More Why Wittenberg

Students previously featured in “Why Wittenberg?”

Michael KovackMichael 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 this piece of advice I heard during my college search: 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.

Garrett StoutGarrett 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.

Daisonae MartinDaisonae 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 WangJiabao Wang ’18

I am from Culver, Indiana, which is 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 to 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 HolmesMegan 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.

What next?  After graduation I would like to teach at the elementary school level. I plan on pursuing my master’s degree and eventually my doctorate in music.

John KolbergJohn 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-BloomMandy 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 TyeDeryn 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 GilliganAmy 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 DavenportXavier 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.

What next?  I would like to play classical guitar professionally, touring the world if I can. I know it’s a lofty goal, but I truly believe Wittenberg can help me achieve it.

Emily SchoffEmily 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 JohnsonMadelyn 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, and 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 MillerMorgan 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 TimkoLucy 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 SowaKyle 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 SchopperKristina 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 MusgraveMackenzie 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 ToureAsha 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 JobesTanner 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 SmithElizabeth 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 BabyakChristian 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 GabrielleAngelique 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 later 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.

Bryanna BooneBrynna 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 TorstensonDeanna 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 YoungRachelle 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.

What next?  Depending on how the next few years play out, I currently plan to attend graduate school and will most likely study psychology. After that I will go wherever the wind takes me!

Connie FrankensteinConnie 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 BroseBethany 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 WilverVictoria 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, but 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 ReisingIrene 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 bohème, 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 NuttingAlec 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 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 and 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. Lastly, 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 LindseyKristina 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 MullinsLuke 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 played in the local community band.

Why Witt?  Wittenberg offered me what I wanted from 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 degrees in both music and biochemistry / molecular biology. One idea is to attend med school and another is to attend grad school for biochemistry, molecular biology or music.

Elaina VimmerstedtElaina 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 RayensEmily 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.

What next?  After I graduate, I will either go to graduate school or medical school, depending on how the next three-and-a-half years work out. I want to either be a doctor or play in an orchestra.

Isabelle FigIsabell 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.

What next?  After I graduate with a B.A. in music, I am going to go to graduate school and get my master’s in library science so that I can fulfill my dream of working in a library.

Madeline KraftMadeline 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 HatchHannah 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, including these Seussical the Musical and Once Upon a Mattress. I was involved in the Lancaster Community Band and I 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 BlyTyler 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, and 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?  So, 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!

student photoGreg Brice ’16

I’m from Germantown, Maryland. I graduated from Northwest High School, and while at Northwest I participated in Marching Band, Brass Ensemble, Concert & Symphonic Band, Chamber Choir, Men’s Ensemble, Pit Orchestra, and Combined Orchestra (Winds, Strings, & Percussion).

Why Witt?  I chose Wittenberg for many reasons. I wanted an opportunity to experience new things, in a new environment. I also chose Wittenberg because of the beauty and warmth I felt when I first toured the campus, which gave me a feeling of safety, as if Witt was my second home. Lastly, I chose Wittenberg because I felt welcomed. I felt that I could interact and connect on a deeper level than any other university I could have attended.

What next?  After graduation I have no clue what I want to do. Each day at Witt’s music department I learn about new things I can do after graduation, so I just cannot decide what to do. Maybe I will do them all! With time as the limiting factor, however, whatever I do after graduation it will be the music professors at Wittenberg who helped me with my first steps toward reaching that future.

student photoJack Burdwood ’16

I am from Titusville, New Jersey, a moderately rural area next to the Delaware River. I attended Hopewell Valley Central High School and, during my time there, I was part of the symphonic band, orchestra, marching band, and percussion ensemble, and I played in the pit orchestra for the musicals Les Misérables, Bye Bye Birdie, and Crazy for You.

Why Witt?  I chose Wittenberg for several reasons, the first of which is that it is VERY far from my home. The school itself is a lot like my high school, but with friendlier people. And, of course, no one can argue with the fact that the campus is gorgeous. I had heard that the music program was very good, and it has yet to disappoint! Every time I walk out of the music building after a lesson with Mr. Smarelli, I feel like my skills as a musician have improved from when I walked in and that I have a slightly better chance competing out in the musical world when my time at Wittenberg comes to an end.

What next?  My ultimate goal is to one day play the scores for movies, video games, television shows, and other types of media.

student photoJordan Mathews ’15

I moved from Round Lake, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, but I now live in Springfield with family. I graduated from Round Lake Sr. High School, where I participated in various ensembles such as marching band, symphonic band, choir, jazz band, clarinet choir, a cappella choir, madrigals, and even musical theatre. Outside of my academic music interests, I also accompanied at various churches, solo and ensemble contests, and various choirs around town. I held leadership positions in Tri-M Music Honor Society and in student council.

