Excuse this, it's very late and I should be in bed. Alas, I will forget what I want to say if I don't write it now, and history tells me that if I write a draft, it will stay a draft forever and never get posted.
My band, a community concert band, did a concert this evening. We played with three local high school bands, each band playing two pieces for each other, and then everybody getting together and playing one final piece for the twelve people left in the audience. I wasn't particularly in love with the pieces we played, but that's neither here nor there.
There were no other oboes in any of the high school bands. I've noticed a gradual decline in the number of oboists in these things, but this was the first time I was all by myself. Our bassoonist was solo, as well. I'm sure it's not solely due to my wish to drive all competition from my band (I may be mean to other oboists, but these high school students would only have to deal with me once a year, and I might even be able to be nice to them, if I know it's just one evening a year).
Aside: How I became an oboist. I started playing clarinet in grade four or five. There were only a few instruments to choose from in that first band -- clarinet, flute, trumpet, trombone, maybe drums. Then we got to junior high, and all of a sudden, playing better music just didn't work with our limited instrumentation. What can you do with 17 clarinets? So the music teacher took the good new clarinetists and gave them interesting things, like oboes, horns, and tubas. After a couple of months, the talented clarinetist decided she hated to suck, and wanted back on clarinet. So they offered the oboe to me.
And I did suck, for quite a while. But I kept playing, and now I'm not that bad. I can make reeds. I can play in tune.
It would seem that for some reason, they don't do that anymore. So, grade nine music students, dare to suck! Take up oboe! Negotiate a bonus mark for being a team player!
Just a suggestion.