EDUCATION SPOTLIGHT: Alton High School Orchestra Director Laura Plummer
ALTON - Having taught in the Alton School District for 21 years, Alton High School’s Orchestra Director Laura Plummer finds inspiration every day while teaching orchestra.
Plummer graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Music degree. She earned her Master of Music Education degree with an emphasis in instrumental conducting from the University of Oklahoma in 1991. After graduating, Plummer headed to the Moline School District to begin her teaching career.
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After spending four years in Moline, Plummer headed back home to Alton, where she serves as not only the Orchestra Director at AHS; she also is the Instrumental Music Coordinator for the entire district.
“I grew up here in Alton and this is where my passion for music was nurtured and grew tremendously under my teachers,” Plummer said.
Plummer credits her past teachers for inspiring her to become a music educator.
“Dr. Jan Davis and Thomas LeVeck, my violin teachers growing up, were major influences on my decision to teach orchestra,” Plummer said, “These teachers set high expectations and made learning and performing so much fun,”
The determination of her students and the support of their parents makes Plummer’s job worthwhile.
“After 24 years of teaching, the kids still amaze me,” she said, “It’s exciting to be a part of that ‘Ah ha!’ moment when they overcome that difficult musical passage.”
“We have very talented students here in Alton as well as very supportive parents,” she said.
Plummer describes the drive of the students in her program as “infectious,” as her students are extremely willing to help younger students within the program and constantly volunteer at booster events.
Plummer is grateful for the ongoing support of the Alton School District; without their support, the successful program would not exist.
“They are committed to maintaining our extra programs which are important to a well-rounded education for all students,” Plummer said.
The Alton Band & Orchestra Builders organization has been a large source of support for over 60 years. The organization consists of band alumni, parents of current students, and a plethora of community volunteers who strive to make the school district’s music programs successful.
“Our band and orchestra parents, as well as other community volunteers, are invaluable to us and they are the reason behind the success of our district band and orchestra program,” Plummer said, “We have many students who are able to play in orchestra and band whose parents could not otherwise afford to get an instrument.”
ABOB supports nearly 800 band and orchestra students within the district, including the over 150 students in the Alton Marching 100.
“I am so very grateful for the support of my colleagues, our administrators and the community,” she said, “I love what I do. It takes a lot of time, but it’s incredibly rewarding.”
To support the Alton Band and Orchestra Builders, visit the organization's website at www.abob.net.
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