Sarah Hamilton, Associate Professor
About the area:
The oboe studio at The State University of New York at Fredonia is strong and encouraging,
helping young musicians achieve their potential. Active in Western NY, the studio
supports oboists, through undergraduate and graduate studies, that perform in orchestras,
teach public school and at the college level, record music and serve as music therapists.
As students at Fredonia, oboists follow a course of study that includes work in the
- Musicianship: Musicality is stressed, and developed through the study of etudes, solos
and orchestral excerpts. Various styles, from Baroque to Twentieth-Century, are covered
in oboe seminar class and individual lessons.
- Technique: Students work on developing a rich, deep tone with a flexible vibrato.
Etudes and technical exercises develop a wide dynamic range and technical ability.
Students are also introduced to modern techniques, including double-tonguing.
- Reedmaking and Repair: In addition to being able to play the instrument well, an oboist
must also have reedmaking skills. Much more than for other reed instruments, the tone
and flexibility of the oboe is predicated on having a good reed. Emphasis is placed
on learning the fundamentals of reed construction and knife technique, in addition
to individual and group lessons on the scraping and balancing of reeds. Self-sufficiency
is the ultimate goal. Fredonia has a reed room where gougers, shapers and other reedmaking
equipment are available for student use.
Students are also encouraged to learn the fundamentals of repair – specifically, cleaning
and adjusting their instrument.
English horn and Oboe d’Amore: Oboists are encouraged to learn to play the English
horn and the oboe d'amore. Fredonia owns and maintains English horns and an oboe d'amore
for student use.
While at Fredonia, oboists perform in the large ensembles including two orchestras
and four bands. Oboe students also perform in chamber groups (woodwind, string, percussion,
etc.); in solo recitals in a world-class recital hall; in master classes with renown
oboists; in new compositions ; in regional professional orchestras; as concerto competition
winners, and have the chance to attend concerts and conferences off-campus.
The oboe studio serves the community by hosting a Double Reed Day for high school
and middle school students, and with off-campus concerts.
Find out more about the oboe studio:
Undergraduate Degree Offerings
Graduate Degree Offerings