The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Chelsea's Christmas Gift Is Being Well Used

By: Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

Monday evening marked 10 year old Chelsea Fryrear's debut as an oboist.

The young 4th grader was invited by West Central Band Director Matt Henning to join the West Central Middle School and High School band in performing in their annual Holiday Christmas Concert at the high school gymnasium, Biggsville.

Mr. Henning introduced young Chelsea and told the audience it has been some time since they have had an oboist in their band.

In visiting with Chelsea's parents, Steve and Denise Fryrear of Stronghurst, Chelsea was inspired at age 9 by her sister Camryn who was playing the Saxaphone in her first year of band in 5th grade.

"Chelsea wasn't impressed with any of the instruments, however, and I happen to think of the oboe and that it might be just right for her."

Denise found a beautiful piece on Youtube and let Chelsea hear it. Her reaction was instantaneous, her mom said, after listening to a college age women play the oboe beautifully.

"She grabbed my face with both hands and said, "I want that!'"

For Christmas last year, the Fryrears managed to surprise her with an oboe and she has been diligent in taking private lessons once a week now for 10 months with Professor Matthew Wanken, Lecturer, who is Director of Woodwinds at Monmouth College as well as Instrumental Activities and Instrumental Methods.

"She hasn't lost her excitement," Denise said. In fact, "she plans on earning a scholarship and attending Monmouth College where she wants to continue to play."

Monmouth College has a very active Woodwind department. They are involved in performing almost weekly, at ballgames, family weekend concerts, Jazz Band, Chamber concerts, Winds concerts, Christmas concerts, and many more activities including a Concert at Commencement. They have gone on tour in the states and in May of 2011, the Monmouth Winds conducted an Italian tour performing in churches in and around Florence.

Chelsea appreciated the help from her sister Camryn in making her first appearance fun. Camryn plays the Saxophone and sat next to her as they played a Holiday Medley which included Jingle Bells and Jolly Ole Saint Nicholas.

The concert concluded the West Central Holiday Music series this year which included PreK-2nd Dec. 3rd; Elementary 3rd-5th Dec. 9th; and the MS/HS Concert Monday Dec. 16th.