Why Witt?  I chose Wittenberg because when I visited I knew it could be my new home. Going through the process many times with other schools, and being a transfer student, I knew exactly what I was looking for: a welcoming community that would give me the resources I needed to be successful in the real world. When I came to audition and met the faculty, I knew they could give me the attention I needed. I was impressed with the campus, the talent, and vigor of the department. Furthermore, it was also nice to know I could be involved with other activities, such as pursuing a Spanish minor.

What next?  If there is one thing I understand, it’s that no matter what plans I make for my life, there is a bigger purpose that will take me down a different path. Nevertheless, I hope to continue accompanying on a larger scale, such as gigs that I can call a career, but I would also love to further my education and go for my master’s in music.

student photoElias Symons ’15

I am a transfer student from San Diego, California. I attended Orange Glen High School and Palomar Community College. While in high school and community college, I pursued music outside of school, learning contemporary and classical pieces as well as composing original songs. I also played piano for four years in a local church’s contemporary band.

Why Witt?  Wittenberg—with its small class sizes, one-on-one interaction with professors, and reputable music program—was an obvious choice for me. At Wittenberg I knew I would be able to experience the benefits of a rigorous music program within the context of a supportive small community of staff and students.

What next?  I hope to graduate from Wittenberg with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music with a focus on composition. I plan on going back home to San Diego and pursuing film score composition in the Los Angeles area.

student photoBethany MacMillan ’15

I am from Brunswick, Ohio. I attended Brunswick High School and graduated in 2011. In high school I was a part of the Mixed Symphonic Choir where I was the Senior Conductor. I was also in the concert choir, Bravo!, sang in Show Choir, participated in musicals, and was a member of the school’s Color Guard.

Why Witt?  My audition for the music scholarship was my first visit to campus. After I auditioned, my grandmother and I toured campus. Everyone we passed smiled, waved, or asked me how my day was, before they even knew me! Before we got in the car to go home, I stopped my grandmother and asked her, “Do you hear that?” Looking bewildered and confused she looked at me. “Wittenberg is calling my name.” Before I was accepted or even received any scholarships, I knew Wittenberg University was the community and family for me. Wittenberg University was also one of the few places where I could be involved with more than just music as a music major. It allows me to be part of a sorority, join groups, and take classes outside of the music building, which could be extremely difficult at other universities. To me, it is important to keep my eyes open to areas outside of music, which is why Wittenberg’s liberal arts education was a perfect choice for my interests.

What next?  After graduation I plan to teach choir for middle school. I love their fluctuating hormones and attitudes which make class all the more fun. Music is my passion, and education is my love. Following the University’s motto, I hope to pass my light on to others.

student photoAlicen Tisch ’15

I am from Fairfield, Ohio, a suburban city near Cincinnati, and I attended Fairfield High School. My school district has an excellent music program, and I was lucky enough to be able to participate in myriad musical activities. I auditioned and was accepted into my high school’s top orchestra, participated in yearly district and regional honors orchestras, played in pit orchestra, joined Tri-M (a music honor society), played in a local youth orchestra, competed in state orchestra contest, participated in solo and ensemble competitions, and played in a local quartet. At the end of my senior year, I was able to perform with members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra when they came to my high school to give a community concert.

Why Witt?  I chose to attend Wittenberg University for several reasons. When I was looking at schools, I knew I wanted to find a college that was smaller and more personal, and Wittenberg meets those criteria. Moreover, I found that Wittenberg has a very strong liberal arts program, which is evident in everything the university strives for. At Wittenberg students are required to take courses from a variety of departments, and this liberal arts appreciation turns students into open-minded, conscientious adults. I came to Wittenberg because I wanted a holistic education that would prepare me for life after school, and I’m certainly getting that.

What next?  My plans for after graduation are, at best, still rather nebulous. In addition to music I’m also pursuing a major in English. I’m interested in beginning a writing career, whether it is freelance, creative, analytical, or otherwise. I am still unsure where that will take me, but there are lots of opportunities for literary careers involving music, and I plan to spend some time thoroughly investigating options I may be interested in.

student photoAlexa Konowal ’15

I’m from Canton, Ohio, and I have been homeschooled since first grade. As a homeschooler I didn’t often have opportunities for affordable extracurricular activities thrown at me, and most of the music ensembles in my area were run by public schools and open to their students only. In my sophomore year of high school, however, I joined the Stark County Homeschool Band on trumpet, and I jumped from the beginner class to the advanced class just a year later. Eventually, I began learning trombone as well. As a senior I participated in a local competition as a trumpeter for a brass quintet. I also sang with my church’s choir as an alto.

