Laura Gillett studied musicology and conducting at the University of Michigan where she earned a masters degree in both choral and instrumental conducting. At the University of Colorado, Boulder, she studied with Lynn Whitten, Lawrence Kaptein, and Joan Conlon, and wrote her doctoral dissertation on liturgy and choral music. Gillett has studied conducting with David Daniels, Jerry Blackstone, Gunther Schuler, Gunther Herbig, and Gustav Meier. She has served as music director of the Boulder Chorale and founded its Chamber Ensemble. Laura was assistant director of the Pontiac-Oakland Symphony and choirmaster of the Ann Arbor Bach Society, Colorado Music Festival, Boulder Philharmonic and Evergreen symphonies. For the last 12 years, Gillett served as the music and liturgy director at Guardian Angels Church in Mead where she founded Seraphic Voices Schola, a professional vocal ensemble dedicated to bringing great choral music to the liturgies of front-range churches in Colorado.
Guest Conductor, Spring 2020
Amy Hloucal taught high school choral music for 19 years in Mesa, Arizona, Longmont, Fort Collins, and Windsor, Colorado. After growing up in Cheyenne, Wyoming, she escaped the wind and attended Arizona State University in Tempe, receiving her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Choral Music, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She studied with Doug McEwen, David Stocker, and Donald Bailey.
During her teaching career, numerous students in her programs were selected for All-State and Honors Choirs, and in 2005, her A Cappella Choir from Ft. Collins High School was selected to perform at CMEA. In her very first year of teaching, she felt called to serve her colleagues in state and regional capacities. She was Governor, Chair-Elect, Chair, and for the past 12 years, a judge, for the Colorado High School All-State Honor Choirs. She was chair of the music departments at her schools, directed annual musicals, supervised 20 student teachers and practicum students, and doubled enrollment in the choral program at each of the four high schools in which she taught. Amy has also been a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator for choirs in Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, and New Mexico. She was conductor and chorus master for Loveland Opera Theatre for two years.
Amy realizes how important it is for a conductor to keep singing. In February, she performed with UNC Choirs, Mendelssohn’s “Elijah”, under the direction of Simon Carrington. She has also sung in ChoralFest, UNC Chamber Choir, and Amadeus Choirs with Dr. Howard Skinner and Dr. Galen Darrough; Kantorei with Dick Larson, Colorado Bach Ensemble with Dr. James Kim, Sonoran Desert Chorale with Dr. Jeff Harris, and Rocky Mountain Chamber Singers with Ann Bunyan. Amy has been a church musician as well, serving as director of worship and music, adult choir director and accompanist, handbell choir director, and children’s choir director.
A professional accompanist, Amy began playing the piano at age seven, and is in her tenth year as accompanist for the adult choir at Redeemer Lutheran Church, working with Phil Barnett. It was Phil that first brought Amy to Laudamus for the 2011-12 season as accompanist and alto. Amy works as a financial advisor with Thrivent Financial in Loveland. Amy is blessed to be the mother of two sons, Brady and Casey. Brady plays clarinet at Kinard; Casey plays baseball and hopes to play the cello. Amy serves on the Parent Advisory Board at Traut Core Knowledge Elementary. They enjoy exploring, animals, history, traveling, Cheyenne Frontier Days, Colorado Rockies, and music.
Linda McGinn is recently retired after teaching students choral music for 31 years. She received a BM in Organ Performance and a BM in Education from Colorado State University, studying with Robert Cavarra and James McCray. She received an MA in Teaching from Grand Canyon University. Her teaching experience included Thompson Valley HS in Loveland, Gunnison HS, Alamosa HS and Pueblo South HS. In addition to her teaching experience, Mrs. McGinn served as staff accompanist at Western State Colorado University, Adams State University and Colorado State University-Pueblo, and choral director at the Gunnison Community Church. Mrs. McGinn was a board member for both the Colorado Music Educators Association and the Colorado American Choral Directors Association and now serves as a judge for the Colorado All-State Choir auditions. Linda and her husband Wayne have two grown children (Caitlin and Zack) and have returned to Loveland in 2013 (where they first met 32 years ago!) where Wayne has taken on head football coaching duties at Loveland High School.