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Alumni Spotlight – Christopher McLaurin

Christopher McLaurinChristopher McLaurin (NRO 2004 Percussion) was appointed Principal Percussionist of the Kansas City Symphony in 2007 and is also Adjunct Professor of Percussion at the UMKC Conservatory of Music. In between his time at NRO and his current position, he spent time as a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, FL and was Principal Percussionist of the Napa Valley Symphony. Outside of his regular work in the back of the orchestra he enjoys playing chamber music with his KCS and UMKC colleagues and has had solo engagements that have included performing Olivier Messiaen’s Des Canyons Aux Etoiles with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minoru Miki’s Marimba Spiritual as part of the Grand Opening Celebration for the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, and when he was an NRO Fellow, Russel Peck’s The Glory and the Grandeur with the National Repertory Orchestra. Christopher has played extra percussion with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony, Detroit Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and Honolulu Symphony. He also can be heard on recordings with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, and Kansas City Symphony.

During the summers he returns to Colorado as a member of the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder. He endorses Pearl/Adams Percussion Instruments, Zildjian Cymbals, and Freer Percussion Products. His students at UMKC have won wide acclaim by advancing to semifinal and final rounds at many professional percussion and timpani auditions and being accepted as fellows to prestigious summer music festivals such as the Music Academy of the West, National Orchestral Institute, Round Top Festival, Texas Music Festival, Hot Springs Music Festival, and Des Moines Metro Opera.