Our stages are empty. Our pits are empty. There will be no summer concerts. It’s possible there will be no fall concerts. It’s even possible there will be no concerts until the fall of 2021, from all I’ve read.

I’m fine. I have always said, “I am not my oboe.” And I’m not. I have loved my career. (I’ve also hated it at times!) I think the oboe and the English horn are just amazing, wonderful, beautiful instruments. I am so grateful for this career I’ve had. And it has been a very long run.

My first professional job, aside from Municipal Band, was San Jose Symphony. I started that in the fall of 1975. REALLY. 1975!

So what a long run this has been.

I’ve performed with some amazing names. I’ve had the highest of highs. I have memories that are just wonderful, amazing, fabulous, and sometimes even unbelievable.

And I’ve cried a million tears. I’ve made stupid mistakes. I’ve made horrible blunders in front of an audience. I’ve cried over reeds. I’ve grimaced over music I thought was just awful.

And I am just tremendously grateful for all the experiences I’ve had. Experiences that have grown me. Experiences that have blessed me. Experiences that have humbled me. Experiences that have boosted my ego.

So if this is the end of my career, I will not weep. I will be thankful.

If it isn’t the end of my career I’ll once again sit on stage and in the pit and, odds are, I’ll even whine again sometimes.

I know me.

But no matter what, I’m not my oboe. I’m not my English horn. And life is good. With or without them.

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