Oboist, Reedmaker, Ceramicist

Bethany Slater is an oboist, reed-maker, and ceramicist based in Washington DC. She is the oboist and English hornist for Inscape, a chamber orchestra that predominantly performs music of emerging American composers. Inscape has recorded two albums and two EPs under the Sono Luminus label.  Their debut album, "Sprung Rhythm," was nominated for a Grammy.

Bethany has a love of performing chamber music, and has appeared with Jackson Hole Chamber Music, Windham Chamber Music Festival, and the Pikes Falls Chamber Music Festival. Previously, she held the positions of principal oboe with the Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra and 2nd oboe of Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. In 2007 Bethany was one of five finalists in the Gillet International Oboe Competition sponsored by the International Double Reed Society. 

She received a BM in oboe performance from the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Richard Killmer. She then continued her studies with David Walter at the Paris Conservatory with a Fulbright grant.
Bethany plays a model M2 Marigaux oboe.

Bethany took her first wheel throwing pottery class in 2017. She took to it quickly, finding lots of translatable skills between music, reed-making and ceramics. She started selling her work in local DC markets and shops in 2018 and has had her work accepted into many juried ceramics shows, and even had one of her mugs featured in the November 2023 edition of Ceramics Monthly. She enjoys teaching classes at the District Clay Center and The Art League. You can find her pottery in local DC stores such as Plntr, Indigro Plant Design and Shop Made in DC Union Market.

Reed Shop Story

Bethany began selling oboe reeds way back in 2004 to just her teacher's students. Word got out, more and more requests started coming in, new products were offered, and a website was built. Now, selling reeds has turned into a full-time job with customers spanning the globe. The daily problem-solving required in reed-making keeps things interesting, and building close relationships with her customers makes it gratifying.

People love to ask Bethany these questions:

"Do you watch TV while you make reeds?"- Nope. Never. However, I listen to
podcasts while I scrape blanks. And while I wait for reeds to soak I sneak in mini German lessons on Duolingo.​

"Do you keep all the best reeds for yourself?"-
Ironically, I keep all the worst reeds for myself- the ones that leak or are chipped.  You know what they say about the cobbler's children, right?