Ugly Duckling Oboes is dedicated to the development of young and growing oboists. We strive to provide the necessary tools to help each student succeed. We believe in setting our students up for success which is why we rent and sell oboes with full conservatory systems.
Kristi Kiene grew up in Lorain, Ohio–just a little outside of Cleveland. She started playing flute in the school band in 5th grade, and quickly became bored. In 7th grade, she desperately wanted to quit band, but her mother wouldn’t let her, so in the 8th grade she decided that she wanted to play the oboe. She was playing on an old oboe and plastic reeds. In high school, her band director was an oboe player and knew that she needed some help, so she suggested contacting Oberlin Conservatory. However, her parents were reluctant to support her oboe endeavors due to her lack of commitment on the flute. So, when Kristi turned 16, she got a job and contacted Oberlin Conservatory for lessons. A young student named Jessie Cooper took her under her wing and changed her life forever, introducing her to Alex Klein, helping her find a new and better oboe, and teaching her how to make reeds. Kristi won the principal oboe position in the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra her senior year in high school. She originally planned to be a journalism major in college, but the more she played and practiced, the more she realized how much she loved music. She earned a music scholarship to attend Ohio Northern University, where she studied oboe with Patricia Nott. Mrs. Nott was a very fine teacher, but the most influential part of her teaching was introducing Kristi to John Mack, principal oboist of the Cleveland Orchestra for 36 years, by suggesting that she attend the John Mack Oboe Camp. Even though John Mack passed away in 2006, Kristi still attends the camp which is now being taught by his former students every year. Kristi credits Mr. Mack for inspiring her to be her very best.
Kristi went on to receive first her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance from Ohio Northern in 1995, and later her Master’s Degree in Music Performance from Georgia Southern University in 2001, where she studied with Nathan Hughes and Patricia Barry.
Kristi has been teaching in the Savannah, Georgia area since 1995. She began her teaching career at St. Peter the Apostle School, where she taught for 4 years. During that time, she also began teaching a few private students. After her children were born, she left teaching in school in order to devote more time to being a mother, and her private teaching studio grew over the years due to an increased need for an oboe specialist in the area. Kristi is also a licensed Kindermusik instructor, and is currently on faculty at Armstrong State University and Savannah Technical College.
Kristi’s passion and love for teaching private students eventually led to the creation of Ugly Duckling Oboes in June 2014. The idea for the business began long before it became official, but the name came into being while visiting White Duck Taco Shop in Asheville, NC with some oboist friends during a week at the John Mack Oboe Camp. Today, Kristi teaches students locally as well as globally via Skype. She makes reeds for her students, and rents and sells student oboes.
Kristi is very involved in the local community as an Ambassador for the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce and a 2013 graduate of Leadership Savannah. She is also a board member for Savannah Friends of Music and a member of Georgia Music Educator’s Association and International Double Reed Society. Kristi is very proud that Ugly Duckling Oboes is an authorized dealer for Fox oboes.
Shop Small Saturday Special
2 30 minute lessons (online or in-person) and 2 reeds for $100