Bachelor of Communications and Applied Music Degree from the University of Minnesota
I am an oboist, entrepreneur and founder of Chione Quintet, and mothrmöv, and a co-founder of Dúo León and Riverside Reeds. I have had the honor of touring various countries across Europe as well as playing with Sioux City Symphony, Huron Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra, Mankato Symphony Orchestra, Kenwood Symphony, Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, and Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra. I tend to think my strengths are wide-ranging, including as a business owner, writer, and founder of numerous ensembles and businesses.
As an entrepreneur and new music pioneer, I have worked to create unique, exciting, and relevant chamber music opportunities for myself and my colleagues. Chione Quintet performed live on Classical Minnesota Public Radio within our first seven months as an ensemble.
We more recently represented Classical MPR through their school residency program – Class Notes. During our 2019-2020 season, we had the honor of partnering with Chamber Music America through their Residency Partnership Program. We shared educational programs with libraries in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The Revolutionary Trio, Mothrmöv, explores and embraces the relationship between music and movement. Morthrmöv premiered Ben Osterhouse’s Fancy Mouse at a Schubert Club Courtroom Concert in March of 2019.
Dúo León is in scheduling a Midwestern tour for the Fall of 2020, sharing my “Music by Midwestern Women” program at colleges and universities across the Midwest. Riverside Reeds is an up-and-coming reed quintet and is the first professional reed quintet in the state of Minnesota.
I have the honor of being the Oboe Professor at Dordt University and Northwestern College in Sioux Center, IA. I frequently work with local band directors and honor band programs as a coach and clinician. My Chromatic Fusion Oboe Studio boasts students who have attended honor bands throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, including the prestigious University of Minnesota Honor Band.
Additionally, many of my students have had the honor of being accepted into the MN All-State Honor Bands and Orchestra. As a clinician and coach, I am on faculty at Athena Music and Leadership Camp, ISD 622’s Beginning Band Camp, and I have coached the MN All-State Concert Band oboe students for the last three years.
I had the opportunity to attend Interlochen Arts Academy as a high school senior, where I studied with Daniel Stolper. I hold a Bachelor of Communications and Applied Music Degree from the University of Minnesota, where I studied with Basil Reeve. Other principal instructors of mine have included Andréa Banké, Caroline Park, Roger Roe, and Jeffrey Paul.
Through the growth of Chione Quintet, an ensemble that puts a focus on performing works by women and commissioning new music by female composers, I have come to make this a staple of my career. This passion turned into an interest in works for the oboe by women. Living in Minnesota, we are really in the epicenter of arts in the Midwest. I decided to create a program of works for the oboe by Midwestern women composers.
As I reached out to Minnesota composers and oboe colleagues, I began to unearth pieces and composers that I had not known of previously, inspiring me to spread the word about the immense talent of the women in the Midwest.
In the Fall of 2020, my beloved friend and harpist, Hannah Palmquist, and I will tour colleges and universities throughout the Midwest sharing our program of music for the oboe by Midwestern women composers. Our tour currently consists of a good many schools in Minnesota and Iowa. Please reach out if you would like us to share our program with you!
Every student is different. From the way their body is shaped, the way they approach the oboe, and their attitude. My role as a teacher is to adapt and change with each unique person.
What works for one student may not work for another. Each lesson is a new adventure, with new goals and exciting creative ways to accomplish those goals.
Within this continuously changing and evolving way of teaching there are certain fundamental approaches that I maintain throughout each lesson: communication, individualized goals, leading by example, instilling confidence, and giving back to the community of oboists.
Communication is an essential part of life, and it is the foundation of my teaching. As musicians, we do not typically communicate with our words, but with our sound and our bodies. I have struggled to learn in traditional formats associated with academia.
This has led me to a teaching style in which students are communicators. It is important to make this distinction, because a lack of communication can greatly hinder potential learning. With open communication, students feel free to disagree and question the teacher, which greatly benefits the student and enhances their education. Communication also helps me realize whether there is adequate understanding, or whether I need to explain it in a different manner.
