Originally from Minersville, PA, Laura M. Kramer (b. 1984) now resides in Southern California, where she is active as a composer, saxophonist, and educator. Her music captures an eclectic range of elements, from rock to jazz, art, and nature. Commissions include those for the Panic Duo, Duo Montagnard, David Holben (tubist), the Holben Publishing Consortium, Liana Gourdjia (violinist) and Guido Sánchez (guitarist), Quintessential Winds, and Zzyzx Saxophone Quartet. Her work, "Sleuth", was highlighted in ITEA Journal’s “Gem Series”, and "The Miracle of the Walking Fish", with texts by Jackson Bliss, was awarded a BMI Student Composer Award. Her works have been performed at the ICMC 60x60 Concerts, Midwest Graduate Music Consortium, SEAMUS National Conferences, World Saxophone Congress, as well as by the USC Thornton Edge Ensemble. Laura has also collaborated with various mediums, including modern dance and theater.
As a performer, Laura is a founding member of the Los Angeles based, Noir Quartet, has performed her original saxophone works at various national concerts, including the CSU Fullerton New Music Festival, NASA Conferences, What’s Next? Ensemble Concerts, Midwest Composers Symposium, and performed on Presidio Brass’s Rhapsody in Brass album. In addition, she has commissioned new saxophone works by Jordan Nelson, David Werfelmann, and Natalie Williams.
Laura is currently a Lecturer in Saxophone and Music Theory at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA, teaches composition at California State Summer School for the Arts, and has a private studio of local students. She has also served as a lecturer in Music Theory and Composition at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, has taught at Idyllwild Summer Music Camp, and has also guest presented at Mansfield University, West Chester University, and Western Illinois University. Laura completed her DMA in Composition at the University of Southern California (2015), with concentrations in theory, saxophone, and electroacoustic media, where she has served as a teaching assistant in music theory and composition, and is also a recipient of the Carolyn Alchin Endowed Music Scholarship and Dean’s Scholarship. She holds a Master of Music in Composition from Indiana University (2008), where she served as graduate assistant of the New Music Ensemble, and a Bachelor of Music in Saxophone Performance and Music Theory/Composition from West Chester University of PA (2006). Her saxophone teachers have included Anthony Kurdilla, Gregory Riley, and James Rötter; and composition teachers have included Claude Baker, Donald Crockett, Don Freund, Michael Gandolfi, Jeffrey Hass, Robert Maggio, Larry Nelson, Mark Rimple, Brian Shepard, and Frank Ticheli.