Essex Symphony Orchestra Reg. Charity No. 1000732

Site last updated on 15 May 2020

Spotlight on …

Margaret Harrod - Principal Oboe

I started learning oboe at age 15.  My father, a music teacher, wanted his three daughters to study music.  Due to the family budget we learned whatever instruments were available.  I began learning cello, my grandfather's instrument, and my sister learned the oboe, a cheap instrument with bore problems!  My parents decided I should learn a second instrument and tried me on double bass.  That didn't work. They then tried trumpet.  That didn't work either.  When my sister upgraded, her old oboe was given to me and I started to learn.  It was when I went to Colchester Institute to do a Music foundation course that I was treated to a new one. 

I joined ESO 20 years ago.  Although I enjoy many compositions of contemporary composers I have a long standing interest in Malcolm Arnold, especially his inclusions of jazz elements.  I have performed all his dance suites (except the Welsh) and in 1989 performed his English Dances with the Trianon Symphony Orchestra in the presence of the great man himself.  I have also performed his Three Shanties for Wind Quintet, his Wind Quintet, Opus 2 and other orchestral and wind band compositions.

I studied oboe and cor anglais at college and have always played recorder.  As well as ESO, I play with Essex Concert Band, primarily a wind band, and Beaufort Wind Quintet.  These different groups give me a wide spectrum of musical experiences.