I encourage my students to identify an additional supportive adult in their life to support their learning process in a positive and beneficial way. With this added level of support students tend to be more successful and willing to reach out when they experience struggles of any kind.
Each student is an individual, therefore I create individual, and constantly evolving lesson plans to fit each student’s needs.
Different learners demand different approaches to learning and I consistently work to improve my teaching to ensure that I am meeting each student in an optimal way. I expect each student to demonstrate growth, and celebrate their progress along the way.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
It is important for students to find their own personal and musical sound. For example, I will ask a student to analyze a portion of music before sharing my own interpretive thoughts, or encourage their opinion of music before sharing my own interpretive thoughts, or encourage their opinion about nuance and gesture before giving mine.
My ultimate goal is to nurture their own unique voice through the study of oboe that is created and embraced by them. I share my own voice and commitment through a rigorous performance schedule that demonstrates and normalizes the experience of a professional musician.
This gives ample opportunity for students to watch and hear me perform and develop their curiosity about the life of a performing musician.
Playing an instrument is a vulnerable act that exposes the performance as both a musician and an individual. Confidence is essential to success and I work to cultivate this among each student I teach. I intentionally create a circle of support within the entire studio.
There is an expectation of positivity in all aspects of the studio. The studio will always lift each oboist up with critiques, whether they are aspects done well, or those that need some work. Reed-making is viewed as a privilege as opposed to a nuisance. In my studio, negative self-talk is not allowed, because it benefits no one.
I have been making oboe reeds since I was a sophomore in high school, and I have been selling my reeds for the last ten years. Many Minnesota middle and high school band directors keep me busy with filling their bulk reed orders. I have sold my chromatic fusion reeds to my studio and have mailed reeds as far as Nashville, Tennessee. One of my favorite things about making reeds is choosing a really fun thread that I purchase through Squirrley Stash!
I use a Caleb -1 shaper tip, and most often, I use a Ross gouge. Reed-making is such a journey. To hone my craft, I have picked up tidbits from my teachers, as well many of my colleagues. All of those ideas go into the making of one tiny, very special oboe reed!
I happen to come from a pretty musical family. I have an aunt and an uncle who went to very prestigious music schools. My dad is a pianist, cellist, and has a lovely baritone voice, so playing music was a given in my house. I began taking piano lessons in first grade. I loved my teacher, but I didn’t love playing the piano.
When I was getting ready to start fifth grade, and the process of choosing a band instrument was around the corner, I remember mentioning to my parents that one of the girls at my after school care played the clarinet, and “it looked pretty cool.”
My mom immediately fast-forwarded into the future of potentially enduring years of horrific screeching and quickly told me about this neat instrument called the oboe. She said that it looked similar to the clarinet, it was the same color, but very difficult to play, so not a lot of people played it, and I would get all of the solos.
Well, Mom, it worked! Thank you for the years of issues with temperamental reeds; I will send you the bill for the psychologist! 😉
Once I got my hands on my very own oboe, it was love at first sight. The oboe was my instrument, it was my passion, and that has not changed one bit!
GIVING BACK TO THE OBOE COMMUNITY
I also believe that in teaching, a student learns more than they would by being taught. Studio classes are lead not only by me, but also by individual students within the studio, whether engaging in solo or team teaching. Because I believe in inclusion and community, I foster an attitude of engagement at every level of mastery.
Students in my studio benefit from teaching and playing for local beginning and intermediate oboists. In this way, I hope to sustain an ever growing community of oboists through my teaching and performing.
My daughter and I love to travel and be outside experiencing nature. In 2016 we took a trip out West that brought us to a few National Park Sites. Once we got back home, I began researching, as I had no idea how large the National Park Service was. From that moment on, I decided that I would make it our mission to visit every single National Park.
Four years later, we have been to a total of 166 National Park Sites, and there are a total of 419, and the list is growing! She and I live in West St. Paul, where “we’ve got it all” being between city and suburb. We just bought a new house for ourselves and our cats.