Laura McLaughlin enjoys an active and dynamic career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral performer, and educator. Her playing has been described as “powerful” … “plays with lots of conviction”…“brilliant entertainer” and continues to establish herself as a virtuosic clarinetist.
Laura is on faculty at Carroll University, and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, and maintains a private clarinet studio. Her former students are current music educators, while others are seeking music degrees at various institutions including DePauw, Yale, and UW Whitewater.
Laura is a co-founding member of the dynamic female clarinet duo, Duo LaRo. Both she and fellow clarinetist Rosemary Engelstad take great delight in performing works by living composers as well as classical standards. In their first two seasons as a duo, they performed at Lawrence Conservatory of Music, Middle Tennessee State University, Austin Peay State University, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and commissioned their first work Farewell River Bend by Chris Thomas which Rosemary, Laura, and pianist Evan Engelstad premiered at the International Clarinet Association conference in Belgium this summer 2018. As a member of the Vine Street Trio, she and colleagues Kirstin Ihde and Drew Whiting from University of Wisconsin Oshkosh performed Ed Martin’s Shadow Dance at the American Single Reed Summit in Missouri last year.
Laura is a co-founding member of Lakeshore Rush, a Pierrot instrumentation ensemble based in Chicago. In their five seasons as an ensemble, Lakeshore Rush has commissioned and premiered several works by leading composers including Roger Zare, Perre Jalbert, Laura Schwendinger, Beth Bradfish, Griffin Candey, Jonathan Hannau, Joshua Hintze, and has premiered arrangements by Dane Crozier. They've been heard live at various events and venues including Chicago's Symphony Hall, University of Wisconsin-Madison's George Crumb Festival, PianoForte Studios, Ganz Hall, Blue Lake Public Radio, in residence at Avaloch Farm Music Institute, and Chicago's Thirsty Ears Festival.
Laura is a member of the Wisconsin Wind Orchestra, and is acting principal clarinet of the Oshkosh Symphony, performs regularly with Wisconsin Philharmonic, Madison Symphony, Kenosha Symphony, and Fox Valley Symphony Orchestras.
Laura received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison in clarinet performance with a minor in music education. While attending UW-Madison, she was a recipient of the prestigious Paul Collins Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship. Her doctoral project, titled "A Guide to the E-flat Clarinet: Etudes, Repertoire, Performance", includes an original performance method book, interviews with internationally renowned E-flat clarinetists, and an annotated bibliography of commercially published solo music for E-flat clarinet. Within the method book, Laura composed original etudes designed to help a clarinetist make an effective transition to the mastery of the E-flat clarinet. Laura has a Master of Music degree from Michigan State University, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Eastern Michigan University. Her primary teachers include Dr. Linda Bartley, Dr. Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, and Dr. Kimberly Cole-Luevano.