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 play 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.