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Faculty Notes

:: Notes
:: Salvatore Champagne Voices Teaching Goals
:: Richard Hawkins Masters Art of Balancing Three Careers


Kathleen Abromeit, public service librarian in the Conservatory Library, contributed a chapter, “Reference Assistants on the Front Line in the Music Library,” to Music Library Instruction, edited by Conservatory Librarian Deborah Campana. In it she describes the Conservatory Library’s program for training music reference assistants, whom she oversees. She also co-authored “Info Lit and the Diva: Integrating Information Literacy into the Oberlin Conservatory of Music Opera Theater Department,” with Assistant Director of Opera Theater Victoria Vaughan, published in Notes: The Journal of the Music Library Association in March 2004.

Visiting Professor of Jazz Saxophone and Grammy Award-winner Gary Bartz toured Australia with his quartet in November 2003, playing at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz (North East Victoria), the Perth Jazz Society, and the Basement in Sydney. John Shand of the Sydney Morning Herald wrote, “These are the ones that matter: the concerts that take music out of the sphere of aural decoration and dilettantism and change—however temporarily—one’s perspective on life. Such was the furnace of power and passion stoked up by saxophonist Gary Bartz and his quartet.” In New York, Bartz played the Jazz at Lincoln Center series, as well as gigs at Sista’s Place
in Brooklyn and the Three Altos in the West Village, both of which rated thumbnail reviews by Ben Ratliff of the New York Times in January 2004. Among his many recordings is Soulstice: Live at the Jazz Standard, Vol. I, released on his own label, OYO Records.

Associate Professor of Historical Performance and Director of the Historical Performance Program David Breitman, together with Elizabeth Wallfisch (violin) and Jaap ter Linden (cello), performed works by Schubert and Beethoven in March 2004 at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Gartner Auditorium. The program explored the beginnings of the piano trio.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Musicology Julie Brown published “Higher Echoes of the Past in the Finale of Schumann’s 1842 Piano Quartet” in the fall 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Musicological Society. She also read a paper, “From Betrothal to Early Married Life: Evolving Evocations of Clara in Two Works by Robert Schumann,” at the 13th International Conference on 19th-Century Music, held in Durham, U.K., in July 2004.

As a member of the American Music Center’s board of directors, Conseratory Librarian Deborah Campana is chairing the advisory committee for the center’s web-based publication NewMusicBox (newmusicbox.org). She also is on the editorial board for the Music Library Association’s Basic Manual Series. She recently edited the series’ third volume, Music Library Instruction (Scarecrow, 2004).

In January 2004, Clinical Assistant Professor of Flute and Wind Chamber Music Kathleen Chastain gave master classes and a recital at the Oficina de Musica festival in Curitiba, Brazil. The festival was organized by Alex Klein ’87, former principal oboe of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Chastain was adjudicator for the Seattle Young Artists Competition in March and the concours at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Lyon, France, in June. Also in June, she performed J.S. Bach’s Concerto in Budapest with the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra. In August, she taught a master class for Korean flutists in France and gave a recital at the National Flute Association’s convention in Nashville, Tenn. In October, she gave a recital and taught master classes in Seoul, Korea, and she performed in a recital in St. Louis, Mo., that featured the world premier of Beauté by Assistant Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts Tom Lopez.

Associate Professor of Piano Angela Cheng was soloist with the symphony orchestras of Vancouver, Quebec, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Brantford (all in Canada), and of Jacksonville, Fla., Jackson, Tenn., and the Colorado Music Festival. She also appeared in many solo and chamber recitals in the U.S. and Canada. During the summer of 2004, she taught at Morningside Music Bridge (Calgary) and ARIA International Summer Academy (Ind.) and was pianist-in-residence at both the Eastern Music Festival (N.C.) and the Adamant Music School (Vt.). She also gave numerous master classes throughout North America and was a juror at the 2004 international piano competitions of Montreal, Hilton Head, New Orleans, and Oberlin.

Associate Professor of Piano Alvin Chow performed in many four-hand recitals with his wife, Associate Professor of Piano Angela Cheng. Among the venues were the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, SpringFest in Ann Arbor, Mich., Loyola University and Tulane University in La., the Adamant Music School in Vt., and the Oberlin Piano Festival. Chow was also on the faculties of the ARIA International Summer Academy (Ind.) and the 2004 Oberlin Piano Festival, at which he also was a juror. In addition, he was a juror at the 2004 New Orleans International Piano Competition and the 2004 Schubert Club Young Artist Competition in St. Paul, Minn.

