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! 



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



I graduated from West Ottawa high school in 2021. I decided to play the oboe when I was in 7th grade and have been playing for 6 years now. I have had many influential teachers in my life and my music teachers inspired me to study music education such as my band director, Michael Hamann. Music is a big part of my life, in high school I played in the Jazz band on Alto Sax, I was the drum major of my marching band, played in the pep-band, the Holland Symphony Youth Orchestra, and our school orchestra and band, I've also worked at Meyer Music for 2 years. Aside from music I play tennis, spend time outside, and volunteer around the community as much as I can.


Lea Carter sitting on a bench outside.


BACHELOR OF MUSIC EDUCATION with Performance Honors 

I graduated from DeWitt High School and I attended Interlochen Arts Academy my junior year. I started playing oboe in the sixth grade because my band director showed me a video of someone playing and I immediately fell in love with the sound. Some influential teachers I've had are Chris Wheeler and Dane Philipsen. They made me realize that I wanted to make a career out of it. Other than playing the oboe, I like to play tennis, hammock with my friends, read, and play my guitar :)


Natalie Feldpausch holding her outside of HCPA

Photo by Bridgett Vanderhoof


Natalie Feldpausch is an active oboist in the Mid-Michigan area. She is pursuing her Bachelor’s in Music Performance at Grand Valley State University. Natalie is passionate about orchestral and chamber music, which she participates in frequently. She substitutes for many professional ensembles in Michigan, including the West Michigan Symphony and the Holland Symphony. She also enjoys solo performances and seeks opportunities to play publicly as often as possible. Apart from performing, Natalie loves teaching younger oboists how to improve on their instruments. She also believes that musical abilities improve through gaining experiences in other areas of life. Natalie is involved in campus organizations and is an avid rock climber, baker, and full-time aunt. Despite these other passions, Natalie dreams to continually develop her musical abilities; whether she is performing, teaching, or listening, she will always be fully in love with music.



Natalie Kline standing outside and holding her oboe.

Photo by Bridgett Vanderhoof


Natalie Kline is an oboist based out of West Michigan, currently pursuing her Bachelor's in Oboe Performance at Grand Valley State University. Enveloped by the melodic resonance of the oboe, Natalie is driven by her profound love for both orchestral and chamber music. She thrives in a collaborative environment, often gracing the stage alongside talented musicians. However, Natalie's musical spirit truly shines in the intimate settings of churches. She seizes every available opportunity to perform in these sacred spaces, where the acoustics blend seamlessly with her playing. In addition to playing in churches, her passion transcends the stage, as she dedicates herself to imparting knowledge and expertise to aspiring oboists, nurturing the next generation of musicians through her teaching endeavors. Music serves as the heartbeat of Natalie's life, but she firmly believes that true musical growth is cultivated through experiences that extend beyond the practice room. She skillfully balances her musical pursuits with a second Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, all while actively engaging in campus organizations.


Lauren Schnicke standing outside, holding her oboe and basketball.

Photo by Bridgett Vanderhoof

BACHELOR OF MUSIC EDUCATION with Performance Honors 

Lauren Schnicke is an oboist based out of West Michigan, pursuing a degree in Music Education. Lauren is an active educator in the marching arts and indoor pageantry arts, teaching music, visual, and drum majors across the state of Michigan. She is passionate about conducting, having been a drum major for Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps for 2 years. Lauren loves to perform for concert groups and orchestral pits, on oboe, english horn, and bass guitar. Lauren has been heavily influenced by her mentor, educator and father, Jonathan Schnicke. Aside from music, Lauren loves cooking, writing, and picking up a new hobby every month or so (as of right now, it is knitting!).

Listen to 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 September 26, 2023