Why Witt?  I came to Wittenberg because I was impressed by what I heard about faculty-student interactions. As someone used to being very close with her teachers (one of them was my mom, after all), I wanted a school where my instructors were accessible and invested in my education, where I felt like I mattered, like the teacher genuinely wanted to know what I was thinking. I definitely found that here! One of the things about Wittenberg that still impresses me is how many open offices I pass on my way to class, with teachers and students conversing inside.

What next?  I plan to attend graduate school for music therapy. Later, I would love to work in a hospital with children, or in a hospice facility with the terminally ill, or maybe even in a nursing home with seniors. I haven’t decided yet, and there are so many possibilities!

student photoSara Zinn ’15

I am from Springfield, Ohio. I attended Shawnee High School and participated in Women’s Choir, Symphonic Choir, Madrigals, and Orchestra.

Why Witt?  I chose Wittenberg because I was drawn to the liberal arts education this institution offers. I also chose Wittenberg because of their music program! I had heard so much about it and how wonderful all the music professors were and how successful the choir had been, and I knew I had to check it out.

What next?  After graduation I would love to attend graduate school and then obtain my doctorate and become a college professor!

student photoJoy Carter ’15

I am from Beavercreek, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton. I went to Beavercreek High School, where I participated in many musical activities: varsity choir, Beavercreek A Cappella Choir, and show choir. In the instrumental world I was a color guard member of the Beavercreek High School Marching Band and Color Guard for three years and a baritone player for one year. I also participated in the Symphonic band on euphonium, Winter Guard, and school musicals. I was also blessed with the opportunity to perform at various OMEA solo competitions and participate in voice and piano lessons through my school.

Why Witt?  There were many contributing factors as to why I chose Wittenberg over other universities. The main reason, I believe, had to do with the faculty I was able to meet on my first tour. To them, I was not just “potential student,” I was Joy Carter, an individual with unique educational dreams and aspirations. The people here took the time to know me, and even remembered my name when I returned for another visit. The music faculty, in particular, were very interested in me as a person, not just a head to fill in a class. It was that personal touch that convinced me that Wittenberg was the right choice for me.

What next?  After graduating I hope to either teach general music at the elementary school level or continue on to grad school and either obtain a master’s in music education or voice performance, depending on how these next years go.

student photoKatie Lyle ’15

I am from Mount Gilead, Ohio, a small, rural town about an hour north of Columbus, and I attended Mount Gilead High School. During high school I was a member of the concert band, marching band, pep band, and jazz band, where I played the flute, piccolo, and saxophone. During my senior year I was also awarded the opportunity to lead the marching band onto the field as a drum major. I was active in the District X Honor Band, received many excellent and superior ratings in District X solo and ensemble contests, and was able to compete in the Bands of America Grand National Championships both my junior and senior years.

Why Witt?  I chose Wittenberg because as soon as I stepped foot on campus, I knew I would fit in here. Because I come from such a small town, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to find my place at a large school. Here at Witt, I have been able to discover who I am as a person, find my passion for music, and become a member of a life-long family.

What next?  Upon graduation I plan on attending graduate school in order to obtain a degree in music therapy. I hope one day to be able to work in the terminal illness wing of Children’s Hospital, providing support and positive outlets to the children and their families through the uplifting power of music.

student photoSean McCullough ’15

I am from Lawrenceville, Georgia. I attended Hebron Christian Academy, and I was involved in a praise band with guitar, keyboard, and vocals. I also performed in a symphonic band, played guitar and piano for my church services, took voice lessons, and wrote and recorded a lot of music with a band.

Why Witt?  I chose Wittenberg because, believe it or not, I missed Ohio. I used to live in Dayton, and I decided it would be great to come back up.

What next?  I am thinking about still continuing to play music at churches, and I also want to keep writing and recording, but for my “job,” I want to go into the publication industry and become an editor, while at the same time take courses to earn a master’s and doctorate in English composition and rhetoric so that I can teach at a college.

student photoDanielle O’Neill ’14

I am from Canal Winchester, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. I attended Groveport Madison High School, where I participated in Select Ensemble Choir, Gospel Choir, and Chamber Choir. In Select Ensemble we performed at solo and ensemble (we went AA and received a 1). Our Select Ensemble had the honor of being chosen to perform in the Ohio Capital Conference Honors Choir, under the direction of Dr. Lynda Hasseler. I was also in several musicals and plays including The Wiz and The Butler Did It, Singing!