During the 2004 season, Teacher of Saxophone Paul Cohen performed with Cleveland-based RED {an orchestra} in a concert featuring the music of Stephen Sondheim. That spring, he was featured as an onstage instrumental soloist in Come to Me in Dreams, an opera about the Holocaust written and produced by Cleveland Opera’s retiring director David Bamberger and using songs composed by Lori Laitman. Songs for soprano and saxophone represented the character of a lost daughter and were based on texts written by children who died in the Nazi concentration camp Theresienstadt (Terezin).

Associate Professor of Music Education Joanne Erwin supervised a winter-term project involving 11 Conservatory students who taught at a music camp sponsored by the Asociacion Nacional de Concierto in Panama City. She also conducted orchestral concerts featuring the Oberlin student teachers and their Panamanian students in two different venues. In the spring, she conducted the Ohio Region 4 Honor Orchestra, the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra in Hilton Head, S.C. (the group participated in a youth orchestra exchange with the Hilton Head Youth Orchestra), the Capitol University Suzuki Institute Orchestras, and Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Summer Strings. She presented sessions titled “Sequencing of String Techniques” at Baylor University (Texas), “Topics for Students Entering the Teaching Profession” at the Music Education National Conference in Minn., and “Prelude to Music Education” at the Ohio Music Education Association meeting in Columbus.

During this past season, Director of Choral Ensembles and Associate Professor of Choral Conducting Hugh Floyd prepared the women of the Oberlin College Choir for three performances of Debussy’s La Damoiselle élue with the Cleveland Orchestra,
conducted by Franz Welser-Möst. He presented a session on using the 12-step model as a paradigm of rehearsal management and technique at the American Choral Directors Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. In the summer, he returned to the Interlochen Center for the Arts, where he conducted the Interlochen Festival Choir and Concert Orchestra in a performance of Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and a student cast and members of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore. He also prepared a choir performance with pop star Josh Groban, a former student of his at Interlochen. Floyd was quoted in a Detroit News story about the event, which was widely distributed by the Associated Press.

Teacher of Double Bass Scott Haigh enjoyed a busy summer teaching and coaching chamber music at the Kent State University/Blossom Music School, as well as performing with the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center. A member of the Cleveland Orchestra for 27 years, Haigh performs with the orchestra throughout the season at Severance Hall, in New York’s Carnegie Hall, and on European tours. He is quoted in Charles Michener’s New Yorker profile of the orchestra, “The Clevelanders” (February 7, 2005), saying of Maestro Franz Welser-Möst, “He’s trying to bring a joyousness to the sound that I like very much . . . when he looks at you, he invites you to play.”

Assistant Professor of Jazz Percussion Billy Hart has had a busy career in New York since the late 1960s playing for such greats as Jimmy Smith and Herbie Hancock, and now he’s leading a band of his own. Ben Ratliff of the New York Times reviewed the new band, which includes pianist Ethan Iverson, tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, and bassist Ben Street, when it played the Fat Cat venue in December. The evening included both standards and original pieces, including two by Hart. Ratliff praised Hart for having adapted to major changes in jazz styles and expectations over the years.

Emeritus Professor of Eurhythmics and Music Education Herbert Henke ’53 was a guest professor-in-residence for five days, hosted by Sharon Davis Gratto ’66, at Gettysburg College last September. In January, J. Scott Ferguson ’79 hosted him in a three-day residency at Illinois Wesleyan University. Henke also was on the faculty of the Dalcroze International Conference in Tokyo last August.

Juanita Karpf, assistant to the dean of the Conservatory, won an honorable mention in the Pauline Alderman Article Competition, sponsored by the International Alliance for Women in Music, in fall 2004. The award committee cited her article, “As with Words of Fire: Art Music and 19th-Century African-American Feminist Discourse,” published in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, as “an important contribution to the scholarship on women in music.”

