Longmont Symphony Announces Super Conductor Contest Candidates 2019

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The Longmont Symphony Orchestra (LSO) has been a part of the Longmont Arts community for 52 years. Its annual fundraiser, The Super Conductor Contest, began in 1988.

Each year, candidates from the Longmont area are nominated to compete for the title of Super Conductor. These candidates are not conductors, they have no experience conducting, rather they are regular music loving folks with a chance to conduct the Longmont Symphony for the benefit of the orchestra.

The LSO Board of Directors determines who the candidates will be, striving for three folks with diverse backgrounds, as can been seen with this year’s candidates.

The 2019 Super Conductor Contest runs from February 23 through May 11, 2019. This year’s three candidates are: Dr. Janelle Laughlin, a rheumatologist at UCHealth’s Longmont Clinic and Longs Peak Hospital, Ruth Waukau, a retiree who serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Longmont Senior Center, and Scott Cook, CEO for the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce.

As per LSO Board Member Carol Minelli, the conductor candidates from the Longmont area are nominated to compete for the title of Super Conductor. This is a tough assignment as there are so many quality candidates.

This event kicked‐off with the introduction of all three candidates at the LSO’s February 23 concert at the Vance Brand Civic Auditorium in downtown Longmont.

Candidates are asked to write “candidate letters” to the public as one manner in which to secure votes. These letters are then published as part of the event and also read to the audience during the introductions. As part of her introduction, Dr. Janelle Laughlin put her own words to the Gilligan’s Island theme. This type of creativity, fun, and enthusiasm is what the contest is all about.

The event will wrap up at the season finale concert on May 11, which is also at the Vance Brand Auditorium. Both concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. The conductor candidate who receives the most ‘monetary donations’ (or votes), will be awarded the 2019 Super Conductor title and then will conduct the orchestra on May 11. One dollar equals one vote and voting ends on Friday, May 3rd at 1 p.m. MT.

Candidate Profiles: To support your Super Conductor Candidate(s), click the appropriate link and designate your donation amount, and be sure to write their name into the Special Instructions field on the ColoradoGives.org donation page.

Janelle Laughlin (Photo courtesy of Longmont Symphony Orchestra)

Dr. Janelle Laughlin

Dr. Janelle Laughlin is a rheumatologist at UCHealth’s Longmont Clinic and Longs Peak Hospital. She has been serving the Longmont community for over 10 years. She and her husband Stephen are ‘Aspen Dreamer Scholar Sponsors’ through the “I Have a Dream” Foundation in Boulder County and are also founding members of the Longs Peak Hospital Foundation. I had the opportunity to speak with Janelle and she was very enthusiastic about this event. She admittedly has no conductor experience which once again is part of the fun, and she’s all for it. Vote for Janelle.

Ruth Wakau (Photo courtesy of Longmont Symphony Orchestra)

Ruth Waukau

Ruth’s Waukau’s career involved serving others. She has run a rural mental health clinic on an Indian reservation, worked as a social worker for disabled adults, served in the Peace Corps in the South Pacific, been a therapist on the geriatric team of a local community mental health center, and finally, been a counselor, educator, and program developer at the Longmont Senior Center. Ruth now serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Senior Center. Ruth actually has some theater background which the other two candidates do not. She stated that she enjoyed both the candidate introduction experience as well as the performance by the LSO afterwards. Vote for Ruth.

Scott Cook (Photo courtesy of Longmont Symphony Orchestra)

Scott Cook

Scott Cook has served as the CEO for the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce since August of 2017. The chamber is now expanding under his leadership, including the creation of new events and opportunities to further grow businesses in Longmont. One of his favorite pastimes is to be with his beloved family, as they enjoy hikes in the Colorado mountains together among other activities. Scott is a weightlifter who has even competed in a few amateur shows. He also enjoys running, photography and music. I spoke to Scott, and he said, “The Super Conductor [competition] is a fun way to raise money for one of our community’s most beloved organizations. The LSO has provided enjoyment, education and culture to Longmont for many years. I am honored to be in the competition. No matter who wins, in the end, the LSO and the arts in our community are the winners and we all win when the arts are supported and celebrated.” Vote for Scott.


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