Biography

For thirty years, Laura has enjoyed an international performing and teaching career as a concert flutist that has taken from the Yukon to New Zealand. Of her recording, Echoes of a Blue Planet, Flute Network called her "one of the finest flutists of her generation."  Since her solo debut with the Boston Symphony, at age 17, performance highlights have included appearances in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Centre, and Kennedy Centre, as well as collaborations with the Minnesota, Vancouver, and Phoenix Symphonies.  With a doctorate from McGill, she also formerly served on the music faculties of the Universities of Oregon, Wisconsin and Northern Arizona.  

In 2010, with the intention to deepen her commitment to Art for Social Change, Laura founded the Vancouver-based non-profit, Instruments of Change, which leads numerous arts-based community development initiatives.  Their longest running program is Women Rock, which offers rock music and songwriting instruction to women in prison and in marginalized communities.  In 2015, National CBC radio also produced a 17-minute documentary following their project Voice to Voice, a collaboration between Downtown Eastside poets and UBC classical composers.  And now Instruments of Change has begun to take their work abroad.  This has allowed Laura to travel throughout South African townships to study at-risk youth marimba programs, a consequence of which has been their new program, Stick Together, offered previously at the Burnaby Youth Correctional Centre, and currently at Vancouver's Vinery School for at-risk youth.  Laura has also traveled to India, Nepal, and Columbia to offer songwriting and interdisciplinary art projects that allow Canadian youth to collaborate with students abroad.  These global projects focus on a variety of social issues through arts engagement, and use trash to make instruments, puppets and costumes for the students’ created narratives.   Also based on a ‘repurposing’ theme, Laura’s latest and most ambitious endeavor, Street Beats, brings together Vancouver’s binners (the city’s most valuable and visible recyclers), members of the general public, and professional musicians, as creators and performers of a large-scale, found-object, community music percussion piece that premiered at Music on Main’s Modulus Festival in Nov. 2016 and will, again, be featured at the International Society for Contempory Music's global conference in Vancouver, in November 2017.

Laura’s additional collaborative facilitation work brings her into several BC schools, leading cross-curricular Artist in the Classroom projects for ArtStarts, for the Vancouver Biennale’s Big Ideas program, and as a Vancouver Opera Music Champion.  Also a writer and interdisciplinary artist, Laura frequently collaborates with the interdisciplinary artist team, Something Collective; tours with her original musical theater piece and arts advocacy fairy tale, Captain Creative; and is working on a new novel inspired by the tranformative power of music to heal.