Associate Professor of Music Education and newly appointed Director of the Music Education Division Jody Kerchner serves on the editorial boards of Music Educators Journal and Contributions to Research in Music Education. For the December issue of Choral Journal, she wrote “Singing Visions: Metaphors for Teaching Students with Visual Impairments.” Her chapter “Stepping off the Podium: Leveling the Playing (and Singing) Field” was published in Musicianship for the 21st Century: Issues, Trends, and Possibilities (Australian Music Center, 2004). Last year, she gave presentations at the Ohio Music Education Association’s annual conference in Columbus and at the Music Education National Conference meeting in Minneapolis with Oberlin music education faculty members Joanne Erwin and John Knight. In July 2004, she presented research on children’s music listening at the Music in the Schools and Teacher Education Commission seminar in Granada, Spain, and she gave a presentation on choral music education at the International Society for Music Education conference in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

Professor of Music Education and Conducting John W. Knight was honored in September 2004 by the Ohio Music Education Association for 25 years of membership. He has served for 15 years as consulting editor of The Instrumentalist, which in the past year published his article on Tom Dvorak; his book reviews of Simon Rattle by Nicolas Kenyon, Pierre Monteux by John Camarina, and Drama and the World of Richard Wagner by Dieter Borchmeyer, and his profile of Professor of Trombone James DeSano. Knight also made presentations at state and national conventions of the Music Education National Conference, was conductor of the 16th Annual Young People’s Concert in Oberlin, and was conductor and adjudicator for the Classic International Music Festival at Cleveland State University.

Professor of Ethnomusicology Roderic Knight, with assistance from anthropology student Elio Trabal ’05, is upgrading documentary videotapes that he originally filmed as Super 8 movies in Africa and India in the 1970s and 1980s for release on DVD this year through Multicultural Media. The project involves rewriting the notes, recreating the title screens with newly scanned images, and editing digital video and audio to correct synchronization problems. The videos cover the music and dance of the Mandinka people of Gambia, West Africa, and the music of the Gond, Pardhan, and Sikh communities of Madhya Pradesh, India.

A new chamber ensemble, CityMusic Cleveland, debuted this season with Assistant Professor of Violin Kyung Sun Lee soloing in a “lean and mean” performance of Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5. Reviewer Mark Satola, writing in the Cleveland Free Times, called Lee “an outstanding violinist who plays with a potent combination of intelligence and fire.” For the program’s encore, Lee played an arrangement of Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm for violin and orchestra scored by her husband, Brian Suits. Satola called it “a set of bravura variations . . . replete with dazzling virtuoso challenges for the soloist . . . that hinted at great things to come from CityMusic Cleveland.”

Assistant Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts Tom Lopez wrote a chapter titled “Computer Musicianship” for the Walden School Musicianship Course: A Manual for Teachers (The Walden School, 2002); Lopez founded the school’s computer music program in 1999. He won an Aaron Copland Award for a monthlong residency at Copland’s home in New York, followed by a month at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in California. Several of his new works were performed last year. Métropolitain and Underground were featured in festivals around the country. Acre accompanied a full-length performance by choreographer Brian Brooks at New York’s Dance Theater Workshop. Je ne suis pas mon pays was featured at Les Maîtres Sonneurs festival in France, and Beauté premiered in St. Louis. The Society for ElectroAcoustic Music recorded Curvatures, performed by the Zeta String Quartet, for its 2003 festival “best of show” compilation CD. The piece was also featured on National Public Radio’s All Sounds Considered in February 2004.

Professor of Singing Daune Mahy led 73 students and 11 teachers last summer—including Professor of Singing Gerald Crawford and Professor of Horn Roland Pandolfi—on the Oberlin-in-Italy Program, which she directs each summer. Giacomo Battarino ’02 was one of the Italian maestri. Participants produced Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte in theaters in Urbino, Urbania, Maceratafeltria, and Novafeltria, as well as concerts, chamber music, and Serate Musicali (“musical evenings” in which each singer performs an aria) in various cities. All participated in a memorial concert in Fermignano for Vittorio Angeli, a friend of the Oberlin-in-Italy Program. The program culminated in a final gala vocal concert. Mahy and Crawford also headed Oberlin’s 17th annual Vocal Academy for High School Students. Thirty-eight students participated and presented a final concert in July. Other faculty members included Assistant Director of Opera Theater Alan Montgomery, Kris Johnson ’98, and Alyssa Paul ’92.

