Dr. Sarah Hamilton, Associate Professor
About the area
The oboe studio 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 following areas:
- 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: 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.
- Repair: Studens are encouraged to learn the fundamentals of instrument repair – specifically, cleaning and adjusting their own instrument.
- English Horn and Oboe d'Amore: Oboists are encouraged to learn to play the English horn and oboe d'amore. Fredonia owns and maintains these instruments 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 masterclasses 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.
Visit the Oboe Studio Website for more information and resources.