For local Ohio University graduate, the music called him home

Published: March 9, 2023 Author: Donielle Flynn

Devin Blair, a 2022 Ohio University graduate, gained valuable experiences throughout his time at OHIO that prepared him for a career in music education. 

“Right out of high school I was unsure of what to do, so I started my first year at Ohio University Eastern to take some courses and see what I wanted to get into,” said Blair. “The Eastern campus was a great way for me to figure out my way before transferring to Athens.”

During his freshman year at OHIO Eastern he became involved with the theater department as he prepared to audition for acceptance into the Ohio University music program.  Additionally, he enrolled in theater history, acting, and set design courses, and performed in theatrical shows held on campus.

“For a small local campus, Ohio University Eastern offers all kinds of classes that give opportunities to many kinds of students that attend there,” said Blair. 

Sophomore year, Blair relocated to Ohio University Athens after auditioning and being accepted into the music education bachelor’s degree program, with a choral emphasis.

“It was a culture shock at first, but I immediately fell in love with Athens,” said Blair. “I was surrounded by so many people that had very similar interests while having very different backgrounds.” 

That same year he joined the Singing Men of Ohio (SMO), a tenor/bass choir that blends the musical aspects of a choir and the brotherhood aspect of a fraternity, which provided Blair the opportunity to perform in concerts around the country.  He credits his time with SMO as one of the best parts of his undergraduate experience.

Later, he auditioned and became a member of the Ohio University Singers (OU Singers).

“OU Singers is the top audition choir of the School of Music. While having difficult repertoire and high standards, OU Singers is a very welcoming group and I’m so glad to have been a part of it for five semesters,” Blair said. 

Blair credits his Ohio University experience for strengthening his love of music, teaching him how to pick music for concerts, how to conduct an ensemble, how to perform music and showing him all the doors that music can open.

“I learned how to share my love and passion for music with the next generation of musicians and for that I can’t be more grateful,” Blair said.

Upon graduation, he returned home and accepted a position at the Barnesville Exempted Village School District in Barnesville, Ohio, teaching instrumental and vocal music to middle and high school students. 

Once again Blair is preparing for a debut, this time as the director of the Barnesville High School Theatre Department stage production of “Footloose.”  

“The cast, crew, and production team have been working hard since the start of December to put this show together,” said Blair. “I personally can’t wait for the community to see how well these students are doing.” 

“Footloose” performances are Thursday, March 23 through Saturday, March 25.  For a full list of showtimes or to purchase presale tickets, contact the Barnesville High School office.