News Releases

Oberlin Conservatory Students to Perform at the Kennedy Center

March 22, 2013

Communications Staff

The seven participating students
Front row: (L) Timothy Daniels, Joseph Hauer. Back row: (L) Wyatt Underhill, Benjamin Roidl-Ward, Zou Yu, Jesse McCandless, Gregory Wang.
Photo credit: John Seyfried

OBERLIN, OHIO — On Sunday, April 14 at 6:00 p.m., the Oberlin Conservatory of Music will present its annual concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as part of the center’s Conservatory Project. The program will feature distinguished Oberlin students showcasing the incredible breadth of musicianship and  expertise present in the conservatory’s student body. To listen to the performance link to the Kennedy Center's live stream portal.

The Conservatory Project, part of the Kennedy Center’s Performing Arts for Everyone initiative, provides a platform for the best musicians from American conservatories, and introduces the next generation of performers to Washington, D.C. audiences. Oberlin has presented free concerts on the Kennedy Center’s Conservatory Project series every year since its inception in 2004. Videos of past performances are available online.

These annual off campus concerts are “important performance opportunities for young musicians,” says Dean of the Conservatory David H. Stull. “The experience gained is invaluable to their professional training.”

The program this year features seven students whose performances will comprise 20th century works. The concert opens with violinist Zou Yu ’13, accompanied by pianist Joseph Hauer ’14, in a performance of Witold Lutslawski’s episodic Subito.Pianist Gregory Wang ’13 will follow with Igor Stravinsky’s brilliant Pétrouchka. Wyatt Underhill ’13, violin, joins Wang for Arnold Schoenberg’s twelve-tone Phantasy for Violin with Piano Accompaniment, Op. 47. The concert will conclude with Heitor Villa-Lobos’ ingenious Trio for Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon, with Timothy Daniels ’15, oboe; Jesse McCandless ’15, clarinet; and Benjamin Roidl-Ward ’15, bassoon.

To learn more about the Kennedy Center’s Conservatory Project, please visit the Kennedy Center’s page for the Project.

Timothy Daniels is an oboist from Collierville, Tennessee. Currently studying with Robert Walters, he is a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree at Oberlin. Recent performances include playing principal oboe and English horn under the batons of Raphael Jiménez and Timothy Weiss with the Oberlin Orchestra, Oberlin Sinfonietta, and Oberlin Chamber Orchestra. In the summer of 2012, he worked with Maestro Gerard Schwarz at the Eastern Music Festival, where he performed with the Artist Faculty Orchestra on an all-Mozart program. Daniels has performed in master classes for such distinguished artists as Nathan Hughes and John Ferrillo. His current musical pursuits revolve around solo and chamber music, with performances of Sergei Prokofiev’s Quintet, Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Woodwind Trio, and Bohuslav Martinů’s Oboe Concerto.

Joseph Hauer, from Appleton, Wisconsin, is a junior at Oberlin Conservatory studying with Peter Takács. His former teachers include Catherine Kautsky, Kyung Kim, Catherine Walby, and Charlene Reitz. In past summers he has attended the Golandsky Institute Summer Symposium at Princeton University, PianoSummer at New Paltz, New York, and Pianofest in the Hamptons. As a soloist, he has collaborated with the Fox Valley Symphony, Madison Symphony Orchestra, and Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, as well as performed Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganiniwith a student orchestra at Oberlin. His performances have been broadcast statewide on Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio. In March 2012, Hauer performed Brahms’ Piano Trio in B Major with his trio at a house concert in New York City, and earlier this year he gave solo recitals in Valley Cottage, New York.

Hauer attends Oberlin on a full scholarship from the Miller Family Music Education Scholarship of Appleton, Wisconsin. His other interests include jazz piano, Russian, racquetball, and snowboarding.

Jesse McCandless is a southern California native who began playing the clarinet at age nine. Music became a commanding force in his life and in January of 2011, he performed the Crusell Clarinet Concerto No. 3 with the Redlands Youth Orchestra. At Oberlin, he is the recipient of awards from both the college as well as the conservatory, including a Dean’s Scholarship Award. McCandless has performed with the Oberlin Sinfonietta and the Oberlin Orchestra, playing works by Ives, Gershwin, Eisler, and Strauss, among others. An active chamber musician, he has performed works for wind trio, quartet, and quintet by Villa-Lobos, Francaix, Hindemith, Geopfart, and Liggett. In addition to playing the clarinet, McCandless enjoys skateboarding, building computers, and playing with yo-yos.

