Oboist | Teaching Artist | 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 the younger generation engage with classical music, hopefully getting rid of the barrier that classical music is just for “old” 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 Pittsburgh, PA. She 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 laughing at cult classic B movies.
Alaina is a consummate citizen-artist; someone as deeply engaged and grounded in her community as she is in the music she performs. Her collaborative spirit, creative outlook, and willingness to take on new projects all contribute to her success as a performer, teacher, and advocate for the accessibility of classical music in the twenty-first century.
JJ Silvey, colleague and dear friend
Alaina is a cold glass of water on a hot day. Her knowledge of music and life make collaborating with her very enjoyable as well as enriching. She approaches the oboe with such finesse power that challenges anyone in her path to step up their game. If you want to be a part of the future of classical music, you'll want Alaina by your side.