Wittenberg students come from about 30 states and 10 countries. And Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any other four-year college or university in the state. Students choose Wittenberg for many different reasons. Here are some thoughts from some of our music majors.
Danielle Crist ’22
I’m from New Carlisle, Ohio and went to Tecumseh High School. In high school, I participated in the all-women choir my freshman year and then was in the show choir for the rest of high school. I performed at community events with my choir whenever the opportunity came up and even sang the national anthem with some classmates at one of my school’s band competitions. I also sang Class A at an OMEA Solo and Ensemble Adjudicated Event during my senior year where I received a 1 (the highest rating).
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because I knew that they had a great music program. I had heard lots of great things about the professors and their dedication to getting students through the program and helping them to become better musicians.
What next? I am currently a music education major. After I graduate, I plan to stay in Ohio and look around the local and surrounding areas for high schools or middle schools in need of a choir teacher.
Bryce Yamin ’21
I am from Hendersonville, Tennessee. I attended Station Camp High School, where I did jazz, symphonic band, and marching band.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because of its historical background and its connection to ELCA seminaries.
Molly Carner ’21
I am from Tipp City, Ohio, and I was home schooled. I was involved in many choirs growing up: my church’s children’s choir, youth and adult choirs, and I was also part of a high school chorus and a drama troupe’s chorus.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because it was a smaller school, and it was close to home.
Shanté Leslie ’20
I am from Bowie, Maryland, which is 30 minutes from Washington D.C., and I attended Bowie High School from 2014 to 2018. I was involved in my school’s annual musicals, the orchestra, and the “Madrigals” and chamber choirs during all four years of my high school career. I also performed in Bowie High’s Coffee House events since before my freshman year.
Why Witt? From attending Wittenberg, I can say that I love the small class sizes and how personable and down-to-earth the faculty and staff are. I wanted the opportunity to explore my many passions with access to resources that I wouldn’t be able to get at a larger university, like 1-on-1 conferences with my professors. Another important reason as to why I chose Wittenberg was because I knew there were (and are) many paths at my disposal that I can take after my college career is over.
Lillyan Gaertner ’22
I am from Cable, Ohio, but grew up in Columbus. I was homeschooled and studied music and piano at the Conservatory of Piano in Worthington since I was six years old. I also sang in choirs, which I have always enjoyed. I helped with drama groups, attended music camps, and eventually took violin lessons for two years. All these elements showed me that music was what I wanted to pursue.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because during my college search, the faculty took an interest in me and my plans. I was encouraged to start cello lessons and to become a better pianist. I saw that the community at the beautiful campus truly cared about the success of each student.
What next? After graduation I hope to teach elementary children all about music and teach private piano lessons. I would like to use music as a ministry and help children see the fulfilling nature of music with the same passion I do.
Breanna Plummer ’22
I am from Perrysburg, Ohio and graduated from Perrysburg High School. During high school I was a member of our Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and played piccolo in Marching Band. I was also given the opportunity to go to Europe with Ohio Ambassadors of Music.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because of the type of environment that is created on campus. With it being a relatively small school there is a strong sense of community around campus and it instantly made me feel at home.
What next? After graduation I plan to continue with school to become a music therapist. Eventually I hope to work with special needs children.
Andrew Shaffer ’22
I am from Springfield, Ohio. I attended Clark Shawnee High School, and I was involved in marching band, orchestra, choir, pep band, solo and ensemble, and the Springfield Youth Symphony.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because of the smaller classroom sizes and for the relationships you can create with all of the wonderful faculty because of it!
Isaac Lewis ’21
I was born in the Columbus, Ohio, but I later relocated to Orlando, Florida and graduated from Dr. Phillips High School in the Visual and Performing Arts program. I was a member of the dance magnet program and I was heavily involved in the music magnet as well. I was the officer for my class and I participated in the men’s, concert, and premier choirs.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because of its reputation, its distance from Orlando, as well as the fact that I would be able do a double major.
Nathan Baulch ’21
I am from Nashville, Tennessee, and attended Brentwood Academy. In high school, I participated in our concert band for 4 years, our pep band for 2 years, and the jazz band for 3 years.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg for their student-teacher ratio, which helps me learn better, as it is more focused then other universities. Another reason I chose Witt was the freedom of choice Witt gives. I am a music education major and also have the opportunity to play tennis at the same time. That type of opportunity is something only schools like Witt can offer. Also, the faculty here is phenomenal, and I feel like I have walked out of every class with something I can use later in life.
What next? After graduation, I plan on teaching instrumental music in either a middle school or high school, preferably in either Tennessee or Ohio. I would also love to become an assistant tennis coach for whichever school I teach at.
Emma Seibert ’21
I am from Ypsilanti, Michigan, where I graduated from Washtenaw International High School. During high school I sang in the Chamber Choir, participated in many solo and small group performances at community events, and mentored the middle school’s Glee Club.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because of the small community and emphasis on a well-rounded liberal-arts education. I loved my small high school (for reference I graduated in a class of 94 students) and wanted to have that same sense of community in college not just with my peers but with my professors as well. And I knew I wanted the opportunity to broaden my mind in all aspects of education, not just my majors.
Elena Dumm ’20
I am from Shaker Heights, Ohio, and I attended Shaker Heights High School. I did some musical theater, but I was a band nerd at heart. I was involved in my school’s marching band as a flute player and field commander, I played oboe and English horn in the pit orchestra, and was principal oboe in the school’s Wind Ensemble. I also played oboe in the Contemporary Youth Orchestra at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because I loved the look of the campus and the friendliness of the faculty and students when I visited campus. Because of the small size, the campus feels like a community of students and faculty who genuinely love Wittenberg. I also love that I am able to build personal relationships with all my professors and know that they genuinely care about my success as a student.
Christina Thompson ’21
I’m from Maineville, Ohio and a few other suburbs scattered around the Cincinnati area. I was homeschooled. I have studied piano for over 10 years and performed at occasional community events.
Why Witt? I came to Wittenberg because of the communication I had with faculty members before I had even committed to attend. In my college search, I was looking for an education that could accommodate the fact that both science and the arts were major parts of my life and I wanted to continue developing my skills in both fields. The faculty at Wittenberg gave me the encouragement to pursue both a chemistry and music major, and have patiently worked with me to ensure that I can achieve those goals.
Kendra Ebanks ’20
I’m from Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, which is located about 460 miles south of Florida. I graduated high school from Wesleyan Christian Academy. While attending Wesleyan, I was a section leader for both concert band and high school choir. I performed at the yearly art festivals on island and competed at the International Student Convention in the US. I placed in the woodwind solo category and ensemble category at the International Student Convention.
Why Witt? I obtained my Associate’s degree from God’s Bible School and College in Cincinnati, after which I chose to transfer to Wittenberg University. Deciding to attend Wittenberg was highly influenced by its highly noted accreditation, the beautiful campus, and its strong music and education programs. The welcoming atmosphere and school spirit allowed for a smooth transition to the university.
What next?After graduation, I plan to pursue a career as an elementary school teacher. I will use my music degree to become a church musician and continue working with the youth choir at my church. I hope to continue my education and obtain my master’s in teaching.
Haley Hyde ’20
I came to Wittenberg from Henry County, Kentucky where I attended Henry County High School. Because I’m an instrumentalist, I was involved in everything relating to band, such as concert band, marching band, pep band, jazz band, pit orchestra, and small ensembles/chamber music. My senior year I stage managed my high school’s musical, and I got the chance to be a vocal coach for one of the actors as well.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because when I visited I knew that it was where I wanted to be. It has a great music department and the faculty throughout all of the departments here are great. I also loved the fact that it is a small school with small class sizes. Wittenberg also has a ton of opportunities to get involved with different things. I like getting out of my comfort zone and Wittenberg allows me to do that very easily.
What next? As of right now, I don’t have a plan for after graduation. I know I want to continue with my music career and with theatre, but I don’t know specifics yet. I have four years to figure it out I guess!
