Barbara Warren

How many years have you been with MWE?  4 Years

Music Background- I grew up in the Hudson Valley, surrounded by music, both in my home and in my community. I couldn’t wait to start having lessons on the violin, which I thought then was the best instrument of them all! From 4th through 12th grades, I had lessons; I don’t think I ever had to be told to practice. It was the best thing life had to offer! Then after high school, I dabbled on the viola, as our groups were lacking violas and overbalanced with violins. This was quite a let-down, not near as fun as viola, but on the other hand, you always got to play. At about this stage in my life, I realized that the oboe players I had known all these years were “fading away”, either off to a distant college, or just seemed to have lost interest. The woodwind group would perform, and the oboe player would show up with an alto recorder, with the lame excuse that she had no reeds. Or, when our community rehearsed one of Bach’s cantata with the most gorgeous oboe solo, someone would transpose this for the clarinet player, who would show up and play as if this was Bach's intention. Being a purist, I couldn’t let this happen! I had to change this! So, I had one of my friends show me how to play oboe, and off I went, thinking I had all I needed to learn this difficult instrument. Our first performance was Amahl (I played 2nd oboe). But the piece that totally won me over and convinced me that yes, I want to play oboe, was the oboe and bassoon solo for "Tiny Baby" in The Universe Sings, a cantata written in our community. I soon realized that I needed more instruction, so I went on to have lessons with Kathy Karlson at SUNY New Paltz, Leonard Zimet at KHS, and Joel Evans in Newburgh. I always thought that I was a strictly baroque, classical, oboist, so when I was approached by the Maybrook Wind Ensemble, I was not sure it was a fit for me. I said I would give it a try, started out and quickly found that I loved this whole new genre! What have I been missing all these years? I still play Bach by the hour, but I will buckle down and practice hard on Joplin Rags and other more contemporary music. And I love it! Better yet is when the music director can find some piece that features the English horn.

What do you enjoy about the Maybrook Wind Ensemble?   A community band is inherently there for anyone one who is passionate about making music. The Maybrook Wind Ensemble has a great variety of folks, ranging from school and high school age children up into the 70's, (possibly 80's?). We do have a great time, working hard, but not forgetting to have a lot of fun.

Anything else you would like to share?  We have been wonderfully supported by our sponsors so that we can continue expanding this great group of musicians.