GVSU Oboe Studio

GVSU Oboe Studio standing in two rows. From left - top: Marlen Vavrikova, Lea Carter, lauren Schnicke, Natalie Kline; From left - bottom: Natalie Feldpausch, Joy Anderson

Photo by Bridgett Vanderhoof

Oboe Lessons and Ensembles

Students majoring in music have weekly lessons and studio classes that take place in the beautiful Sherman VanSolkema Recital Hall or the Cook-DeWitt Auditorium. Each student, regardless of his/her major, learns how to make and adjust reeds in our very well-equipped Reed Room. 

A wide array of music ensembles is available for students, including Wind Symphony, Concert Band, Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, New Music Ensemble, University Ensemble, University Band, and Marching Band. Students are also strongly encouraged to form Small Chamber Ensembles (woodwind quintets, trios, etc.). 

Interested students are encouraged to visit oboe studio or reed making classes, sit in on an ensemble rehearsal or music classes, and speak with students and faculty about GVSU’s music programs. See GVSU Oboe Calendar for more information.

To schedule a lesson with Dr. Marlen Vavrikova send an EMAIL to [email protected] or call (616) 331-2999.

Lea Carter, Natalie Kline, and Natalie Feldpausch holding their oboes in the Marcia Haas garden at HCPA.

Photo by Bridgett Vanderhoof

Music Programs

Grand Valley State University’s environment is rooted in a broad liberal education. The GVSU Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance specializes in undergraduate studies, offering degrees in Music Performance (B.M.), Music Education (B.M.E), and Bachelor of Arts (B.A).

Students not interested in majoring in music can audition for a Music Minor or audition for university ensembles as Participants. Outstandingly gifted students are encouraged to audition for Performance Honors, earning hour lessons with GVSU’s faculty.

While students are asked to select a music program at the music audition, all music majors and minors have the same music classes during the first two years and can switch between degree plans if they see a better fit for themselves.


Lauren Glomb holding her GVSU diploma, standing next to Dr. Vavrikova.

Bachelor of Music (B.M.) students focus on music performance and usually audition for ensembles, continue their studies at graduate schools, or establish themselves as private teachers after their graduation. It is our most rigorous music program which requires students to practice three hours daily and participate in both large and small chamber ensembles.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree is becoming very popular due to its broad spectrum of career possibilities. It is ideal for those students who would like to pursue such career paths as arts administration, music therapy, music theory, or musicology.

Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) students work with excellent faculty both at the Department of Music and at the College of Education. It takes between four to five years to complete the B.M.E. degree. 

Music Minor which is a perfect degree for students who want to continue music in college but have another major. Students register for half-hour oboe lessons, participate in a large university ensemble, and register for basic music history and theory classes.

For those who do not wish to be enrolled in any music classes but would like to keep playing, GVSU offers Ensemble Participation. If you are interested, please contact Dr. Vavrikova.  

Students in the reed room, standing and sitting around the reed-making table.

Music Auditions and Scholarships

To schedule your audition, visit the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance.  
To apply to Grand Valley State University, visit the GVSU Admissions.

In addition to Music Scholarships, GVSU offers a variety of scholarships for incoming students. Interested students are encouraged to contact the GVSU Financial Aid Office to schedule an appointment.

To be considered for a music scholarship, it is recommended that students audition by mid-March.

Instrument Days and Workshops

Since 2005, GVSU hosted world-renowned oboists at various Oboe and Double Reed Events including   

  • John Dee, University of Illinois
  • Stephen Caplan, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Andrea Fedele, St. Cloud State University
  • Michele Fiala, Ohio University
  • Geralyn Giovannetti, Brigham Young University
  • Scott Hostetler, Chicago Symphony
  • Celeste Johnson, UMKC Conservatory
  • Nancy Ambrose King, University of Michigan
  • Andrea Ridilla, Miami University
  • Alison Robuck, Bradley University
  • Martin Schuring, Arizona State University
  • Robert Sorton, Ohio State University
  • Dan Stolper, Interlochen Arts Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp (see Remembering Prof. Dan Stolper
  • Kelly Vaneman, Converse College
  • Allan Vogel, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and California Institute of the Arts

Double Reed Days on Facebook!
GVSU Double Reed Studio on Facebook! 


Lea Carter holding her oboe outside.


BACHELOR OF MUSIC EDUCATION with Performance Honors 


Natalie Kline standing outside and holding her oboe.



Natalie Feldpausch holding her outside of HCPA



A photo of Joy Anderson, standing and holding her oboe outside.



Lauren Schnicke standing outside, holding her oboe and basketball.


BACHELOR OF MUSIC EDUCATION with Performance Honors 

GVSU Oboe Studio (2022-2023)

Oboe Lessons

If you are looking for an oboe teacher, GVSU graduates and current students are ready to help your beginning oboists with basics, reeds, or with solo and ensemble festival pieces. They can come to your school, home, or teach online. They can also coach oboe sectionals and some have experience with selling handmade reeds. 

Lea Carter, B.M.E. 2025
Before coming to Grand Valley, Lea studied oboe at Interlochen. She is in her third year and is ready to build an oboe studio. She is eager to meet with your young oboists. To contact Lea, send her an email ([email protected]). 

Natalie Feldpausch, B.M. 2024
Natalie is an experienced piano teacher and has taught some oboe lessons in the past. She is an excellent performer and makes (and sells) beautiful oboe reeds. If you are interested in scheduling a lesson with her or would like to find out more about her oboe reeds send her an email ([email protected]).  

Natalie Kline, B.M. 2024
Natalie is from the Coopersville area and can meet with interested students at their school or at their homes. She is pursuing a double degree and while her schedule is very busy, she is always ready to meet young students and share her passion for and expertise in music. To schedule a lesson email [email protected].  

Sidney Zuccaro, B.M.E. 2023 
Sidney lives in the Allendale area. She is a passionate and experienced teacher who enjoys working with all ages and levels. For more information or to schedule a lesson email [email protected].

Page last modified December 4, 2023