Laurie Williams is the Conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra. Mrs. Williams has been an educator and held teaching positions throughout Texas since 1991. Previous orchestra director positions have been held in San Antonio, Amarillo, and in Lubbock at Monterey High School. She has also held previous band positions in Ralls and at Cavazos Middle School. Mrs. Williams performs with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra on viola and plays violin and trumpet. She is a member of the Texas Orchestra Directors Association, Texas Music Educators Association and the American String Teachers Association. Mrs. Williams has been nominated twice for publication in the “Who’s Who Among American High School Teachers” directory. She is an active judge and clinician around the state. Mrs. Williams earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Texas Tech University in 1991 where she studied with Richard Tolley and Susan Schoenfeld. She is married to Todd Williams and has four sons, Justin, Connor, Sawyer and Carson.
During the summers, Dr. Williams is active with the TTU Summer Master of Music Education program, the TTU Academy camp for beginning string students, and the TTU Band and Orchestra Camp.
Additionally, she serves as the conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Youth Orchestras of Lubbock, TMEA Region 16 College Chair, and an advisor to the Epsilon Pi chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon.
Dr. Williams has presented clinics regionally and nationally including invited sessions at the National Association for Music Education National In-Service Conference, the annual American String Teachers Association conference, and the annual Ohio State String Teacher Workshop. Her research interests include: rural string music education, music teacher education, secondary music teaching, and viola. She has been published in The American String Teacher.
Additional conducting engagements have included: Middle School and High School Region clinician/conductor in Ohio and Texas, Festival conductor in Ohio and Kansas, Graduate Conductor/Section Coach-Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestras, Chamber Strings; Graduate Conductor-Kansas State Orchestra; Assistant Director/Administrator of the Gold Orchestra (Manhattan, KS) including an invited performance at The Midwest Clinic in 2010; and Associate Director/String Coordinator of the Waco Symphony Youth Orchestra.
After earning her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baylor, Professor Williams served as Director of Orchestras and the Associate Director of Orchestras in Midway ISD, Waco, TX teaching grades 5-12. While teaching in Texas, Dr. Williams’ ensembles (string and full) consistently received superior ratings and sweepstakes awards at UIL Solo and Ensemble, UIL Large Group Contest, and other festivals. In 2009, she founded the Midway High School chapter of Texas Future Music Educators with 20 students. Dr. Williams also continues to enjoy working with public school students as a guest adjudicator, clinician, and conductor.
She is a member of ASTA, NAfME, TMEA, Pi Kappa Lambda, CMS, and Mu Phi Epsilon.
Kathleen Smith, conductor for the Prelude String Orchestra, received her Bachelor of Arts degree in violin from Murray State University where she studied with Christopher Thompson and Eric Williams. She has served as Coordinator and Violin Instructor for the String Program in the Jasper School District in Jasper, Indiana, and at the String Preparatory Division at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana. She was the Co-Conductor/Co-Music Director of the Charleston Youth Orchestra in Charleston, Illinois. Kathleen is a private violin teacher and a certified Suzuki Teacher of Violin. She is the Director of the STELR Program. Mrs. Smith is a freelance violinist in Texas, as well as performing frequently in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee. She has performed with the Evansville (IN), Terre Haute (IN), Owensboro (KY), Danville (IL), Windsor (Canada), Flint (MI), Saginaw (MI), Symphonies. Kathleen is the wife of Christopher M. Smith, Professor of Horn in the School of Music at Texas Tech University. They are parents of three young daughters, Mia, Natalie and Audrey. Audrey is a member of the Prelude String Orchestra.