Woodworth entertains audience with expansive pre-retirement oboe recital


During a performance Sept. 10, William Woodworth, a professor of music at Tech, immersed the audience in a number of musical pieces. During the staff recital, Woodworth played the English horn and the Poulenc Trio for oboe, accompanied by Tech professor James Lotz playing the bassoon and Grace Eunhye Choi playing the piano.

The pieces Woodworth performed took the audience on a trip through time. They varied in style, time period and location. The music ranged from a Handel Concerto to an Irish-American folk song to Greek songs by Ravel.

“The various tone colors and moods are able to be expressed by the oboe and the English horn,” Woodworth said. “The various pieces cover music from every musical era from the 1700s to the modern day oboe.”

He said that he chose the pieces he did because their diversity provided rich contrast for himself and the people listening.

Lacy Robbins, a woodwind major who studies under Woodworth, said that she admires him for his accomplishments as well as for his personality.

“I’m very lucky that I get to play with him,” she said. “He’s an inspiration.”

Robbins said that Woodworth has recorded for many high profile soundtracks, such as Taylor Swift’s Christmas Album, Disney’s “The Jungle Book,” and the intro song in Disney’s “Aladdin.”

“I like to hear him play,” Robbins said. “I would love to play like him – and strive to. So, it’s good for me to listen and learn from how he plays.”

Robbins said that because Woodworth is retiring next year, he used the recital to perform pieces that mean something to him.

Woodworth shared an anecdote about why he chose to perform “Believe Me, if All Those Endearing Young Charms,” arranged by Donald Hunsberger. He said that when he was in the fifth grade his grandmother heard him practicing the song and told him that it had always been one of her favorite tunes.

Woodworth has played the oboe for 50 years and said his inspiration to learn the instrument stemmed from growing up in a musical family and a desire to participate in band.

Katie Wilson, a graduate student studying music education, said that she appreciated Woodworth’s playing and how he expressed himself musically.

“In my previous undergraduate experience, the staff didn’t give concerts,” Wilson said. “That’s why I’m excited that Tech’s instructors do. Dr. Woodworth and the others are going above and beyond to perform and demonstrate.”