Wednesday, May 19, 2010

revisiting old territory

 I just finished reading a note from my friend Ryan, whom I haven't seen in almost two years.  We attended ungrad together, both pursuing our degrees in Oboe Performance then both going on to gain our Master's degrees from Northwestern University--just north of Chicago, IL.  In his letter he mentioned that while he was young, people would always tell him that time moves faster with age.  Though he didn't believe them at the time, it's now an all-too-true reality.

I honestly can't believe how time has flown by since finishing school.  After graduating, I moved back home to Pittsburgh and took some time off playing the oboe, first because my wisdom teeth were causing such severe pain that I couldn't practice for more than 15 minutes at a time and, consequently, having them removed.  Second, I was pretty burnt out from the stresses of playing the oboe.

In that time of moving back home I met Christopher, we got married, we moved to Philadelphia, I started working in a coffeeshop, decided to buy a sewing machine, have found passions for things that I never thought I would be interested in, started this blog, and all the while, I've picked up my oboe and played maybe 20 times, if that, in the past two years.  I really had very little desire to pick it up again and was wondering if I would ever miss it like people told me I would.  This thing that went from being my entire life, this thing that I slaved over and obsessed about 18 hours a day (that's not an exaggeration) for five years, turned into a simple memory after leaving school.  Two years have flown by like the blink of an eye.

This past week, after a few realizations about myself and about my past decisions, I started to miss it.  I think I'm probably more shocked than anybody.  In the past few days, I've picked it up, played, listened to old recordings of myself and think I've finally realized how good I really was.  It's hard to realize it while you're putting a million stresses on yourself about very knit-picky details.

To be clear, I'm not making any promises and not committing to a life-pursuit of oboe playing again. I'm kind of just hoping that I'll take it seriously, but without the insanely high stress levels.  I've really enjoyed the past two years, so many life-altering things have happened and I'm all-the-better for this little hiatus from the oboe.

(The above photo was shot during my Master's recital at Northwestern, playing a Beethoven oboe trio with my amazing friend Katelyn on the right, and Jonathan playing English horn in the middle.)

Now, for more urgent matters, my first professional oboe was aptly named "Franc." I thought it was clever--it was made in France and the name kind of sounds like the sound an oboe makes (?).  Plus, growing up, I loved the movie Father of the Bride, where Martin Short plays the loveable, yet kind-of-insane wedding planner Franck.  All in all, it wasn't a bad name.  However, neither my current oboe, nor my former, have had names to be called or referred to as.  It just doesn't seem right.  While I'll probably rarely call it by it's name, it'd just be nice if it had one.  Please, any suggestions would be welcomed.


  1. I thought I posted a comment last night - something like this:

    How exciting! I can't wait to watch the story unfold!

    Love you.

  2. I can relate to this Stace. I rarely ever sing anymore, but when I do, I miss it. But sometimes life takes you down a path you didn't expect. And that's okay too!

    I'm glad you're enjoying it again.

  3. Quenton suggests 'ooblong' for a name! Q may be taking up violin in the school orchestra next year =) try outs are next tuesday!!!