December 13, 2015

Pastor Letter

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 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,