Private Instructions: Oboe and Chamber Music Coach
Kaycee Ware Thomas, oboist, is well-versed as an orchestral, chamber, and solo musician. As an orchestral player, Ms. Thomas has held positions with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra (Assistant Principal Oboe / English Horn) from 2006-07 and the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra (Second Oboe) from 2007-09. Other notable performances include playing with the OK Mozart International Festival Orchestra-Amici New York, Portland (OR) Opera Orchestra, Tulsa Opera Orchestra, and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. In addition, Kaycee has performed with several of the Greater Ann Arbor orchestras, such as the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, Flint Symphony Orchestra, Jackson Symphony Orchestra, and Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, as well as performing with the Pine Mountain Music Festival opera orchestra for the world premiere of “Rockland.”
As a chamber musician, Ms. Thomas was recently featured with the Strings on the Bay chamber music series (in the upper peninsula of Michigan) as both an oboist and mezzo-soprano. She has also performed with the Ann Arbor Cantata Singers, Orpheus Singers, the Midland-Odessa Symphony’s West Texas Wind Ensemble, and the Norman (OK) Choral Society.
As a soloist, Ms. Thomas had the honor of being selected as the only American oboist invited to compete in the 2008 Prague Spring International Oboe Competition in the Czech Republic. Around the same time, Ms. Thomas also won the Sigma Alpha Iota Career Performance Grant in order to support her travels to the Czech Republic. The S.A.I. committee described her as an artist who “impresses through a beautiful, singing oboe tone and virtuosity.” Kaycee has also been selected as a semi-finalist in the Heida Hermanns International Woodwind Competition, a semi-finalist in the Midland-Odessa National Young Artist competition, and a finalist in the University of Oklahoma concerto competition.
In addition to her performing career, Ms. Thomas has always maintained a great passion for teaching. Kaycee had the honor of being appointed Adjunct Oboe Professor of Hillsdale College for the 2012-2013 academic year. Aside from her college teaching experience, Ms. Thomas has nine total years of teaching students ranging from fourth graders to adults. Her students have received numerous honors and recognitions (including All-State Orchestra, All-Region and All-District Band), and within the past year have been accepted into the music programs at Bowling Green State University and Eastern Michigan University.
During her education, Kaycee’s primary oboe teachers have been Johanna Cox, Erin Hannigan, and Dr. Nancy Ambrose King. She received undergraduate degrees in both oboe and voice from the University of Oklahoma, where she was named the 2004-2005 Outstanding Senior in the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts. As a graduate student, Kaycee was a Fellowship recipient at the University of Michigan, where she received her Master of Music in oboe performance in 2009. Additional studies include being an Artist Certificate candidate in oboe performance at Southern Methodist University, as well as being selected as a participant at the Banff Centre in Canada.
Having studied as both a classical oboist and singer, Ms. Thomas offers a unique and personalized approach to the oboe. In addition to focusing on oboe technique, scales, solo repertoire and reed-making, Kaycee also combines her voice pedagogical theories and experience to further enhance training on vocal breathing, posture, tone, and performance practice. This unique and supplemental training has proven to be an invaluable tool for both Kaycee and her students.