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.
Add your story

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 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.”

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 Oberlin students singing Sondheim songs... for Sondheim

Steven Roth ’77
“The students sang some of the more difficult songs in the Sondheim canon and nailed each one - fully knowing that he was backstage listening to them.”

On starting a band at Oberlin

Jamie Helmsworth ’13
“The music scene is merely a symptom of an infectious enthusiasm that pervades Oberlin’s student body. The zeal with which students here plunge themselves into their personal pursuits is unparalleled...

On being a part of OCTaiko

Yue Qiu ’14
“...being a good taiko drummer is not so much having the perfect techniques; it is more a commitment to being part of a group that shares the same energy and tries to figure out the key to ki...

On his voice teacher, Kendra Colton ’83

Jeffrey Hill ’09
“She taught with a firm, guided, and encouraging hand, but always listened openly to my thoughts and ideas. She allowed me to find my own voice instead of telling me what I should be.”

On creating Yafo Harmony

Zach Resnick ’16
“I proposed a program that combined all my passions—social justice, music, and language learning—and with a generous CIGSIE grant, I was able to bring it to life in Yafo.”

In summarizing her many Oberlin memories

Karen Gebhart Flint ’64
“There is so much to do and learn at Oberlin... if you are admitted, choose Oberlin; when there, take as many different courses as you can, meet as many people as possible.”

On singing with the Obertones

Kevin Hu ’11
“But as I would realize, this love was a postulate of the Obertones; something so obvious it needed no proof through audible declaration. Everyone in the Obertones loves to sing.”

On playing Poppea

Lillie Chilen ’08
“It’s still hard to believe that as a lowly undergrad, I got the chance to play Poppea - opera’s earliest gold digger - and find the music that truly fits my voice.”

On singing with Collegium Musicum

Martha Cargo ’07
“Monday and Wednesday afternoons, beginning promptly at 4:30 in Fairchild Chapel, were brief windows of respite from our otherwise whirlwind college lives.”

Pages