Alumni Association

VRW Conservatory Connections

Illumination lanterns

During VRW 2021, Oberlin featured daily Conservatory programs including original, live-streamed and pre-recorded productions and Oberlin Stage Left Encores.

A series of innovative, inspiring, and distinctly Oberlin broadcasts featuring our faculty, students, and special guests from around the world, Oberlin Stage Left was launched in April 2020 at the start of the pandemic shutdown as a way to foster connections around the world through the artistry of our Oberlin community. We invite Oberlin alumni, students, families, faculty and friends to revisit highlights from the first year of Oberlin Stage Left through the special VRW encore presentations, Oberlin Stage Left Encores below.

Today’s Stage Left Encore theme: World premieres performed by Oberlin student ensembles in the 2020-21 academic year

Enjoy the remarkable set of fifteen (15) world premieres that were performed by Oberlin student ensembles in the 2020-21 academic year on Stage Left.

Oberlin Student Composers Concert
Reinaldo Moya: Silver
Victor Márquez-Barrios: Caracas
Jesse Jones: Idylls Lost
Liam Kaplan ’20: Violin Concerto
Natsumi Osborn ’21: Three Apparitions at Twilight 
Tom Lopez: Tempus Ouroboros: cinéma pour l’orchestre
Studio Performance by the Oberlin Sonny Rollins Jazz Ensemble (premiering works by Kurton Harrison ’23 and Bobby Ferrazza)

Grand Piano Extravaganza

Virtual Reunion Week festivities were kicked off by the Grand Piano Extravaganza, streamed live from Warner Hall at Oberlin Conservatory. Hosted by the Oberlin Conservatory Dean William Quillen, this reunion favorite featured performances by eight faculty and staff pianists and graduating piano students from the classes of 2020 and 2021. Viewers tuned in to experience this grand tradition, in a virtual format for the first time ever, from 49 states and 18 different countries!

Today’s Stage Left Encore theme: Conservatory Conversations

Enjoy these uniquely Oberlin musical conversations with faculty, alumni, and guests.

Today’s Stage Left Encore theme: New Conservatory Faculty 2020-21 Spotlights

In the 2020-21 academic year, we welcomed extraordinary artists to the Oberlin Conservatory faculty: French hornist Jeff Scott, violinist Francesca dePasquale, cellist Dmitry Kouzov, guitarist Chris Eldridge ’04, and the Verona Quartet: violinists Jonathan Ong and Dorothy Ro, violist Abigail Rojansky ’11, and cellist Jonathan Dormand. Enjoy these engaging conversations and performances with our new faculty artists.

Today’s Stage Left Encore theme: Spotlight on Oberlin Conservatory Community Impact

The Oberlin Conservatory community expands far beyond its students and faculty. The Conservatory engages with Northeast Ohio residents and beyond through community engagement, pedagogy and advocacy work in music. Regional community residents are welcome to explore their own musical skills and passions through ensembles like the Musical Union choir and the Oberlin Arts and Sciences Orchestra, and the Oberlin Community Music School offers music lessons and classes to students of all ages. Learn, too, about groundbreaking social-impact projects in music such as Oberlin Music at Grafton, a music education program run by Conservatory faculty at the Grafton Correctional Institution.

  • Arts Bar None: Oberlin Music at Grafton
  • Musical Union: Fall 2020 Concert: Two Spirituals by Nathaniel Dett (1908 Oberlin alumnus) and Mystical Songs by Ralph Vaughn Williams; Gregory Ristow '01, conductor; featuring soloists Morgan Wolfe, Kylie Buckham, soprano, Timothy LeFebvre, baritone, Adam Chlebek, organ
  • Oberlin Community Music School; Louise Zeitlin, director 
  • Oberlin Arts & Sciences Orchestra Beethoven Choral Fantasy, Tiffany Chang, conductor
    • Featuring soloists
      •     Peter Takács, piano
      •     Caitlin Aloia '20, soprano
      •     Julia Dawson '11, soprano
      •     Rebecca Printz '16, mezzo soprano
      •     Carlos Santelli '14, tenor
      •     Daniel McGrew '15, tenor
      •     Elliott Hines '12, baritone
      •     Verona Quartet, Oberlin Conservatory Quartet-in-Residence
        • With a virtual choir of over 60 Oberlin students, faculty, parents, staff, and non-Oberlin musicians from around the world -  led by Olivia Fink, chorus master

