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 the Lansing Symphony and Southwest Michigan Symphony. He is also active as a chamber musician, having performed with Shift Ensemble Detroit and as a founding member of the Pure Winds woodwind quintet. An avid teacher, Chris maintains a private studio of oboe students in both the metro Detroit and Lansing areas, is an MSBOA Solo & Ensemble Adjudicator and is a masterclass clinician 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 graduated from the California Institute of Arts (CalArts) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in oboe performance, studying with Allan Vogel, former principal oboe of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. 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.”