Jefferson Truitt ’20
I am from Monroe, Ohio. I attended high school at the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. There, I was drum major of the pep band while also playing trumpet in the wind ensemble, honors orchestra, and brass choir.
What next? After graduation I want to teach music in private secondary schools.
Sarah Knobeloch ’20
I am from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I graduated from North Hills High School. Throughout high school, I was involved in women’s choir, symphonic choir, North Hills Singers, and several musical theater productions. I also participated in the Junior Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because I felt very at home here on campus. Everyone was so nice when I came to visit that I was immediately drawn in. Also, the music program was very intriguing because of the many excellent voice instructors.
What next? As of right now, I would like to see myself in a professional choir after graduation.
Hannah Brattain ’20
I am from the small town of Greencastle, Indiana and I attended Greencastle High School. During my four years there, I participated in choir, solo and ensemble, and musical theatre! My favorite roles in high school were Gertrude McFuzz in Seussical and Sandy in Grease.
Why Witt? Aside from theatre, I’ve always loved music and was very excited to attend Wittenberg because of the strong program and the amazing communication I had with music faculty before I even visited campus. I’m very happy here and am pleased to call Witt my new home.
What next?As a music major, I hope to pursue a career in the entertainment industry somehow, but I am not exactly sure where I’ll end up. I hope to continue to integrate performing into my career, whatever that may be!
Jaheem Washington ’20
I’m from Naples, Florida and I attended Palmetto Ridge High school. I was involved in marching band, wind ensemble, and jazz band.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because while being recruited, alumnus Jay Ries talked to me about a great school with a great music program and football team. In the process of being recruited for football, I met my coaches and future professors in the music department who assured me that I would be supported managing both football and music. During my visit, I instantly fell in love with the beautiful campus and the feel I got from the other students. The community was really inviting. I saw myself achieving my dreams here.
What next? I’m thinking that if I don’t get an opportunity at the NFL that I would graduate regardless from Wittenberg with my bachelors in music and be a live performer and go in to music production.
Jakob Staggs ’20
I am from Chillicothe, Ohio and attended Chillicothe High School. While at CHS I played in the school’s symphony orchestra, strings-only orchestra, and honors quartet that played all around Chillicothe and southern Ohio. I also had the opportunity to play for many musicals while in high school.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because of its academic reputation and also because of the great opportunities that come with being here. All of the professors are so easy to approach and talk with and it is very obvious that they care so much about your education and you as a person.
What next? After graduating from Witt I plan to go to medical school and become a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor. I also plan on sticking with cello and playing throughout the rest of my life.
Haley Rawlings ’20
I am from Amherst, Ohio, and I attended Amherst Steele High School. In high school I was involved in concert choir, and my high school’s a cappella group.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because I am confident that the music department and the faculty will prepare me for a successful career in music.
Zach Simmons ’20
I am from Chillicothe, Ohio and I graduated from Bloom-Carroll High School. I was involved in my school’s chamber choir my freshman year. I was also involved in marching band and symphonic band for all 4 years of high school.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because of the small campus and the family feeling from a close community. The music program made me feel more at home with all of the friendly students and staff.
Chelby Dye ’20
I am from Springfield, Ohio, where I attended Northwestern Jr/Sr High School. While attending Northwestern, I was the field commander of the marching band, and played the flute, French horn, and piano as a member of symphonic band, jazz band, pep band, and concert band. Along with other members of the symphonic band, I competed in OMEA Solo and Ensemble programs. I also participated in the Spring musicals, acting as Ado Annie in Oklahoma!, Frenchy in Grease, and Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls.
Why Witt? I chose to attend Wittenberg University because of the highly recognized and esteemed music and education programs. In addition to the academic appeal of Wittenberg, I chose to attend because the University reflects its Lutheran history as a component of a liberal arts education.
What next?After attending Wittenberg, I plan on becoming an elementary school teacher. My goal is also to continue my education by going to graduate school to receive a master’s degree in teaching. Along with education, I hope to use my music degree from Wittenberg to become a church musician and travel to perform in musical theatre productions and band ensembles with my community.
Joshua Goble ’20
I come from a little town called Hillsboro, Ohio. I attended Lynchburg-Clay High School. I wasn’t involved in my school’s arts programs but I took private lessons for both piano and violin.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because it is a great place of learning that allows me to express both my love of the arts and of science.
What next?After graduating Wittenberg, I plan on attending graduate school to become a physician’s assistant, specializing in orthopedics. As of now, that is the plan but I may change my major and my life decisions depending upon my experience here at Wittenberg.
Ethan Peck ’20
I am from Lexington, Kentucky. I attended Lafayette High School, where I was involved in the orchestra, symphonic band, and jazz band, as well as instructing the lower orchestras and providing private lessons.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because of my visit to campus. I noticed that every professor I met with was more than happy to assist with anything and everything that any student may need. I was extremely impressed by the dedication and desire to instruct students and provide them with every tool necessary for success, especially within the Music Department.
What next? After graduation I plan on becoming a music teacher at the high school level.
Allison Ross ’20
I am from Green Springs, Ohio, where I attended Clyde Senior High School. I’ve been playing the flute for seven years. In high school I participated in wind ensemble, marching band, pep band, honor band festivals, and solo and ensemble competitions.
What next? After graduation I plan to attend law school and become a federal prosecutor.
Tierra Harris ’20
I am from Millersport, Ohio, where I attended Millersport Junior/Senior High School. I was very involved in music in high school. I was in jazz, concert band, and marching band. I also sang in a concert choir and performed in a competitive show choir. I won many awards, including best dancer, head choreographer, best vocalist two years in a row, and best performer, and I received superior ratings many times. I was involved in musicals, including Annie Get Your Gun, Legally Blonde, Oliver Twist, Li’l Abner, and Willy Wonka.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because the first time visiting the feeling was very welcoming. I was home, plain and simple. This campus not only took my attention but my heart too. It is truly a family community here. The professors care about the students and it reminds me of my small high school back home. I feel important and loved. Here I’m not a number, I’m a person.
Grant Steele ’20
I am from Downers Grove, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. I attended Downers Grove North High School. I grew up in a musical family, beginning piano lessons at the age of three. During my time in high school, I played in the symphonic orchestra and jazz band, starting off as a cellist and then transitioning to the double bass. Outside of school, I studied classical guitar independently.
Why Witt? I chose to attend Wittenberg because of the opportunities they offer, both musically and academically. Wittenberg makes it very easy to double major and the music department is very flexible. I enjoy the small campus, community, and personal interaction with the professors, as they really care about you and give you the right tools to succeed. I felt that a liberal arts environment would be the most beneficial for me to grow and prepare for adulthood.
Grace Fischer ’20
I am from Ostrander, Ohio and attended Buckeye Valley High School. I was involved in my high school’s SATB choir for two years and the SSA choir for two years and then the a cappella choir for my senior year. I was also involved in marching band, the color guard, for four years. I was also involved in theatre during high school, and dance outside of my school.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because I fit. I felt when I walked on campus that I belonged there and could never see myself at any other school. The professors drew me and just made me fall in love with the school even more. There were so many options for me to choose from and so many ways I could get involved on campus and I was excited to get started. That is really what made me choose Witt is because I couldn’t wait to get back there after every visit and also compared Witt to the other college’s I visited and couldn’t find anything I wanted more then to be a Witt student.
What next?I am thinking of doing a music and psychology double major so I can go on to graduate school and become a music therapist, but as I go through college I am thinking that might change. I am now keeping my options open, considering a history double major with music, but I know music will be part of the equation not matter what I decide.
Brian Schindehette ’20
I am from Westerville, Ohio, just outside of Columbus. I attended Westerville South High School, the oldest of the three high schools in the area. While I was there, I was part of the drumline of our marching band for four years, a member of Westerville’s indoor drumline for two years, and I was part of our high school theatre troupe all four years, as both an actor and part of the pit percussion in musicals. I was also a part of our symphonic band all four years, and jazz ensemble my senior year.