Associate Professor of Singing Lorraine Manz received critical praise from the American Record Guide, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), and the Akron Beacon Journal for her performance as Cecilia in Lyric Opera Cleveland’s June 2004 production of Little Women, under the direction of the composer, Mark Adamo. In October, she performed a concert of French and American music at the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis with colleagues Kathleen Chastain, clinical assistant professor of flute; Michel Debost, professor of flute; Tom Lopez, assistant professor of computer music and digital arts; and French pianist Laurent Boukobza. The program included the world premiere of Lopez’s Beauté. Last season, she adjudicated an art song competition at Bowling Green State University. In July, she was a faculty consultant during the Institute of Voice Performance Pedagogy as associate director of the Otto B. Schoepfle Vocal Arts Center.

This past season, Professor of Violin Marilyn McDonald performed the complete Beethoven string quartets in 35 concerts nationwide with the Axelrod Quartet. She was also in residence with the ensemble at the Stratford Festival of Canada and the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival. Last summer, she was concertmaster of Boston Baroque at Disney Hall in Los Angeles and at the Tanglewood and Ravinia festivals. Also with Boston Baroque, she recorded Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter,” and his flute concertos (with soloist Jacques Zoon) for a 2005 Telarc Records release. McDonald was also concertmaster of the Peninsula (Wis.) Music Festival last summer. In the fall, her concerts with the Castle Trio included a tour to Portugal. She also presented master classes at Boston University and Bowling Green State University.

Assistant Professor of Recorder Alison Melville is featured on three CDs: one of baroque flute music from 18th-century Scotland, released last April on the early-music.com label; the Toronto Consort’s recording of Praetorius Christmas Vespers on the Marquis label; and one with Isabel Bayrakderian and the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra on CBC Records. Melville also recorded the obbligato sopranino recorder part in Handel’s Rinaldo with the Aradia Ensemble for Naxos, and her composition Oberlin Polska is the first track on Not Much Is Worse than a Troll, a recording by Canada’s Ensemble Polaris, with which she plays recorder, baroque flute, and seljefloyte. Her numerous performances included recitals in Toronto and Oberlin, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Lully’s Persée with Tafelmusik and Opera Atelier, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and other programs throughout Canada. She also taught at the Amherst Early Music Winter Workshop in Philadelphia and the Early Music Vancouver summer program.

Professor of Singing Richard Miller reports that 2004 has been the most productive year of his teaching career. His sixth book, Solutions for Singers: Tools for Performers and Teachers, was published by Oxford University Press. He delivered the keynote address at the national convention of the National Association of Teachers of Singing in New Orleans. In addition to celebrating 25 years of the Institute of Voice Performance Pedagogy at Oberlin, he gave a dozen series of master classes, coaching, lectures, and workshops in venues that included the Copenhagen and Aarhus opera houses in Denmark, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J., and the International Summer Academy at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. His itinerary also took him to Ljubljana, Slovenia; Western Ontario and Alberta, Canada; Birmingham, Ala.; Orleans, Mass.; Alexandria, Va., and McMinnville, Ore.

Assistant Music Director of Opera Theater Alan Montgomery has signed with Routledge Publishers to publish his book, Opera Coaching as a Profession: Techniques and Considerations. His reviews of the Cleveland Opera productions of Bizet’s Carmen and Mozart’s Don Giovanni appeared in Opera News Online in January 2004 and January 2005, respectively. He gave a lecture last April on the “FYI Series” at the Porter Library in Westlake, Ohio, assisted by Todd Boyce ’05, Marie Masters ’05, and Kathryn Leemhuis ’05, who sang excerpts from Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman.

Composer-in-Residence Jeffrey Mumford received commissions from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for a concerto, through dancing echoes spreading softly, and from the Cleveland Orchestra for a work celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., the comfort of his voice. Both works are expected to premiere in 2006-07. The Pacifica Quartet and pianist Amy Dissanayake gave two premiere performances, in Chicago and Columbus, of a piano quintet written for them, toward the deepening stillness beyond visible light. Other works by Mumford were performed by various artists in numerous U.S. cities, including Tuscon, Philadelphia, Sacramento, and Washington, D.C. A new CD of recent solo and chamber music, the promise of the far horizon (Albany Records), includes a performance of wending (for solo viola) by Wendy Richman ’01. A recording of barbaglio dal manca for solo piano, performed by pianist Tuyen Tonnu, was released on Capstone as part of the Cleveland Composers’ Guild’s two-CD compilation Telling Tales.

