THE RIGHT NOTE: OPEN MIND AND OPEN EARS FOR A CAREER IN THE ARTS
Every day at work is different for musician Shefali Pryor but that’s what she loves the most.
As a symphony orchestra associate principal oboe, she says there is always some combination of rehearsals or performances with the orchestra, as well as private practice, programming and a little bit of teaching. She also has to make her own reeds for her oboe.
Pryor says she was completely addicted to playing in orchestras so when it came to choosing what to study, there was no question in her mind.
“I went to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music for university, kept playing in orchestras, and was part of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s training orchestra, Sydney Sinfonia,” she says. “Then the stars aligned and a job as second oboe became available just as I finished my degree. I was lucky enough to land that then go on to take the next step, taking on my current job as associate principal.”
Her advice to others who aspire to a career like hers is to practice hard and listen to as much and as broadly as possible. “Take inspiration from your teachers, mentors and peers. Have an open mind and open ears, and be prepared to take the opportunities when they come your way,” she says.