Why Witt?  I chose to attend Wittenberg for many reasons! The first is the fact that it offers a liberal arts education. Through Wittenberg you have the ability to find your passion in many different fields, and it helps you to become a well-rounded person. I also felt that the Music Department could really help me grow as a musician and further develop my musical skills. We have an amazing faculty and many people who are willing to go the extra mile to help you! Also, how can someone not like our scenic view?

What next?  I would love to have a professional career in both music and theatre. I am planning on going to graduate school for vocal performance. Ideally, I would like to explore my favorite genres of music further in graduate school—namely, musical theatre and opera.

student photoBen Holbrook ’14

I am from Alliance, Ohio, where I went to Alliance High School. During my high school years, I was involved in the annual spring musical, the orchestra, jazz band, and the Choralaires mixed choir. I participated in solo and ensemble competitions every year for both voice and cello performance. Musicals I participated in included Krazy for You, Cats, and Jekyll & Hyde.

Why Witt?  I chose Wittenberg because I knew I needed a small liberal arts college to fully meet my needs in the classroom. I also knew that, because it is a smaller program, the music classrooms could be more inclusive and give me the personal attention I needed to grow as a musician. The campus’s beauty only solidified my decision to attend.

What next?  After graduating from Wittenberg I plan to attend graduate school and pursue a Ph.D. in musicology or sociomusicology.

student photoTyler Wyche ’14

I am from Columbus, Ohio, where I attended Groveport Madison High School. In high school I was involved in our Concert Choir for all four years, a part of the Chamber Choir for 3 years, and a member of the Select Ensemble for 2 years. I also was very involved with the musicals at our school beginning my junior year. I played the Tin Man in my first musical, The Wiz, and played Father White in the musical The Butler Did It, Singing.

Why Witt?  All throughout high school I had it set in my mind that I wanted to go to a relatively small school. I had nothing against schools like Ohio State or the University of Cincinnati. I just knew that I would really enjoy being a part of a much more intimate classroom experience as opposed to sitting in lecture halls with 100+ students. I heard about Wittenberg during my junior year and saw that it was a liberal arts school. I researched it a little more and saw that it was also Lutheran affiliated, which assisted my decision. When I came to Wittenberg for a visit, I immediately fell in love with the campus. Everything about the campus was beautiful, the faculty and staff that I met were super friendly, and my fellow prospective students were all really cool to get to know. It also helped that Wittenberg gave me as much financial aid as they did. After my visits to the campus, the decision was pretty easy to make, though.

What next?  After graduation I would love to go straight into teaching. I have learned a ton of great information, teaching tools, and techniques in relation to music education. Although it hasn’t been a goal of mine forever, I’ve been determined to go out and spread the knowledge of how and why music is so powerful in a school somewhere. I also hope at some point to be able to perform. Whether it be on a big stage like the Chicago Lyric Opera or Broadway, or if it’s just a small gig here and there, I want to have the chance to share my performance talents with others.

student photoKailey Coulter ’14

I am from Grove City, Ohio, and I attended Grove City High School. I was involved with choir all four years and was also a member of “Class Act,” one of our show choirs. I received multiple superior ratings at the OMEA Solo & Ensemble Contest and participated in the OMEA All-State Choir my junior and senior year along with the Ohio Capital Conference Honors Choir. I was also involved in the theatre department and participated in shows such as Little Shop of Horrors, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Into the Woods.

Why Witt?  I chose Wittenberg because I was interested in pursuing music at a smaller school where I could also study political science, and Wittenberg has given me the opportunity to do just that. I was also drawn to Wittenberg because of its beautiful campus and the excellent professors I met on visit days who still remember my name.

What next?  I’m not quite sure what direction my life will take in after graduation, but I am considering a Ph.D. in political science and possibly attending law school.

student photoAndrew Bowen ’13

My home is in northeast Georgia, in Gainesville, where I graduated from Chestatee High School in 2010. My high school choral program afforded me many opportunities including I Cantori, Fellowship of Christian Athletes Praise Team, and the competition men’s quartet, as well as statewide ensembles including All-State Mixed Choir, Men’s Choir, Sight Reading Choir, and District Honor Choir.

Why Witt?  I chose Wittenberg for its beautiful campus aesthetic and the unique experience of attending a liberal arts college with a rigorous and eclectic course curriculum. Wittenberg also allows for an incredible amount of one-on-one instruction, which has been and is immensely important for me to have as a student.

What next?  After graduating, I hope to pursue a career in music via radio broadcasting or secondary-level education, or enroll in a graduate-level program in music.

student photoOlivia Guetle ’13

I am from Mansfield, Ohio, where I attended Mansfield Senior High School. I was in my school orchestra and the Mansfield Symphony Youth Orchestra. I participated in solo and ensemble all four years, doing piano and cello solo events and string ensembles. I played in the orchestra pit for two musicals, Guys and Dolls and The Wizard of Oz. I also played in many church ensembles and in quartets for weddings.

