Conductor and Cellist
Thomas Shoebotham has taught and performed on the cello in the Bay Area for over 25 years. In past seasons he has made solo appearances with the Oakland Civic Orchestra, Kensington Symphony, and Palo Alto Philharmonic, and given solo and chamber music recitals in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New Mexico, Illinois, and New York. He has been frequently heard as a cellist, conductor, and lecturer at previous OCONs. Originally from St. Louis, Mr. Shoebotham holds a B.M. in Cello Performance from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where he studied with Joanna de Keyser. He continued his studies with Steven Doane at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he was awarded a M.M. in Cello Performance and Literature. Returning to Albuquerque, he again studied at the University of New Mexico, earning a M.M. in Orchestral Conducting, while also serving as a conductor, coach, and pianist with the UNM Opera Theater. He is currently Principal Conductor for The New Ballet in San Jose, where he conducts the annual production of the San Jose Nutcracker, as well as other works. Previously, from 2006-2018, he was Music Director of Palo Alto Philharmonic, where he gained recognition for creating compelling concerts that featured both traditional masterpieces and newer works by various current composers. In addition, he has conducted numerous other orchestras in both the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere, including Peninsula Symphony, the San Francisco Concerto Orchestra, Albuquerque Philharmonic, Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra, and the Rio Grande Chamber Symphony. As an opera conductor, he has conducted performances with Opera San José (Les Pêcheurs de Perles), Lyric Theatre of San Jose (Iolanthe), West Bay Opera (The Last Tycoon), Emerald City Opera in Steamboat Springs (Le Nozze di Figaro), Berkeley Opera (Otello, Béatrice et Bénédict, Le Nozze di Figaro, Carmen, and Cosí fan Tutte). Mr. Shoebotham is also highly regarded as a teacher, and he has taught in many public and private settings, including several elementary and high schools, colleges, the Music in Schools Foundation, and private studios, for students in a variety of age ranges. He has coached many student chamber groups, and youth orchestra cello sections in the Bay Area. A highly skilled pianist, he has also collaborated with many singers and instrumentalists and served as accompanist for numerous concert and opera choruses.