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Music Makes Associate’s Life

By Julianne Coyne, UIL Intern | Wednesday, January 26, 2011 11:25 AM

Music associate Patty Esfandari (back right) poses with her ensemble, Heralds and MInstrels. Patty has played with the ensemble for 20 years.

Photo by Photo courtesy of Heralds and Minstrels

Patty Esfandiari loves music.

And it’s a good thing.

Eight hours a day, five days a week, Patty is immersed in the music business as the administrative associate for the UIL music department.

But eight hours a day is not enough for Patty.

“Music is a very important creative outlet for me,” Patty said. “I once tried to not do music because I had a day job and children and didn’t have time for it. For a year, I didn’t do any music, and it was like half of me had died.”

After work, on the weekends and even during the holidays, Patty devotes herself to music. For almost 30 years, Patty has played the oboe, the English horn and the recorder for the Mid-Texas Symphony, and she also is a member of an ensemble called Heralds and Minstrels.

Patty’s ensemble consists of Hugh Chandler on guitar, Chris Humphrey on bassoon, recorders, hurdy gurdy and percussion, Peggy Sexton on percussion, timpani, recorders and herself on oboe, English horn and recorders.  The foursome has been together for 20 years playing at weddings, parties and other social events.

“It’s fun being involved in the beginnings of people’s lives together,” Esfandiari said of performing at weddings.

The ensemble has recorded four CDs, the latest “Echoes of Spain” on which her youngest daughter Afsoneh performs.

“We had a lot of great Spanish pieces, so we decided we had to do a Spanish recording,” Patty said.

Patty got her start in music early in life. She began playing instruments in the sixth grade.

“I played the clarinet until a girl who played the oboe came to my school,” she said. “I fell in love with the instrument and made my band director let me play.”

Music defined her career as a student, she said.

“If you’re a band geek, that’s who you are,” Patty said. “It’s why you go to school. It’s where your friends are. It’s your motivation to do well in your classes because you don’t want to miss out.”

For Patty, her favorite experiences as a musician has come from performing with her children and forming lasting friendships with other musicians.

“Music has been the cause of a lot of good friendships for me,” she said. “Music is a fine thing, an all-consuming thing. I can’t live without it. It’s a compulsion. I have to play.”

Heralds and Minstrels Facebook page:

Heralds and Minstrels page: