Katie O’Hara LaBrie (b.1982) is a conductor, composer, cellist, and clinician from Northern Virginia. An educator at heart, Mrs. LaBrie spent the first 15 years of her career teaching orchestra in Fairfax County, Virginia. In her capacity as an orchestra director she enjoyed creating a variety of fulfilling experiences for her students, from Fiddle Days to Rock Shows, Summer Camps to Trips around the East Coast, performances at the Virginia State Music Educators Conference and in collaboration with the Detmold Jugendorchester of Detmold, Germany. In 2022, she was honored as one of Yamaha’s “40 Under 40,” for her action, courage, creativity, and commitment to growth in the music education field.
Mrs. LaBrie holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from St.Olaf College and a Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting from George Mason University. Her primary conducting teachers include Anthony Maiello, Steven Amundson & Timothy Mahr, as well as David Carter on cello.
In addition to her love of teaching Mrs. LaBrie is a published composer and arranger, and is the editor for the Orchestra Division of Randall Standridge Music Publications. As a composer, Mrs. LaBrie enjoys creating new music with the goal of being educationally sound, pleasing to audiences, and above all, fun for the players. She finds inspiration from many sources, including family and nature, but primarily draws from her students and her own experiences as a music educator. Her compositions have received many accolades, including frequent selection as J.W. Pepper Editor’s Choice, as well as performances at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Directors Clinic and at the American String Teachers Association National Conference.
Mrs. LaBrie is a member of NAFME, ASTA, and ASCAP. She is an active guest conductor, adjudicator, and clinician. She has presented clinics on: New Music (VMEA 2015, VA DoE 2019), "Practicing with Purpose: What's the Big IDEA?" (FCPS 2017, VMEA 2017, ASTA 2021, NCMEA 2022 Midwest 2022), and “How to Win Rehearsals & Influence Students” (ASTA 2022, MMEA 2022, NCMEA 2022, VBODA 2022).
Mrs. LaBrie is the founding conductor of the Fairfax Chamber Players and the co-creator of "the Big I.D.E.A." practice method (www.PracticeWithPurpose.net). She lives in Fairfax with her husband Joe who is a middle school band director, and their eight year-old budding musician, Liam.
5 Questions with Katie O'Hara LaBrie:
Please enjoy this video from Alfred Music, where Bob Phillips interviews Katie about being a composer,
her influences, and her compositional process.
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