Professor of Electronic and Computer Music Gary Lee Nelson completed a second DVD, Holons, with filmmaker Christine Gorbach. It includes two new films from 2004: My Regards and The Red Line. Nelson received a commission from the Boston Museum of Science for an interactive computer program that illustrates the principles of genetics through musical sound and graphic image. He also was an application reviewer for the Fulbright Scholar Program in composition, musicology, and music theory, and he reviewed papers submitted for the 2005 meeting of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence. Nelson’s alter ego, “Geldryk, the World’s Tallest Elf,” sings songs and tells stories during the Christmas season for the diabetes and cancer societies, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, KidsFair, and the Christmas Tree Festival in Akron. At First Night Akron, he performed three shows at Children’s Hospital, ending the evening on the main stage.

Scarecrow Press published Professor of Musicology and Director of the Collegium Musicum Steven Plank’s new book, Choral Performance: A Guide to Historical Practice, in 2004. “Steven Plank’s book clearly offers the fruits of years of practice and thought on the subject of teaching historical choral singing,” writes noted early music conductor Andrew Kirkman. “It will be of considerable value to singers in and directors of such groups, but also, in casting light on and offering potential solutions to perennial issues and problems. It contains much food for thought for professionals in the field.”

In June, Professor of Violoncello Peter Rejto and the Oberlin Piano Quartet (Assistant Professor of Violin Kyung-Sun Lee, Associate Professor of Viola Roger Chase, Rejto, and Associate Professor of Piano Haewon Song) toured Korea, performing in Daejong and in Seoul at the Kumho Concert Hall. Rejto then traveled to China, giving solo recitals at Beijing University to an audience of more than 3,000 and performing the first cello recital in the history of the coastal city of Dalian. Later, he was visiting guest artist at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia. He also performed solo recitals and concerts throughout the U.S. with the Los Angeles Piano Quartet. He and Chase recently joined the Chicago String Quartet, giving concerts at Northwestern and DePaul universities. Assistant Professor of Clarinet Richard Hawkins and Assistant Professor of Harp Yolanda Kondanassis joined them and other renowned artists at the 11th Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival, which Rejto co-founded and directs.

Professor of Percussion Michael Rosen taught a course titled PercuPassion in Sathonay Village near Lyon, France, in July. Earlier in the summer, he directed and taught at the Oberlin Percussion Institute, with a faculty that included Al Otte ’72 and Jim Culley ’77. He also gave master classes at the Peabody Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music and wrote two articles for Percussive Notes: “Hindemith, Puccini, Verdi, and a Surprise” (June 2004) and “Varese and Arcana” (August 2004).

Assistant Professor of Music Theory Philip Stoecker received the 2004 Barry S. Brook Dissertation Award in Music from the City University of New York for his dissertation “Studies in Post-Tonal Symmetry: A Transformational Approach.” In November, he presented a paper, “Cyclic Wedges and Convergence Points,” at the annual meeting
of the Society for Music Theory in Seattle. He is the editor of the music theory journal Theory and Practice.

Professor of Piano and Chair of the Piano Department Peter Takács was one of 17 students (representing five generations) to take part in the “Leoniade” tribute to the great pianist and teacher Leon Fleisher at Symphony Space in New York City last October. The program was a marathon of all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas played consecutively in one day. Takács performed three of the sonatas in the afternoon: Op. 7 in E-flat, Op. 31 No. 1 in G, and Op. 31 No. 2 (“Tempest”). In the evening, he played one more, Op. 101 in A.

For the 11th time, Down Beat magazine’s International Critics’ Poll recognized Visiting Teacher of Jazz Piano Dan Wall as one of the top jazz organists of the year. In September and October, he performed in numerous concerts throughout Europe and appeared on German and Hungarian national radio and television. Wall gave master classes at Mastrecht Conservatory in Holland last September and at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta in November.

