Connie Rhoades is a Selmer Artist, representing the Selmer Paris Privilege clarinets and bass clarinet, who got her start in the small Ohio town of Covington where she began studying clarinet with her father, William Rhoades. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Oral Roberts University, a Master of Music degree in Clarinet Performance and Woodwinds from Michigan State University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Clarinet Performance from the University of Oklahoma. Her teachers include Mr. James Jeffreys, Mr. Gene Eland, Dr. Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, and Dr. David Etheridge.
With more than 30 years as a professional clarinetist, Dr. Connie Rhoades has a deep love for music, the clarinet and helping her students develop their musical gifts. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in 2019, Dr. Rhoades served at Eastern Kentucky University for 27 years as the Professor of Clarinet and for five years as the Associate Chair of the School of Music.Dr. Rhoades enjoys teaching students of all ages, including middle and high school students who attended the Stephen Collins Foster Music Camp at which she taught during the summers from 1992-2018. Under her leadership at EKU, her university and private students excelled, winning numerous solo competitions, top chairs in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Band and Orchestra and the Kentucky All-State Bands and Orchestra. As the conductor of the EKU Clarinet Choir, Dr. Rhoades led the ensemble to prominence, performing nationally and internationally by invitation at the University of Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium and the International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest.
A seasoned performer herself, Dr. Rhoades has enjoyed playing in orchestral, chamber music and solo settings. She has served as the principal clarinetist of the Paragon Music Theatre Orchestra (KY) and as second clarinetist in the Oklahoma Sinfonia/Tulsa Pops Orchestra (OK), where she also appeared as a soloist. She has also performed with the Oklahoma City Symphony and the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra (KY), and currently subs with the Signature Symphony in Tulsa (OK).
As a soloist and chamber musician, Dr. Rhoades has performed throughout the United States by invitation and return invitation at the International Clarinet Association (ICA) ClarinetFest, the University of Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, the Michigan State Contemporary Clarinet Symposium, and numerous other clarinet symposiums. She has also been a featured solo artist at the Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts and has performed at ICA with the EKU Madison Winds Woodwind Quintet. As a member of the Commonwealth Clarinet Quartet, which commissioned and premiered new music for clarinet quartets, she performed at the College Music Society Great Lakes Regional Conference and at NACWPI.