{ Hello }

My name is Will Mason, and I'm a double-degree student from Falmouth, Maine. I graduated in December 2010 with degrees in Politics and in Contemporary Improvisation, an individual major of my own design.

Though I was originally a classical pianist, I decided to make drums my principal performance instrument midway through high school. My parents were not angry, just a little disappointed. At Oberlin, I studied under jazz drumming legend Billy Hart, as well as with Jamey Haddad and Paul Samuels. I also spend a lot of my time composing and tinkering with samplers and live electronics. Beginning in Fall 2011, I will be attending Columbia University, working towards a PhD in music theory.

I also pursued a degree in politics, focusing on comparative politics and political economy. I am an alum of the Cole Scholars program, a year-long intensive seminar focusing on electoral politics. As part of this program, I spent a summer working for Tom Allen's Senate campaign in my home state of Maine.

I have worked as editor in chief of The Grape, Oberlin's news and arts magazine. I also worked as an accompanist for the dance department. I also played drums in the indie-rock band Like Bells. We released two albums on Cleveland's Exit Stencil Records and performed nearly 100 shows on the road all over the Midwest and east coast. In the spring of 2011 I've been hanging around Oberlin, accompanying dance classes, working part-time for the Conservatory's communications office, and baking bread.

You can hear some of my music at myspace.com/willmasonmusic.

{ Entries }


Applying to Grad School, Ch. 3

Getting in

Senior Recital

Excerpts + thoughts about my senior recital

Favorite Place to Work

And the winner is...the Conservatory library. (With photos!)

Applying to Grad School, Ch. 2

Or, "This is a terrible idea!" (Inside: helpful faculty; I hate the GRE; Career Services rocks)

Applying to Grad School, Ch. 1

Or, "This is a great idea!"

Brief Thoughts on Orientation

I spent most of orientation waiting for it to be over.


Thoughts on a tough summer job, watching my friends graduate from a remove, and feeling old.

Photos from the Kohl Building

We had about two hours to get a sneak peak of the building today, and I was absolutely blown away. Many photos inside.

Glad To Have Done It, Glad To Have It Done

Behind the scenes for my junior recital

Getting Here

In many ways, my story of getting to Oberlin is pretty uninspiring, and it's certainly brief.

Music Business and Oberlin

Some disjointed thoughts in response to a question about the music business & Oberlin.

Graduation anxiety

A glimpse into my worries about life post-Oberlin.


Performing in Cleveland as an Oberlin student.

The Fun Part

On performing at CMJ over fall break

He Cooks, He Cleans

Adventures in domesticated living.

Get a job!

Finding a job on campus is easy, and the jobs themselves are often valuable experiences and great fun.

Desk Quest

Yard sales, integrating into the Oberlin community, and the hunt for the perfect antique desk.


A wish list for Fall semester.

Think Positive

Some thoughts after watching my younger sister pack for her freshman year at college.

A long, strange trip

Notes from a month spent touring with an Oberlin rock band.

The Semester in Numbers

Two more years until I graduate. (Well, three more semesters to be precise, but either way I'm over the hump.) Good thing? Bad thing? There's a saying I've heard a couple of times up in central Maine that I love: "Tough tellin', not knowin'." But I'm enjoying the ride more and more every day. Ayuh.

Identity Crisis

Does being a double degree student make you less of a musician? Less of a scholar?

Easy Listening

I've been using spring break to get caught up on some listening.

Graphically Notated Scores and You

There were, of course, pages of specific instructions and a symbol key, but that doesn't change the fact that for my friend's recital I was required to look at a photo of a rabbit man in a suit running away from artillery fire and translate it into a part for drum set/percussion.

Ernest Takes A Computer Science Class

Remember those "Ernest" movies from the late 80's...

One Must Have A Mind Of Winter

Bartok and Techno, but not at the same time.

Will makes his bed; lies in it.

On spending too much time in my practice room, reading lists, and "Twilight."


Thoughts on finals, US Senate campaigns, and intersections therein.

College Essay Advice

Unqualified and unsolicited advice on the college essay from someone who went about it the wrong way.

Just Enough Rope

It's been almost a year in the making, took a great deal of time, energy, and paperwork, and probably made more than a few staff members resent seeing my e-mails pop up in their inboxes, but this past week my independent major in the Conservatory was approved.

Jazz Combos Thrive at Oberlin

All jazz combos at Oberlin are student-formed, and the repertoire is student-selected, and I think this is critical for a number of reasons.

In which I couch my indescribable joy with anxious trepidation

Like most people in America (I gather), I thought Obama was going to win but also was distrustful enough of my fellow citizens that I had to wait until it was announced on the news to believe it.

An Oberlin Day in Pictures

Photographs from an average Tuesday in the life of an average Obie.

Back To Business

The best part about college - any college - is that there's always something to look forward to.

Haphazard Packing Tips from an Incorrigible Slob

The worst part of college is getting there.

Tom Allen for US Senate in 2008

Or: The Life and Times of an Elite, High-Powered, Unpaid Lowly Intern

Opportunities for College Musicians

The Oberlin Conservatory attracts a number of world-class musicians, but its presence on campus is also a major draw for college students who wish to continue studying music without committing to a pre-professional program.

The Weather in Oberlin: A Mainer's Perspective

As someone who knows what it's like to trudge through a protracted winter, let me assure you that Oberlin's climate is a piece of cake.

One Must Imagine Sisyphus Happy

Final exams are an inextricable component of higher education, but they needn't cast too menacing a pall over the college experience.

We Are Oberlin: Busy

Find out more about the catch phrase sweeping campus.

SWM, NS, likes long walks on the beach

I'd like to use this post as an opportunity to further introduce myself (past the perfunctory greeting and awkward head shot provided by my profile).

What did you do with your Friday night?

We Oberlin students are a lucky bunch. The campus provides an impossible number of lectures, exhibits, readings, and performances, and we are burdened with the enviable luxury of bouncing around from event to event, gorging ourselves on art and music and culture until exhaustion necessitates a break.

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