Why Witt?  I chose Wittenberg because I was looking for a college that was both highly academic and also had a really good music program, especially one with an orchestra and other music ensembles.

What next?  After graduation I plan on going to dental school.

student photoKatie McNeal ’12

I am from Venetia, a suburban area that is about half an hour south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I attended Peters Township High School. I was in the concert band my freshman year. I then joined the wind symphony in subsequent years. I also played in a few various settings, but music was always a hobby in which I participated only when time allowed.

Why Witt?  When I was looking for schools, I looked at the science departments and what kind of opportunities one could have there. While I wanted to focus on science, I wanted to be able to keep playing flute (as a hobby!) and explore other subjects as well. Wittenberg provided this, all within an environment that would allow me to explore and grow in my faith. What I didn’t know, though, was that Wittenberg would provide me the opportunity to be bitten by the music bug. I was convinced to minor in music. I took a class and next thing I knew, I was declaring a music major! I’m glad I chose a school where I was able to explore different subjects and could follow two fields at once.

What next?  I have no idea what I want to do or where I want to go. All I know is that I would love to be able to keep music in my life. I’m sure God will eventually let me know what He’s thinking I’ll do after graduation. Until then, I’ve got plenty more to learn at Wittenberg!

student photoRachel Hunger ’12

I grew up in a little one-stop-light town called Tremont City, only 10 minutes from Wittenberg. I attended Northwestern Elementary and Middle school. I graduated from Tecumseh High School, where I was involved with the Symphonic Choir and the Girls Show Choir. At Tecumseh I was able to expand my musical itch if you will call it. I was given chances to do things that I couldn’t do at Northwestern.

Why Witt?  I know how great this music program is and what a beautiful, loving campus atmosphere there is. I think that we have some of the best music professors anyone can get.

What next?  I have always wanted to go back to my high school and teach, but things don’t always go as planned. I would really like to find a teaching job that will expand my horizons and will show me what teaching is all about. I am planning to get a master’s degree either in music or music education.

student photoIsabelle Beegle-Levin ’12

I am from Bedford, a small town in the midst of the Alleghenies in Pennsylvania. It is where the Whiskey Rebellion took place, and it has a lot of history. I went to Chestnut Ridge High School. For several years I was in the Johnstown Youth Symphony Orchestra. I was in chorus my junior year and took music theory my senior year.

Why Witt?  I absolutely loved Wittenberg from the pictures and descriptions in the pamphlets and when I came to visit. I love the people and the gorgeous campus. I also like the writing-intensive courses. I wanted to come here for music because I knew I could pursue my love for music while still broadening my understanding of other subjects. The financial aid also was great.

What next?  I want a career which has something to do with music. I would either like to be a performer and songwriter or a part of the music business, such as managing a record company, coordinating musical events at resorts, cities, and other venues, or being a part of the business behind music camps and schools. I hope that whatever I do, I keep the spirit and heart of music in all my work and life.

student photoTiffany Olszuk ’12

I am from Hopewell, New Jersey, which is a small town in the central part of the state. I attended Hopewell Valley Central High School and during my time there I was involved with several choirs including Ragazze (a select women’s ensemble) and Concert Choir. One of my most memorable experiences with high school choir was having the opportunity to record a full CD entitled Floating Upstream, with the works of Canadian composer Stephen Hatfield. I was selected to be in the New Jersey All State choirs in 2005 and 2006 and had the incredible experience of performing at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall. Outside of school, I took private piano lessons and was involved with a concert that raised several thousand dollars to aid people in Congo who suffer from a disease called river blindness.

Why Witt?  I chose to attend Wittenberg University because from my very first visit here I was welcomed by everyone on campus. I even unexpectedly met a professor who gave me a textbook to take home so that I could bring up my grade in my high school physics class! It was clear that professors in every department that I explored were willing to do anything to help their students meet their goals. I knew that I would have endless opportunities at Wittenberg.

What next?  I know for sure that I would like to continue my education after graduating from Witt and possibly obtain a Ph.D. However, I have yet to decide what I would like to combine my love for music with. I would like to travel, so it is possible that I will study world music. My ultimate goal is to be to be able to move others with my music.

student photoKali Lawrence ’12

I am from Elyria, a city about half an hour from Cleveland, Ohio. I attended Elyria High School with two thousand of my closest friends. (Fun fact—it’s the first chartered high school west of the Alleghenies!) I played trumpet in the marching and symphonic band. During my senior year I was chosen to lead the trumpet section and become one of four business managers. Marching band was a saving grace for me. I found my passion in making music with others, and learned many life lessons. Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I am a marching band geek! I also played in the jazz band, which performed at numerous community events. I played handbells with my church throughout high school—everything from the very heavy bass bells to the piercing high bells!

