B i o g r a p h y
Dr. Ronnal Ford is a unique and versatile musician, celebrated for his remarkable talents as an oboist, woodwind specialist, and dedicated educator. His contributions to various orchestras, his commitment to teaching, and his versatile approach to performance have left an indelible mark on the music community.
Dr. Ford’s journey into music blossomed as a student at the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he embarked on his formal oboe training under the guidance of John Ellis. Ellis, an accomplished musician who had played with the Hollywood Bowl Symphony and contributed to major motion picture recordings, became a significant influence on Dr. Ford’s artistic development. This foundation laid the groundwork for his research in oboe reed styles of many of the oboists in major motion picture orchestras. He achieved his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the North Carolina School of the Arts, specializing in English horn and oboe performance. His quest to always improve his skills led him to obtain a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in oboe performance, with cognates in music theory pedagogy and flute, clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone performance, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Dr. Ford’s artistic abilities led him to secure prestigious positions in prominent orchestras. He is one of the principal oboists in the Colour of Music Festival and the second oboist and English hornist in the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra. These two ensembles have featured him as a soloist, allowing him the ability to not only showcase his technical prowess but also his ability to infuse emotion and depth into his performances. Dr. Ford’s dedication to his craft extends beyond the oboe. He has expanded his performance capabilities to encompass the entire woodwind section. This versatility has enabled him to perform with ensembles across the United States.
Dr. Ford's passion for music education is evident in his extensive teaching career. Currently, he is the Instructor of Woodwinds and Strings at Guilford Technical Community College and continues as an Adjunct Professor of Woodwinds at North Carolina A&T State University. Previously he has taught performance and theory at various institutions, including the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Forsyth Technical Community College, and Winston Salem State University. He also serves his community by giving clinics at local schools, where he helps improve the woodwind sections and talks about his music career with the students. He has played a vital role in shaping the next generation of musicians and music educators.
Throughout his musical journey, Dr. Ford has been fortunate to learn from esteemed mentors. Dr. Ashley Barret and Mr. John Ellis honed his oboe skills, while Dr. Kelly Burke, Dr. Anthony Taylor, Dr. Deborah Egekvist, Dr. Michael Burns, and Dr. Steven Stusek guided his exploration of the other woodwind instruments. These influences have shaped his approach to performance and education with all instruments.
Dr. Ronnal Ford has embraced his gift of versatility to achieve musical excellence. His performances as an oboist and woodwind specialist, combined with his dedication to teaching, have solidified his place in the world of music, inspiring both his peers and the next generation of musicians.