Musician Memoirs is a feature where we ask our Lone Star Wind Orchestra’s musicians how has music changed their lives.
Oboist Rob Chilton writes, “In our living room sat a weathered antique piano. I was just 7 when I began to ask my parents to let me take lessons. Months and months went by until finally we discovered that our neighbor, Ms. Hubbard, taught piano lessons out of her house. My parents decided to put me in lessons, which I am convinced was mostly to pacify my constant begging. A year of lessons went by and I had already begun writing my own music. I had found something that quite literally spoke my language.
A few years later I entered 6th grade where I began playing the flute in the beginning band in Duncanville, Texas. Six months later I was asked to change to the oboe, and I willingly accepted, not knowing that my life would forever change with that one decision.
Thanks to the oboe, I was given a full scholarship to college. While studying at Southern Methodist University, I discovered music education. I had the opportunity my sophomore year to instruct a group of middle school students from a visiting school. I had no idea what to do or say in front of them. What did I know? I was in my 2nd year of undergraduate studies and had never stood in front of a band in my life, but from that moment on, I was hooked.
After graduating, I started teaching middle school band in the Dallas area. Still wanting to pursue my passion for performing on the oboe, I heard about this wonderful group that had just formed: the Lone Star Wind Orchestra. The group had already taken auditions for the first season, so I auditioned for a chance to play as a sub, which I did for two years. By my third season, I had the opportunity to audition for an active position, which I have held since then.
Music has changed my life because it is my passion. It gave me a creative outlet when I was 7. It gave me something to excel at when I was 12. When I was 16 and going through the typical teenage growing pains, it gave me something to pour my heart into, and when I was 18, it gave me the opportunity to go to college and get an education when I may not have had such a great opportunity otherwise. Now music changes my life because I teach it to children, and I hope to make a difference in their lives through music as it did for me.
Music is everywhere, and it’s changing lives. All you have to do is listen.”