Jordan College of Fine Arts
School of Music

Pamela French, oboe

Pam French
Oboist Pamela French has been an in‐demand freelance musician and professor for 15 years.  She is a member of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's Circle City Wind Quintet, and is adjunct professor of oboe at Butler University.  She plays regularly with the ISO as a substitute player, with visiting Broadway productions, at local recording studios and area churches, and with regional orchestras and chamber groups. She maintains a successful studio of private students and is an active contractor through her company, Pamela French Music Contracting.

Ms. French, originally from Indianapolis, began studying the piano at age 6 and then the oboe at age 11 with Malcolm Smith, retired principal oboist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.  She completed her Bachelors of Music in Oboe Performance, cum laude, from Boston University, where she studied with the esteemed oboist and retired principal of the Boston Symphony, Ralph Gomberg.  She received her Master's in Orchestral Performance from the Manhattan School of Music (high honors) in 1998, studying under Joseph Robinson, now retired as principal oboist of the New York Philharmonic. She is currently an ABD candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from SUNY Stony Brook. 

Ms. French began freelance work at an early age, and by the time she was an undergraduate student, was performing with groups such as the Boston Chamber Orchestra and other area ensembles.  She began her full--‐time freelance career in 1998 in New York City, where she performed regularly as an extra player on Broadway and with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, the New Jersey Symphony, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.  She was a founding member of the SONOS Chamber Orchestra of New York and served as its first personnel manager and soloist at the premiere concert (she continues to serve on the Board of Directors).  While in New York, Ms. French also worked in administrative positions with the New York Philharmonic's Education Department, Midori and Friends (administrative/grant writing), and (online writing for arts events). 

Currently, Ms. French serves on the orchestra committee of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and is active in working to develop relationships in the community through educational outreach.  As a member of the Circle City Winds, she has performed numerous concerts in conjunction with Eli Lilly & Co. and other area businesses that make connections between music and the corporate world. Ms. French is also active in the IDRS (International Double Reed Society); she presented a recital of new arrangements for wind quintet at the 2006 conference at Ball State University, lectured on Successful Freelance Performance/Teaching Careers (2012 conference, Miami University in Ohio), and was a member of a round--‐table panel of professionals discussing Creating Your Own Opportunities in Music (2013 conference, University of the Redlands).  Ms. French has a strong interest in new music.  In 2011, she commissioned a work for oboe solo by Frank Felice, faculty at Butler University.  Titled "The Empty Sky", it is in memoriam of the victims of the World Trade Center attack, and the premiere performance was in September 2011, 10 years after the events of 9/11.  She is currently working with composer Matthew Bridgham on a new work for oboe/bassoon/trumpet/piano (title TBD) to be premiered in 2014. 

Ms. French's students have continued their studies at some of the most prestigious programs in America, including the Interlochen Academy, and at the Eastman, Oberlin, Rice, Yale, and IU Jacobs Schools of Music.  Former students are also performing as professional oboists in New York City and Los Angeles, as well as other locations as far away as Santiago, Chile.  Ms. French has served on the faculties of University of Virginia, the Manhattan School of Music, and Earlham College.  She currently holds additional adjunct positions at the University of Indianapolis and Anderson University.

(317) 940-8694
Butler Double Reed Studios