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New oboist: Paul Chinen

The Great Falls Symphony Association and Chinook Winds are pleased to welcome oboist Dr. Paul Chinen for the 2019-2020 season.

Auditions were held at the end of May this past spring. Highly qualified candidates from throughout the country travelled to Great Falls to perform for an audition committee consisting of members of the Chinook Winds, the Cascade Quartet, and the Great Falls Symphony Music Director, Grant Harville.

Paul will be the new principal oboist in the Symphony and the newest addition to the Chinook Winds, the Symphony’s resident wind quintet. He succeeds Lauren Blackerby, recently appointed principal oboe of the Boise Philharmonic. Prior to joining the Great Falls Symphony and Chinook Winds, Paul held the position of 2nd oboe with the Miami Symphony Orchestra, and 2nd oboe/english horn with the Palm Beach Symphony and Florida Grand Opera Orchestra. During his time in Miami, Paul also performed with the Miami City Ballet, Symphony of the Americas, and the New World Symphony, where he was a finalist in 2016. Outside of Florida, Paul has performed with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, American Festival Pops Orchestra, and Fairfax Symphony, among others.

Paul recently received his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he was a graduate teaching assistant and fellow in the Henry Mancini Institute. Previous degrees include a Master of Music from the Lynn Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music from George Mason University where he also studied saxophone. During the summer months, Paul has performed across the United States and abroad as a part of many music festivals including the Kent Blossom Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, Hot Springs Music Festival, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Institute at Whistler, Talis Music Festival, and various others. He also has taught at the Pacific Music Institute in Honolulu, Hawaii. Originally from Honolulu, and most recently residing in Miami, FL, Paul is excited to be moving to Great Falls to experience a real winter season. He is excited to go hiking, learn how to ski and play hockey.

Paul will perform in Great Falls for the first time with the Chinook Winds at the Paris Gibson Square’s Arts on Fire Family Day event on Saturday, September 14, 12pm. This event is free and family-friendly. He will make his first appearance with the Great Falls Symphony’s at the first concert of the season on Saturday, October 5, 7:30pm, at the Mansfield Theater. Tickets and information are available at and

Great Falls Symphony

The Mission of the Great Falls Symphony is to infuse cultural vibrancy into the Great Falls community through transformative music events and education programs. The organization strives to be an essential cultural asset in North Central Montana that raises the quality of life for its citizens through outstanding performing arts programs.

The Great Falls Symphony includes a 75 member semi-professional Orchestra, a one hundred member Symphonic Choir and two professional resident ensembles (the Cascade Quartet and Chinook Winds) made up of nine "Core" orchestral musicians, and a Youth Orchestra program (established in 1996) which supports two student orchestras and over 100 talented young musicians grades six through twelve from Great Falls and surrounding areas. These components offer a rich and diverse mix of activities that include orchestra, choral, chamber and educational concerts which reach up to 40,000 people annually. The Great Falls Symphony presents a six-concert series every year, and plays host to a variety of guest artists and resident composers. The Cascade Quartet and Chinook Winds present fourteen concerts on the Symphony’s Chamber Music Series in Great Falls in addition to traveling an average of 4,500 miles each year performing concerts and educational programs throughout the northwest United States. To fulfill a state and regional mission, the Great Falls Symphony places the highest priority upon programs that provide state-wide education and outreach. Two Youth Matinees are presented each season by the orchestra and have served well over 115,000 students from the public, private and home schools in a one hundred mile region of Central Montana.

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