording Arts and Production.

Conservatory to Launch New Recording Arts and Production Programs

March 6, 2020

The Conservatory has announced new one-year and two-year certificate programs for postgraduate students in Recording Arts and Production. The program is currently accepting applications for its first semester, which will begin this fall. The program is spearheaded by Director of Audio Services Paul Eachus and Associate Director of Audio Services Andrew Tripp. They explained that the idea originated in the midst of the Academic and Administrative Program Review process. “When AAPR initially started to get ...

Beethoven’s Dead — Can We Move on Now?

Clayton Luckadoo, Contributing Writer

February 28, 2020

 With Beethoven’s 250th birthday coming up, there are innumerable plans to celebrate the prolific composer worldwide. Among other activities, Oberlin Conservatory students will perform the legend’s complete symphonies and string quartets in his honor. While this is a grand undertaking, and the intentions are noble, the result is exclusionary for many. At an institution known for progressive programming and an awareness of exclusionary power structures in the classical music world, this is rather disheartening. I write this not to undermine the impact Beethoven has had on classical music. Thanks to his music and his influence with an avid Beethoven fan in the administration of the Paris Conservatoire, orchestra rehe...

Conservatory Should Revamp Recital Booking System

Amber Scherer and Cordelia Mutter

February 14, 2020

 Amber (she/her) and Cordelia (she/her) are members of the Oberlin Conservatory Council of Students, serving as vice president and president, respectively. Early Monday morning, something odd occurred outside Bibbins Hall. Around 3:30 a.m., a student pulled up in their car, waiting for the building to open at 6:30 a.m. Not long after, several more students arrived and a line began to form outside Bibbins’ east door. By 5:00 a.m., more than 10 students had shown up. By 6 a.m., the line was nearly 30 students in length. At 6:30 a.m., when the Conservatory doors opened, the line was more than 50 people long. Finally, at 8 a.m., the line — finally indoors and out of the rain — was an astonishing 65 people in l...

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...

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...

William Quillen Named Dean of Conservatory

Anisa Curry Vietze, News Editor

December 13, 2019

William Quillen has been hired as dean of the Conservatory after serving in the position on an interim basis since June 2018. In May, Oberlin launched a confidential national search for the position. Quillen was vice-chair of the Academic and Administrative Program Review’s Steering Committee, alongside Acting Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences David Kamitsuka. The Committee led the institution-wide evaluation and made recommendations to address the College’s financial issues. “I am excited that Bill will continue to provide thoughtful guidance and leadership as dean of the Conservatory,” President Carmen Twillie Ambar said according to a Dec. 10 College press release. “He has demonstrated a vision fo...

Oberlin alumna Shirley Graham DuBois, OC '34.

DuBois Salon First Step in Honoring Legacy On Campus

November 15, 2019

 In February 2018, two Oberlin professors ran into each other in the archives and realized that they were both researching the thesis of the same highly-accomplished Oberlin alumna. Visiting Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology Fredara Hadley and Assistant Professor of History and Comparative American Studies Tamika Nunley were both inspired by the life and work of Shirley Graham DuBois, OC ’34, and at Nunley’s suggestion they decided to craft a class around her tremendous accomplishments in m...

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