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Oboist Chris Wheeler enjoys a bustling freelance career, both in performance and teaching. He is currently principal oboe of the Michigan Philharmonic, second oboe of the Dearborn and Adrian Symphonies, and subs with many others orchestras, including those in Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor, and Southwest Michigan. He is also active as a chamber musician, as a founding member of the Pure Winds woodwind quintet. An avid teacher, Chris is Lecturer of Oboe at the University of Michigan-Flint, Adjunct Instructor of Oboe at Hillsdale College, maintains a studio of students in both the metro Detroit and Lansing areas, and is oboe instructor at the Flint Institute of Music. He is also an MSBOA Solo & Ensemble Adjudicator and has been 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 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 oboe teachers include Gretchen Morse and Stuart Horn.

    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.

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