Home :: Dean's Greeting

Dean's Greeting

“Stellar.” When I reflect on Vivien Schweitzer’­s New York Times review of the Oberlin Conservatory Symphony OrchestraĆ’s performance in Carnegie Hall, I find that it is certainly a fitting description of the 2006-07 academic year.

As you read through this magazine, you will encounter an array of articles describing the accomplishments of our faculty and students. In a single year, we have traveled to Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, staged the American premiere of Lost Highway to sold-out audiences, dedicated a new Hamburg Steinway, launched a record label, won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, won the Fischoff Competition’s grand prize and gold medal, appointed a remarkable group of new faculty members, and exceeded our application record for the fourth year in a row. In addition, performances by Oberlin students were favorably reviewed by a number of major news organizations throughout the United States—twice in the New York Times—and that newspaper also published an arts feature on the study of contemporary music at Oberlin.

Perhaps the most exciting development this season is the prospect of a new building for the Conservatory of Music, and most importantly, a new home for the Jazz Studies Department. The Phyllis Litoff Building will be the foremost facility of its kind and the first music building in the world to carry a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating at the gold level.

In addition to housing jazz studies, the building will be home to the departments of music theory and music history, an outstanding recording studio/performance hall, the finest private collection of jazz recordings in the United States, and a phenomenal student lounge. This is an exceedingly important project, and I urge you to read the feature article in this issue and consider supporting Oberlin in this ambitious endeavor.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the extraordinary work by our faculty and students this year; it has been a spectacular period in the Conservatory’­s long and distinguished history. Serving as Dean remains a privilege and honor.

Editor's Note - Effective April 22, 2010: Since this article originally appeared, the Litoff Building has been renamed. Oberlin's new home for jazz studies, music history, and music theory is now the Bertram and Judith Kohl Building.