Laurel Thomsen has always had an ear for song. After an early childhood of singing circles, piano lessons, and recorder classes at school, Laurel began playing the violin at the age of nine and immediately took flight.
Laurel studied classically with many fine teachers and in a variety of youth orchestras around the California Central Coast, the San Francisco Bay Area, at the University of Montana-Missoula, and in Italy. In 2003, at the age of 21, several viola students began requesting to take lessons with her, so she bought a viola and officially learned it as a second instrument. Around this same time Laurel began exploring alternative styles and approaches to playing in earnest. Though she had always supplemented her classical music studies with an exploration of fiddle styles and world music genres, she now began building on the foundation of technique she had cultivated in her classical training, developing her own sound and discovering her own expressions. Though Laurel continues to play classically, at weddings, events, and in orchestras, she is frequently sought out by songwriters and bands for her ability to find the voice of the violin in all genres of music.
Laurel has played in Celtic, Pop-rock, folk-rock, and tribute bands, and collaborated with songwriters in the classical, folk, jazz, cabaret, country, Paraguayan, Gypsy, and blues genres. She has co-produced a CD, recorded on several albums, accompanied Sufi dancers, created traditional Indian devotional music for Kirtans, and for three years served as the main performer in the Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital music-therapy program.
Since 1996, when she was just 14, Laurel Thomsen has taught hundreds of violin and viola students in the Monterey, Santa Barbara, and Missoula, Montana areas, and recently also online via Skype. Though Laurel has taught primarily as a private string teacher, she has also been a youth orchestra string coach and clinician in public and private schools. In late 2008, Laurel began writing a violin/viola practice manual that develops effective and efficient playing and practicing technique through learning methods that address how the conscious and subconscious parts of the mind actually operate.
Laurel sees the violin (or viola, as the case may be) as an extension of her body and voice, a means to convey a full range of feeling and emotion, both the obvious and the subtle. Laurel hears music as a story and when she plays, her experience moves her beyond the auditory into a holistic experience of all the senses. She experiences music as a form of dynamic communication with herself, and with others, and she enjoys stretching the boundaries of her musical voice.
Laurel Thomsen: Violin, Viola
Additional musicians as needed: Violin, Viola, Cello, Guitar, Flute, Harp, Piano, Vocals
What to Expect
Typical Gig Duration: 60 - 300 minutes
Laurel Thomsen prides herself in selecting music to fit the atmosphere of an event, moment to moment, so expect a unique "play list" that will help create a memorable impression on your guests.
Adjectives Laurel hears frequently from event guests with regard to her playing: beautiful, deep, inspiring, heartfelt, lovely, great tone. Expect the best.
level performing area
Available for Your
Anniversary Party, Christmas Party, Church Service, Concert Venue, Corporate Event, Fair, Festival, Fundraiser, Funeral Service, Grand Opening, Halloween Party, Holiday Party, Hotel, Luncheon/Tea, Private Party, Restaurant, Studio Session, Wedding Ceremony, Wedding Reception, Workshop
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