Oberlin Blogs

Nicolee Kuester ’10

Hello hello! I'm Nicolee, a fourth-year double degree student majoring in French horn performance and Creative Writing. I grew to legal adulthood in Boulder, Colorado, and as a result I harbor sentimental attachments to things like mountains and desert climates and the smell of pine. Which is not to say I won't occasionally wax romantic about the Ohio landscape, because contrary to what people might say, the Midwest cultivates its own special kind of beauty. But I digress.

I keep myself too busy here. In the conservatory (we call it the Con here, has this been established? I will establish it now) I currently play in the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, and sing in the Collegium Musicum, which is an a capella Renaissance and early Baroque choir. I am also in a woodwind quintet that's calling itself Is That a Yam?, a name that if nothing else helps us to establish some basic distinctions between those things that can be construed as a root vegetables and those things that irrevocably cannot. These ensembles account for some 17 odd hours of rehearsing a week, not counting the individual practice that should be occurring on my part.

My true loves are chamber music and new music and combining music with other media to produce different kind of performances (given my majors, you might not be surprised to learn that I'm especially fond of the idea of a recital/reading in which concert music and read text share stage time). I'm also getting more into teaching, and am currently in charge of the musical educations of two high school boys. If you want to see clips of my horn-playing self in action, I'm featured prominently in the faculty profile video of my professor, Roland Pandolfi. You can dig it up on the faculty page of the Conservatory's website. I add the caveat that the sound quality is horrible. And that my facial expression does not change through the whole three-minute video.

Outside of the Con, I'm a happy member of Fairchild dining co-op (everybody who's anybody calls it Fairkid), where I'm responsible for cooking Saturday lunches. I consistently make too much food, which is why I now extend this open invitation for you to drop by any Saturday, 12:20, and enjoy some good nosh. For real. I love bringing visitors into the fold of the Fairkid community. The people there always astonish me with their quirkiness and acceptance and their willingness to help each other out, true co-op style, and the humor and decency with which they treat the world around them.

Other interests: when I have time and energy (which ends up being less than once a month) I really like going for long walks. Like, long, long walks. Like, three, four-hour long walks. You can see a lot in twelve slowly-traveled miles. I'll probably talk about this more later. I'm an avid and unabashed people-watcher; we are endlessly interesting creatures. It's weirdly comforting to know that the little complexities of everyday life are playing themselves out all around me all of the time. I just need to be awake enough to notice it happening. I'm also a vegan, have been for nigh on three and a half years now, and I'm happy to report that I'm no more shrunken or skeletal than when I started. It has taught me to cook and to know exactly where my food comes from. I've also learned far more about B vitamins than I care to share.

I'll leave you on that note. More to come soon.

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