Oboe manufacturer Howarth of London has opened its doors to show the public how the woodwind instrument is made.
It held three days of workshops last week at its base in Worthing, with the money raised from the events going to the Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice.
In an effort to get more children interested in playing the oboe, visitors were given a tour of the workshops where they could see how wood and sheets of metal are used to make the instrument, the Little Hampton Gazette reported.
Children will also be given the chance to have their first blow on an oboe.
Howarth of London is the only major woodwind manufacturer in the UK and has been producing the instruments since 1948.
Speaking ahead of the free event, which held a collection at the end of each tour for the hospice, Jeremy Walsworth, director of Howarth, told the news provider: “At Howarth, we are fortunate to be on hand to help children produce their first sounds on a musical instrument and we love seeing their reactions when they accomplish this.
“We know that the children at Chestnut Tree House do not necessarily have this privilege so we hope to raise a generous sum of money to help the hospice continue their excellent work.”
As for more established players, a new ’21st century’ oboe has been designed by Christopher Redgate.
An Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research Fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts at the Royal Academy of Music, he has spent the last two years working with Howarth to redesign key-work of the oboe, specifically for contemporary repertoire that has complex and high-speed passages.
Examples include moving the third octave key to the other side of the thumb-plate, to allow greater movement of the thumb.
What’s more, Mr Redgate has been commissioned by the AHRC to compose five new works for the brand new instrument that will explore its full potential.
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