Chris Wheeler is an oboist based in the mid-Michigan area, performing regularly with ensembles including the Michigan Philharmonic and Adrian Symphony, and also subs with many others, including those in Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor, and Southwest Michigan. He is also active as a chamber musician and was a founding member of the Pure Winds woodwind quintet, based in Lansing, MI. An avid teacher, Chris maintains a private studio of oboe students in both the metro Detroit and Lansing areas, is oboe instructor at the Flint Institute of Music, is an MSBOA Solo & Ensemble Adjudicator, and also works as an oboe clinician and chamber music coach for many band programs. He completed Master’s degrees in both oboe performance and chamber music, studying with Nancy Ambrose King at the University of Michigan and also studied with Allan Vogel, former principal oboe of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, at the California Institute of Arts (CalArts) for his Bachelor of Fine Arts in oboe performance. While at CalArts, he was also an exchange student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, studying oboe with Stephen West and composition with Gareth Williams. His other major teachers include Gretchen Morse, Stuart Horn (oboe), and Marjan Helms (piano/composition).
Raised in rural Michigan, Chris has been surrounded by music of all types for as long as he can remember. He started his musical journey at the age of 5 with piano lessons, and in 6th grade, a funny instrument called the oboe entered the picture by a chance encounter. A summer session at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp was the catalyst in deciding to pursue music as a career and the following summer saw him touring Europe with Blue Lake’s International Youth Orchestra before starting his undergraduate studies at CalArts. Though classically trained, Chris’s other musical interests lie in expanding the boundaries and genres of his musical influences via his own original compositions and songs. In this vein, he recorded and released an album of original compositions and songs, “Day by Day.”