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Anna Grace Brown: An Oboe Wizard

Brown recently got a tattoo of the keys on an oboe after her 18th birthday. It is very intricate work and represents her love and passion for her instrument.

Brown recently got a tattoo of the keys on an oboe after her 18th birthday. It is very intricate work and represents her love and passion for her instrument.

Abby Marks, Staff Writer

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North Forsyth’s halls are sprinkled with incredibly talented actors, singers, mathematicians, musicians and many more. One of these gifted musicians is senior Anna Grace Brown, one of three oboists here at North.

 

She started playing the oboe in sixth grade at North Forsyth Middle School because she loved the sound of it and liked being unique. From that day on she has been consistently taking lessons, attending symposiums, making oboe reeds and listening to and learning oboe pieces. At first it was a hobby, like how most band kids view their instruments. In her sixth year of playing the oboe, she finally discovered that it was something she wanted to specialize in. The epiphany came when Mr. Seese, the choir teacher, asked her to play ‘Danny Boy’ for his adult choir. “During the performance,” she began, “I got completely enveloped in the music, and it was the first time I really felt like I was making beautiful music. . .It was kind of a music high, I guess, and after that, I knew I couldn’t do anything else with my career but play the oboe.”

 

Ever since her Junior year, Brown has been taking steps to launch herself closer and closer to being a professional oboist. She involves herself in many groups such as the NFHS wind ensemble, Forsyth Philharmonic, a woodwind quintet and the NFHS concert band playing bass clarinet. Recently, Brown auditioned to get into the Valdosta State University music program and was accepted. On audition day, she “showed up, met with the people that would be judging [her] and then played for them.” She played two pieces: Sonata for Oboe and Piano by Poulenc and Ferling Etude no. 11. The judges were beyond pleased with Anna Grace’s performance and accepted her into their program along with their most highly esteemed scholarship, the Jennett  Scholarship.

 

However, it was not always all flowers and rainbows for Brown’s oboe journey. In her words “the oboe is a stupid hard instrument. . .it’s much more difficult than other band instruments.”  Playing the oboe also comes with “finicky reeds, delicate key-work, tricky fingerings, extremely flexible intonation and critical tonality,” all things that Brown has struggled with and even still struggles with today. It could be hard and discouraging at times, but it only pushed her to want to become better and prove other people who did not believe in her wrong.
Life after school is not exactly clear for Brown. Getting into an orchestra right out of college in unrealistic, so she plans on taking a teaching job until she can land a job in a good orchestra like New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, or Chicago Symphony Orchestra. From then on, she will be living her dream.

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Anna Grace Brown: An Oboe Wizard