Laurel Talley attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio, where she received a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance and music education, and a Master of Music teaching degree. At Oberlin, she was an active performer of contemporary music and was a member of the Ardesco String Quartet and the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble. As an educator, she conducted ensembles within the Oberlin Choristers Program and the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestras Program. These efforts helped her earn acceptance into the Pi Kappa Lambda Musical Honor Society where she received a scholarship award for Outstanding Musicianship and the Clifford A. Cook Memorial Prize for Music Education. She studied modern and baroque violin with Marilyn McDonald and chamber music with Roger Chase, Andrew Jennings, and members of the St. Petersburg String Quartet. She has attended a variety of orchestral and chamber music festivals including Banff International Festival, Musicorda, Brevard Music Festival, and The Quartet Program at Bucknell University, and has studied with violinist Charles Castleman and members of the Diaz Trio.
After college, Laurel relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina where she served as the Suzuki Coordinator and lead violin instructor for Community School of the Arts. In this role, she was responsible for designing and implementing a holistic music program that included private and group lessons, chamber music concerts, and summer camps. While in Charlotte she also served as a teaching artist for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, first violinist of the Hodges Taylor String Quartet, and performed with many regional orchestras including the Charleston Symphony.
In 2014, Laurel accepted the orchestra director position at her alma mater, Boise High School in Boise Idaho. In this capacity she teaches three high school orchestras well as the 8th and 9th grade orchestras at North Junior High. The top performing group in this program, the Boise High Chamber Orchestra, is highly regarded for excellence and accomplishment, most recently winning the Mt. Hood Orchestra Competition in the Chamber Division in 2015, and performing for the Idaho All State Music Conference in 2016. In addition to teaching, Laurel enjoys performing with various regional ensembles and singing in the Boise Women’s Chorus.
In her free time, Laurel enjoys spending time outdoors, anything involving the word coffee, and goofing off with her two cats, Winston and Ripple (aka the most handsome animals on the planet).