South Orangetown Central School District

As a young musician growing up in Hyde Park, NY, oboist Keve Wilson dreamed of performing on Broadway. Along the way to realizing that dream, Wilson learned valuable life lessons from her education, friends and teachers which she shared with South Orangetown Middle School and Tappan Zee High School students during a live chat on May 13. Wilson discussed her journey and answered questions about pursuing a career in music.

SOCSD Music Teacher Charles Yassky organized the special event and shared feedback from Music Teacher Jon Rossi’s orchestra students. Here are a few excerpts:

  • “I thought it was very interesting when she talked about first starting to play the oboe in high school. I wouldn’t have imagined that someone who struggled with an instrument in high school so much that they almost gave up, would become a famous musician.”
  • “One thing I liked is when she talked about motivating yourself to practice. I often find it hard to pick up my instrument and practice a piece I’ve already heard so many times and am bored of playing. I liked how she said to play things that are interesting and fun to me because it reminded me how there are endless possibilities and songs that I can enjoy playing.”
  • “Sometimes it can be really hard to practice when you’re constantly being discouraged by all of the wonderful players out there. I liked how she talked about playing the parts you’re good at and then slowly working on the harder stuff.”
  • “I really liked her playing and her little life lessons about overcoming challenges and getting motivated to practice. Also, I didn’t know oboe players made their own reeds–that’s actually so cool!”
  • “I thought it was interesting when she said you don’t audition to play the music in a Broadway show, it depends on how well your reputation is. One day I hope to be involved in a Broadway show, and hearing about how she did it was really helpful.”

Hearing a professional musician make connections between high school experiences and her career is powerful for students. “We were excited that the music department arranged this special live session for our musicians,” said SOMS Principal Chad Corey. “It’s always a valuable experience for students to hear and see live music performed and to have the opportunity to ask professionals questions about practicing, rehearsing and auditioning. We look forward to continuing to provide our students with authentic, interactive learning experiences like this!”

Keve Wilson