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story.lead_photo.caption Oboist Theresa Delaplain will perform centerstage Saturday with the Fort Smith Symphony.

It's not as though Theresa Delaplain needs to look for chances to play music.

A Doctor of Musical Arts in oboe performance from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and an instructor of music at the University of Arkansas, Delaplain has taught at the Interlochen Center for the Arts Summer Arts Camp and the Saarburg International Music Festival in Germany, appeared at 10 International Double Reed Society conventions and was a guest recitalist at the Southwest Contemporary Music Festival, in addition to performing at the College Music Society National and Regional Conventions and the National Flute Society Convention. She is principal oboist for the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas Philharmonic and has played with the Tulsa Symphony, the Oklahoma City Symphony, the Springfield (Ohio) Symphony, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and others.


‘Jupiter and Beyond’:

Fort Smith Symphony

WHEN — 7:30 p.m. Saturday

WHERE — ArcBest Corp. Performing Arts Center in Fort Smith

COST — $15-$43

INFO — 452-7575

She has also been principal oboist for the Fort Smith Symphony since 1998, and on Saturday, she will be the soloist in the rarely heard Martinu Oboe Concerto composed in 1955.

Even with all that experience, she says, "I'm very grateful to Maestro John Jeter for giving me this opportunity. It's a great honor, and I'm looking forward to it!"

Here, Delaplain answers five quick questions for What's Up!

Q. How did a budding young musician chose oboe?

A. My parents encouraged the study of music and the arts. My father played the piano, and he got me set up to start violin in the fourth grade. I first heard an oboe when I was in sixth grade, and I was mesmerized by the sound of it. I started oboe in band the following year.

Q. I don't think non-musicians necessarily think of the oboe as a solo instrument. How does it fit in?

A. The oboe frequently has solos in most of the great orchestral literature. Oboe concerti have been written since the Baroque period, so there are many concerti in the oboe repertoire. It can be an amazing solo instrument!

Q. Can you describe the sound quality of an oboe?

A. Of course, with any instrument, quality of sound is somewhat subjective. A good oboe sound can be soulful, mournful, expressive, but it can also be sprightly, jazzy or spirited. What I strive for in my own playing is a tone that is vibrant, rich and resonant.

Q. How do you prepare for a performance like this?

A. I have spent many months learning the piece, by practicing, studying the score, performing with piano accompaniment, etc. No matter how well you know a piece, you always think you could make it better, so I'm always looking for details I can improve, in technical and lyrical places. And of course, as an oboist, a large amount of my preparation time is making reeds. I make all my own reeds, and I'm always striving for the perfect reed that will combine beautiful tone with ease of response and a good pitch center. The reeds are very sensitive: they change with the weather, and with the amount of playing that has been done on them. An oboist has to be ready with a large supply, so that on the day of the performance, the perfect reed is on hand.

Q. What makes the piece of music you're playing unusual, interesting, appealing?

A. I'm playing the Martinu Oboe Concerto, which was written about midway through the 20th century, so it has many of the captivating elements of music from that period: a neoclassical form, references to jazz, rapidly shifting harmonies, etc. The first movement begins with broad, sweeping melodies, but it also has a lot of rhythmic vitality to it. In the second movement, a lovely string and horn introduction sets the stage for the continuous unfolding of a powerful, haunting elegy that is the essence of the oboe's character. The third movement is jaunty and lively.

-- Becca Martin-Brown

NAN What's Up on 01/22/2016

Print Headline: 5x5 Five Minutes, Five Questions Theresa Delaplain

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