Bassoonist Benjamin Roidl-Ward is a sophomore at Oberlin where he studies with George Sakakeeny. A native of Tacoma, Washington, he studied with Francine Peterson for seven years in the Seattle area. At Oberlin, Roidl-Ward has performed with the Oberlin Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, the Oberlin Sinfonietta, and the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, including tours to New York City in January of 2012 and 2013. He has participated in the Marrowstone, Interlochen, Vianden (LUX), and Hot Springs Music festivals. Roidl-Ward has appeared as a soloist with the Seattle Symphony, the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, and with several regional ensembles in the Pacific Northwest.

A native of Elm Grove, Wisconsin, violinist Wyatt Underhill began his musical studies at age six. A student of Gregory Fulkerson, he is now in his final year at Oberlin. Underhill has appeared as a soloist with orchestras including the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Colorado College Summer Music Festival Orchestra, and will be performing Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto with the Oberlin Orchestra in May as a winner of Oberlin’s 2012–13 Concerto Competition. At Oberlin, he has frequently served as concertmaster, most notably for the Oberlin Orchestra’s tour of China and Singapore, the world premiere performance and recording of pieces by Kip Winger and Lorenzo Palomo, and for the recent tour to Carnegie Hall. This past summer he also served as concertmaster of the Colorado College Summer Music Festival Orchestra.

Also pursuing a minor in historical performance, Underhill studies baroque violin with Marilyn McDonald. In addition to participating in various baroque ensembles at Oberlin, he has performed on occasion with Apollo’s Fire, the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, and served as an apprentice performer for that ensemble’s 2012 production of Mozart’s the Magic Flute.

Gregory Wang is a prizewinner of the International Russian Music Piano Competition in San Jose, California, the Beethoven Club of Memphis’ International Beethoven Piano Sonata Competition, and the Music Teachers National Association Competition. As a multiple prizewinner of the Southeastern Piano Festival, he has performed twice with the South Carolina Philharmonic on their subscription series. At Oberlin, Wang is in his final year under the tutelage of Peter Takács. He enjoys studying music theory and philosophy, and is an impressive amateur competitive cyclist. 

Born in 1990, Zou Yu discovered the violin at age four and began her studies with Lei Fang in the elementary school affiliated with the Shanghai Conservatory. In 2008, Yu moved to the United States to study at Oberlin with her current teacher, Milan Vitek. Yu has attended international music programs including the Aspen Music Festival and School, Tanglewood Music Center, National Orchestra Institute, Great Wall International Music Summer Camp, and New York State Orchestra Seminar. She has performed with school orchestras in Australia and, in 2008, played with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at the Shanghai Grand Theater. In the summers of 2010 and 2011, Yu studied with Paul Kantor as a fellowship student at the Aspen Music Festival. She has served as concertmaster of the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra. In 2011, she became a member of the Akron Symphony Orchestra, and performed in Carnegie Hall as a participant in the New York String Seminar program.

Fact sheet

Sunday, April 14, 2013, 6:00 p.m.
Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Kennedy Center, Conservatory Project
Millennium Stage

Timothy Daniels ’15, oboe
Joseph Hauer ’14, piano
Jesse McCandless ’15, clarinet
Benjamin Roidl-Ward ’15, bassoon
Wyatt Underhill ’13, violin
Gregory Wang ’13, piano
Zou Yu ’13, violin

Free admission
For directions and information, please visit

Witold Lutoslawski        Subito 
Igor Stravinsky                Trois Mouvements de Pétrouchka  
                                                 I. Danse russe
                                               III. La semaine grasse
Arnold Schoenberg        Phantasy for violin with piano accompaniment, Op. 47
Heitor Villa-Lobos         Trio pour hautbois, clarinette et basson
                                                 I. Animé
                                                II. Languisamente
                                               III. Vivo

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