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Radford University Oboe Studio

Mr. William Parrish



Assistant Professor of Music
Principal Oboe, Roanoke Symphony Orchestra


BFA in oboe, cum laude (1980) – Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
MM in oboe (1982) – University of the Arts, Philadelphia,
PA Artist Diploma (1988) - University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Cincinnati, OH
DMA (incomplete) - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI


Hello Oboe Students

Welcome to the RU oboe studio! I’m looking forward to working with each of you on strengthening your oboe skills and musicality as well as deepening your awareness and love of the instrument and developing your ability to teach it.

Together we will cultivate and improve your technical ability on the oboe. This work is central to everything we will do. It involves the practice of exercises and etudes that stress digital dexterity throughout all keys. This important work will then always be applied to your solo repertoire and issues of musicality like phrasing, dynamics, starting and stopping notes, and vibrato. In addition, we will address the physical aspects of playing the oboe…breathing, blowing, embouchure, hand position and reeds. Nothing should be more important to an oboist than having several good reeds available at all times. You and I will have a lot of discussion and study about what constitutes a good reed. And your playing will improve dramatically as you learn to trust and play a stable and responsive reed. I promise.

For all this fun and exciting work, you are going to need some specific books and supplies. The absolute essential things on the lists are marked with an asterisk *. You should buy these things before we start lessons in the Fall. Additional items will be assigned individually as they become relevant to you.

Let me know if you have any questions.

See you soon!

Professor Parrish

About Bill

William Parrish is the principal oboe with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Opera Roanoke and Opera on the James as well as a member of the Wintergreen Summer Festival Orchestra. He is also Adjunct Instructor of oboe at Virginia Tech and Radford University. Bill served as the Associate Director of Pre-College at the Juilliard School for ten years and has played with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, San Francisco Symphony and Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Parrish received his BFA in oboe from Carnegie-Mellon University, his M.M. from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and an Artist’s Diploma in oboe performance from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He was a prize winner in the 1988 Lucarelli Oboe International Solo competition at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Bill’s principal oboe teachers include Robert Bloom, Harry Sargous, John Ferrillo and Elaine Douvas. Mr. Parrish maintains a vibrant and successful private oboe studio in Lynchburg and is a founding member of the Cardinal Ensemble.