Michigan Opera Theatre Oboist and English Horn Sally Heffelfinger Pituch can thank opera for her career path. The Vassar, Michigan native began her musical career playing bassoon as a child but decided to switch to oboe after seeing a performance of Amahl and the Night Visitors in sixth grade.
“Amahl plays a wooden flute at beginning and ending of the opera, but it’s really the oboe playing the part down in the pit,” she said. “It’s a very pretty melody, I fell in love with the sound.”
Since then, Sally has honed her craft, receiving a bachelor’s degree in Oboe Performance from the University of Michigan and studying with former Detroit Symphony Orchestra Principal Oboist Donald Baker. After graduation, Sally began her musical career with the Honolulu Symphony where she met and married Detroit Symphony Orchestra Principal Hornist Karl Pituch. Her career continued performing with orchestras all over the country including the Jacksonville and Fort Worth symphonies, as well as the Dallas Opera Orchestra.
After 17 years, Sally returned to her home state in 2000, performing with MOT as well as the Detroit, Flint, Ann Arbor and Toledo symphonies.
“The best thing about moving back to Michigan is that my parents were finally able to come to my performances,” she said.
Outside of music, Sally enjoys knitting and yoga and has been a trained dog groomer for more than 20 years.
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Profiles from the Pit
Meet Michigan Opera Theatre oboist and English horn player Sally Heffelfinger Pituch.