Why Witt? I chose to attend Wittenberg University for a few reasons. My Lutheran background fit well into the school’s Lutheran heritage. The music program they have here is spectacular, well known amongst the college world. Through this program, even in the span of a few short months, I have been able to grow and mature musically more than I ever thought feasible. And this would not be possible without my main reason for coming here: the people. The staff and faculty, even outside the music program, are incredible, wonderful people, as well as great educators and teachers. They know so much and are willing to help no matter the problem. Their first priority is to make sure you succeed, not just hoping you do well and moving on. In this place, I felt right at home almost immediately.
What next? To be honest, I do not know what I’m going to do after graduation. I’m planning on being a double major, though I haven’t decided on the second major. All I know is, continuing in this music program will expand my abilities and knowledge of what is out there, so I am sure that by the time I graduate, I will know exactly what I will be doing, and will more than likely be able to do it successfully.
Ryan Tilley ’20
I was raised here in Springfield, OH and attended Tecumseh High School. In high school I was involved in the choir, concert band, marching band, pep band, jazz band, and school musicals. The choir and musicals had the greatest influence on me to become involved in music. I was involved in jazz band for one year; concert band and marching band for two years; and pep band, choir, and musicals for all four years of high school.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg University for multiple reasons. Being close to home was important in my choice, as I love Springfield. I loved Wittenberg’s campus when I visited on tours, and everybody on campus seemed extremely nice and welcoming. Wittenberg’s excellent music program enticed me very much. I am very glad that I have chosen Wittenberg as my college for study because of the wonderful people, brilliant professors, and amazing experience.
What next?After graduation, I am hoping to pursue a career as a choir director. I have had an interest in choir and choral music ever since middle school. I love choral music, and hope to be able to lead and educate a choir of my own someday.
Wendy Hawk ’20
I am from Washington Court House, Ohio, where I attended Washington Senior High. Throughout high school I was involved with a lot of musical activities including choir, a cappella groups, show choirs, and church choirs. I also was involved with concert, symphonic, and jazz bands. With some of these groups I also sang at a few sporting events, nursing homes, funerals, graduation, and military retirement ceremonies. My best friend and I also had the opportunity to conduct our alma mater at our high school graduation ceremony for winning the 2016 Choral Achievement Awards.
Why Witt? I first chose Wittenberg because of the amazing softball program they have here, then when I came on my visit I learned about the music program and fell in love instantly! The people in choir are so very inviting and kind. Wittenberg’s campus is also very beautiful and has a very inviting feel to it - due to the kindness of others who share as much love for this school as you do.
What next? Plans after graduation include possibly going into the Air Force as an officer for psychology. I would like to work with PTSD patients and help aid any soldiers/veterans who have psychological issues.I am very excited to also include my musical education in my occupations. There are areas such as music therapy that can also help calm someone who might be experiencing PTSD or other psychological issues. I am very excited to see how I can use my education in my line of work after graduation.
Ethan Hughes ’20
I hail from Cincinnati, Ohio. I attended Colerain High School. While there, I was involved with our wind ensemble, marching band, and indoor drum line. Outside of school I’ve also marched Drum Corps International.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg for the family feeling I got from the small campus. My professors know who I am. They are also aware of the ways I learn best. I don’t think I could find that in a large university.
Laura Bucher ’19
I’m from Amesbury, Massachusetts, where I attended Amesbury High School. In my four years of high school, I sang soprano in my school’s a cappella group, sang in and accompanied our chorus on piano, as well as played piano in the pit band for one of our musicals, Legally Blonde. I’ve been taking piano lessons since I was three years old, and I’ve participated in the Piano Teachers Guild Auditions for the past seven years, consistently scoring in the Superior range. In my senior year, I had the distinct honor of being the president of both our choir and our a cappella group as well as receiving an incredible audition-based music scholarship through my town.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg entirely because of the close-knit community and kind environment. As a music major, it’s difficult to find a musical community in the college setting that is friendly and supportive rather than competitive and cut-throat. Wittenberg is one of the rare few. Everyone at Wittenberg is welcoming and all students are helping other students as much as they can to be better musicians and succeed in school.
What next? After graduation, I’m positive that I want to be a music teacher. I’d love to be the choral instructor at a high school, and help students to grow as musicians and as people. I look forward to teaching students music, and to helping them find their passion. I think that music is an extremely important outlet for students to express themselves, and I’d like to be the one helping them find that outlet. Ideally, either directly after I graduate from Wittenberg, or after teaching for a few years, I’d like to get my master’s degree in either piano performance or music theory.
Anna Fox ’19
I am from Cleveland, Ohio, where I attended Charles F. Brush High School. During my four years of high school, I played the trombone and participated in marching band, wind ensemble, and jazz band. I was also the Vice President of our drama club and starred in many of our musical productions. I have been taking voice lessons since the age of eight and have trained classically at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In addition, I was a seven-year member of the Cleveland Singing Angels, an auditioned group for youth all around the Cleveland area.
Why Witt? I first visited Wittenberg when I was in the eighth grade and my older sister was searching for colleges. We visited Wittenberg primarily because my father is a Lutheran minister and the school has a rich Lutheran heritage. The moment I stepped onto the campus, I knew that it was the place for me. From the rolling green hills of the hollow to the involved and caring professors, I knew that I would one day call Wittenberg my home.
What next?What next? After graduation, I hope to pursue a master’s degree in music therapy. I am currently pursuing a double major with music and special education and hope to one day combine my two passions to make a difference in the lives of others.
Kieran Hunter ’19
I graduated from Franklin High School in Seattle, Washington. In high school I did concert band, marching band, and jazz band. I played tuba, sousaphone, and trombone/bass respectively with each ensemble.
Why Witt? I chose Witt because of how much money I was offered in scholarships as well as how amazing the music department is.
What next? When I graduate I want to go back to Seattle and try to get a job at my high school if not at a surrounding middle school. I may also go for a master’s degree at the University of Washington.
Rachael Yalaz ’19
I am from Springfield, Ohio and attended Springfield High School all four years. I was involved with our top choir that went to contest every year, and was also involved with theatre and musicals all four years I attended.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because even though it’s right down the street from my house, it’s such a different atmosphere from Springfield. The community is so strong and everyone is so warm and welcoming and it’s always been my top choice in the back of my mind.
Seamus Dunphy ’19
I am from Westlake, Ohio and attended Westlake High School. During my four years at WHS, I was heavily involved in music. I’ve been in Freshman Mixed Chorus, Symphonic Choir, Men’s Chorus, Company D (show choir), Hexadeca, and Chorale. I was also heavily involved with the drama/theatre productions, inside and outside the school. Senior year I was in a total of five choirs.
Why Witt? I knew I had to come to Wittenberg when I stepped onto campus. The environment there was extremely welcoming and friendly. It had everything I was looking for in a college. The Music Department here has made me feel like I’m part of the family. It’s a great place to be a part of!
What next? After graduation I plan on pursuing a master’s degree in choral conducting. With my bachelors in music education and a master’s in choral conducting, I plan to pursue my passion with choir and become a high school choir director.
Maklayne Vitovich ’19
I am from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I attended North Hills High School. During that time I participated in drama club productions, symphonic choir, wind ensemble, flute choir, and handbell choir. My high school’s wind ensemble was chosen as the select high school group to play at the 2015 NAfME convention, which was such an awesome experience!
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because the first time I visited the campus I could feel that it was a very special place. The community and liberal education it supports is something that is very valuable to me.
Zach Hoyer ’19
I am from Cincinnati, Ohio and I attended Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy High School. At CHCA, I was involved with Encore Performing Choir (tenor), Electric Jazz Orchestra (bass trombone), and CHCA Quartet, an independent a cappella barbershop organization. I was also heavily involved with musical theater through CHCA, St. Ursula Academy Ensemble Theatre, and Acting Up Community Theatre.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg mainly for the amazing community that I found here. I was consistently shown interest and support from Witt throughout my college search, and that meant more to me than anything.
What next? After graduation, I plan to pursue a master’s degree in Environmental Management from the Nicholas School for the Environment at Duke University. I hope to use the knowledge gained both at Wittenberg and Duke to better the planet and lead to positive steps toward a sustainable future.
