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Dean's Greeting

During my brief service as Acting Dean of the Conservatory, I have had the great pleasure of celebrating the history of a remarkable concert series and witnessing the conclusion of a very successful capital campaign.

This past year marked the 125th anniversary of the Artist Recital Series, the oldest concert series of its kind in the nation. For decades, great musicians—many of them Oberlin graduates—have come to Oberlin to perform for this community and to share their teaching with our students. Jazz icon Dave Brubeck and his quartet, baritone Sanford Sylvan and pianist David Breitman, violinist Ida Haendel, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Tallis Scholars, the Gryphon Trio, Lang Lang, the American Brass Quintet, and Oberlin’s own eighth blackbird comprised our anniversary-season roster. This year Oberlin set a new record for subscription sales and attendance at these concerts.

In the face of some doubt regarding support for serious music, the series’ success is indeed worth celebrating, and is a testament to the quality of music at Oberlin and the support of the people of greater Cleveland.

We also concluded a very successful capital campaign, The New Oberlin Century, enhancing thereby the College’s financial resources by more than $165 million in gifts and pledges from alumni and friends. Following this achievement, the College has embarked on a new strategic planning effort to identify appropriate directions and objectives for music and the liberal arts at Oberlin for the next period in our history.

While the specifics have yet to be identified, at the heart of whatever emerges will surely be a reaffirmation of the Conservatory’s historic mission: to sustain and to advance the practice and the understanding of the art of music through instruction and musical experiences of the highest standard and quality—pursuits that are fundamentally professional but that are informed by the principles of a rigorous liberal education.

Comments and recommendations are invited from everyone within the extended Oberlin family. I look forward to seeing many of you during the Commencement festivities, but please feel free to share your comments or recommendations with me any time.