About the Credo Oberlin Program

fellows-quartet-web-sizeCredo is an unparalleled intensive and invigorating program of music study, service and performance which brings students from around the world to the Oberlin Conservatory. Students engage in musical growth through chamber groups, masterclasses, large ensembles, and private lessons. Credo students typically hail from across the nation and several foreign lands, and cover a wide variety of social and faith backgrounds. They are united in their common love for (and excellence in) chamber music performance. Credo students receive extensive daily coaching and mentoring with world-class faculty. Students are placed in chamber music and residential environments on a basis of musical achievement and social development (age). While in residence at Oberlin’s world-renowned Conservatory of Music, students enjoy excellent rehearsal, coaching, and practice facilities, a celebrated music library collection, and many recreational opportunities offered on Oberlin’s park-like campus. It’s a wonderful location to focus and grow.

The Quick Facts:

Who: All String and piano students ages 13-23 are invited to apply
What: 2-4 weeks of intensive chamber music and orchestral study and performance (varies by track)
Where: Oberlin Conservatory of Music – Oberlin, OH & Roosevelt University – Chicago, IL
When: 2018 dates to be announced shortly

Admission to the Program

Admission to Credo is made by “rolling admission,” with earlier applications having a greater likelihood of finding compatible chamber music partners and therefore being accepted into the program.

The application for Credo 2018 will open in November 2017.

Student Chamber Music Coaching/Performance

lee-joiner-coachingEach chamber group receives DAILY coaching and will be expected to perform several times each week. Repertoire will be assigned and mailed to students in June, allowing them to master their individual parts before arriving. This advance preparation combines with Credo’s carefully matched assignments to foster unparalleled growth as individuals and ensembles.

boys-and-girls-club-serviceService Projects

As an important part of Credo’s mission of service, students devote one day a week to a variety of service activities. They share their special musical gifts in concerts at day-care centers, Oberlin summer educational programs, nursing homes, and hospitals. They also experience the joy of accomplishment in such tasks as park site preparation, cleaning homeless shelters, and community beautification projects. Each service day offers an opportunity for faculty and students to connect outside the confines of the practice room, and to develop a life-long passion for serving others with our art and being.

Watch a video about Credo’s service projects.
return to top

Credo Faculty

The Credo Faculty come to Credo from many of the leading music schools and orchestras across the country. Together they create the (often life-changing!) Credo experience. Click here for Credo Oberlin’s full faculty listing.

Karen Burgman, Piano; Credo Trio
Michael Davis, Concertmaster; Louisville Orchestra
Bryan Dumm, Violoncello; Cleveland Orchestra
Joanne Erwin, Music Education, Oberlin Conservatory
John Fitchuk, Chamber Music
Alan Harrell, Violoncello; Cleveland Orchestra
James Howsmon, Piano; Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Dr. Lee Joiner, Violin; Wheaton College
Dr. Kangwon Kim , Concertmaster; Madison Bach Musicians
Lisa-Beth Lambert, Violin, Philadelphia Orchestra
Elizabeth Ann Larson, Violin; Credo Trio, Biola University
Marilyn McDonald, Master Classes; Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Matthew Michelic, Viola; Lawrence University Conservatory of Music
Steuart Pincombe, Violincello; Music in Familiar Spaces, Oerknal!
Stephen Shipps*, Violin, University of Michigan
Peter Slowik, Viola; Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Dr. Kathryn Schmidt Steely, Viola; Baylor University
Milan Vitek, Violin, Oberlin Conservatory
Anne Martindale Williams, Principal Cello; Pittsburgh Symphony

 *On leave 2017

Credo is pleased to announce special guest artists for the 2017 Credo Oberlin program:

rachel-barton-pine-web-size jasper_string_quartet_white_backgroun-web-size
Rachel Barton Pine Jasper String Quartet (quartet-in-residence)


While in residence at Oberlin’s world-renowned Conservatory of Music, students enjoy excellent rehearsal, coaching, and practice facilities, a celebrated music library collection, and many recreational opportunities offered on Oberlin’s park-like campus. Sun-filled practice rooms are never hard to find: the Conservatory has over 150 practice rooms, all with floor to ceiling windows and many equipped with full-size Steinway pianos. Here’s a tour of the practice rooms!

return to top

Sample Day

A typical day at Credo includes:

  • 1.5 hours of coached ensemble rehearsal
  • 1.5 hours of uncoached ensemble rehearsal
  • 3 hours of solo practice
  • “Morning Sing” group devotional
  • Instrumental master class or private lesson

Sample Weekday Schedule

7:45 AM – 8:20 AM Breakfast
8:30 AM – 8:55 AM Morning Sing
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM Coaching
10:45 AM – 12:15 PM Solo Practice
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Lunch
1:30 PM – 3:00 PM Master Classes / Lessons
3:00 PM – 4:30 PM Solo Practice
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM Ensemble Practice
6:00 PM Dinner
Evening Concert, activity, or free time

return to top

This project was supported in part by the Ohio Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Ohio and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Holly Jenkins, Section Violin at Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (Credo '12)

I graduated from Oberlin Conservatory in 2012 and that summer was my first time at Credo. If there's a "right" reason for playing music, glorifying something bigger than yourself in order to help people tap into something beautiful inside them is it. I've traveled to Jordan and the West Bank (with fellow Credo student Lauren Manning ’12) in 2011 and to Pakistan in 2012 for performances and music workshops with young people. I've played for audiences of all classical musicians, and for audiences full of people that haven't ever seen a violin, or heard classical music before. Music has this incredible ability to bridge gaps of all sorts, whether those gaps are social, religious, or cultural. At Credo, no one was trying to prove anything, win something, or impress each other: everyone just wanted to enrich the people around us, not to mention ourselves! It was so exciting for me to be in such a supportive and well-meaning atmosphere. I hope always to be a part of the Credo family in some way, shape, or form!