Ava Doty ’19
I am from Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. I attended Dublin Scioto High School. I participated in marching band, jazz band, concert band, pep band, and percussion ensemble.
Why Witt? My Mom and sister are both alumni, so that’s what really started the process for me. The music program really interested me because I felt like the professors really wanted me here. I love the size of the school and the classes. The atmosphere also drew my attention, the scenery is so beautiful and everyone is very friendly.
Kathryn Nydegger ’19
My name is Kathryn Nydegger, or Kat, and I am from Hilliard, Ohio about thirty minutes from Columbus. I attended Hilliard Davidson High School all four years during my high school career. In high school, I was involved in several music activities including the top orchestra at my high school, being president of all three orchestras my senior year, being involved in our Davidson String Quartet that performed at many events both within and outside of my high school (including school ceremonies, weddings, nursing homes and churches), and being president and vice president of the String Quartet my junior and senior year.
Why Witt? I chose to attend Wittenberg University because of my love for a liberal arts education. I believe mixing education with community service, religion and having a strong, personal community of friends and educators who have similar beliefs will take you farther in life both in the workforce and as a person. I also chose Wittenberg because of the people. During my tours, random visits and phone calls I always felt so welcomed by everyone I passed by and talked to. I felt that others took the time to recognize me and made me feel at home.
What next? I am a music and communications double major at Wittenberg, with a minor in business. My hopes and plans after graduation are in still in the air, as I try to let life take me wherever it leads me. But, my goals after graduation include having a start-up job relating to my major while continuing my education for a graduate degree hopefully at an institution out west, maybe Arizona State University, but who knows! I would also like to start performing the violin professionally, whether in a community or state orchestra.
Nicholas Wanamaker ’19
I was raised in Bethel Township, right outside of New Carlisle, Ohio. I attended Bethel High School and participated in all the activities I could including marching band, solo and ensemble, symphonic band, the high school musical, and multiple honor bands around the area.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg University for multiple reasons. The first is I had been taking horn lessons with Mr. Bear during my senior year, giving me a strong desire to keep learning from him. Another reason is because of the academic and musical superiority at Wittenberg. The final reason for my choosing Wittenberg is the size and location of the college. If I ever need help I can easily go and find a professor and talk to them.
What next? After graduating from Wittenberg I am hoping to enter a medical school to pursue a degree in a surgery related field, and to continue to pursue music so I can one day be part of an orchestra.
Brianna Walworth ’19
I’m from Cleveland, Ohio. I attended a small Lutheran school called Lutheran West. I was involved in marching band, concert band, jazz band, and pit band.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because it was far enough from home and school that I could get a new start but not too far that I was unable to go home for a weekend. It was larger than my high school but still considered small for a college and I liked that.
Allisha Lattimore 19
I was born and raised right here in Springfield, Ohio. I attended Springfield High School for all four years of my high school education. I was involved in multiple music activities, such as marching band, symphonic band, concert band, pep band, and jazz band. I also volunteered this summer to be a chaperone and trumpet specialist for my high school’s marching band during their week of band camp.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because I simply fell in love with the music department, especially after I participated in both a jazz band and symphonic band rehearsal. I simply love the atmosphere of the campus and every person I met just had a smile on their face and seemed like they were happy to be here. They made me feel included and like I belong, plus they were all and have been very nice and polite to me and each other.
What next? After I graduate and get my bachelors in music education, I plan to become a music therapist and help all different kinds of children and adults. Whether it is teaching them how to play an instrument or performing for the sick and dying, I know it will be rewarding. On top of getting my music therapy license, I plan to get my teaching license as well, just in case I cannot find a music therapy job right away. I also plan to move out of Ohio entirely and go to a place where there is no snow and where it is warm all year!
Carson Gritton ’19
I am from Maineville, Ohio. I went to Kings High School and was involved with my church band and gave solo performances whenever I had enough material to perform.
What next? I’m not to sure what I want to do but I’m pretty sure I want to attend medical school after graduation.
Laryssa VanHoose ’19
I’m from the village of Saint Paris, Ohio, where I attended Graham High School. In high school I was involved in many things most of them doing something with music. I was a member of the marching band known as the Dancin’ Band from Falconland, I participated in pep band, jazz band, concert band, and I was in the orchestra/rock band for the musical Grease.
Why Witt? I choose Wittenberg because of its small community and close environment. Being from a small village I thought I wanted to venture out to a big school and get into a different environment but after touring many big schools I knew that a big school wasn’t for me. I toured Wittenberg and instantly liked it because of the small community and how well everyone got along. I liked that everyone was accepting and nice to each other.
Claudia Scully ’19
I’m from Mason, Ohio, and graduated from William Mason High School. There, I was involved in the honors concert choir and pop a cappella group.
Why Witt? I chose to attend Wittenberg because of the community atmosphere, small class sizes, and how accessible all of the professors are. Not to mention that the campus is beautiful, and that it’s only about an hour from home.
What next? As of right now, I want to be a high school choir director, but that could change between now and graduation.
Heaven Osborne ’19
I am a Springfield, Ohio native and graduate of Greenon High School. As a student there I was very involved in music throughout my four years: marching band (to eventually become band president in my senior year), as well as four years of symphonic band and pep band. I joined chorus my senior year as one of two second sopranos, then received a Superior rating in my first vocal solo performance for OMEA (singing “American Lullaby”) and I performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” at countless basketball games. I was vice president of our school’s Tri-M Music Honor Society, and was hyper-involved in musicals and many other productions in the drama department over my 8 years in the program, such as The Importance of Being Earnest and Bah Humbug!, finally to receive our school’s Barbara Arnold Drama Award for theatrical excellence at the end of my senior year.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg from day one; in fact, I didn’t even apply anywhere else. There is something magical about this place; the students, the staff, the environment. It was amazing to me how kind and welcoming everyone was. I came from a really small close-knit high school and I was really interested to seek out a college with the same sort of values, hoping not to get lost but to find an environment in which I could truly better myself as a person and a musician; and a perfect match for my goals was right under my nose! I loved that here I would have the opportunity to learn so much outside of my major, have the possibility to double major, and participate in all kinds of clubs and groups on campus. I knew Wittenberg was going to be a place where I would be able to ensure progress in the pursuit of becoming a music teacher, band director, drama club director, and eventually a music therapist.
What next? After graduation in 2019, I plan to spend some time traveling and broadening my knowledge and experience in different parts of the world. Upon my return I plan to apply for jobs in music education in my area and then jump back into schooling for a music therapy program. I suppose my biggest goal on this path is to assist in the growth and improvement of other being’s minds and souls. I want to help people through music, teaching others all that I am able to, spreading the love of music to future generations.
Madeline Dominique ’19
I am from Swanton, Ohio, which is a rural farming town close to Toledo. I went to St. Ursula Academy Toledo, an all-girls Catholic high school. During my time there, I participated in Honors Concert Choir, OMEA choirs at the district and state level, and musical theater during all four years. I also had the opportunity to perform with the National Festival Chorus at Carnegie Hall in NYC in both 2013 and 2015.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because the community is unique in its sense of unity. The smaller classes are perfect for my learning style, and the professors are directly involved and know each of their students by name. I love walking around on campus on every given day and always seeing happy, friendly faces!
Clayton Marsh ’19
I am from Piqua, Ohio. I was home-schooled. As a violinist, I was involved with my private instructor’s studio, playing for recitals and special events, was a volunteer for weekly church services, was a member of the Springfield Youth Chamber Orchestra, Springfield Youth Symphony, and Dayton Philharmonic Youth Strings; and I was briefly a bass/tenor in my church choir.
What next? After graduation I hope to enter law school and become an international family law attorney.
Garrett Stout ’18
I come from a little town between Columbus and Dayton called London, Ohio and I am a proud graduate of London High School. In high school, I was a member of the school’s show choir and concert choir, singing tenor 1 in both. I was also heavily involved in musical theatre.