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Salvatore Champagne Voices Teaching Goals

(photo by Jeff Nicholson)

For Salvatore Champagne ’85, being appointed associate professor of singing is an opportunity to renew his connection to Oberlin. “It’s wonderful to have a second chance to get to know Oberlin, and a great honor to be invited to join the faculty,” says Champagne, who began teaching last fall. “I’m now able to appreciate all the special qualities of Oberlin with a more mature perspective.”

In addition to a bachelor of music degree from Oberlin, Champagne earned a master of music degree from the Juilliard School. He also studied at the University of Indiana, Britten-Pears School, and the Mozarteum. For 10 years, he was a leading tenor at opera houses throughout Europe, including the Bayerische Staatsoper, Opernhaus Zurich, and Teatro Bellini.

As a Conservatory student, Champagne studied with Professor of Singing Richard Miller, a “wonderful experience,” he says. “His influence on me cannot be overstated. He affected me, not only musically, but also in my overall outlook on what a good voice teacher at the college level should be: expert technician, linguist, academic, and musician. He set the bar very high.”

Apparently, Miller taught Champagne well. A top prize winner at the Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition and the International Singing Competition at s’Hertogenbosch, Champagne has been a soloist with the Cologne Philharmonic, the London Philharmonia, and other orchestras under such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, James Conlon, and Leonard Slatkin. His recordings appear on EMI and Mark Records.

“I attended a number of top music schools, but what Oberlin provided me was the best all-around education,” Champagne says. “As a teacher, I strive to provide my students with the tools that will enable them to reach their highest potential musically, professionally, and personally. That’s what Oberlin did for me, and that’s what I want to give my students.

“The most rewarding part of my job is being a part of my students’ musical journey as they develop vocally and become more musically sophisticated,” he adds. “Watching their vocal progress is very satisfying. As a singing professional in Europe, I taught very little. Now I devote much more time and energy to teaching, and I’m happy with this change in career direction.”

In addition to preparing for an upcoming performance of Rodolfo in La Bohème and a recital at Oberlin’s summer Institute of Vocal Performance Pedagogy, Champagne regularly performs throughout the year. “I believe one of the very best ways to serve as a model for my students is to continue performing. My own vocal and musical growth is essential to my success as a teacher,” he says.

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Richard Hawkins Masters Art of Balancing Three Careers

(Photo by David Smith)

Many musicians juggle teaching and performing, but Richard Hawkins has thrown a third career into the mix. In addition to serving as assistant professor of clarinet at Oberlin and maintaining an active performance schedule, he is internationally renowned as a clarinet mouthpiece maker.

“Mouthpiece making is like a hobby to me because it’s creative, hands-on craft work,” he says. “All three of my careers are rewarding. My satisfaction comes when I see young people and professionals perform on mouthpieces that I have made, or when I see students progress to positions such as the principal clarinet with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, as my Interlochen student Anthony McGill did. Each thing I do gives me a ‘runner’s high.’”

Before joining the Oberlin faculty four years ago, Hawkins served on the faculty of the Interlochen Arts Academy for 10 years. He earned bachelor of music and master of music degrees at the University of Michigan School of Music in 1991 and 1993, respectively.

In 1992, Hawkins made his solo debut at the Kennedy Center with Mstislav Rostropovich and the National Symphony Orchestra. He served as principal clarinet of the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra for five seasons and is an active contemporary, chamber, and orchestral musician as well as a mentor musician with the Hot Springs Music Festival in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

A Texas native, Hawkins became interested in woodworking at a young age. As a student at Interlochen, he apprenticed himself to a clarinet maker and discovered the joys of creating handcrafted, custom mouthpieces. Now his clients include members of such renowned ensembles as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen.

“My three careers all incorporate my philosophy of maintaining the historical sound quality and playing techniques of the clarinet,” Hawkins explains. “As a professor, I strive to keep the historical teaching of the past in today’s music making.

“Teaching is a calling for me,” he adds. “Since I think success is based on fundamentals, I focus on those. A former teacher told me about a famous golfer who regularly returned to his original teacher and said, ‘Teach me from the beginning. How do I hold a club?’ That golfer knew that fundamentals are the key.

“It’s exciting to be part of Oberlin, which I think is one of the best undergraduate schools in the nation,” Hawkins says. “I have fantastic colleagues who are inspiring to
be around.”

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