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July 5, 2020

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15 minutes with Dean Alstaetter

Where did you grow up?

In the country between Cairo and Columbus Grove, OH.

From where and when did you graduate from high school?

Bath High 1990

How did you end up attending Goshen College? Were you a music major? You also have a master's degree, correct?

My church introduced me to Goshen College and attended music camp there each summer.  I studied piano performance.  My Master of Arts in Piano Pedagogy is from The Ohio State University.  I studied composition and music theory at BGSU.

What was your first job? What did you learn from that?

My first real job was working as a musician for Shawnee United Methodist Church and UPS.  I learned about worship, church music, project management and discipline especially working at UPS.

When you were in college, what kind of career plans did you have?

I wanted to be a pastor, then a music educator, then a performer, then an accountant, then a chef and then a recording artist.

I know you play piano very well -- how long have you played?

I have been playing the piano since 1982

Who did you take lessons from?

My first teacher was Emma Louise Emrick from Gomer, OH.

Do you play other instruments?

I play the trombone and my dream is to continue Cello lessons someday.

You played some "dinner music" at an event that we attended at ONU. How often do you do that?

I play once a month at the Inn at ONU. I have played at Milano Cafe and Burgundy's Italian Grille in Lima.

Are you in music ensembles, as well?

I play keyboards with the band - The Hipnotix

What kinds of music do you like? Some favorite composers or bands/performers?

I love classical music as well as the piano music from the Romantic Era.
Some favorite composers or bands/performers? Liszt, Granados, Ravel, Beethoven, Corigliano, Rachmaninoff, and Prokofiev.  I enjoy listening to Diana Krall, Oscar Peterson, Ray Kennedy, Harry Connic Jr., Bill Evans, Nat King Cole, and Art Tatum to name a few Jazz artists.  With regard to Latin music I enjoy Reuben Blades, Tito Puente, Santana and Antônio Carlos Jobim,    I also like Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Steely Dan, Journey, Chicago, Boston.

What is the best performance you've heard recently?

I have been studying the life of Liberace due to the show that I am preparing for on June 7th and 8th at the Holland Theater in Bellefontaine, OH and I have to say after viewing his YouTube videos that he was quite the accomplished pianist/performer especially in his early years.

Favorite movie?

Right now it might be "Vickie Christina Barcelona" (2008).

Least favorite movie -- the one you wish you could get a refund on? 

Maybe... "Monty Python?"

Favorite book? Or don't you like to read?

The Holy Bible and the apocrypha.

Please explain what you did after college and how you ended up in admissions at ONU.

I taught piano and music classes and then started working for the graduate college at BGSU. I really liked the job working in graduate programming and enrollment management.  Later I saw an opening in the office of admissions at ONU and applied for the job.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Presenting, traveling, working with educators and meeting families.

Does your job require some traveling?

Yes, a few times each month.

Were you in Panama recently? Do you have relatives living there?

Yes, in David and Panama City primarily. My mother's side of the family live there.

Was this your first trip there?


Tell us a bit about this trip and what all you did during your time there.

I also have host families and friends in Costa Rica and I went to visit them. (During my years at Goshen College I studied abroad in Costa Rica.)  In Panama I visited family and spent time traveling with my parents.

What about relatives here in the States?

My mother and step-father live in Lima and my father and step-mother live in Ada. My sister and my niece live on the Altstaetter farm between Cairo and Columbus Grove, OH. I have two daughters and a son who live with their mother.

It appears you like to travel. Where else have you traveled and where would you like to go next?

I have been to Honduras, Nicaragua, England, Holland, Greece, Portugal and Spain.  I would love to visit southern France, Italy, Argentina and Russia someday.

How many languages do you speak? Learning any new ones?

2 - Spanish and English. I have studied French, Russian and a little Greek and would like to continue to learn more.

So...aside from music, how do you spend your free time? 

I enjoy wine tasting, dancing, speaking Spanish, playing soccer, skiing going to the museum, ballet and especially, the beach.

When you think about the future, where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Living near a beach, playing the piano, working in higher education and spending time with family.

What's on your want-to-do list?

I hope to go back to Barcelona, Spain, create a world tour with one of my best friends (from Greece) who plays the violin, go on a cruise, and someday get married.