Why Witt?  Wittenberg was not on my list at the end of my junior year of high school, but they kept sending me postcards in the mail, and the more I learned about the University, the more I liked it! When I came for my tour, everyone was really kind and open. They seemed like they cared about me and my dreams. Witt has a reputation of strong academic programs, which is important to me. When I left, I pictured myself going to school there, which I couldn’t do with my other possible schools. It just fit!

What next?  My dream is to return to my high school to direct the marching band there. Although that is a very specific goal, I love marching band and would be happy being involved in a high school band program anywhere. That is my passion, and I couldn’t dream of doing anything else!

student photoJarred Sorauf ’11

I was born in Dayton, Ohio, but raised in Fairborn, Ohio, a small town near Springfield. I graduated from Fairborn High School. During my time there I participated in the freshman choir, a capella choir, and chamber choir. I also took piano lessons and competed twice in the National Federation of Music competition, which was held at Wittenberg.

Why Witt?  I choose Wittenberg because I took music classes here during high school. My piano teacher at the time was a recent graduate, and she introduced me to the beautiful campus. During these classes I was so amazed by the enthusiasm and dedication of my professors. The students I talked to were always very nice and had so many good things to say about the school. After taking one class I knew that Wittenberg was the school for me.

What next?  After graduation I want to go to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in music.

student photoMarisa Perez ’11

I am from Lakewood, Ohio (directly west of Cleveland), where I attended Lakewood High School. While there, I was in chamber choir (a capella), symphonic mixed choir, symphonic treble choir, and various musicals throughout the years.

Why Witt?  I chose Wittenberg for many reasons. The first visit I had here was so wonderful. My tour guide was so enthusiastic and quite passionate about the university and all that it has to offer. I just fell in love with Wittenberg! It also helped that my choir director went to Wittenberg and I had two friends who attended and spoke highly of Witt.

What next?  My main goal after I graduate is to sing! I don’t know exactly what type of music I would prefer to go into, but whatever it turns out to be, I’m sure that it will make me happy. I could see myself doing anything from small, church singing to perhaps even a back-up singer in a band.

student photoVincent Pontius ’11

I am from a small town called Milford Center (Ohio), only not really. That is my mailing address--I am actually closer to Irwin. I went to a small school called Fairbanks located in Milford Center. There was no string program there so I joined the band and played French horn in the concert band and mellophone in the marching band. I also joined the choir for a year and was involved in playing in the pit for a musical. Since there was no place at school for strings, I traveled a lot to Columbus for group lessons at Capital University and eventually became a member of their Tour Group there for violinists. I also auditioned for the Springfield Youth Symphony where I spent one year playing violin and then the last year was principal violist. I also have taught violin and am a certified Suzuki violin teacher, and I am in a piano trio with my two siblings where I lead them in playing weddings and various events.

Why Witt?  I chose Wittenberg for many reasons. I like a small school that feels more personal in which you can really feel that the professors care and want to help. I spent some time at Wittenberg in my youth in the academic camps and I was also involved in their orchestra camp where I was chosen to play with the Springfield Symphony as an Honor Student. All these experiences helped to create a “homey” atmosphere for me here at Witt.

What next?  I know that music will always be a part of my life, no matter where I am or what I do. I’ll especially enjoy teaching and watching a student tentatively take a violin and bow in hand and watch the transformation as the months go by.

student photoMegan Hentges ’10

I am from Perrysburg, Ohio (near Toledo), where I went to Perrysburg High School. I played in my high school’s wind ensemble, marching band, and jazz band. I also sang in my church choir and played in the bell choir.

Why Witt?  When I was looking at colleges I knew that I wanted to go to a smaller school with a good music program. I started looking at ELCA-affiliated schools that were close to home. I knew I wanted to come to Wittenberg when I visited. I liked how friendly everyone was and the small class sizes. Also when I needed to audition I was not able to come to the audition days but the music department worked with me to find a different day. This let me know that Wittenberg was the place for me.

