Artist Spotlight

Molly Wilson

When you know someone pursuing a double degree in oboe performance and international studies who spent most of her life somewhere between New Jersey and Germany, and who is currently making a dress out of Naked Juice labels in her spare time… well, you know you’re at Lawrence. But that someone isn’t just the Admissions Office’s dream student – it’s senior Anneliese Abney.
In addition to all of that, Abney plays in the Lawrence University Wind Ensemble, runs the German language tables at Andrew Commons and cooks delicious food for co-op. And she spends an exorbitant amount of her time in a tiny room in the con making oboe reeds.
Abney’s musical beginnings started in the fourth grade when she played the clarinet and “absolutely hated it.” In sixth grade, she played in an all-city band, which coincidentally had no oboe players.
By chance, Abney’s family “just had an oboe lying around,” and she agreed to switch instruments. In her own words, “I agreed without knowing what I go myself into… by the time I realized it, I was hooked.”
And so Abney continued playing and found herself here at Lawrence, studying with Professor of Music and Teacher of Oboe Howard Niblock. She credits the Wriston art building as a large part of her decision to attend Lawrence.
Laughing, she said, “Wriston reminded me of my kindergarten and I loved that it was here on campus… but I’ve only ever gone there about four times.”
Coming up next for Abney is her senior recital, which takes place next Saturday, April 24 at 3 p.m. in Harper Hall. She’ll be playing works by Fasch, Poulenc and the Mozart oboe quartet, which Abney promised is “really cute! Super cute!”
She’ll also be playing the English horn on a piece titled “The Swan of Tuonela” by Sibelius, which imitates the song of Tuonela, the swan of death in Finnish mythology that brings people across the lake to the underworld.
Abney giggled as she revealed that she’s “intending to take everyone to the underworld with me.” Don’t worry – it’s really cute when she says it.
After Lawrence, we can look for Abney’s own reed-making business. Said Abney, “I’m one of the few oboists who genuinely enjoy making reeds. It’s probably just my penchant for destroying myself… I have two or three cuts on my hands right now from reed making.”
Until we buy Abney’s own personal brand of reeds, we can look forward to hearing her play with one of her own at her recital next Saturday. Maybe she’ll even wear her dress made of Naked Juice labels.

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