Devyn smiles while holding a microphone

Devyn O. ’26


“Find good people and don’t be afraid to talk about things that are new to you. Don’t be afraid to listen to people who have different opinions from you.”


La Canada, California


Computer science and music


VoiceMale, Basement Records, Undergraduate Theater Collective (UTC), Queer Jews at Brandeis (QJAB)

Making music

I came to Brandeis because it has both of the majors I was looking for: computer science and music.

I started making my own music during sophomore year of high school. After the pandemic I suddenly found myself with more time to pursue that passion and haven’t stopped since.

Using a midi controller, which works by detecting notes you play the same way electric piano keys playback sounds when pressed, I’m able to use a computer to synthesize sound. I use this to make music, record vocals, and use synths to create songs. I can tell the computer what sound it should make to craft my own synth or to make it sound like a piano, violin, orchestra, or other instruments.

The biggest thing is that double majoring has introduced me to people who enjoy both interests. I took a class called Math and Music with music professor Erin Gee and math professor Jonathan Touboul. We bounced around between a lot of different concepts, including different tuning systems, making music algorithmically, and acoustics. I met a lot of music and math nerds there.

I hope to go into music technology, either creating virtual instruments or coding the software used to help people make music. I’ll continue to make music on the side.

Finding a community

I joined VoiceMale [Brandeis’ masculine-centered acapella group] during the first semester of my freshman year. I really like singing. I’ve been involved in choir since the seventh grade. Coming from singing in a classical choir of over 40 people, I wanted to branch out. It’s a totally different experience singing pop music, among other genres, with a small group.

We perform throughout the semester with four big performances each year. I’m a low bass singer. It took some time to get used to performing my parts on my own and singing with a microphone, but it’s a lot of fun now.

I’ve found a great mix of friends and a sense of community in the group. We’re all in this together and helping each other. It’s so much more than just a group of friends hanging out. I’ve met a lot of different personalities and people from different backgrounds than my own.

Favorite spot on campus

I have always liked the Shapiro Campus Center Theater because of the many performances, events, and rehearsals there. I spend a lot of time in the green room backstage, just hanging out with friends who are performing or waiting for things to start.

Advice for an incoming first-year student

Find good people and don’t be afraid to talk about things that are new to you. Don’t be afraid to listen to people who have different opinions from you.

Being Brandeisian means…

Taking what you’re given and making something beautiful out of it. It’s taking a world that’s non-ideal and making a part of it your own and finding ways to make it better for you and other people.