14. January 2009 · 2 comments · Categories: Links

Current admissions officer, Ivy League university:

“Any admissions director who uses the line about needing an oboe player is lying. There’s no admissions person in the country with a clue what the student orchestra needs. More likely, Mommy and Daddy gave a $1 million donation. That oboe thing is just a PR ploy.”

Interesting … and of course the word “oboe” appeared four times in the article. Typical.

I happen to know that sometimes an oboist is admitted purely because he or she plays oboe. But only rarely. I can tell you I will no longer go to bat for an oboist who isn’t accepted in the school; if a student isn’t accepted academically, the student probably belongs elsewhere.

Oh. And the subject of this blog entry? Please don’t heed it. It’s just in the article, and I stole it from them. Because I could.

Now go practice your oboe.


  1. It should be, “so practice that oboe darn *hard*, because we do like *good* oboes!” My understanding is that it might not get you in, but being good can be worth a scholarship now and again. (true on any instrument but whatev) But then, it is true that many schools are oboe deficient, it just doesn’t help if you don’t play well… and if you don’t get any money at least you practiced ^_^ (of course I realize that a music major should *not* attend an “oboe deficient” school, but that’s something else completely)

  2. Well, my school has been “oboe deficient” in the past, Miriam, and if no one ever came due to that it would have remained so. I think you have to weigh everything you are looking at at a school.