Biography

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Jana "The Young Musician"

Jana Specht began her musical studies at age five on piano. At age nine, she began playing oboe in Cass Junior High School's band, and continued to play oboe and English horn through her studies at Gull Lake High School, even dabbling in playing jazz piano in her school's Jazz Band. In 2008, she won the Chamber Music Workshop Concerto Competition on Alessandro Marcello's Oboe Concerto in D Minor. She additionally performed with the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra, playing principal on prestigious orchestral works including Johannes Brahms' Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Igor Stravinsky's Firebird Suite, Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 in D Minor, and English horn on Antonín Dvořák's New World Symphony. Jana also attended summer music festivals from 2007-2011, including Kalamazoo's Chamber Music Workshop, Interlochen Fine Arts Camp, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and Sewanee Summer Music Festival. She graduated from Gull Lake High School in June 2011.

Jana "The Student"

Jana received her Bachelor's Degree in Oboe Performance from DePaul University in June 2015, where she studied with Jelena Dirks and Eugene Izotov. During her time at DePaul, she rehearsed and performed numerous chamber, wind ensemble, and orchestral pieces. Highlights include Carl Nielsen's Wind Quintet, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Oboe Quartet in F Major, Karel Husa's Music for Prague, Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 6  in F Major, and Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 4 in C Minor. While attending DePaul, Jana regularly volunteered her time to play with student-formed ensembles such as the Chicago Symphonic Winds. She graduated summa cum laude from DePaul in 2015 with a Bachelor's in Music Performance and a Minor in Economics.

Jana then attended Northwestern University as a graduate music student from 2015 - 2017, where she performed in countless large ensemble, small ensemble, and solo events. Her musical range extends from the Baroque era to the 21st Century, and she sees beauty in every form that music takes. While at Northwestern, she began performing frequently with the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra, a professional organization with five concerts per season. Jana graduated in June 2017 from Northwestern University with a Master's Degree in Oboe Performance, where she studied with Scott Hostetler. Throughout her studies, Jana has maintained a small studio of private oboe students, who she helps to flourish and grow with a mutual love of the fine arts.

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Jana "The Performer"

Jana is currently a regular member of the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra and is an active freelance artist in the greater Chicago area. One of her favorite performing experiences was visiting Prague in the Czech Republic and playing Mozart's Don Giovanni Opera in the Estates Theatre. She has performed with groups such as the Chicago Chorale, The Music Institute of Chicago Chorale, the Music Institute of Chicago Academy Orchestra, The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, and Star Gate Music Productions. Jana is a lover of orchestral, chamber, operatic, and film music. She hopes to someday move to Los Angeles to pursue a career playing film music in a recording studio.

Jana "The Traveler and Outdoors Enthusiast"

A lover of traveling and the outdoors, Jana spends her free time running, kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, and going on walks exploring the cities of Evanston and Chicago. She has hiked in the Grand Canyon, along Pictured Rocks in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and in Juneau, Alaska. Jana has visited London, Dublin, Prague, Berlin, and would love to explore Southeast Asia next.