Wayne Coats was nominated to be our first submission to the Member Spotlight! Wayne is one of our oboists and is regularly featured with many solos. He is also the Vice President on the Chamber Orchestra of Barrington at St. John’s board.
What was the first instrument you owned?
My father’s Olds cornet.
How did you come to study the oboe and what drew you to the instrument?
It’s a long story but I’ll try to be as brief as I can. I’ve played the oboe since about 1962. I grew up in a rural part of Western New York and attended a very small school. I switched to oboe around my freshman year in high school. Before settling on the oboe I played cornet, trombone and bassoon. I chose the oboe because of its unique sound, prominence in the orchestra and the great repertoire that’s been written for it.
What is some of your favorite repertoire?
I like Benjamin Britten’s Six Metamorphoses After Ovid for solo oboe, Johann Hummel’s Introduction, Theme and Variations. There are so many wonderful oboe pieces and it’s difficult to pick what I like best.
Who have been some of the most influential people in your life?
My parents, my wife, instructors, conductors and others who have helped me grow and do what I love to do.
What, for you, is the most fulfilling aspect of your life as a musician?
Being able to perform with groups who want to play classical music and teaching people the joy of music and the oboe. Also while teaching at Tabor Academy in Marion Mass., I had a student who auditioned for the top All State orchestra in Massachusetts’s and was selected first oboe. That was a great feeling of satisfaction for me.
Are there any performances or moments in your performing career that stand out in your memory for their significance?
Could you tell us what made these performances particularly special for you?
My first memorable event was when I was accepted into New York State regional All State band. It was a big deal for me. Also spending four years in the Air Force Band was a great experience as I was able to see much of the world I would have missed.
What would be your dream concert to perform?
My dream would be to perform with any of the world’s great orchestras. I can only imagine what a feeling I’d get from of being part of one of them.
What CD or playlist is in your car?
Right now the CD I have in my car is Bob Marley’s Legend album.
And lastly, could you tell us a bit about upcoming musical projects outside of COBSJ that you are looking forward to?
Besides the COBSJ concerts, I’ll be performing with the Tri-County Symphonic Band, the New England Symphony Orchestra and for musicals. I’ll play for anyone who asks.
Thank you Wayne!