There are just not enough people playing oboe and bassoon worldwide. Not enough people start young and nearly all schools struggle to find double reed players for their orchestras and bands. This causes a knock-on effect with popular community orchestras facing the same problem, a shortage of teachers and into the profession, with a major shortage of freelance players

I sent out a questionnaire when I was President of the Australasian Double Reed Society and had replies from specialist teachers, heads of music, youth and community orchestra conductors and parents. Everyone agreed that this is a hidden crisis, with major implications for our music community into the future, using words such as “excellent… much needed initiative…shortage…dramatic drop off…”  

I see the problem every day as a player, a teacher, member of a vibrant music community and ADRS event organiser. My husband Richard Craig is Australia’s most respected double reed technician and we are completely immersed in the subject. Every week we answer questions from orchestras all over the country wanting to obtain a cor anglais, oboe or bassoon player.

“It’s a familiar story in … orchestras across the country: ‘We’ve got eleven brilliant flute players but no one...