For the next instalment of 5 Minutes with Howarth Artists we would like to introduce you to Theodora Proud!
We first met Theodora at IDRS Granada, this meeting sparked her interest in Howarth oboes. We are proud to have her as part of the Howarth family.
An introduction to Theodora
My name is Teodora Pejasinovic Proud and I teach Oboe at the University of Idaho. People in the USA call me Dora and my students call me Dr. Proud.
I was born in Sarajevo and grew up in Novi Sad – the European Capital of Culture in 2022!
Tell us about your early musical life, where did it start and what made you choose the oboe?
My first instrument was piano, which I studied privately. At the age of 11 I was told that I was too old to start piano in the specialized music school in Serbia. I was not too old for a wind instrument, and since there were no more open spots for flute, I tried oboe and since then, that was all I wanted to do.
Did you always want to be a musician? If you had another career what would you have done?
If I had another job, I would love to work in a botanical garden, so I can work with plants and flowers all day.
What has been your musical highlight?
I guess my musical highlight was getting this job as an Oboe professor at the University level. I love teaching oboe, so it was a dream come true.
What are your favourite/worst things about playing the oboe?
My favourite thing about playing oboe is when I make a good reed, and the happiness and enjoyment which comes with that.
I hate the fact that Oboes can crack. I still dream sometimes that my top joint is cracking, but when I wake up, I am so happy knowing that my ebonite Howarth top joint cannot crack.
Repertoire you are playing at the moment?
I play in the Faculty wind quintet at the University of Idaho, which is called the Northwest Wind Quintet; I also play co-principal oboe in the Washington-Idaho Symphony and one of my favorite things to do is to play in the Proud Duo with my husband and saxophonist Joseph Proud. This summer we will record an album with different pieces we have commissioned in the last few years.
It is hard for me to point to one specific composer and piece, but let’s say L’Horloge de Flore (the Flower Clock) by Jean Françaix.
I love music by the Serbian female composer Isidora Zebeljan.
What Howarth instrument do you play and why did you choose it?
I play a LXV Cocojazz and an XL English Horn.
I used to play on many different Oboes, and during the IDRS conference in Granada, I discovered Howarth Oboes. At that time, I had a new great Oboe, but when I tried the Howarth LXV, I knew that is what I wanted. I used to play on a European set up for 15 years, and I’ve now been playing American scrape reeds for the last 7 years. On the LXV oboe I felt I could find some characteristics that I like from both schools of Oboe playing.
More from Theodora!