Laura Joella, a second generation conductor, is the Director of Orchestral Studies and the Music Director/Conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel praised her as having “a superbly idiomatic touch” and for “drawing tremendously energized rhythmic kick and verve” from FAU’s students. Under her direction, the FAU Symphony Orchestra was selected to perform as a featured ensemble at the Florida Music Educators Association State Conference in Tampa in 2014. She has been on the faculty at FAU since May of 2005. Joella is also the Associate Conductor of the Florida Youth Orchestra’s Symphony Orchestra in Hollywood, Florida. Her previous posts include Music Director/Conductor of the Mason Orchestral Society in Mason, Michigan including both the Community Orchestra and the Youth Symphony; Music Director/Conductor of New England Music Camp’s Concert Orchestra in Sidney, Maine; Conductor for the Michigan State University Concert Orchestra; and Assistant Instructor of Strings at Michigan State University School of Music in East Lansing, Michigan.
As a guest conductor, she has appeared with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra in Naples, Florida; the Wind Symphony of Florida; the Florida Community College Winter Music Symposium String Orchestra in Boca Raton, Florida; the Broward All County Gold Honors Orchestra in Coral Springs, Florida; the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 8 Orchestra Festival; the Portland Orchestral Society in Michigan; the Michigan State University Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras; and the Lake Orion School District Orchestra Festival in Michigan.
Dr. Joella received both her Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees in Orchestral Conducting from Michigan State University. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance with a dual concentration in Double Bass and Saxophone, as well as her Bachelor of Science in Music Education, from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania. She was a participating conductor at the Naples Philharmonic Conductor’s Institute. She studied and conducted at the Conductor's Institute at Spoleto USA, and the Conductor's Institute of South Carolina. Joella has studied conducting with Jorge Mester; Professor Leon Gregorian and Dr. Raphael Jimenez at Michigan State University; and with Donald Portnoy, Paul Vermel, Kate Tamarkin, Peter Jaffe, and Samuel Jones at the Conductor’s Institute of South Carolina.