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Give Sean Lynch, owner of Winnebago Bicycle, two choices, the easy way or the hard way, he’d invariably pick the hard way.

For instance, Lynch, with a bachelor of music in vocal performance, wasn’t a natural singer. His warblings as a young boy made his mother cry, and not in a good way. Still Lynch, a baritone, wanted to be a professional performer so he practiced, persisted and graduated with a degree in vocal performance in 2011 from the Unversity of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Since graduating, he has performed at the Fresco Opera Theatre, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre and The Genesius Guild. He also was a young artist for the Oberlin in Italy Summer Program. More recently, Lynch performed at the 2022 TEDxOshkosh and will be singing at the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra’s April 20 concert.

So with all that musical education and experience, what is Lynch doing owning a bicycle shop in downtown Oshkosh? We spent some time with Lynch in his shop, talking about how the education he received from UW Oshkosh has made him a better business owner. 


You graduated with a degree in music, vocal performance, from UW Oshkosh. How did you end up owning and running your own bike shop? 

While I was working on my master’s degree in voice at the University of Iowa, I got a day job at a bicycle shop downtown called World of Bikes. They brought me into the industry, taught me the ropes while I was also working on musical studies and performing. It was a nice fit for me because the schedules always aligned with the demands of a musician. And once COVID hit, I saw the writing on the wall. Music careers were very difficult to manage after that. It became apparent that I needed something different. At the same time, the prior owner of this shop was looking to get out, and I decided that it would be a perfect opportunity for me to step in. I started working here in March of 2016 and bought the shop on Oct. 30, 2020. 

 What made you decide to go to UW Oshkosh? 

I initially applied to UW Oshkosh to major in computer science. I settled on going here because it’s my hometown and it’s affordable and I knew that the computer science department here was reputable. But in the second half of my senior year in high school, I decided to switch to music. I thought about what I most loved to do, and that was to sing. 

 After you switched majors from computer science to music, what made you stay at UW Oshkosh? 

I was never a good musician, never a good singer when I was young. I remember my mother even called my choir teacher in middle school in tears because she heard me practicing and it was so terrible. Nonetheless, because it was something that didn’t come natural to me, I took such a strong interest in it. I’ve never been one to gravitate towards things that are easy to me. Once I changed majors, I did have it in my mind that after some time, I would switch institutions whether it be going to Stevens Point, or even to something not in the UW System like Lawrence University. However, during my first year at Oshkosh, I discovered that the community of professors and students here in the music department were world class and I was very proud to be a part of that. So I just maintained the course and kept going. 

 What advice would you give your 18-year-old self and students now?  

For my 18-year-old self, I’d say, ‘Never be afraid to indulge your curiosities. Now go practice.’ For incoming freshmen, I would say education is not meant to be a one-track thing, at least not until you get to advanced stages like a master’s degree or something. The important thing is to learn as much as you can. Don’t seek out at such a young age a mastery of one thing, seek out learning something about everything. That’s definitely time well spent. 

 Do you regret majoring in vocal performance? 

I do not at all regret majoring in voice. It was an integral part of who I became. I love every bit of that. 

 How has what you learned from UW Oshkosh helped with what you do now? 

An education in the arts developed my humanity. It helps when connecting with people and has made me an open-minded and empathetic person. 

Tales from Titantown is a series of profiles focused on successful UWO alumni making an impact right in the region (and, sometimes, the city) where they earned their degrees.

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Study music at UW Oshkosh