Why Witt? I chose to look into Wittenberg initially because it was close to home. I made the decision to come to Wittenberg after visiting because of the feeling I got while on campus. The campus has such a welcoming vibe. This coupled with the friendliness of the staff and students made my decision simple.
What next? I intend to be a choral director at the high school or collegiate level. I want to spread my love for music through my teaching just as my high school choir teacher and the wonderful staff here at Wittenberg do.
Michael Kovack ’18
I am from Medina, Ohio. I was a part of nearly any musical activity I could possibly be in. Over my four years in high school, I was a member of every instrumental group in our school except Musical Pit Orchestra and String Orchestra. These included the Jazz Ensemble, Stardusters, Encore Pit Band, Concert Band, Concert Winds, Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Band, and Marching Band. Outside of my school I was also involved in the Baldwin Wallace Senior Youth Orchestra and the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because of a piece of advice I heard during my college search. That was, picture what you think college looks like and find that. So I did. I thought about what I wanted college to look like, and when I saw Witt and met the people here I knew this was it.
What next? I am looking to become a band director of a high school and pass on my passion for music to others. It’s because of my high school band director that I love music so much, so in a way I want to emulate him and pass on my passion.
Daisonae Martin ’18
I am from Cleveland, Ohio. During my four years of high school at Whitney M. Young Gifted and Talented Leadership Academy, I participated in the all-city arts productions and choir, and I also attended a NewBridge music recording and production class.
Why Witt? I applied to Wittenberg after attending a college fair at Oberlin College. Meeting the professor at my audition influenced me to come to Witt. The intimate atmosphere between the teacher and students also influenced my decision to choose Witt.
What next? After graduation, I would like to pursue a doctorate in music therapy.
Jiabao Wang ’18
I am from Culver, Indiana, a small but beautiful town. I moved there from China six years ago, and attended the Culver Academies. I joined choir for two years, and both concert band and flute choir for my four years. I went to Salzburg in 2011 with the choir, for the Mozart International Music Festival. I also attended the Military School Band Festival in 2012. I was awarded Honors in Music when I graduated in 2013.
Why Witt? Music gave me a chance to know Germany. I chose to learn German after I came back from Salzburg. Holding hands with music, Germany became an important part of my life since then. Wittenberg is the best place to learn both, and make connections between them. I loved the historic atmosphere when I stepped foot on campus, and it reminded me of days in Germany.
What next? I will continuously learn music and pursue a higher degree after graduation. However, time is too short, graduation day will come before I notice, so I will enjoy my college life at Wittenberg first, accomplish as much as I can and strive for excellence.
Megan Holmes ’17
I currently live in Saint Paris, Ohio but I attended Neenah High School in Neenah, Wisconsin. Neenah is a small town in the Fox Valley, located between Oshkosh and Green Bay. I was very fortunate that my high school offered numerous musical opportunities for its students. I participated in marching band, pep band, symphonic band, symphony, pit orchestra, local and state solo and ensemble, and also the madrigal recorder choir.
Why Witt? I was drawn to Wittenberg for its excellent music program and small class size. I also admire the beauty of the campus with its historic buildings.
John Kolberg ’18
I am from Mount Vernon, Ohio, where I attended Mount Vernon High School. I played trumpet during four years of Marching and Symphonic Band, where I spent my senior year as a trumpet section leader. I also played with my school’s Jazz Band, Pep Band, and Orchestra for several years.
Why Witt? I applied to Wittenberg after talking to my Witt-alumni biology and history teachers about their experiences. I visited my senior year and fell in love with the size of the campus and campus architecture. Not long after I sent in my deposit, I auditioned for the Music Department and declared my music major with a focus on trumpet and recording arts.
What next? After graduation, I hope to work overseas through work-away programs and through organic farm volunteering organizations in central and southern Africa. I would like to apply knowledge of plants, agriculture, and soils that I hope to obtain here at Wittenberg to continue to learn methods of sustainable agriculture and permaculture around the world. Music is just another language to connect and unite all people and I will share what knowledge I gather at Witt with all those I meet.
Mandy McGuire-Bloom ’18
I am from Greenfield, Ohio. I attended Edward Lee McClain High School, where I was involved in concert choir, symphonic choir, show choir, and solo and ensemble competitions.
Why Witt? I chose Witt because everyone was so welcoming. When I auditioned for a music scholarship, the faculty were very nice and made me feel like they wanted me here. After my audition, I knew that Witt would be a great place for me to grow musically and become a better musician.
What next? After graduation I hope to go to graduate school and get a master’s in music therapy.
Deryn Tye ’18
I am a music education major from Pickerington, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. I attended Pickerington High School Central and was involved in numerous choirs including Women’s Chorus, Symphonic Choir, and Chorale. I also took voice lessons under the direction of Sue Laney.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because of its friendly and welcoming atmosphere. They gave me a generous amount of money in scholarships and I appreciated that. Also, the music department is awesome here and they awarded me a music scholarship that influenced my decision. Everyone here is so friendly and genuine and I felt at home.
What next? After I leave Wittenberg, I plan on furthering my education by attending grad school and gaining experience by being a substitute teacher and student teacher. I will gain as much knowledge and experience as I can by surrounding myself and sharing my passion of music with my students. Eventually, I want to obtain my doctorate degree in Music Education as well.
Amy Gilligan ’18
I am from Woodbury, Connecticut and attended Nonnewaug High School. In high school, I continued taking piano lessons which I had been participating in since elementary school. I was also involved in my school’s symphonic band playing the French Horn and I quickly became involved with many other activities in the music department such as singing in the treble choir, drama club, and being a piano accompanist for the school chorus.
Why Witt? My parents attended college in Ohio so they were the ones who really got me considering going to a school in the Midwest. Out of all the schools I visited, Wittenberg stood out to me right away. The professors I talked to were extremely warm, caring, and concerned about developing relationships with their students. I felt connected immediately to Wittenberg’s positive community spirit and passion for learning. I knew Witt would give me a fantastic education as well as support and guidance to help me take on my future.
What next? I’m still not sure what I want to do after Wittenberg. I am currently a Piano performance major and it is certainly possible that I may decide to pick up an additional major during my four years here. Becoming a teacher is something I am considering, but I still need to explore different subjects and career fields. I still have time to figure out what’s next and the possibilities are endless! Although I don’t yet have any specifics on what I want to do after graduation, I know Wittenberg will help me to find my calling and I know that music will always be a part of my life, whether or not I choose a career in music.
Xavier Davenport ’18
I am from Richwood, Ohio, a small rural community in between Marion and Marysville. There, I attended North Union High School, where I played tenor saxophone in the marching, pep, and concert bands. I also competed in the OMEA solo and ensemble competition for three years. I learned classical guitar independently, and I performed with it once at my high school during my senior year.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg primarily because the instructors are exceptionally passionate. Wittenberg also makes it very easy to dual major, giving me the opportunity to explore several of my interests. It was apparent on my visit here that the professors enjoy their jobs and are very willing to help.
Emily Schoff ’18
I am from Hilliard, Ohio. I went to Hilliard Darby High School. In high school I participated in wind ensemble, music theory, marching band, pep band, and orchestra winds. I was also in a program at my junior and senior year that let me mentor under a band director in our district and student teach with the middle school band.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg for many reasons. The biggest reason was the friendly staff. All the teachers here at Wittenberg are very focused on the personal and academic success of their students and provide great role models for me as a future music educator.
What next? After graduation, I plan on getting a job as a band director hopefully! I would love to teach high school band somewhere in either Ohio or Texas. I also have a really big interest in psychology and am considering adding it as a minor. I’m not sure what I’d do yet, but I would really like to be able to use psychology in my music career somehow.
Madelyn Johnson ’17
I am from Cincinnati, Ohio, where I attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts. As a music major in high school, I performed in many choral concerts. We even participated in the World Choir Games!
Why Witt? I chose Witt because they have very caring professors and a beautiful campus. Not to mention an excellent music program. I could tell this was a very caring and accepting school through the audition process. They took so much care of me, they made me feel like they were lucky to have me there. The faculty were so close and enthusiastic with us being there. I just felt special and wanted.
