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About A.Lakota Reeds


"When I was in fifth grade, I had the opportunity to join the middle school band. I wanted to play the Clarinet, or trumpet, or perhaps percussion. One day the private music teachers were invited to perform for the students and I heard the oboe, in person, for the first time. I still remember hearing my future mentor play Dvorak's Humoresque, and feeling goosebumps all over my body. From that moment on I knew I wanted to play the oboe. 

I can't say whether I really had much talent in my early days of playing, but I loved music, more than anything else. It brought me so much happiness during what can be challenging years for a young person. 

I began reed making when I was in my early teens, and did not have a knack for it at first. Fortunately, my teacher Tamara Field, always had a fresh supply for her students. 

Upon graduating from high school I did not know what I wanted to do with my future. I still loved music more than anything, but I did not feel confident in trying to apply to large schools with competitive music departments. I decided to go to community college, work part time, and try to figure out what my next step would be. 

After community college I worked full-time for some time before meeting my next mentor Fred Cohen. Fred is the oboe professor at the University of Massachusetts. Fred easily convinced me to attend UMass and study with him in the spring semester. 

I became obsessed with the oboe and oboe reed making during my years studying with Fred. Fred helped me to feel confident as an oboist and reed maker. During this time I decided that I would start a reed making business upon graduation, which is what I did. Since then I have devoted a large part of my professional life to making reeds, along with performing and teaching. 

I look back to my early years studying with Tamara, and think of how grateful I was to have access to good quality oboe reeds. I think that every oboist, no matter their age or ability should have access to great quality reeds that are affordable. This is an idea that drives my reed making.

While I have grown my business over the years, I am even more dedicated now than ever to trying to help as many double reed players to have access to high-quality double reeds. I am able to keep up with orders better than ever because I have the help of my reed making assistant Abigail Haines. Abby processes a lot of the cane that I use to make reeds, and helps me to tie blanks. Her help allows me to devote more time to scraping reeds, keep up with demand and provide more oboists with oboe reeds. 

Abby is a fine oboe reed maker and makes the professional Mallar Reeds

I view the oboe reed making process as an art form in some regards. I am constantly learning and developing new ways of thinking about the process, and developing more effective and efficient methods. I still dream about oboe reed making, and have flashes of insight about how to make things work better. I consider myself incredibly lucky to feel deep love for what I do. 

While not everyone will like my reeds, I feel happy with the development of all my products. Not everyone has the same taste in paintings, or in oboe reeds, that is okay with me, the world is a big place, and hopefully there is something out there for everyone. I hope that the people that love my reeds will keep coming back and also share their love for playing the oboe with the world. 

The world needs oboists to help the little Aarons  to find their love for music, to give them goosebumps, and send them down a path of fulfillment. I hope to help you to Be Happy Oboe-ing along your path."

-Aaron Lakota