Keri E. McCarthy currently serves as Director of the WSU School of Music and is Professor of Oboe and Music History. She has cultivated an international reputation as a chamber musician, soloist, teacher, and clinician.
Dr. McCarthy co-founded the Pan Pacific Ensemble, a chamber ensemble committed to performing and commissioning music of contemporary composers from Asia and the United States. In 2022 the Pan Pacific Ensemble was awarded the American Prize in Chamber Music (Professional Division), and the group has released 3 CDs on Albany records, Feng, ironhorses, and Ambiguous Traces. Keri has spent significant time in Thailand and Singapore, has commissioned numerous Southeast Asian composers, and has given concerts in Yangon (Myanmar), Bangkok (Thailand), Hanoi (Vietnam), Manila (The Philippines), Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). In 2011, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Bangkok, Thailand, researching connections between Thai traditional and contemporary musics, commissioning Thai and Malaysian composers, and performing new works with professional oboists in the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore. She has premiered works by American and Southeast Asian composers at International Double Reed Society Conferences in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2022, and 2023. Her solo CD, Shadowplay: New Music for Oboe and English Horn, features works by Asian and American composers and is available streaming, and she will release her next solo album of music by 21st-century American composers on Centaur Records later in 2023.
In spring 2022 Dr. McCarthy presented WSU’s Distinguished Faculty Address, honoring her achievements in creative activity and teaching. The topic of her talk, “The Power of Live Music in a Post-COVID World” is one that holds great significance and impact for her. In 2023 she was presented with WSU’s Sahlin Eminent Faculty Award, the university’s highest faculty honor.
Keri currently performs in the Solstice Wind Quintet, the Pan Pacific Ensemble, and in the Washington-Idaho Symphony Orchestra. Previously-held oboe and English horn positions include the Salaya and Evansville Philharmonics and the Yakima and Owensboro Symphony Orchestras. She has performed with the New Haven, Binghamton, Syracuse, Spokane and Louisville Symphonies, and the Nashville and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestras.
Dr. McCarthy completed her doctorate in Music Literature and Performance at Indiana University under the tutelage of Linda Strommen, Roger Roe, and Ted Baskin, having previously completed her Master’s degree with Ronald Roseman at the Yale School of Music, and a Bachelor’s degree at Ithaca College, where she studied with Mark Hill and Paige Morgan.
The oboe studio at Washington State University includes a diverse group of musicians, including performance and music education majors, as well as music minors and non-majors. Reed-making and repertoire courses are offered each semester. Dr. McCarthy’s current and former students have won competitions, been featured as soloists with regional and national-level orchestras, and serve their communities as outstanding teachers, mentors, and musicians.
Each summer WSU’s Cougar Summer Music Camp hosts outstanding young oboists grades 7-12 for a week of music making and intensive oboe study. Students learn to make reeds, perform in large ensembles and chamber music, and develop their musicianship in private lessons and master class settings. For more information, please visit: https://music.wsu.edu/cougar-summer-music-camp/