What next? After I graduate, I would love to be an international singer or, because of my second major (communications) enter the field of sports media!
Morgan Miller ’17
I am from West Carrollton, Ohio where I attended West Carrollton High School. While I was there I participated in marching band, concert band, jazz band, and pep band.
Why Witt? I chose Witt because it’s just great. My mom had gone here, so I kinda had to give it a chance. I came here for my provost scholarship activities and my music audition last winter, and I knew right then that this was where I wanted to go. I love the atmosphere, and the classes being smaller than high school classes allows me to get more acquainted with my teachers. The professors are all really nice and awesome. It’s just great here and I already love it.
What next? After graduation I plan on continuing my education and eventually be a high school band director. I want to direct a marching band, a concert band, a jazz band - you know, all the things that I did while part of the high school band program! Being a band director is really important to me, and I’m glad I’m taking my first step towards my goal here at Wittenberg.
Lucy Timko ’17
I’m from Springfield, Ohio. I attended Springfield High School and participated in symphonic band, marching band, jazz band, and pep band.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because of the excellent academics along with their outstanding music program.
What next? After graduation, I plan to use my music education degree and begin my teaching career. Although my preference would be to teach in a high school environment, all that really matters to me is being able to share my knowledge of music with others and to be an inspiration so they can develop a passion for music.
Kyle Sowa ’17
I am from Carol Stream, Illinois, about an hour west of Chicago. I attended Glenbard North High School. During my high school career, I participated in my school’s ensemble bands, pep band, and marching band. As a high school freshman, I did not play the tuba. Instead, I came in as a baritone/euphonium player. But after a series of events, I picked up the tuba and never put it down.
Why Witt? I was drawn to Wittenberg by a representative at a college fair. After speaking to him I decided I had to take the six-hour drive to the campus, upon which I immediately fell in love with it. The students and faculty were incredibly friendly and welcoming. The campus grounds were absolutely beautiful. When I learned about their programs and classroom environments I was even more drawn in. Everything about Wittenberg is so well rounded; their attention to detail is immense. Each department has great professors who have a passion for teaching and passing on their knowledge.
What next? I hope to graduate from Wittenberg with a double major in music and English. Wherever that path takes me, my goal is to pursue a career that allows me to exercise great creative freedom. I look forward to investigating my many options during my next few years at Wittenberg.
Kristina Schopper ’17
I am from Waukegan, Illinois, just north of Chicago. I attended Waukegan Public High School, which was one of the top ten music programs of 2013, and is strongly supported by its community. Thanks to that support, I got to expand from violin (my primary instrument) to cello, voice, harp, guitar, and piano. I chose orchestra as an elective every year. I also participated in AVANTI! jazz string ensemble for four years. I played in the pit orchestra for two spring musicals and joined the marching band (color guard) my junior year and continued the next year. I was also in a string quartet with three friends and we played gigs at National Honor Society as well as annual madrigal dinners.
Why Witt? I don’t know how I found Wittenberg, but I’m glad I did. I knew I wanted to keep up with music, and everyone was incredibly proactive about answering my questions and finding additional information for me. I wanted the experience of going away from home, and a six-hour drive certainly fulfilled that requirement. I liked that Witt stressed having a good relationship with the community, and I have found that the support system consists of everyone, from students to faculty to administration. Everyone gets involved to encourage each other. There’s no doubt that I also fell in love with the campus when I came for a visit.
What next? Looking ahead, it’s not entirely clear where a double major in music and English will take me. I’m currently considering education in either field. What’s certain is that I will keep music in my life, whether in the music industry or as a hobby. Witt makes it easy to make plans to accomplish whatever I decide I want to pursue.
Mackenzie Musgrave ’17
I am from Clintonville, a neighborhood near downtown Columbus, Ohio. I attended online school for high school. I sang in the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus choir for 4 years, as well as took voice lessons and cello lessons, and played my original music live as much as possible. I was also extremely involved with a Columbus-based girls rock summer camp for 4 years that worked with girls on creating their own original music as well as fostering self-confidence and community.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because of the interactions I had with the staff in the music department, as well as my audition. From the time that I applied for an audition until the weeks following it, I had many calls and correspondence with the music staff at Wittenberg, and they were always extremely kind and welcoming. On my audition day, the staff were very friendly and I had a very positive and personalized audition. I knew from this that I would be supported here, which is exactly what I wanted in a school.
What next? After graduation, I plan to either go to graduate school for a master’s in music therapy, or go straight into teaching, whether it be in a lessons or a school environment. I ultimately want to be able to inspire others to realize the positive power music can have on your entire life and being.
Asha Toure ’17
I am from Pickerington, Ohio, which is a suburb of Columbus. I attended Pickerington High School Central. I was involved in all of the musicals as well as symphonic choir and chorale (a show choir). During my junior and senior years of high school, I participated in All Ohio State Fair Youth Choir. During my senior year, I had the opportunity to be a part of the OMEA All-State Ensemble, which was a very rewarding experience.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg simply from the atmosphere from my initial audition. Everyone was extremely welcoming and made me feel very comfortable. I also really loved the fact that the BA in Music is so flexible that double majoring with it is not an issue. That was a big concern with my family. I must say that in being here for the time that I have been, I have definitely picked the right choice.
What next? After graduation, the goal is to pack up my bags and move to New York City or Chicago. I want to experience the big-city life and see where this takes me. I am a double major with communication, so I intend to have a job that I can use skills from both degrees. I eventually think I want to teach voice at the collegiate level, but that’s not until I’m older.
Tanner Jobes ’17
I’m from Richmond, Indiana, where I attended Richmond High School. I was heavily involved in my school’s orchestra program and pit orchestra for musicals. I took piano and pipe organ lessons on the side which tremendously helped my music skills.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because I was looking for a school with a strong music program in a liberal arts setting. Out of all the other schools that I applied to and visited, Wittenberg was by far the most genuinely friendly and beautiful school I had seen I knew right away that it had the strong support, community setting, and driven faculty that I needed in order to better myself musically and in all other aspects of my academic career. It was easy to see that everyone here, especially in the music program, encouraged and supported each other. I could tell that there were so many opportunities to take a hold of here where I could grow into a better musician and still explore my other academic interests.
What next? I’m thinking in the long term becoming a church music director or maybe a music or English professor. I would like to go on to graduate school and further my musical education in order to become the best musician I can be. Witt is perfect for discovering new career options, and with a strong possibility of a double major, I’m excited to see where the music and my education will take me.
Elizabeth Smith ’17
I am from Bay Village, Ohio a suburb of Cleveland. I went to Bay High School where I participated in show choir, a cappella choir, the Bay High School Choraleers, and orchestra, chamber orchestra, and I had the opportunity to direct the freshman choir.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because it had a good reputation in regards to music. Not only that, but it was a well-rounded school where I knew I could study anything and be successful. When I came for my first visit I knew that this was the school for me.
What next? After graduation I would like to return to Bay and become either the middle school choir director or high school choir director.
Christian Babyak ’17
I am from Carmichaels, Pennsylvania, a small town with a population of approximately 1,000 that is an hour’s drive south from Pittsburgh. I graduated from Carmichaels Area High School in a small graduating class of just over 70. I was involved in marching band, concert band, pep band, county band, pit orchestra for the local performing arts school, and the American Legion Post 400 band. I also served as the middle school band’s teacher’s assistant during my senior year.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because I didn’t want to just be a student at a university; I wanted to be a part of a community. On my visit here, I didn’t feel like I would just be another number. I knew that Wittenberg was a tight-knit community of bright scholars and benevolent people, and I wanted to be a part of that community.
What next? After graduation, I would like to be a high school band director. However, after being in college for a while, I am considering pursuing a doctorate degree and becoming professor or music director.
