We have collected hundreds of personal narratives from students, alumni, faculty, and staff that explain the merits and strengths of Oberlin through the eyes of those who have experienced it firsthand.
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On founding Violin for Vasculitis

Allison Lint ’09
“I am more often labeled an “activist” than a “touring violin virtuoso,” [but] that doesn’t alter my goal. I am musically fulfilled through this project more than I ever could be as a healthy...

On living the double-degree life

Nancy Chapple ’83
“There was no holding me back, and I plunged into both areas of study. My weekday schedule was intense ... the discipline to practice and study, the drive to learn came from inside.”

On Oberlin’s Contemporary Music Ensemble

Avery Waite ’10
“In this new music, I heard nothing, only an ugly idiom that my ear could not, would not grasp... Then something happened that I’ll never forget.”

On working with composer Helmut Lachenmann

Nathan Heidelberger ’10
“Working with him was an opportunity of a lifetime, and I don’t think it could have happened anywhere else, at least not for a non-pianist like me.”

On choosing an Oberlin path

Brenna Larson ’14
“My Oberlin career, like many, has been far from linear, and I am glad that I have strayed from my plan. A planner at heart, changing gears, changing life goals, was a rocky and emotional process,...

On playing Ottavia

Patty Stubel ’09
“While it’s entertaining to talk about my grand expertise in lying on the floor, this experience truly did expand my abilities as a performer.”

On Oberlin’s inclusive music scene

Charles Abbott ’14
“Collaboration plays a fundamental role in the community’s constant appetite for great art. This inclusivity is indicative of the communal Oberlin personality that makes it such an incredible place.”

On Oberlin’s composition students

Prof. Lewis Nielson
“It’s routine for me to be told by our guests that our students are the best they encounter anywhere in the world, not just for the quality of the works they display but also for the incisiveness of...

On the common language of music

Claire Coleman ’17
“In trying to redefine myself in a new place and establish my new identity as an Oberlin student, I soon realized that what had once made me stand out instead now connected me to everyone around me.”

On founding Oberlin Songwriters

Rob Jamner ’17
“In just a few weeks I met a number of students and community members who shared my passion for songwriting.”

On playing Carnegie Hall

Hannah Levinson ’09
“I never truly understood the relationship between a conductor and an orchestra until I played under Robert Spano ’83.”

On learning to play the Gamelan

Sean Hanson ’11
“...the difficulty helps me begin to lose my identity in the group and let me center myself. It’s become a way of life for me, and changed the way I view everything around me.”

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