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Oberlin in the News - Winter 2006

January 2006
January 30--Michael Hollinger's Opus Takes Center Stage in National Media
An article in today's Philadelphia Daily News features a review of Michael Hollinger's latest play, Opus, which is making its world premiere at the Arden Theatre (Philadelphia). Hollinger, who graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1984, used his experience as a musician to craft the play's storyline around a famed string quartet's struggle with the departure and replacement of one of its members, as well as their difficulties mastering Beethoven's greatest composition, Opus 131. Articles about Hollinger's play have also appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playbill.com, and Broadwayworld.com.

January 30--Musician Matthew Abelson Interviewed by Cleveland Jewish News
Cleveland musician Matthew Abelson '92 is featured in this week's edition of the Cleveland Jewish News along with three other local artists who recently attended The Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute (AEI) in Cleveland, where they learned the fundamentals of business through an intensive six-session, 24-hour course. Abelson, who attended the institute to jumpstart his business, calls the workshop a blessing. "Any artist who is either starting out or wants to be more effective needs to take this workshop."

January 27--New York Times Features Article on Oberlin Professor, Voice Students
The Weekend Arts section of today's New York Times features Distinguished Professor of Voice Marilyn Horne conducting six young singers in a master class at Zankel Hall. Three of those young singers are Oberlin-trained: mezzo-soprano Kathryn Leemhuis '05, currently pursuing a master's degree at Indiana University; baritone Edward Parks '06; and tenor Matthew Peña ’05. Anthony Tommasini, who wrote the article, said Leemhuis has a "warm, dusky voice." Peña's tenor is "sweet-voiced," and Parks' baritone "robust."
The singers participated in a four-day presentation of master classes and concerts sponsored by the Marilyn Horne Foundation.

January 27--Family's Pack-Rat Tendencies Pay off with New York Times Article
Today's New York Times includes an article about Oberlin College student Ethan Cowan and his family, who have been saving each other's letters for more than 200 years. The collection, which totals approximately 75,00 documents and is stored in more than 200 boxes, is one of the largest private family troves to have turned up in recent years. Cowan's grandmother, Mary Leslie Wolff, plans to donate the papers -- called the Ames Family Historical Collection -- to a historical society.

January 26--Houston Symphony Orchestra Debuts Obie's New Composition
A new work by composer Pierre Jalbert '89, Big Sky, had a performance by the Houston Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall on Tuesday, January 24. The concert was reviewed in The New York Times by Allan Kozinn.

January 24--Jazz Times Magazines Recognizes Oberlin's Best Performers
The current issue of Jazz Times magazine names the performance of Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies Billy Hart's quartet at the Jazz Standard in October "one of the 10 best gigs of the past year." Also mentioned in the issue is Overtime, a Grammy-nominated recording by the Dave Holland Big Band that features Associate Professor of Jazz Trombone Robin Eubanks, as one of the top 50 CDs of 2005. Jazz Times also awarded Eubanks an honorable mention in the "best trombone player of the year" category.

January 23--Oberlin Students Help Homeowners in New Orleans Begin Rebuilding Process
Today's Times-Picayune (New Orleans) features an article about RHINO (Rebuilding Hope in New Orleans), a volunteer organization that is helping clean out and gut homes in the devastated city. Katie Lauth, a first-years student at Oberlin College, spent several weeks in New Orleans as a volunteer with RHINO. "I like to think of it in terms of something that has to be done," she said. "It will help people move on and give them a fresh start. "

January 22--New York Times Interviews Thomas Kelley '77
The business section of today's New York Times features an interview with Thomas Kelley '77, general manager of IDEO, a design firm in Palo Alto, California. During the interview, Kelley reminisces about the experiences that changed his life--including the National Merit Scholarship that made college a possibility for him--and his rather unexpected career path.

January 22--Oberlin Conservatory of Music Celebrates Mozart's Birthday
Today's Akron Beacon Journal reported that the Oberlin Conservatory of Music is holding a marathon of four concerts in Warner Concert Hall on Friday, January 27 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth. Other local groups joining in the festivities with Mozart-related performances include the Canton Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, Kent State University, and The University of Akron.

January 20--Laurie Collyer '88 Screens New Film at Sundance Film Festival
Today's Cleveland Plain Dealer featured a round-up of Ohio-related films making their debut at Sundance, including Laurie Collyer's drama Sherrybaby--which stars Maggie Gyllenhaal as a young woman recently released from prison who must learn to settle down and care for her daughter. Laurie Collyer is a Brooklyn native who graduated from Oberlin College in 1988.

