My 7th grade band instructor asked me to play the oboe because I had more music experience than most students my age (I started playing piano early in elementary school and had already played flute since the 4th grade). I instantly liked the fact that I was the only oboe in the band and I got my own music stand. The instrument itself was a seemingly impossible challenge (which, honestly, hasn’t really changed).
What ultimately made me keep pursuing the oboe was that the principal oboist from the Houston Symphony retired in Ashland just as I was starting high school and I got to study with him. His name was Raymond Weaver, and he has been a lifelong inspiration to me. He played principal oboe in the Rogue Valley Symphony after moving here and my flute teacher, Sherril Kannasto (Wood) was principal flute in RVS at the same time. I fondly remember getting to sit in between them at some symphony rehearsals when the youth symphony was invited to play with them.