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Oboes in Wisconsin

Doug, Melissa, Allison

It was an honor to have my Four States of Mind, for oboe and piano presented at the annual conference of the International Double Reed Society, held at Lawrence University, in Appleton, Wisconsin last summer. Melissa Bosma, who first performed the pieces at Heidelberg where we were colleagues, submitted the piece for performance at this international convention and it was accepted. Wonderfully expressive performances were provided by both Melissa and her excellent collaborative pianist, Allison Shinnick, from Princeton, NJ. I could not have asked for better players to present my work. The crowd was not especially large, as we were competing with a more popular offering down the hall, but the reception to the work was very positive. I love these double reeds people; they bring rock-show enthusiasm to every concert!

My Heidelberg colleague Andreas Oeste was also on campus, one of four finalists for an international performance competition. The schedule enabled me to hear his thirty-minutes program, which was stunning! He would have had my vote for first place, but I may be a little biased…..

The other amazing thing about conferences like this is the opportunity to catch up with good friends and colleagues. Within five minutes of arriving at the display area, I had found a whole bunch of former Heidelberg colleagues and connections. Susan Nelson and Eric Van der Veer Varner had both taught bassoon in their days with the Heidelberg music faculty. Melissa began her teaching career with us as our oboe specialist. Jenni Brandon (center) was a recent guest composer at our Heidelberg New Music Festival; she had several pieces performed at the conference. I also reconnected with Bo Newsome, currently the oboe specialist at East Carolina University. Years ago, (we won’t say how many) Bo was a student in my Honors Theory course at CCM. It was wonderful to see him after so many years!

It was a busy week for oboe and bassoon specialists from all over the world; I was happy to play a small part in the week’s activities.

Susan Nelson, Melissa Bosma, Jenni Brandon, Eric Van der Veer Varner, Doug


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