Angelique Gabrielle ’17
I am from Chillicothe, Ohio and I attended Chillicothe High School. I was cellist in the Chillicothe High School Orchestra, sang in the Cavalites Show Choir and the symphonic choir (which I have directed in concert), played in my church’s handbell choir, did theater in high school and in the community, and I was a bassoonist in the band.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because it brought so many opportunities to me as a musician. It had so many ensembles where students can work together and grow as musicians. Just by reading what they offered here, I was sold on attending here. At the time I applied I was a theater major. But after I discovered my love for the organ, I am now double majoring in music (with organ emphasis) and in theater. I feel right at home at Wittenberg.
What next? I am not exactly sure, but I am starting to lean towards working for my master’s and doctorate in organ at Juilliard. I feel with Wittenberg’s guidance I will be able to succeed. I cannot wait to see where my life will lead with Witt’s help.
Brynna Boone ’17
I am from Hillsboro, Ohio and I attended Hillsboro High School. Throughout middle school and high school, I was in pep band, concert band, marching band, jazz band, women’s chorus, symphonic choir, solo and ensemble (both vocal and instrumental), honor choir, Land of Grant honor band, and theatre productions. For honor band, I was second chair for alto saxophone for one year, sixth chair for trombone another year, and first chair for trombone the year after that. I was the senior field commander in 2012-2013, trombone section leader for three years, and soprano section leader for two years. I also have learned several instruments during my years in band, such as trombone, saxophone, tuba, etc. Plus I have had lead roles in five high school productions, such The Light In The Piazza (Franca), Grease (Sandy), and Mixed Nutts (Philomena).
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because I prefer smaller classes, and out of the four colleges I considered, it was the best option. It has a beautiful campus with wonderful and brilliant teachers. As soon as I walked onto the campus, I immediately felt welcomed by the students and teachers.
What next? After I graduate, I am going to apply to Juilliard in New York and attempt to make it on Broadway. I honestly want to be the next Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera. Also, I’d like to get my master’s in music education so I can one day be a choir teacher.
Deanna Torstenson ’17
I am from Springfield, Virginia and I attended West Springfield High School, where I participated in musical theater, and several choral ensembles including madrigals and Bel Canto all throughout my high school career. I also participated in the Fairfax Choral Society and I sang in my church’s youth chorus.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because I was looking for a school that offered me the ability to double major in a more relaxed fashion. Wittenberg’s BA degree was a great choice for me, because it allows me to study both music and Russian, in a less stressful environment. I was also raised in the Lutheran faith, so Wittenberg’s origins and wonderful community were real highlights in what I was looking for in my higher education studies.
What next? I hope to go on to graduate school to further my studies in music as well as Russian!
Rachelle Young ’17
I am from Mentor, Ohio, a suburb about a half hour from Cleveland. I attended Mentor High School, and while at Mentor I participated in multiple school choirs and the chamber ensemble. I loved to sing in variety shows, solo and ensemble contests, and I even had the opportunity to sing on multiple occasions with the orchestra. I performed in a few musical productions through Mentor theater and in youth ensembles during church services.
Why Witt? I chose Witt because of the staff. The process of choosing the right school is stressful enough, and auditions on top of that became pretty overwhelming. The professors here at Witt were welcoming and kind rather than just treating me as another audition. They also were very good at keeping contact after the audition and helping with any questions that I had. The size of the classroom and engaging professors were perfect for my learning style.
Connie Frankenstein ’17
I’m from Cincinnati Ohio. I went to Oak Hills High School. I was in Choir and Orchestra all four years, and I was Vice President of orchestra my senior year. I was in Chamber Orchestra for three years and founded the school’s string quartet with the orchestra conductor Maria Palassis. I was a member of the drama club and thespian society, a National Honor Society member, and a member of German Club and German Honors Society.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because of the sense of community, and faculty I met and talked to during my audition day and process. I felt so welcome and at home from the first time I stepped onto campus.
What next? I want to either go to grad school for music education or teach after I graduate.
Bethany Brose ’17
I’m from Maineville, Ohio, near Cincinnati. I went to Little Miami High School and was involved in Little Miami Select Choir. With my choir, I went to the 2012 World Choir Games and O.M.E.A. State contest. I was also involved in local theater.
Why Witt? My decision to come to Wittenberg was based mainly on a feeling that I got when I came to visit. I felt like I was at home. My decision was further cemented when I talked to members of the faculty. Their open and kind attitudes made me feel like I would be accepted here. I was also happy to hear that all of the music programs, like choir and theater, were open to non-majors, as I wasn’t planning on majoring in music then. I knew after these visits that Wittenberg was the place for me.
What next? I’m not quite sure what I want to do after graduation, but I know that I’ll always keep music in my life some way. I am hoping to incorporate both my interest in communication and music. I’m looking forward to discovering my calling during my experience at Witt.
Victoria Wilver ’17
I am from Sidney, Ohio which is about an hour’s drive from Wittenberg University. While attending my local public school, Sidney High School, I took part in freshmen choir, freshmen choral ensemble, girl’s glee choir (our sophomore girls’ choir), symphonic choir for two years, women’s choir for four years, and our auditioned ensemble chamber choir for two years. I also was in the drumline for the Pride of Sidney Marching Band, playing cymbals for one year and tonal bass drums for three years. I was a percussionist in the Sidney High School Concert Band for four years. I also took part in my school’s musicals. I was in the chorus for The Pajama Game, Dolly’s understudy in Hello Dolly!, Laurey Williams in Oklahoma!, and Mrs. Paroo in The Music Man. I also participated in my local community theater group Sock & Buskin’s shows, where I played a Dynamite in Hairspray, Mark’s mother, the coat saleswoman, the Seasons of Love Soloist, and Joann’s understudy in Rent, Dina in Schoolhouse Rock!, Isabelle in Mr. Scrooge, and Vi Moore in Footloose!. I took part in a local summer show choir in Piqua, Ohio called Music Warehouse for eight years. And I have taken voice lessons for 9 years and gone to solo and ensemble competition for 5 years, earning one excellent and four superior ratings.
Why Witt? There were several factors pointing me towards Wittenberg. Originally, I had actually planned on attending a school in New York that I was accepted to; however, there were many draws and pluses to going to Wittenberg. I had applied to Wittenberg in November of my senior year and received my acceptance letter in January. In my acceptance letter, there were scholarships that really made an originally expensive choice very affordable. Additionally, there was a handwritten note to me complimenting me on the essay that I had written. This boggled my mind! I had never had such a personal message written to me from a staff member at a university before, and it just made me feel like I was wanted and that the staff was going to speak to me as equals. The next factor that pulled me towards Wittenberg was my audition process. When I arrived at the school, the first thing I noticed was how pretty the campus was. It was downright gorgeous and picturesque. My audition for the school in New York was so nerve racking. In comparison, the audition here at Wittenberg was so much more laid-back, and I felt right at home immediately. It just felt like the right school for me.
What next? After graduation, I plan on moving either to New York or L.A. so that I can pursue an acting and singing career. I love performing so much, and I want to use what I learn here at school to further my career in that capacity. I hope to perform opera, Broadway, or to perform in any way possible. I decided a long time ago that I don’t mind being a starving artist if I have to, what really matters to me is that I’ll be pursuing my dreams.
Irene Reising ’17
I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I attended Indian Hill High School. During high school, I participated in the Cincinnati Children’s Choir, the ensemble-in-residence at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. I was cast in the Children’s Chorus in Werther (Massenet) and La Boheme, and Turandot (Puccini), with CCM (College-Conservatory of Music University of Cincinnati) and Carmen with the Cincinnati Metropolitan Opera Company. I was also in my high school’s orchestra (viola).
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg University because of the music department. Also, I wanted to go somewhere where I could have personal attention. The campus is absolutely gorgeous! Also, talking to other students really helped me decide on Witt. The students and faculty were so friendly during my campus visits. Everyone loves it here. Witt is a family.
What next? After graduation I am planning on pursuing a master’s degree in vocal performance or joining an opera company.
