Season’s Greetings LAUMC congregation!
It is my pleasure to take this opportunity to tell you about the woman flapping her arms in front of the Sanctuary Choir every Sunday: me!
My name is Laura Harrison. I am Canadian, from Vancouver, British Columbia and have been living here for 17 years. This year (2016), I get to apply for citizenship to finally be a U.S. citizen! I'm so excited!! If you hear some of the choir members calling me "Dr. Laura," it is because I have my Doctorate in Music. I got my Doctorate in Jazz Studies, which raises the following question to those of you in the congregation with a deeper understanding of musical styles: what on earth is a jazz musician doing up there conducting classical music? Well, I'm a hybrid. My Doctorate (and Master of Music) is in Jazz; however, I also earn a living as a Classical Mezzo Soprano soloist in Los Angeles and Orange County. I have also been an educator for 25 years and love every minute of it. My forte (pardon the pun) is teaching music...all music. I am well studied in all styles of music and love working with all of them equally. The choir at LAUMC has been learning a lot about vocal technique from me since I specialize in that. If you are interested in learning to sing, you are invited to our choir rehearsals at 7:00 PM Thursdays. Check us out.
In addition to all of that above, I have written a 300 page music theory book (to teach people how to read music) and am a private vocal instructor as well. I have openings in my studio in Long Beach *hint hint* if anyone is interested there. I have an album out called "Now....Here" which is a jazz album featuring a number of styles and my compositions (Did I mention I compose?).
I would love to say that in addition to work I do other things, but the absolute truth is, at this point in my life, I am not. I am working 7 days a week (I'm not complaining at all, by the way.) doing what I love and am trying to find balance instead of having a ton of part time jobs. Your prayers for a successful transition to a full time job would be appreciated.
This is a real year of transition for me since I am applying to many full time positions, including one that was just announced at Cypress College. It appear as if it were created just for me: it is a full-time position in vocal jazz/theory. I am usually really private and superstitious about telling people I am applying for a position; however, for this year I am taking another approach...asking for prayer. The position at Cypress College would replace all of these part time jobs, and I could work there full time and be with you at LAUMC. I would gain (believe it or not) 12-15 hours a week just in not having to drive everywhere. (I live in Long Beach and work in Cypress, Pasadena, Walnut, and near San Juan Capistrano. I would also love to have a personal life again!
Well, I just re-read all that...talk about personal! Sorry if that was too much information, but I am pretty much an open book. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to work with the Sanctuary Choir and lead the music program at LAUMC.
We are having a Christmas Concert today at 3:00 PM. I hope you will come and witness the wonderful music program we have here (2 vocal choirs for youth, 3 groups of bell choirs, a praise band, and a sanctuary choir). We would love the support!
Thanks for listening, and I look forward to meeting you,