Twenty-seven months have gone by since the inception of the Oberlin College Alumni CD project! The idea came in 2009, and I started actually working on this project 17 months ago. I must admit that I was quite naive when I began. I actually thought that pulling pieces from Oberlin classmates’ prerecorded student and senior recitals and putting together a CD would take a couple of months – WRONG!!
Here are the steps I went through:
May 2009 – I attended an Oberlin 1973-1976 cluster alumni reunion at Oberlin College. The idea to use pieces from Oberlin performances in exchange for the transfer of classmates’ reel-to-reel tapes to CDs was born from discussions with classmates, Greer Ellison and Betty Hunter Shultz. I mulled over the idea and possible project for a year.
June 2010 — The Sounds of Hope Project Board approved pursuing the idea of making a CD from pieces “donated” to us from my Oberlin cluster alumni group, 1973-1976. I e-mailed Greer Ellison and Betty Hunter Shultz to see if they were still interested and presented the CD and “Musicians Who Care” idea to Dean David Stull at Oberlin. SOHP wanted to make sure we had permission to use performances recorded at Oberlin.
July 2010 — Dean Stull gave his support and blessing for SOHP to go ahead with SOHP’s Musicians Who Care project. He instructed us about what SOHP could and could not use. Oberlin’s alumni association provided addresses and communication information.
August 2010 – I contacted more classmates about the project and asked for their reel-to-reel tapes. Many no longer had these reels or felt there were no pieces that were appropriate.
September 2010 — Our pro bono lawyer drew up performer and “author” contracts. Greer Ellison, ’74, and Betty Hunter Shultz, ’74, sent their tapes to SOHP. Betty Hunter Shultz and Paul S. Reed, ’74, had performed a joint recital and he also agreed to be part of this project.
October, November 2010 – After contacting more classmates to request their recorded recitals in exchange for SOHP transferring their recitals tapes for reels to CDs, SOHP received senior recital reels from Deborah DeWolf Emery, ’74, and a trombone reunion choir concert cassette recorded in May 1991. I added my senior recital reels, ’74, and a found a beautiful performance by Andrew Trechak’s on one of my student recital reels and added these to the group.
December 2010 – When I asked about searching for more reel-to-reels, Paul Eachus, Oberlin Media Specialist, told me that Oberlin no longer held anything older than 1986. But I determined that enough music could still be gathered from what I had already acquired to produce a CD and gave Paul Eachus the recital reels and trombone cassette to be transferred to CDs.
April 2011 — I picked up CDs from Paul Eachus.
May, 2011 — I listened to the CDs and held a “listening” party with friends to help choose programs. We found enough for 3 different CDs and genres.
June 2011 — As listening, revising, typing sample programs continued, I started receiving signed contracts. I asked for bios from all performers. I took a sample CD, Sounds of Solace, to a funeral home for an opinion. The owner liked the CD.
July, 2011 — All contracts, bios, programs, etc. were ready to be mastered, typed up and sent to Kunaki to produce.
August 2011 — Peggy Crousman gave SOHP permission to use her photography for the CD covers. Megan Poletti, our media specialist, produced the first set of mastered CDs by end of the month.
September 2011 — Megan volunteered to help with the uploading to Kunaki of the cover, inside cover and back cover, and music. Dean Stull provided a quote for the inside cover of the CDs. I sent an email to the Oberlin Alumni Magazine with information for a possible article about the CDs.
Megan gave me the 2nd set of mastered CDs to edit. I listened, listened, listened to CDs, made lots of notes, and listened again before sending Megan a final edit list. All the performances were recorded before different live audiences. The performances were recorded on different days, by different technicians, and on different instruments which made it difficult for me when listening and editing.
October, 2011 – As of October 6, 2011 all three CDs have gone to final production at Kunaki.com. Megan delivered the final mastered CDs. She and I uploaded all the information for the CDs to the Kunaki site. A sample copy of each CD will arrive for my final “ok” before final production begins.
I am now both anxious and excited about the 3 CDs. I think I have “dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s.”