Hailey, why oboe?

Anyone who knows oboe will likely recognize that line from Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle.”  And in a nutshell, that is why I started playing the oboe.

Last January, I watched the show for the very first time; I’ve since watched many, many times.  I have always wanted to really master an instrument.  I played drums in junior high, dabbled with guitar, and took violin lessons in Greenwich Village years ago.  But nothing serious, or I should rephrase, nothing I was serious about.  Until I was introduced to Hailey Rutledge.

As I watched the show about this young, aspiring professional oboist, something in me just clicked.  I love to do things that are different from others; too many people already img_1107play piano, or guitar, or violin even.  Not many choose willingly to tackle a double-reed instrument like the oboe.  For me it was love at first sight.  And, in February last year, I bought my first oboe, a school student model.  And I began lessons with Melissa Feilhauer.  And I began to make noise.

Next month will mark my first year of playing oboe.  In my first year, I have begun study with another teacher, I’ve attended several one-day workshops, I went to a week-long oboe intensive and started learning to make reeds, and I played in my first masterclass.  Thanks to my teacher, I also got a Loree Ak oboe, which I love – and I’ve named her “Hai-lai.”  I’ve also started to play in sacred spaces, performing through Advent at two churches; this is where I want to play.

I look forward to my second year.  I hope to up my practice significantly, and well as my rhythm game.  And hopefully, by the end of the year, I can make a playable reed.  I will be beginning year two with a masterclass at CCM’s Oboe Day, at which I will play Corelli’s Sarabande.  I feel like I am mastering an instrument, and I’ve never deliberately practiced as much as I have.  Hopefully that will set the tone for this year.

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