Stephen Key

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Oboe


Armstrong 25


Faculty Member since 2012

Preparing young oboists for music careers of the future is tough yet rewarding work. At Shenandoah Conservatory, the students are motivated to meet those challenges. They always impress me with their ability to embrace tradition and seek innovation.


Performance Diploma, Oberlin Conservatory of Music

Professional Highlights

  • Stephen Key is one of the newest additions to the faculty at Shenandoah Conservatory of Music. Now an oboist, Stephen began his musical studies on piano at the age of four with his mother, another music teacher, in Oklahoma. He moved to the Washington D.C. area at thirteen and began taking the oboe very seriously as principal oboe of the American Youth Philharmonic, the D.C. Youth Orchestra, and as a Youth Fellow with the National Symphony Orchestra. At fifteen, he had his first of many solo and chamber performances at the Kennedy Center.
  • Stephen attended the Oberlin Conservatory of music on a Deans Merit Award Scholarship under the direction of James B. Caldwell. Later he continued his education with Rebecca Henderson at the University of Texas at Austin with a full scholarship where he won the Butler School of Musics concerto competition.
  • Mr. Key has attended the Kennedy Center Summer Music Institute, Aspen Music Festival, and The International Festival-Institute at Round Top; all on scholarship. Professionally, he has played with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Austin Symphony, and the New World Symphony in Miami. His other principal teachers include Rudolf Vrbsky, Carol Stephenson, and James Moseley.
Personal Highlights

When not engaged in music, I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle through good diet and frequent exercise. Specifically, I enjoy practicing Ashtanga Yoga and recommend every musician pick up a yoga practice that works for them. I also enjoy interior design, architechture, cooking, gardinging, and travel. Though a favorite past-time of mine will always be riding roller coasters.