Oberlin Online
Search Oberlin Online
  Directories  Oberlin Online




Quick Facts About Oberlin...

Please send comments,
questions, and suggestions
about Oberlin Online news
and feature articles to


January 28, 2005—Jeannette Sorrell, founder and conductor of Apollo's Fire, the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, will lead the Oberlin Baroque Orchestra (OBO) in two free concerts. The orchestra, an ensemble of 25 students from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music performing on period instruments from the Conservatory's collection, will appear Thursday, February 17 at 8 p.m. in Finney Chapel. On Sunday, February 20 at 7 p.m., they will appear at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, located at 2747 Fairmount Blvd. in Cleveland Heights. Both concerts will feature the music of J.S. Bach, Telemann, Vivaldi, and Rameau. For more information, please call the Oberlin Conservatory of Music's Concert Production Office, during business hours, at 440-775-8610.

Sorrell is an alumna of the Conservatory's nationally renowned historical performance program, whose faculty members have trained these young baroque specialists.

"The ensemble skills one develops in a baroque orchestra are fairly different from the skills associated with chamber music, or even baroque chamber music," says Sorrell. "Playing in a baroque orchestra requires very sensitive ears and keen listening skills, because each string player must be perfectly in tune with his or her section, or else it will sound like caterwauling cats. We don't use vibrato, which is such a convenient way of masking intonation differences in a modern orchestra. Also, the concept of blending tone colors in the section is very important; with three of four people in a section, everything is very exposed."

David Breitman, director of Oberlin's historical performance program, has high expectations for the students participating in the baroque orchestra. "This highly-concentrated project, with 30 hours of rehearsal and two concerts in a three-week period, is an ideal way for our students to immerse themselves in baroque style. For those who are relatively new to historical performance, this will be a great leap forward, both in terms of their experience and their abilities.

"This style of playing, which seemed quite exotic as recently as the 1980s, is now a familiar part of our musical life. I expect some of the students playing in this year's OBO will join the many Oberlin alums who already figure prominently in baroque orchestras throughout the world."

Oberlin-trained musicians, among them Sorrell, Benjamin Bagby, founder of Sequentia, and Kathleen Fay, executive director of the Boston Early Music Festival, are among the many highly respected contributors to the field of historical performance.

The Oberlin Conservatory of Music, founded in 1865 and situated within the intellectual vitality of Oberlin College since 1867, is the oldest continuously operating conservatory in the United States. Renowned internationally as a professional music school of the highest caliber, Oberlin is a pioneer and leader in the field of historical performance. The Oberlin Baroque Ensemble, composed of historical performance faculty members Michael Lynn, Marilyn McDonald, Catharina Meints, and Lisa Goode Crawford, was one of the first groups in the United States to specialize in the performance of early music on historical instruments. Through its teaching and its critically acclaimed concerts and recordings the ensemble has influenced a generation of young performers.

The program for both concerts is as follows:
J.S. Bach, Ouverture—Suite in B Minor for strings & flute. Alice Teyssier '06, traverso; Evan Few '06, violin.            

J.S. Bach, Concerto in D Minor for two violins. Evan Few and Edwin Huizinga '06, soloists.

Georg Philipp Telemann, Concerto in A Minor for recorder & viola da gamba, Grave and Finale. Polly Gibson '06, recorder; Rachel Henderson '06 gamba.

Antonio Vivaldi, Concerto for four violins in B Minor. J. Freivogel '06, Rebecca Wilcox '05, Mikyung Kim '08, Sam Quintal '06.

Jean-Philippe Rameau, Suite from Les Indes galantes.

Ritournelle "Air of the African Slaves."

Tambourin "Earthquake."

Chaconne "Dance of the Savages."


Media Contact: Marci Janas