By Elyse Pitkin
Hiram College students, Rebecca Cotterman ’25 and Mason Cebulla ’23 were recommended by Hiram’s Performing Arts faculty to represent the College at the Ohio Private College Instrumental Conductors Association (OPCICA), hosted at Case Western Reserve University. This was the first performance that brought students and faculty together from nineteen private colleges and universities since 2020.
“Mason and Rebecca are two of our best student musicians at Hiram. They have been a vital part of many Hiram ensembles and have shown leadership within the students,” said assistant professor of instrumental music, Dr. Isaac Winland. Although unable to attend the performance, Dr. Winland has taught at a few other schools that have been a part of OPCICA and believes it to be a wonderful opportunity for music students.
“OPCICA is able to bring students and professors together from similar institutions in Ohio. This provides student musicians to play in larger ensembles and play musical pieces that many schools would not be able to do on their own,” said Dr. Winland. “The students also get the privilege to be conducted by various conductors and educators during the weekend as well as network with students. Furthermore, OPCICA gives professors from similar colleges to network and discuss current events, recruiting ideas, and much more.”
The opportunity to perform with the OPCICA Honor’s Band was memorable to Cotterman, an English and educational license double major, as she spent the weekend performing music with others that were passionate about their instruments. Cotterman has played the piccolo for six years and the flute for ten years. “Performing music means the chance to have fun with people who share similar interests with me,” she said. “I have so much fun every time I am on the stage, and I love to share my music with others.”
The OPCICA was founded in 1987 by Dr. Ken Kleszynski (Otterbein College), and Dr. William Schlacks (Muskingum College). Today, it is comprised of more than twenty private colleges and universities in the state of Ohio.