Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Tonight, oboist Shea Scruggs ’05 will be giving his senior recital. An English Literature major from Miami, Florida, Scruggs will perform music by Paladilhe, Handel, Martinu and Loeffler, with Marcantonio Barone, piano, and Chris Atanasiu Ã¢â‚¬Ëœ05, Alex Atanasiu Ã¢â‚¬Ëœ05 and Steph Hsu Ã¢â‚¬Ëœ08 on various string instruments.
Scruggs is a rarity among Swarthmore students: a musician who intends to pursue a career in performance. He began to study the oboe in seventh grade, “only because my best friend was in the band and was always telling me how much fun it was.” He attended the New World School of the Arts in Florida, and also spent a year at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. “I had seen snow once before I showed up there. Needless to say, I froze the whole year,” he said.
As well as being a senior at Swarthmore, Scruggs has also graduated from the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, widelyconsidered to be one of the best conservatories in the world. He studied with Richard Woodhams, the principal oboist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. “Curtis is a small and intense place to study. Quite like Swarthmore, actually. It has a great tradition of American oboe playing and I feel fortunate to have been exposed to that continuity,” Scruggs said.
Scruggs plans to dive into the imposing audition process of orchestras after graduation. “It’s little bit like American Idol. You have two minutes to convince a committee that they should listen to you again. Luckily, twenty million people aren’t laughing at you while you play.” But he will face a much easier audience tonight. “I don’t want to give away too much” about the pieces, he said, but praises the work of Barone, Hsu and the Atanasius for “bringing out great things in the music,” something Scruggs himself will surely also do tonight.