Pre-College Oboe & Bassoon

June 20 – 25, 2022

Designed primarily for high school aged oboe and bassoon students, this program focuses on strengthening the fundamentals of technique and musicianship including; orchestral excerpts, reed-making, college audition preparation, warm-up exercises, technical development, masterclasses, group lessons and individual practice. Students will be exposed to a wide range of repertoire and gain perspective in all aspects of oboe & bassoon practice and performance.

Format: In-person on the Urbana-Champaign campus.


  • For students completing grades 8-12.

Typical Daily Schedule

8:15 – 9:15 am: Individual Practice
9:30 – 10:30 am: Reed Making Class
10:45 – 11:45 am: Pre-College Chamber Music hour (woodwind quintets and ensembles)
12:00 – 1:00 pm: Lunch
1:15 – 2:15 pm: Ensemble Rehearsal/Workshops
2:30 – 3:30 pm: Master Class
3:45 – 4:45 pm: Electives
5:15 pm: Dinner and Evening Activities
10:30 pm: Lights out

Application Materials

  • Submit the ISYM Application Form
  • There is no audition requirement for acceptance to this program.
  • Acceptance notifications are sent on a rolling basis.

Accepted Students

  • Additional information will be available after April 1, 2022, including audition information for placement within the program.


  • Resident – $850 (tuition, room and board)
  • Commuter – $550 (tuition and lunch only)

Program Faculty

John Dee, Oboe, University of Illinois

John Dee is the Bill A. Nugent Endowed Professor of Music Performance and Professor of Oboe Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also served as a Visiting Professor at DePaul University in Chicago for two years, replacing the former Principal Oboe of the Chicago Symphony. For over twenty years he was the Principal Oboe of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra and the Florida Grand Opera (Miami-Palm Beach) and at the same time, he was the Oboe Professor at the University of Miami and Artist in Residence at the Conservatory of Music at Lynn University. Prior to this, John was Principal Oboe of the Florida Orchestra in Tampa, the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He has performed with orchestras such as the: Hong Kong, Chicago, Saint Louis, Atlanta and Columbus Symphony Orchestras and he has worked with such conductors as: Carlo Maria Guilini, Claudio Abbado, Sir Georg Solti and James Levine. His teachers include: June Wollwage and Gladys Elliot of the Lyric Opera Orchestra, Daniel Stolper at Interlochen, Robert Mayer and Ray Still of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra-Northwestern University, and John Mack of the Cleveland Orchestra-Cleveland Institute of Music.

Read more about Professor Dee here.

Claire Taylor, Bassoon, Millikin University

Claire Taylor embodies the diverse talent and entrepreneurial spirit needed to make a living in today’s music world.   At Millikin University, she teaches bassoon, music theory, ear training, and double reed methods, while also directing the Eidolan Woodwind Quintet and BluBop Jazz Choir.  She is Music Director at First Presbyterian Church of Decatur, owns and operates Claire Taylor Woodwind Repair, and is an active performer throughout Central Illinois.  As an orchestral musician, she holds the positions of Principal Bassoon of the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra and Second Bassoon of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, while regularly playing with several other area orchestras, including the Heartland, Peoria, and Illinois Symphonies.  Also an accomplished jazz musician and woodwind doubler, Professor Taylor was a saxophonist for Celebrity Cruise Lines and has appeared in the pit of the national tour of Chicago and numerous Millikin Theater and Little Theater on the Square productions, as well as with groups such as the Decatur Big Band and the Claire Taylor Quartet.  Holding undergraduate degrees in Music Performance and Biology from Butler University, she worked for several years in the conservation biology and agricultural chemistry fields before returning to the University of Illinois for her Masters in Bassoon Performance and Literature.