On January 30, JSU professor of double reeds and music history, Eryn Oft, and her double reed studio hosted the annual event, Double Reed Day, in Mason Hall.
The main purpose of the event is to allow beginning and advanced players the opportunity to further their skills on a double reed instrument, whether it be oboe or bassoon; however, players of any instrument can learn a thing or two. Players can also learn how to make their own reeds and sit in on master classes taught by world-renowned musicians.
The event is open to all students—the age range spanning from sixth grade to upper-level college students. No matter where a player is at in their instrumental ability, something can be gained from attending this event.
JSU Double Reed Day includes many activities throughout the day, including a reed making session and master classes where the college students and other volunteers play for either James Sullivan, principal oboist of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, or Tariq Masri, principal bassoonist for the same musical ensemble.
After teaching the student double reed players a few fundamentals, Sullivan and Masri demonstrated their musical ability through a joint guest recital before the end of the event.
This year, the event was a huge success with an enormous attendance of almost sixty players, young and old.
Shelley Boyers, JSU senior and oboist, loves the event. She said, “My favorite part is getting to work one-on-one with the guest artists. Receiving playing advice and reed making tips from James Sullivan was awesome. When you hear professionals, it helps you set the same goals for the way you would like to sound in the future.”
An event of this caliber allows music teachers to help inspire their students to become better players and to stay in their respective band program for many years. Not only do the playing skills of these players improve, but also music education as a whole can gain something.
In order to raise money for the costs of the event, the JSU Double Reed studio hosted a fundraiser at the beginning of January selling soup to fund the production of shirts that were sold at the event.
With the profits the studio made from the event, it hopes to utilize those profits for new music stands, reed making tools, and booking guest artists, which are basically the essentials to any successful program.
The studio also thanks the musical organizations, Kappa Kappa Psi and Sigma Alpha Iota, for their contributions to making the day a success.
Sigma Alpha Iota hosted a bake sale and donated all the profits for the event, Kappa Kappa Psi helped run merchandise tables, and both organizations helped set up and tear down the venue.