January 20--Josh Ritter '99 Announces Release of Third CD, Spring Concert Dates
RTE.ie Entertainment.com announced that Josh Ritter's third album, The Animal Years, will be released in Ireland on March 3, 2006. A North American release will follow in April. Among the songs featured on the album are Girl in the War, Lillian Egypt, Thin Blue Flame, Wolves, and Idaho. Ritter, who graduated from Oberlin College in 1999, plans to support the new album with an extensive North American tour, as well as many international appearances.

January 19--Alumna Screens Theatrical Documentary in Tuscon
According to an article in the Arizona Star, Amy Lederman '76 recently screened a theatrical documentary about the effects of the Vietnam War on Oberlin College students at Tucson High Little Theater. Lederman is a self-employed attorney and the owner of Aliyah Publishing, as well as a syndicated columnist who has been published in many national and international newspapers.

January 19--Hartford Courant Interviews Kali Holloway '98
Before Kali Holloway's band, The Affair, hit the stage in New Haven, they received a pre-show write-up in The Hartford Courant. Holloway, who graduated from Oberlin College in 1998, formed the indie-rock band in late 2002. Their first EP, Falling Out of Love Songs, is scheduled to be released this spring.

January 18--Smithsonian Magazine Honors Julie Taymor '74 and D.A. Henderson '50
The November 2005 anniversary edition of Smithsonian magazine names Julie Taymor '74 and D.A. Henderson '50 two of the 35 "genius" innovators of our time. Taymor, a Tony award-winning designer and director, has recently been chosen director for a forthcoming Broadway production of Spiderman. Henderson, who helped the World Health Organization eradicate smallpox in the late 1970s, is currently one of the nation's leading expert on bioterrorism.

January 17--Purdue University Invites Nancy Giles '81 to Celebrate King's Legacy
Nancy Giles '81 kicked off Purdue University's celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by encouraging students to "engage in dialogue" with each other and "find their voices." Indiana's Journal and Courier covered the CBS news commentator's lecture, which attracted 300-plus people and filled the university's Fowler Hall.

January 14--Myla Goldberg '93 Interviewed by Dallas Morning News
Today's Dallas Morning News featured an interview with Myla Goldberg '93. Goldberg, is the author of the novel Bee Season, which recently was made into a movie starring Richard Gere. Goldberg's newest literary endeavor, Wickett's Remedy, was published this year.

January 13--Two Cleveland Area Papers Publicize College's Energy-Saving Efforts
Today's Akron Beacon Journal reported that an energy-saving contest at Oberlin College that pitted campus residents against each other saved the institution an average of 32 percent over a two-week period. The University of Dayton is currently sponsoring a similar contest to shave $15,000 from their electric bill, which tops more than $25,000 annually. The current edition of Crain's Cleveland Business also reported on the energy-saving endeavors of both institutions.

January 9--Physics Professor Contributes to Web Site's Construction
Professor of Astronomy and Physics Dan Styer was recenlty interviewed for Thinkquest.org, a web site dedicated to the study of quantum mechanics. Styer, who specializes in statistical mechanics as well as chaos in quantum mechanics, contributed comments that were included on the site's introductory segment.

January 8--BSO Debuts Jonathan Dawe's "The Flowering Arts"
An article in today's Boston Globe announced the world premier of Jonathan Dawe's "The Flowering Arts" by the the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Dawe, who graduated from The Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1987, has created a unique sound that draws upon structural elements of early and Baroque music and then proceeds to rigorously work out his ideas using the principles of fractal geometry.

January 3--New York Times Takes a New Look at a Historical Composer
An article in today's New York Times credits composer William Marion Cook with inaugurating the mix of white classical and black vernacular music we know from Porgy and Bess. Cook, who graduated from The Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1888, is cited as one of Scott Joplin's main influences.

January 3--Cleveland Paper Interviews Oberlin's Newest Business Owner
Today's Plain Dealer features an article about Sam Merrett '05, co-owner of Oberlin's Full Circle Fuel Center in Oberlin. The center is just one of the few "gas" stations in the Greater Cleveland area to sell biodiesel to the public, as well as 100 percent recycled vegetable oil for converted diesel engines. Merrett's business has also received publicity from NewsNet5.com, United Press International (UPI), and Sciencedaily.com, as well as air time on local PBS station WVIZ Channel 25.

December 2005
December 30--New York Times Praises Ben Jaffe's Efforts on Behalf of the New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund
The New York Times reports that bassist Ben Jaffe ‘93 and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band ended a week long engagement at Manhattan’s Jazz Standard on New Year’s Eve. Under the stewardship of the trumpeter John Brunious, a lifelong member, and Jaffe, the band has been touring almost incessantly since being displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The band is supporting the New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund with the tour and sales of its latest CD. The group was formed in 1961 by Jaffe’s parents, Allan and Sandra Jaffe.

