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Student, Songwriter Releases First Album

Story by Matt Soppelsa '14

Since the age of 14, Otterbein University music student Tom Schickel ’17 has been playing the piano and writing his own music. Recently, he returned to one of the first places he ever performed live, The Works in his hometown of Loveland, OH, for the release of his first album.

Schickel’s first album features six original songs, one of which, called “Torn,” is all about writer’s block and the struggle to just put words on the page. Schickel is inspired by artists like Billy Joel, but draws heavily from the styles of Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist from the band, “Over the Rhine,” with whom he had the opportunity to study for a week in New Mexico.

Prior to attending Otterbein, Schickel took a year off of school to serve as a teacher’s aide in Australia. There he worked with children, ages four to 16, in the classroom and outdoor activities. Schickel said the experiences he had in Australia and the people he befriended there have been a huge inspiration for his music.

Schickel is currently working on his second album and plans to pursue a career as a songwriter.