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Students sitting and talking outside Barry Arts Building.

Music Graduate Student Wins International Award

Laura Johnson, a second-year graduate student in the F. Ludwig Diehn School of Music's Music Education program, has been awarded the Charlotte Plummer Owen Scholarship from the Women's Band Directors International organization. Johnson, whose concentration is conducting, has conducted the Windana Concert Band during their tour of Italy in 2019, served as the graduate conductor of the university's Wind Ensemble, and performed clarinet with the Virginia Wind Symphony.

Her master's thesis topic is "Gender-Specific Mentorship for Collegiate Female Band Directors," which discusses the the impact of role models for female band leaders.

"I believe that females in our field need to be supported and have meaningful mentorship experiences," she said.

During her undergraduate studies at Gustavus Adolphus College, Laura performed in a clarinet masterclass with the LA Philharmonic principal clarinetist, was the student conductor of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra's 2016 European tour, and was inducted into the Pi Kappa Lambda, the honor society for undergraduate and graduate music students and professors of music.

Women's Band Directors International was founded in 1969, and represents women band directors of all levels. According to the organization, Charlotte Plummer Ownes was the first and only woman conductor of the United States Marine Corps Woman's Reserve Band.

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