December 21--Actor Bill Irwin '73 Makes Debut at Metropolitan Opera
Tony-award winning actor Bill Irwin '73 made his debut with the Metropolitan Opera in a new production of Johann Strauss's operetta Die Fledermaus. The New York Times praised Irwin for his work in the nonsinging role of Frosch, the drunken jailor in the operetta. "With his rubbery limbs and deadpan Buster Keaton timing, Mr. Irwin brought wonderful freshness to a character that has been shamelessly overacted in countless routine productions," said music critic Anthony Tommasini in a December 21 review. Irwin's debut also received favorable reviews in online publications such as Broadway World. com and Playbill Arts.com.

December 19--Jazz Times Announces Kohl's Generous Gift to Oberlin College
The latest issue of Jazz Times announced that Stewart and Donna Kohl's $5 million gift to Oberlin College may be the largest ever given to specifically support jazz education at a U.S. college. Stewart Kohl, who graduated from Oberlin College in 1977, also serves on the College's Board of Trustees. An article about the Kohls also ran in a recent edition of Crain's Cleveland Business.

December 16--Art Museum Rated As One of The Best
Steven Litt, an art critic for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, recently called the Allen Memorial Art Museum "one of the finest art museums in the country." Litt also urged readers of the newspaper's popular "Pick Three" arts feature to visit the museum, where "Trace Elements: New Work at Oberlin" is on view through January 8. This exhibition features new work by six members of Oberlin's studio art faculty.

December 16--Psychology Professor's Study Published in Child Development
A study published in the November/December issue of the journal Child Development finds that children are able to recall contextual information that can be used to reconstruct time. Professor of Psychology William Friedman led the study, which has significant implications for the use of children's testimony in legal cases.

December 13--Eighth Blackbird Flys High in Complimentary Article
Today's Newsday.com features an article about eighth blackbird, a sextet of Oberlin graduates who combine their performance of contemporary chamber music with a form of theater that makes each concert a unique experience for the sophisticated concert goer.

December 12--Obies Tackle Science with Radio Spot on NPR
According to today's Plain Dealer Obies Jad Abumrad '95 and Robert Krulwich '69 (host of Nova and an ABC news correspondent) can be heard on Radio Lab, an hour-long show on WCPN 90.3 that tackles "big scientific topics." Described as "a show about the big ideas that are shaping the world," it has been airing in New York for two years and will run through the week of December 12 in Cleveland.

December 10--CNN Interviews Bird Flu Expert Tim Uyeki '81
In a recent episode of CNN's House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Tim Uyeki '81 talked about the likelihood of an H5N1, or bird flu, pandemic in North America. According to Uyeki, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the bird flu is actually a very rare disease that does not yet have the ability to transmit from person to person. However, Uyeki says that scientists are paying close attention to the virus and are preparing for the possibility of a future pandemic.

December 10--Oberlin's Hymnnology Expert Gives Holiday Lesson
Do you know the difference between Advent songs and Christmas carols? Not many people do, but Mary Louise Van Dyke does. Van Dyke, who is director of Oberlin College's Dictionary of American Hymnology project, shared her knowledge with readers of the Star-Telegram (Texas) in an article that detailed the finer points of each hymn.

December 7--ClevelandArt Critic Gives AMAM Show a Rave Review
Today's Plain Dealer features a review of the Allen Memorial Art Museum's new exhibition, Trace Elements, by local art critic Steven Litt.

December 5--New Yorker Features Poem by Franz Wright '77
A two-page poem, "East Boston, 1996,"  by Franz Wright '77 appears in the December 5 issue of the New Yorker. Wright won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2004 for Walking to Martha's Vineyard. His ninth collection of poems, God's Silence, will be published in the spring of 2006.

December 4--Jeanette Sorrell '92 Announces New Holiday Program for Apollo's Fire
Today's Plain Dealer features an article about Jeanette Sorrell '92, the founder and music director of the Cleveland-based baroque orchestra, Apollo's Fire. In the article, music critic Donald Rosenberg praises the orchestra's new holiday program, "Christmas Vespers," which will make its debut at four area churches during the next two weeks.

December 3--Oberlin's Place in History Makes Headlines in U.S. Newswire Brief
Today's U.S. Newswire.com includes a news brief that delves into Oberlin's history as the first institution of higher education in the United States to open its doors to both men and women. Today, Oberlin College enrolls approximately 3,000 students, with a higher percentage of women than men.

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