Private Instructions: Oboe and Chamber Music Coach
Kaycee Ware Thomas, native of Dallas, is well versed as a soloist, orchestral/chamber musician, and teacher. Mrs. Thomas was the only oboist invited to represent America in May 2008 in the Prague Spring International Oboe Competition. She also won the Sigma Alpha Iota Career Performance Grant in order to support her travels to the Czech Republic. Former Assistant Principal Oboe/English Hornist with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra for the 2006-2007 season, Mrs. Thomas also held the second oboe position with the Dearborn Symphony for the 2007-2009 seasons. Other notable performances include playing with the OK Mozart International Festival Orchestra-Amici New York, Portland (OR) Opera Orchestra, Tulsa Opera Orchestra, Mannheim Steamroller, and Oklahoma City Philharmonic. Kaycee has performed with several orchestras in southeastern Michigan, including the Ann Arbor, Lansing, Flint, Jackson, and Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestras, as well as performing with the Pine Mountain Music Festival opera orchestra for the world premiere of “Rockland.”
As a chamber musician, Mrs. Thomas has been 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. In addition, she and her husband, Daniel Thomas, have formed the Beaumaris Ensemble, a unique combination of oboe, cello and piano, along with Naki Sung Kripfgans, after being asked for several local engagements as a husband and wife team.
In addition to her performing career, Mrs. Thomas has always maintained a great passion for teaching. Kaycee is currently the Adjunct Instructor of Oboe at Hillsdale College, a position she has held since the fall of 2012. Since her time at Hillsdale College, her students have been winners of the college’s concerto competition two years in a row and have been accepted into the Master’s programs for oboe at both Cincinnati Conservatory and Manhattan School of Music. Her private students have received numerous honors and recognitions, including acceptance into Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music for oboe, MI All-State Band, Honors Orchestra at Michigan Youth Arts Festival, TX and OK All-Region and All-District Band, acceptance into Interlochen, top placement in Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp orchestra, and acceptance into both DSO Civic Symphony Youth Orchestra and Michigan Youth Ensemble Symphony Orchestra.
Kaycee was an Artist Certificate candidate at Southern Methodist University under Erin Hannigan, Principal Oboist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Mrs. Thomas graduated with her Masters in Oboe Performance as a Walgreen Fellow at the University of Michigan under Dr. Nancy Ambrose King. Kaycee holds Bachelor of Music degrees with special distinction in Oboe and Voice Performance from the University of Oklahoma under the instruction of Ms. Johanna Cox, where she was named Outstanding Senior of the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts in 2005.
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.