The young woman in the silver gown is Jennifer Christen,
principal oboist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
Last night was her night in the spotlight, as soloist for Mozart's
Concerto in C Major for Oboe and Orchestra,
K. 285d (314). She performed beautifully,
the notes rising and falling through the night air, distracting
the audience away from the cold breezes they would
face as they returned to their homes later that evening.
In the video below, she is giving a short explanation
about the preparation of reeds for her oboe and,
in the process, plays a few bars of the Mozart piece
she performed Friday night.
Last night, I joined the ISO's Assistant Principal Percussionist,
Craig Hetrick, to promote upcoming ISO concerts
and community activities. Among the people who stopped
to chat was a woman and her three daughters,
one of whom plays oboe. The mother talked with Mr. Hetrick
about wanting to find suitable instruments to accommodate
her daughter's talent as her skills improved and grew.
She is now in sixth grade and her present oboe cost about
$3 thousand. One of the things I enjoy about these
evenings is the musicians coming out to meet the people
for whom they play. Overall, those I've met
have been intelligent, funny, and kind people,
just the sort one would want as friends. I saw the young
oboist later, who said she was going to talk
with Ms. Christen about lessons.
It seemed so cool to me that a twelve-year-old girl
would easily have the opportunity to speak with
a professional about her future.
Right there in the lobby of the Hilbert Circle Theatre,
on a cold night, over cups of hot cocoa.
One in jeans and the other in a silver gown.