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. The oboe has been a huge part of Alaina's life 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, her favorite performances are those in everyday spaces, from bus stations to community parks. Alaina was a teaching artists in the chamber ensemble, Ears Engaged based in Pittsburgh. They enjoyed creating and performing interactive programs that encouraged audience engagement. Alaina has been teaching private lessons for over ten years, with an emphasis on honing creative and critical thinking skills. She is the administrative assistant for Olympic Strings Workshop, a non profit summer festival in Port Angeles, WA that promotes well being and encourages students to become responsible members of a diverse community through music.
Alaina is a freelance oboist 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, knitting, and petting her two fluffy cats.