Community Musician | Educator | Collaborator


Alaina Chester grew up in the small town of Genoa, Illinois among the corn. Not having any idea what the oboe even sounded like, she was adamant about playing it simply because no one else wanted to, like a true middle child. She has loved the oboe ever since the moment she picked it up at age 11.


Alaina has a passion for collaborative and educational projects. With the goal of making classical music more accessible in today’s society, her favorite performances are those in everyday spaces, from bus stations to sidewalks. She loves creating and performing interactive programs that help her community engage with classical music, hopefully getting rid of the barrier that classical music is for certain types of people. She is currently one of the teaching artists in a collaborative chamber ensemble called Ears Engaged.


Alaina is an oboist, reed maker, teaching artist, and private teacher currently residing in Hamden, CT. She just completed her MM in Oboe Performance at the Hartt School of Music studying with Kemp Jernigan. Alaina received her Bachelor of Music in Oboe Performance at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, studying with Linda Strommen and Roger Roe. While there she received a Certificate in Arts Administration. Alaina also studied with the principal oboist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Cynthia DeAlmeida, at Carnegie Mellon University.

When she is not scraping reeds, Alaina enjoys dancing, watching her cactus grow, and knitting.