Why Lumina Arts Incubator?

Dr. Merideth Hite Estevez, Director

As a professional oboist, I am always in pursuit of the most beautiful tone. We instrumentalists spend our lives attempting to mimic the human voice, and I must say this is astonishingly simple on some days and perfectly impossible on others. Yet, even when I was only beginning to be serious about practicing oboe, I knew: when the right music, the perfect reed, and the stars aligned the instrument had the capability to soar and sparkle, to speak novels in a single interval, and to be the "refuge" that music could be, as Maya Angelou wrote. This made the tiresome pursuit of beauty easier, because it suddenly involved something outside of myself. What was that mysterious force that seemed to collaborate when all was going well?  Something in it heals and soothes me as I play, perhaps more than any audience member, however evasive it may be. 

We artists have this privilege. We stand on the precipice of the mystical.

Some have called this force God. Others call it spirit, flow, Yahweh, muse, inspiration, genius. (One of my students calls it The Force, for you Star Wars fans out there!) My tradition calls it the Holy Spirit. Whatever the name that resonates with you, this Collaborator in our artwork is separate from us, the artist. We can't take all the credit if things go right or the blame if things go wrong! From this place we are free to shine brightly, with a sense of gratitude and wonder. (I am greatly indebted to Elizabeth Gilbert and her amazing TED talk on this subject.)

I fear the average artist today lives as a slave to his or her craft, rather than partaking in a joyful pursuit of that mysterious and elusive force which collaborates with us. I am eager to incubate under the light of it, no matter how different our traditions or language for these spiritual matters may seem. 

I feel called to the work of Lumina Arts Incubator, because I believe in arts' power to open us to the sacred moment of change, toward peace and justice. 

My hope is that this work will deepen our artistic and creative experience, inspiring innovative, productive, and transcendent art-making, and the joy from this pursuit will spill over into the community and the world, as artists are empowered to use their gifts to serve. 

The quest for the most beautiful tone and a more just world may seem never-ending, but with fellowship and faith, I feel we artists could make a difference. I hope you'll join me. 

Lumina Arts Incubator is sponsored by Grace United Methodist Church, Wilmington DE

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Dr. Merideth Hite Estevez

Oboist Dr. Merideth Hite Estevez has performed and taught throughout North and South America, Asia, and Europe. As the director of a new artist's service organization, Lumina Arts Incubator, Merideth works to bring artists together in community to unleash joy. She recently held positions as Assistant Professor of Oboe at University of North Carolina School of the Arts (Winston Salem), The University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg) and Fifth House Ensemble, an innovative ten-piece chamber ensemble in Chicago. Before Chicago, she resided in New York City where she appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, American Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s as an active freelancer. She graduated with a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School and also studied at the Yale School of Music, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. As a Fulbright Scholar at the Trossingen Musikhochschule in Germany, she explored how studying baroque and modern oboe together informs and benefits the player. 

Merideth is deeply committed to connecting with the next generation of musicians and audiences alike, through music education and community outreach. A founding member of Lumina Duo with pianist Jani Parsons, she performs specially curated recitals around the country to inspire social change. Their debut album of French music (in memory of those in the Parisian terrorist attacks of 2015 ) is forthcoming. As a Ravinia Teaching Artist, she worked with Fifth House Ensemble in Chicago public schools, and as a recipient of the SYLFF Fellowship awarded through the Tokyo Foundation, she toured Japan in the summer of 2012, coaching and performing alongside students as part of the foundation’s Tsunami recovery effort. With Lumina Arts Incubator, Merideth explores creativity, spirituality and service with artists in the Wilmington Delaware area and beyond. 

When she’s not playing oboe or making reeds, Merideth enjoys traveling the world and attempting to speak foreign languages with a southern accent. She hails from Abbeville, SC, but now calls Wilmington, DE home, where she resides with her husband, Rev. Edwin Estevez.


D.M.A., The Julliard School
M.M., Yale School of Music
B.M., Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music


Lumina Arts Incubator is generously sponsored by Grace United Methodist Church, Wilmington DE