“If there is anything else in your life other than music that you enjoy, that is what you should pursue as a career.”

Imagine my surprise when my high school oboe teacher (then Principal Oboist of the Baltimore Symphony) said that to me when I told him my plans to pursue music as a career. How could he say that? I had been Principal oboe of my youth orchestra for years, I had been making All-State since the ninth grade, I was a real hotshot in my high school, and knew that I wanted to play the oboe as a career since I was 12…surely he didn’t mean to say such a thing to ME, right? While it hurt to hear those words at that time of my life, years later I realized the depth of his statement (and I also realized the gift that it really was). As time went on, I saw that he had issued a challenge; an inspiration. I sent him a letter thanking him for caring enough about me to prepare me for the road ahead with his honesty.

These words are from Erin Hannigan. She is a successful professional oboist, playing principal oboist for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. RTWT