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77 West College Street, Oberlin, OH 44074

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Sarah Waltz '00 will present "William Herschel: The Musician Who Discovered a Planet" as part of the Richard Murphy Musicology Colloquium in Bibbins Hall, Room 325.  Waltz holds both a bachelor’s degree in physics from Oberlin College and a bachelor’s degree in musicology from Oberlin Conservatory, where she also studied flute with Michel Debost and Kathleen Chastain.

Waltz is a noted presenter at many national and international conferences covering topics in several areas in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. She is currently collaborating with astronomer and historian of science Woodruff T. Sullivan III on a book project about the music, philosophy and astronomy of William Herschel, the composer who discovered the planet Uranus. For this interdisciplinary research, Waltz is a 2023 Whiteley Scholar at the University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories. Her efforts to bring this music to light were reported in the New York Times.

About the Colloquium

The Richard Murphy Musicology Colloquium was begun in 1992 by Professor Claudia Macdonald to foster an exchange of ideas on music between colleagues in both the Conservatory and the College. The series was expanded in 1997 to include outside speakers as well, and named in honor of Richard Murphy, who taught music history at Oberlin from 1946 to 1978, and was much revered and beloved by his students. He died in 1993.


Conservatory visitors are asked to enter the complex through either Bibbins Hall’s east entrance (off College Place, across from the Oberlin College Bookstore) or the Conservatory Lounge’s west entrance (off S. Professor St., adjacent to the Conservatory Pond). All other entrances will be closed to the public.

  • Emerson Morgan

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