Performing in My Hometown
Now in my sixth year with Shen Yun, I’ve performed all over the world. Vienna, Tokyo, Sydney, Paris, you name it. But performing recently in my hometown of Rochester, New York, was truly one of the greatest joys of my life.
There’s just something about bringing to bear all that your parents and teachers instilled in you, and giving it back to them. My parents taught me music and took me to concerts from a very, very young age. I remember being just too little to sit through them and falling asleep. But I was for sure taking it in. Classical, gospel, world music, they exposed me to it all. And on those long cross-country road trips where our family—mostly my dad—drove twelve hours in a shot and we kids wanted to sleep but my parents wanted to listen to choral masterworks, I know I was taking it in too. (The Dies Irae in Verdi’s Requiem sure keeps you awake.) For our family, music was a window into the spiritual realm and a window into other cultures. Today with Shen Yun, it is still very much both for me.
And my oboe teachers. Nearly every teacher I have ever had was taught by Richard Killmer, one of the greatest oboists of our time. Mr. Killmer, of the Eastman School of Music, later became my teacher as well. A man with an astoundingly giving spirit, he not only helped me tremendously as his student back in the day, but has continued to be there for me ever since. This, the first time the Shen Yun company I perform with went to Rochester, was also his first time seeing Shen Yun. It meant so much to me to be able to give something back to him.
In terms of the arts and the spiritual side of life, Rochester is a vibrant place. It provided me with so many rich experiences over the years. I hope we left it with something lasting.
Oboist with Shen Yun's New York Company Orchestra
March 1, 2011