June 1, 2020

Dear Oberlin Conservatory students, faculty, and staff,

President Ambar’s words to our community yesterday speak poignantly about the death of George Floyd and the state of our country.

While reading her letter, I thought about the power of music to help us express our anguish and despair and respond to the horrific events tearing at our nation.

I have reached out to President Ambar to discuss the Conservatory’s contributions to the Presidential Initiative she announced.  I firmly believe there is a role for the artist in this desperate hour.  In fact, it is precisely in the most desperate hours that art and artists are needed the most. 

I look forward to dialogue with our students, staff, and faculty in the coming months about the ways the Conservatory can support individuals in marginalized communities, address racial injustice and structural inequalities, engage with our world, and help effect positive change.

William Quillen, Dean
Oberlin Conservatory of Music