What next?  After graduation I would like to teach in a junior high or high school as a band director and general music teacher. I am also considering music ministry.

student photoLis Schueler ’10

I grew up in Deer Park, a small city in Greater Cincinnati, Ohio. I attended a fairly small local high school, Deer Park High School. I played mellophone in marching band the first two years and then became field commander. In concert band, I played French horn and later was section leader. In pep band I played mellophone at the basketball games. Sophomore year, I participated in Winter Indoor Percussion, playing xylophone. I was also in Girls Glee Club and Show Choir, each for a year. I was in the musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown my junior year. At the end of each school year, our high school put on a production called Parkers, a themed musical variety show involving songs and skits. I was in opening and closing chorus for that and sang a solo. I also took private piano and voice lessons for a couple years and participated in O.M.E.A. Solo and Ensemble for piano and voice.

Why Witt?  I realized a while ago that I wanted to major in music as a voice major. I was attending college elsewhere, and transferring was the only way to pursue my goal. When I auditioned at Wittenberg last spring, everyone was friendly and it just “felt right.” I also liked how Wittenberg was fairly small and it would be easy to get to know people. The beautiful campus was a finishing touch.

What next?  I don’t have any plans after graduating yet, but I do know that I want to perform. Whatever the case may be, I hope that whatever job I have is music-related.

student photoAnnie Selong ’10

I went to Bay High School in Bay Village, a western suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. I participated in the Ladies’ Show Choir and the A Cappella Choir for three years. During my senior year I did an independent study with my choir director where I conducted the Freshman Choir for a semester. I also worked with the elementary music teacher with 3rd and 4th graders throughout my senior year, helping them improve their skills on the recorder as well as teaching them rhythm and fun songs and dances. Plus, I was a member of the women’s chorus in two musicals put on by my high school, Oklahoma! and Footloose.

Why Witt?  I heard about Wittenberg from my older sister, who considered it during her college search. When I came to visit Wittenberg, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful campus and friendly people. I knew I wanted a small school, and the distance from home was a good mix of space and comfort. I only applied to one other school, but the music department there was not very developed. So, Wittenberg won!

What next?  Once I graduate, I hope to get a job as an elementary general music teacher somewhere in the first to fourth grade range. I can see myself someday becoming a choir director for either junior high or high school. As for location, I would love to move somewhere with warmer weather, but I will most likely go wherever the job takes me.

student photoBen Williams ’10

I attended DuPont Manual High School/Youth Performing Arts School in Louisville, Kentucky. While there, I performed with the Marching Band and Concert Band (we toured in Boston, San Antonio, Montreal, and New Orleans), Woodwind Quintet, Orchestra (we performed in Carnegie Hall), and Choir.

Why Witt?  I have family all over Ohio, so I was encouraged to look around this great state. I looked big and I looked small. Size wasn’t the issue. Wittenberg’s friendliness and boundless opportunity are what made me decide on it. Everyone has your back, and they’re always willing and eager to help you. That impression has held strong, and I am just as happy now as I was excited this time last year when I chose Witt.

What next?  I’m working on my music education degree, so I am planning on teaching in a secondary/pre-secondary setting while giving lessons. I also enjoy performing at various venues such as weddings, church services, musicals, ceremonies, and restaurants.

student photoRhea Jones-Price ’10

I am from Trotwood, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton. I attended Dayton Christian High School, where I played viola in our String Orchestra and in our senior high school musical, State Fair. I went to piano camps at the Conservatory of Music at Rider University, and at Goshen College, Bowling Green, and Capital University.

Why Witt?  I chose Wittenberg because my piano teacher recommended that I take piano lessons with Wittenberg pianist Dr. Durrenberger because he is an amazing pianist and he really made an impression on her.

What next?  I think I might go into playing for churches and teaching private lessons. I dabble in arranging and composing so perhaps I will do that as well.

student photoSarah Murray ’10

I am from Dublin, Ohio, where I was homeschooled. During my junior and senior years I was an accompanist for a children’s choir at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, and I was a keyboardist for Saturday night worship service at Cypress Wesleyan Church. The composing side of life began to develop during my sophomore year in high school. The first piece I composed, “In Principio,” received honors at an Ohio MTNA composition competition, as well as on the national level (National Piano Guild composition competition).

Why Witt?  When I was a junior in high school I came to Wittenberg for an overnight, and I immediately fell in love with the campus. I also liked the idea that the class size would be small and the professors were genuinely invested in each student’s education. I loved the friendly atmosphere. I started studying piano with Dr. Durrenberger during the summer of my junior year and the more I came to Wittenberg for my lessons the more I loved the campus.

What next?  I would really like to teach piano privately or possibly at a college level. It would be wonderful to compose on the side, too. With the liberal arts education that Wittenberg is providing, I realize that I have a wider range of options for my future.

student photoKathryn Kulma ’09

I went to Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Ohio, where I was principal clarinetist of the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Orchestra and played clarinet in the pit orchestra for musicals. I was field commander and clarinet section leader of the marching band, president of the Symphonic Mixed Choir, and I starred as Gertrude McFuzz in Seussical the Musical. In addition, I was a member of the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony, and I took private voice and clarinet lessons.

