Job Application Leads to Creation of Alma Mater

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By: Carrie Coviello

 

While you may hear OCC’s alma mater at sporting events and commencement, you probably have never thought about who wrote it. The author is Phil Klein, a Professor of Music at OCC from 1963 to 1985.   It was written in the spring of 1963, before Klein was hired by the College. After applying for a teaching position in the Music Department, he was asked to write an alma mater for the newly formed College. Figuring he couldn’t be turned down for the job if he wrote the school’s alma mater, he wrote the words and music to the piece.  The College Archives now holds the original sheet music that Klein composed. His original composition got him hired and Klein went on to teach at OCC for 22 years. In addition to writing OCC’s alma mater, Klein has recorded several albums, some with original songs, which are available to purchase at https://store.cdbaby.com/artist/philklein.  

Amy Klein, his daughter, currently is a professor in the Department of Health, Physical Education Recreation and there has only been a brief period of time when a member of the Klein family was not teaching at OCC.