Oboist Julie Grasso enjoys an active music career as a performer, educator, clinician and businesswoman. She has served as Principal Oboe and Personnel Manager of the Gainesville Symphony Orchestra and has performed numerous concerts with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Pops Orchestra. She has performed with the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, Atlanta Ballet Orchestra, Kentucky Symphony, Richmond (IN) Symphony, Georgia Sinfonia, Greenville Symphony (SC), Columbus Symphony (GA) and Macon Symphony. As an active freelance artist, she has performed with artists such as Johnny Mathis, Al Jarreau, Dianne Reeves, Joni Mitchell, Brian Wilson, The Moody Blues, Michael Bolton, Roger Daltrey, Frank Sinatra, Jr., and Harry Connick, Jr.
With education at the forefront of her mission, Ms. Grasso maintains an active oboe studio. Her students regularly hold positions in regional youth orchestras, participate in All-State events and have gone on to pursue successful careers in music. She has served as adjunct oboe faculty at Piedmont College, and assisted in an educational oboe presentation at the Midwest Music Conference in Chicago. Julie is a founding member of three summer music camps: The Oxford Oboe Camp; The Oboe & Bassoon Camp; and The Southern Oboe Intensive, where she currently holds the position of Director. Her article entitled An Intriguing New Work for the Oboist was published in the 2001 International Double Reed Journal, where it was greeted with positive reviews.
As a sought-after event manager, Ms. Grasso has organized nationally-recognized oboe and English horn events for artists such as Elaine Douvas (Principal Oboe, The Metropolitan Opera), Patrick McFarland (English Horn, ret., Atlanta Symphony) and Linda Strommen (Prof. of Oboe, Indiana University, and Visiting Oboe Instr., The Juilliard School of Music). Julie is co-owner of a thriving double reed business (Double or Nothing Reeds) and is the current president of Envision Oboe. She has recently been appointed as manager of The Northern Kentucky University Youth Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, Ms. Grasso served as Orchestra Contractor for the Fox Theatre’s (Atlanta) 75th Anniversary Show in December 2004.
Dr. Melissa Feilhauer received her Bachelor of Music Degree in Oboe from Baylor University in Waco, Texas where she studied with Dr. Doris DeLoach, her Master’s Degree in Music Education from Piedmont College, and recently completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in December, 2014.
Melissa has attended and performed at the Paris Repertoire Festival in France and the John Mack Oboe Camp in North Carolina. Melissa was a competitor in the 2009 Barbirolli International Oboe Festival and Competition in the Isle of Man, and the 2010 International Oboe Competition Markneukirchen in Germany.
Melissa is an active freelance musician, having performed with such orchestras as the Lexington, Louisville, and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestras and has has performed with artists such as Emanuel Ax, Sarah McLachlan and The Indigo Girls. She maintains an active teaching studio of 30 oboists, and is a founding partner of Double or Nothing Reeds and the Double or Nothing Oboe and Bassoon Camp
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Emily Van Niman began her musical career at age six on the piano. However, at age nine she discovered the oboe, studying with Nancy King and William Baker, former principal oboist of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and professor at The Ohio State University. After high school, she attended Capital University to continue her studies with William Baker for a bachelor degree and in 1996 was accepted to the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music to study with Dr. Mark Ostoich.
After graduating with her Master degree, she taught in Cincinnati, and was an Adjunct Professor of Oboe at Northern Kentucky University. In 2000, she left Cincinnati to go on tour playing Oboe and English horn in the pit orchestra with Big League Theatrical’s musical Peter Pan. After her travels, she returned to Cincinnati to play and teach in the area.
Mrs. Van Niman currently teaches privately and plays with the Ohio Valley Symphony, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Blue Ash/Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, and the Lakeside Summer Symphony. She has also recently played with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Middletown Symphony Orchestra and Richmond (IN) Symphony.