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I Am a Conductor


Jared Joseph gave a lot of thought to his college decision. It would be one of the most important decisions of his life. And before he even started at Otterbein, he got a taste of the personal time and attention he would receive as a student on campus. 

“Teri (Devlin, retired admission counselor) had a warm personality; I felt quite comfortable about choosing Otterbein after talking with her,” Jared remembers. “Both Dr. (Gayle) Walker (director of choral activities and music professor) and Teri responded to my endless number of questions quickly and reached out to me through numerous phone calls, emails and postcards.”

The genuine care shown by the Otterbein faculty and staff continued once Jared became a Cardinal.
“While at Otterbein, Dr. Walker served as my academic advisor, honors advisor, professor of numerous classes including ear-training and sight-singing, conducting, and music history, as well as a colleague and friend on various projects and committees,” Jared said. “Her willingness to always make time for me and her other students was amazing.”

Dr. Walker not only made time for Jared, but she also inspired him to become a leader in the community.

“Dr. Walker and I were casually talking in her office one day when she mentioned she led a summer choir in her undergraduate years. I was instantly hooked, and I co-founded and served as student manager and conductor of Otterbein Summer Chorale (OSC) for two years,” he said.

“The choir included high school students and church singers, as well as Otterbein alumni, faculty and current students. Those who signed up to sing in the choir were extremely dedicated, and I learned so much from interacting with them,” Jared continued. “I was really nervous at first, since most of the choir was older than I was (some singers were in their 70s), but they welcomed me and the other conductors with open arms, and I am so thankful that Otterbein helped make this happen.”

As a student, Jared toured China with the Otterbein choir, performing in universities, elementary schools and even in private homes. 

“The thought that I interacted with the Chinese in their country is still mind boggling,” he said. “I never even dreamed of going to China or climbing one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Wall of China. I love to observe people, and what an amazing crash course this was to absorb so much of a culture across the world.”