Dr. Swinden has over 25 years of private flute teaching experience, with students ranging from 4 to 84 years of age. Her training in Suzuki Flute, Kindermusik and Orff informs her teaching, especially with her younger students. She has founded and coached community and advanced student flute ensembles bringing flute students together to share their joy for music-making and to provide valuable chamber music performing opportunities for her students. Laurel’s advanced students have successfully auditioned for competitive places in top music programs including New York University, Wilfrid Laurier, McGill, Western, and Acadia Universities. Her students consistently earn top honours at music festivals and in RCM examinations.
Praised for her sweet and distinct tone…breathtaking in colour (Whole Note), flutist Laurel Swinden enjoys a busy schedule as a recitalist, orchestral performer and chamber musician. Dr. Swinden has performed with numerous orchestras across Ontario and in the southern United States. Recent recital presentations include performances at the National Flute Association Convention, Festivales Internacionales des Flautistas (Lima, Peru), Sichuan Conservatory (Chengdu, China), the Canadian Flute Convention, and the Perimeter Institute. Dr. Swinden’s CD Celebrating Women: Music for Flute and Piano by Women Composers with pianist Stephanie Mara garnered critical acclaim. A second recording of the Celebrating Women Project, featuring works entirely by Canadian women composers is forthcoming.
Laurel is in demand as a clinician, teacher, adjudicator, coach and examiner. Dr. Swinden is the Instructor of Flute at the University of Guelph and is a former faculty member of the Western University’s Don Wright Faculty of Music, coaching flute ensemble, chamber ensemble, teaching applied flute and instrumental methods classes. She has adjudicated at festivals across Canada and the US, and served as a juror for the Ontario Arts Council and the National Flute Association.
Dr. Swinden earned a DMA in Flute Performance as a Fellowship recipient at the University of Toronto, where she studied flute with Nora Schulman and traverso with Alison Melville. Her training includes residencies at the Banff Centre and the Harid Conservatory (now part of Lynn University.) Dr. Swinden gratefully acknowledges support from the Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, Canadian Federation of University Women, Waterloo Region Arts Council, Tafelmusik, David and Marcia Beach Scholarship fund, and the London Music Scholarship Foundation.