"I am constantly researching new repertoire for the choirs I direct-Nova Singers and the Knox College Choir. I regularly commission new works and arrange for the composers to come to campus, work with the choir, and attend the premiere. I am currently studying the choral music of Estonia and of Central and South America. My long-time love of contemporary American music continues to be a priority for me and I am particularly interested in discovering young women composers."
Years at Knox: 1983 to present
D.M.A., Choral Conducting, 1989, University of Iowa.
M.M., Choral Conducting, 1981, Westminster Choir College.
B.A., Music and French, summa cum laude, 1979, Washington University.
Choral conducting, opera, music history, renaissance and baroque, private voice lessons.
Phillip Green Wright Prize for Distinguished Teaching, 2006.
Knox College Choir selected to perform at Carnegie Hall, New York City, 2005.
Conductor, Galesburg Community Chorus, Knox College Choir and members of the Knox-Galesburg Symphony, Brahms Requiem, Orpheum Theatre, May 16, 2009.
Conductor, J.S. Bach, Mass in B Minor, Galesburg and Moline, 2009.
Conductor, Nova Singers in featured performance, Iowa State ACDA, Mason City, Iowa, July 21, 2008.
Conductor, IMEA District VII Festival, Senior High Choir, November 17, 2007, Crystal Lake, Illinois.
Guest conductor, Wisconsin ACDA Collegiate Honor Choir; Conductor, Wisconsin Choral Directors' Association Collegiate Honor Choir, January 2006.
Guest conductor, New England Symphonic Ensemble and combined choirs with MidAmerica Productions at Carnegie Hall, New York City, March 2005.
Conductor, Senior High Chorus, Illinois Music Educators Association District II Convention, Rock Island, Illinois, 2002.
Conductor, Nova Singers, American Choral Directors Association Central Division Convention, Chicago, Illinois, 2002.
Conductor, All-State Chorus, Illinois Music Educators Association Annual Meeting, 2001.
Clinician, SLUH Choral Clinic, St. Louis University High, 2010.
Clincian with Knox College Choir as "Demonstration Choir," Illinois Music Educators Association, 2010.
Clinician, IMEA State Convention, January 30, 2010, "The Art of Singing in Tune" Peoria, Illinois.
Clinician, Christ Church of Oak Brook Choral Festival, October 16-19, 2009, Oak Brook, Illinois.
Clinician, Iowa ACDA Convention, July 22, 2008, "Text, The Key to Expressive Singing" Mason City, Iowa.
Clinician, Wisconsin Choral Directors’ Association Collegiate Honor Choir, January 12-13, 2006, Appleton, Wisconsin.
"Mystery and Light," Nova Singers, 2011.
Knox College Choir, Tour 2008.
"Steal Away," Nova Singers, 2007.
"Mid-Winter," Nova Singers, 2007.
Knox College Choir, Tour 2006.
Knox College Choir, Tour 2005.
"There is No Rose," Nova Singers, 2004.
Knox College Choir, Tour 2003.
Knox College Choir, Fauré "Requiem" and Tour 2002.
"What Sweeter Music," Nova Singers, 2001.
"Constellation: A Nova Collection," Nova Singers, 2000.
Knox College Choir, European Tour 1999.
Campus & Community Involvement
Conductor, Nova Singers, Galesburg, Illinois; Moline, Illinois; Bishop Hill, Illinois.
Conductor, Galesburg Community Chorus, Knox College Choir and members of the Knox-Galesburg Symphony, Brahms Requiem, Orpheum Theater, May 16, 2009.
Repertoire and Standards Chair for College and University Choirs for the Illinois ACDA
"Text: The Key to Expression," taught at Wisconsin ACDA.
Clinician, Illinois Music Educators Association annual meeting.
President, Illinois Choral Directors Association.
What Students Say
"Laura is passionate about her work and strives to cultivate that passion in her students. She is dedicated to expanding the repertoire of her choirs. This provides each singer with the opportunity to sing three or more different languages and a wide range of musical styles in one concert. Laura is more to her students than just a professor or a conductor; she is a friend."
-Ashley Palar, Anthropology & Sociology Major
Leading up to a worldwide event -- Gun Control Theatre Action Week, May 27 through June 2 -- a play by Knox College theatre professor Neil Blackadder was selected for a new collection, "24 Gun Control Plays."
Rana Tahir, a double major in creative writing and political science, wrote dozens of poems and created 29 paintings after interviewing Kuwaiti residents about the 1990 Iraqi occupation.
Knox College awarded more than $1,750 in prizes in the 2013 Al Young Art Show. Organizing 200 art works in an array of media is a challenge, according student Katie O'Connor, who helped arrange the entries.