An oboist hailing from Amarillo, Texas, Keslie Pharis has recently performed with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra, Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra, Madison Bach Musicians, New Voices Opera, Miami Music Festival Opera and Conductor’s Orchestra, and the Indiana University New Music Ensemble. Her recent opera and ballet credits include Albert Herring and Sweeney Todd with the University of Wisconsin-Madison University Opera, and she can be heard in the Indiana University Opera and Ballet Theater productions of Ariadne auf Naxos (2018), The Nutcracker (2018), The Elixir of Love (2019), and Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi (2020).
Her playing has been described as “elegant” and “genuine,” “creative and expressive,” and is strongly influenced by her extensive background with ballet. An active chamber musician, she is a founding member of the Driftless Reed Quintet and has performed with The Aerosols Woodwind Quartet, Primavera Winds and Piano Quintet, IU New Music Ensemble chamber groups, and two oboe, viola, and piano trios. Keslie greatly enjoys teaching oboe and reed making as Oboe Instructor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse as well as through her private studio and local high school programs.
A doctoral candidate and Teaching Assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Mead Witter School of Music, Keslie holds a Master of Music degree from UW-Madison, where she held a Paul J. Collins Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University, where she was a recipient of the Jacobs School of Music Premiere Young Artist Award. Her principal teachers are Lindsay Flowers, Linda Strommen, Robert Krause, and Alice Cooke. Other teachers include Margaret Owens, Roger Roe, Martin Schuring, Reid Messich, Dwight Parry, Mary Lynch, Jared Hauser, Doris DeLoach, and Daniel Stolper. Other mentors include John Ferrillo, Elaine Douvas, Frank Rosenwein, Jeffrey Rathbun, James Button, Dale Clevenger, William Short, Eli Eban, Thomas Robertello, and Keith Buncke.
Passionate about arts administration and community engagement, Keslie is pursuing a doctoral minor in arts administration and a Master of Business Administration degree from West Texas A&M University. At the Jacobs School, she also served as a Project Jumpstart Student Affiliate and as the President of Classical Connections, organizing and performing outreach concerts and facilitating mentorship of local middle school and high school musicians. Her other interests include piano, voice, playing board games, social dancing, and spending time with family and friends.