Chris Wheeler


Chris Wheeler is an oboist based in the mid-Michigan area, performing regularly with ensembles including the Adrian Symphony, Michigan Philharmonic, and Birmingham-Bloomfield Symphony, and has subbed with many others, including the Lansing Symphony and Southwest Michigan Symphony. He is also active as a chamber musician, performing with Shift Ensemble Detroit and pianist Sharon Sweet, as duo PianOboe. In addition to performing, Chris also maintains a private studio of oboe students in both the metro Detroit and Lansing areas. A recent graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, & Dance, he completed Master’s degrees in both oboe performance and chamber music, studying with Nancy Ambrose King. He graduated from the California Institute of Arts (CalArts) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in oboe performance, studying with Allan Vogel and was also an exchange student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, in Glasgow, studying oboe with Stephen West and composition with Gareth Williams. His other major oboe teachers include Gretchen Morse and Stuart Horn and he also studied piano and composition with Marjan Helms.

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 trained as a “classical” musician, Chris’s main interests lie in expanding the boundaries and genres of his musical influences via his own original compositions and songs. In this vein, he recently recorded and released an album of original compositions and songs, “Day by Day,” and is currently working on a new album of original music.