Today’s Stage Left Encore theme: Conservatory Reflections

  • Surround Sound, Oberlin Style Reflections from Oberlin College President Carmen Twillie Ambar, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences David Kamitsuka, and Dean of the Conservatory Bill Quillen on Oberlin’s 2018 ‘‘prism concert’’ celebrating President Ambar’s inauguration.
  • Oberlin Remembers Kent State with Gregory Ristow ’01 and Helen Paxton ’73.
  • Black Reflections: From September to November 2020, Oberlin Conservatory and the New World Symphony hosted a three-part panel discussion on Black artistry in concert music. Conversations covered the historical and social context of Black musicians’ participation in concert music, the personal experiences of Black musicians, and reimagining a just and equitable future for Black artists in concert music. Panelists included Black artists, activists, scholars, and executives in classical music and jazz. 

Contributions of Black Artists

Experiences of Black Artists

A Just Future for Black Artists

  • Oberlin Percussion Group honors Professor of Percussion Mike Rosen who retires this year after nearly 50 years of teaching at Oberlin Conservatory

Cage, John - Third Construction

Frazier, Michael - Panels

Gibson, Rachel - Tales from the Loop

Peck, Russell - Lift Off

Tenney, James - Three Pieces for Drum Quartet

VRW Highlights

Oberlin Conservatory Global live course

Kathryn Metz leads a live course: Ingenuity and Innovation: How Rock and Roll Splintered in the 1970s.

The 1970s saw a dramatic shift in styles, technologies, and consumption of popular music. The rock industry coalesced while genres splintered, pushing listeners into marketable boxes. In this course, we will uncover the layers of political, social, and cultural shifts in the 1970s that continue to shape and reshape rock and roll and its branches. We will explore hip-hop, prog rock, electronic rock, synth pop, glam, arena rock, disco, soul, R&B, punk, and more. Artists pushed technological innovations as they often eschewed popularity for the sake of their music. Meanwhile, genres resegregated often along racial lines, producing hotly contested releases that sometimes garnered dramatic critical reception.


For the first time ever, the singular resources of Oberlin are available anywhere on earth. Oberlin Conservatory Global begins in summer 2021 with a series of thoughtfully crafted courses that combine virtual lectures, workshops, classes, and more. Born out of the successful implementation of virtual education for Oberlin students during the past year, OC Global brings the dynamic range of knowledge and skills of Oberlin Conservatory faculty to a classroom without boundaries. Intended for students at the high school, college, or graduate level, as well as teachers and lifelong learners, these courses offer excellent opportunities for energizing the study, creation, and teaching of music. 

Initial offerings include short courses dedicated to music theory and pedagogy, a guide to technology-assisted music collaboration, topics in advanced string playing, and a course dedicated to the enduring impact of 1970s rock and roll. They vary in duration from four days to six weeks, and sessions take place primarily in the evening. Fees range from $150 to $250 per program. 

Learn more about Oberlin Conservatory Global

Crimson & Gold Celebration Preformances

Oberlin Conservatory student chamber ensemble performances, were featured in the 2021 Crimson & Gold Celebration. Enjoy their performances linked below. 

L'Histoire du Soldat by Igor Stravinsky
Sarah Beth Overcash, violin 
Emily Hancock, clarinet 
Amber Ginmi Scherer, piano

Useless Science by Miles Reed '24
Daniel Jordan, flute
Clayton Luckadoo, clarinet
Harry Mayrhofer, trumpet
Morgan Chan, violin
Rachel Wolchok, viola

The above content was featured in the VRW Daily Dispatch emails as part of Virtual Reunion Week (VRW) (Monday-Saturday, May 17-22, 2021). Questions? Contact the Office of Alumni Engagement.