Alec Nutting ’16
I am from Lakeland, Florida and I attended Harrison School of the Performing Arts, where I participated in chamber choir, mixed choir, and men’s choir. In high school I was honored to make it to Florida’s all-state choir three years in a row. I was also in Polk county’s all-county choir for four years in a row and in Disney’s Candlelight Honor Choir for four years in a row.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg for a few different reasons: The first was that it seemed where God was calling me to go. The second was that it was evident it was a great place to further my education, be taught by great educators who have personal relationships with their students. Third, is the amazing network outside of Wittenberg that truly sets a person up for success when they come out of college. And last, it was an amazing opportunity to help me prolong my athletic career and play four more years of football and pursue my love of music to the highest potential I can.
What next? I’d like to further my studies and get my master’s at graduate school, so hopefully one day I will be teaching music education and sparking the interest of music in others who enjoy it as much as I do.
Kristina Lindsey ’16
I am from Ypsilanti, Michigan, a city about 30 minutes southeast of Detroit. I went to Milan High School and did a college program called Early College Alliance at Eastern Michigan University. At my high school there were no opportunities for string players, nor were there any music classes. I decided to join the Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra (YYO) as a cellist, and I participated in that for four years. I also played for the YYO Bernard A. Galler String Quartet for 2 years.
Why Witt? Wittenberg University was sending me emails my senior year because of my ACT scores. I honestly didn’t really think much about this school. I applied late in March/April of 2013 because this wasn’t one of my top schools. I decided to apply since I had nothing to lose. Once I got the scholarship awards for music and academics, I put Witt on my list. I visited the campus a couple of times to see if this was the right place for me. Everyone here was so nice and loving that I knew I could thrive here. The music staff is wonderful and very experienced in what they teach. I know that I will be able to grow in my instrumental gift as well as a person.
What next? After graduation, I plan to study at International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri as a worship leader for two years. Then, I hope to attend Juilliard for a master’s degree in music performance for piano. I really want to have a successful career in music in the future.
Luke Mullins ’16
I am from a small town - Carroll, Ohio. It’s just outside of Lancaster. I went to Bloom-Carroll High School, where I was a member of the marching band, chamber singers, and jazz band for all four years. I was a section leader in both chamber singers and marching band. I also participated in theater, being a part of two musicals and a play. And I played in the local community band.
Why Witt? Wittenberg offered me wanted I wanted form college, a close community and the ability to pursue music and science. My first visit to the campus was enough to decide I wanted to attend Wittenberg.
What next? I am not entirely sure what I want to do after graduation. I’m leaving my options open because I will be graduating with a degree in biochemistry/molecular biology, and music. One idea is to attend med school and another is to attend grad school for biochemistry, molecular biology or music.
Elaina Vimmerstedt ’16
I am from Grandview Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. I went to Grandview Heights High School, where I performed in concert band and marching band for four years. I participated in jazz band and Grandview Singers, our high school’s varsity choral ensemble, for three years. I also played in the pit orchestra for three years, for our annual musicals.
Why Witt? There were many factors that helped me decide that Witt was the right school for me. For one, my audition here was the best audition experience that I had ever had. For students who are going through the audition process, it is well known how nerve-racking this experience can be. The professors who heard my audition were warm and welcoming, and I even got to do a trial lesson with one of the music faculty members after my audition. I also sat in on a choir rehearsal near the end of my senior year, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easily I could picture myself singing in that group as a student at Witt. Last, but certainly not least, I fell in love with the beautiful campus and the rich heritage Wittenberg has to offer.
What next? As far as plans after graduation go, it is still a bit early to tell - but I have a few ideas. After I have graduated, I may go to graduate school to acquire a master’s in music education, or begin to use my undergraduate degree in music education right away and start teaching. In the distant future, I would love to earn a doctorate. Most of my childhood idols had doctorates, and it has always been a goal of mine to become “Dr. Vimmerstedt.”
Emily Rayens ’16
I am from Lexington, Kentucky and I attended Lafayette Senior High School and the SCAPA (School for the Creative And Performing Arts) program. I was involved in the Lafayette “Pride of the Bluegrass” Marching Band as well as concert band. I also played in the school orchestra and the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra. Finally, I played both flute and piano in the school musicals.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because the day before decisions were due, and I was still deciding between Wittenberg and Wooster, I realized that I had liked the flute teacher and the music program much better at Witt. Also, I liked the fact that I could be a dual-major and knew that many others at Wittenberg had picked the same two! It made me feel very much at home on campus and comfortable in my academic decisions.
Isabell Fig ’16
I’m from Laura, Ohio. It’s not an hour away from here. I went to Franklin Monroe High School. In high school I participated in concert band, jazz band, pep band, solo and ensemble competitions, District XI Honors Band, and attended the All-Ohio State Fair Band in Columbus.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because it’s a close community and resembled how my school/community back home was. Where I’m from there are usually less than sixty kids in a grade, so the closeness of this college was much more comfortable than a large one like Ohio State.
Madeline Kraft ’16
I am from Cape Elizabeth, Maine and attended the local public high school. My high school didn’t having any string opportunities. There were, however, many opportunities within the local community. I was in the Southern Maine Youth Orchestra for all four years and participated in the Maine All State Festival for two out of the four years. I also played in a string quartet for two years during high school.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because I was looking for a school where I could comfortably double major in music and business, as well as swim competitively. This was my biggest challenge while searching for a school. My decision was really easy once I stepped onto Witt’s campus - I knew that it was the right place for me, it had the right feel and it made my decision for me!
What next? I would love to enter the music business industry after Witt. That is what I plan to use my double major in music and business management for. I find that industry incredibly intriguing and would love to be a part of it at some point in the future! As for music, I don’t think I will ever stop playing. It has been in my life for so many years that it is part of my lifestyle and I can’t even imagine my life without music. As for now, though, I am enjoying my time at Wittenberg!
Hannah Hatch ’16
I am from Lancaster, Ohio, a town that is about 30 minutes south of Columbus. I attended Bloom-Carroll High School, where I was involved in music activities at school and in the community. At my school, I was involved in Chamber Singers, marching band (field commander), concert band and the jazz band for all four years of my high school career. I was also involved in the musicals we did every other year such as: Seussical the Musical and Once Upon a Mattress. I was involved in the Lancaster Community Band and I also took flute, saxophone and voice lessons.
Why Witt? I chose Wittenberg because it had exactly what I was looking for in a school, especially the size! Coming from a small high school, I wanted to stay in the same atmosphere, with a small campus and small class sizes. I knew a big school wouldn’t be the right place for me. I also chose Wittenberg because when I came for a visit and for my audition, I felt at home and I wasn’t nervous like I was at other schools. That was a key factor in my decision. I had to feel at home!
What next? After I graduate, I would like to either continue my education and get a master’s or doctorate in music. If I don’t do this right out of college, I would like to start using my music education degree and start teaching in the schools. No matter what I do though, someday I want to teach others about music and pass my Wittenberg light onto others.
Tyler Bly ’16
I come from Fort Wayne, Indiana. I went to Homestead High School, which is well-known for its music department. During high school I was involved with everything music that I could be: I marched with the band, playing both trumpet and mellophone all four years. I was also in both concert band and symphonic band. On top of that, I was in jazz ensemble. Occasionally, I took part in orchestra when the parts called for it. I also participated in pep band and even back-up band for show choir! I was very involved with music during high school!!
Why Witt? Now why Wittenberg? Well, I had a couple friends that went here that I marched with in high school, so I decided to check it out. Plus, one of my marching instructors graduated from here in 2005. When I first visited, I just loved the atmosphere. Small classes are great! Also, the music department is very good.
What next? After graduation, I have two possible directions. Since I am dual majoring in music and computer science, my goal is to get into the field of music technology and/or music production. I’m hoping to get a job with Sweetwater Sound, which is a studio that’s internationally known and is based out of my hometown, Fort Wayne. My goal, if I cannot get into Sweetwater right away, is to begin working for my cousin who is a computer specialist/tech and at the same time head to grad school for music technology, most likely at Ball State University!
Click here to see students previously featured in “Why Wittenberg?”