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Choral Alumni Spotlight: Laura Krider

December 18, 2017

I currently serve as the Director of Education and Community Partnerships at the American Composers Forum where I oversee composer/school residency programs, high school composition programs, and other national community-based activities. I am also a professional freelance singer with The SingersBorder CrosSing, and other choral recording and readings projects around the Twin Cities. In short, I live for making sound and supporting the people who craft it.

How Music Shaped Her

Studying music and being a working artist has informed my entire professional and personal life. It has helped me develop skills in listening, analysis, drawing connections, collaboration, empathy, creativity, leadership, among others. This seems especially true with choral singing—being a part of a larger whole, a community of people that value what I value and are working toward the same experience. The community music-making part has made me strive to be a better citizen—to care about the welfare and quality of life of the people around me. I don’t make art in isolation, and I’m not a human in isolation. I thrive being in relationship with other people (extrovert, here), and if I hadn’t studied music, I don’t think I would ever have been able to articulate that let alone live it out. 

I have no desire to be a full-time performer with global recognition—my goal is to balance making high-quality music with my work in arts and cultural administration. I will say, though, that one of the most enriching roles that I have in my arts practice is serving as the alto section leader for The Singers. I’ve learned so much about what I bring to the table and where my weaknesses lie, and I get to learn it alongside 10 other awesome altos. It all goes back to those skills in leadership, collaboration, and listening that I mentioned. Basically, my goal is to keep growing as an artist, and as long as there’s forward movement, I’ll know I’m making the right decisions. 

U of M School of Music Memories

When I think back on my time as a music student, there are always two memories that pop into my head. I remember studying for Dr. Harness’s and Dr. Grayson’s music history exams with good friends—late nights trading bootleg listening CDs (yes, it was before streaming and YouTube), thinking up silly pneumonic devices to remember dates and composition titles, reading and re-reading lecture notes, and being each other’s cheerleaders. My other memory is singing and conducting for Dr. Romey. I am still in awe of her approach to music-making because there’s this singular blend of being both academically/technically informed and vulnerably authentic and genuine. She modeled to me intense dedication to craft, to teaching, and to connecting with others in community. It was incredibly powerful for me to learn from a strong woman in a leadership role.

More About Laura Krider

Laura Krider is an arts worker, nonprofit unicorn, and singer living in the Twin Cities. Before joining the American Composers Forum, Laura served as Graduate Student Services Assistant and Public Engagement Coordinator at the University of Minnesota – School of Music. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Music Education and a Master of Professional Studies degree in Arts and Cultural Leadership, both from the University of Minnesota. Laura has also done consulting/board work the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, VocalEssence, and the MN State Arts Board. As a freelance singer, Laura is the alto section leader and a founding member of The Singers (Matthew Culloton, Director), and has also participated in projects with the Minnesota Beethoven Festival Dale Warland Chorale, The First Readings Project, The MPR Carolers, and the a cappella group Deviated Septet.