As stated in Oberlin College’s ‘Oberwiki’:

“…to enter you needed to take a sugar pill with a dot on it…and you rolled the dice, cause 1/3 of the dots were LSD…

Yep, that’s our (currently) eldest composition teacher speaking of Oberlin’s glory days when he was but a wee lad out of grad school. Randy Coleman is many things, best summed up as “a real post-modern feminist old-time patriarch from Virginia.” He is most feared for his red pen marks on freshperson’s melody assignments and for the fabled “piece-per-day” routine with private students. His music contains much variety, with each new piece vastly different than what had come before. Also, as a result, he takes a long time in writing these pieces.

For the past 15-20 years, every course that Randy has taught has been called “Postmodernism.” He has taught at Oberlin since 1965, placing him as the conservatory professor with the second-longest post at Oberlin, second only to David Boe.

After forty-three years of showing impractical, starry-eyed composition students how it’s really done, Randy Coleman is moving on. A fine appreciation is here; On Friday May 8th at 8pm, The Contemporary Music Ensemble there is giving an all-Coleman farewell concert bash, featuring Bellagio (2007-09), a concerto for piano and large ensemble with Ran Duan, piano; Apparitions (2003) for string ensemble and piano, Tom Fosnocht, piano with videodance by Nusha Martynuk and Carter McAdams;  Soundprint III (1973),  in memoriam Ezra Pound for dancer and percussion, Nusha Martynuk, dancer; The Great Lalula (1988) for voice and chamber ensemble, Molly Netter, voice, with dance choreographed by Nusha Martynuk and performed by Cleveland GroundWorks Dance Company. It’s at Hall Auditorium, Room ID_1 @ 67 North Main Street, Oberlin, OH, and absolutely free.  If you’re close come on by; this composer gave in a big way, and it seems only fair to give back.

One thought on “Thanks for All the Fish”
  1. I remember three things about my interview with Coleman back in 1997 when I was applying to Oberlin. First, he mourned aloud the fall of the Soviet Union; second, he wanted to see Breaking the Waves; third, we ended up not talking about music at all.

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