Why Witt?  I chose Wittenberg because I wanted a liberal arts education. Although music is my passion, I have many other interests and I wanted a place where I could explore them. I also like the intimate atmosphere of a small school. The music students are more supportive than competitive. Witt is small enough that even a sophomore like me gets plenty of solo performance opportunities. I liked Wittenberg because of its small size, beautiful campus, and first-rate faculty. I knew I wouldn’t get lost in the shuffle here. I also love the Wittenberg Choir!

What next?  After graduation I plan on getting my master’s degree in voice. My ultimate goal is to make a living performing and teaching private lessons. One day, I would like to receive my Ph.D. and teach at a university.

student photoSarah Dennett ’09

I went to Old Mill Senior High School, in Millersville, Maryland. I played violin in my high school’s orchestra, in the All County Orchestra, and in the pit orchestra for a few musicals the theater department put on. I also played tenor pan in my high school’s steel drum band.

Why Witt?  I wasn’t absolutely certain what I wanted to major in when I was selecting a college, so I was looking mostly at liberal arts schools. Wittenberg just seemed to have everything I was looking for in a college. It’s small and the professors are easily accessible and approachable. There are lots of ways to get involved in campus ministries, and it has lots of opportunities to get involved in music ensembles. More than anything, I felt that I would not only learn a lot at Witt, but that I would also grow in many different ways.

What next?  I’m not absolutely certain what I’m going to do immediately after I graduate, but eventually I think I’d like to get involved with some type of music ministry, hopefully one that will let me do a lot of traveling.

student photoBecca Ajer ’09

I went to Monte Vista High School in Spring Valley, a suburb of San Diego, California. I joined the county-wide San Diego Children’s Choir, an audition-only organization made up of various choirs and kids ranging in ages from 6 to 18. During my freshman year I was in Concert Choir, a group for girls in 6th-9th grade and boys from 6th grade until their voices changed. After that I was in Youth Choir, the high school mixed voices ensemble, and an 8-voice a capella group. I also performed in a lot of musicals with my school’s theater program and led the Sunday School kids at my church in caroling for three years.

Why Witt?  I chose Wittenberg for a lot of reasons. First of all, I knew before I started my college search that I wanted to go to an ELCA-affiliated liberal arts college, and this narrowed down my search somewhat. After visiting close to ten, I decided that Wittenberg felt like the best fit for me. Also, my mother’s family is originally from Ohio (my mother was born in Dayton). My grandparents on her side and two of my aunts went to Wittenberg, as well as my great-grandfather. My great-great grandfather was even once the groundskeeper!

What next?  After graduation my plan as of right now is to get a degree in music therapy and become a music therapist. It sounds like a fascinating job and would allow me to do the things I love: work with people and use music.

student photoGreg McCoach ’08

I attended John Glenn High School in New Concord, Ohio, where I performed with Concert Band (alto saxophone), Marching Band (also alto saxophone), Percussion Ensemble (all percussion instruments!), Jazz Band (piano), and Brass Choir (trumpet).

Why Witt?  I wanted to have a balanced liberal arts education and still have the option to study music seriously. I’ve always been very eclectic, and Wittenberg, being a liberal arts college, has allowed me to pursue my many interests as well as seriously study my passion, writing music. The accumulation of knowledge in many different areas had led me to become a much more cognizant and sensitive person, which will aid me for the rest of my life and will certainly be present in my music.

What next?  I plan to work at either a recording studio as an engineer or at a music publishing house as an arranger. I also want to pursue graduate school to study composition in the near future.

student photoBrad Wilson ’08

I am from New Carlisle, Ohio, where I attended Tecumseh High School. I took private classical guitar lessons, was in four musicals (leading roles as the Baker in Into the Woods and Harold Hill in The Music Man), plus four years in Show Choir, performed at numerous community- and school-sponsored events, and attended OMEA solo and ensemble competitions for three years.

Why Witt?  Wittenberg seemed to be a very comfortable and welcoming university…both of which turned out to be true. The faculty-student interaction was definitely a plus. Wittenberg was generous with scholarships—both academic and music. I felt that I would receive a first-rate education at Wittenberg, which allowed me to obtain a dual degree in music and management. The professors, the campus, and student life as a whole drew me to Wittenberg.

What next?  I am seriously contemplating working towards a master’s in voice after graduation and ultimately obtaining a Ph.D., which will enable me to teach at a university.

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