LaSaundra Booth serves as NAfME’s Professional Development Content Manager, working on the Connected Arts Networks project. She is a National Board Certified teaching artist, inventor, author, conductor, and arts administrator. Booth was named one of 50 Directors who Make A Difference by School Band and Orchestra Magazine. She has 18 years experience teaching and conducting orchestra at the elementary, middle, high, and collegiate level. All of her performing ensembles received superior ratings in adjudicated music festivals and competitions.
Booth has a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University, a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership, a Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Bachelor of Music from North Carolina Central University. She studied with Dr. Timothy Holley, Alex Ezerman, Jesse L. Suggs, Jr., Kellie Keiser, and Jennifer Wernicke.
Booth is a Sphinx LEADer (Leaders in Excellence, Arts & Diversity) who is known for anchoring discussions on how to make public school orchestra programs more equitable, diverse, and inclusive to all students. Her most recent speaking engagements include Manhattan School of Music’s Precollege Division, Sphinx Connect, the National Association for Music Education’s Town Hall, and the American String Teachers Association (ASTA).
Booth has a successful history of establishing diverse, equitable, and inclusive programs at the elementary, middle, high school, and collegiate levels. She founded the Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra (2013), a non-profit organization that provides expert orchestral instruction and free instruments to youth where orchestra opportunities are limited or do not exist. In her tenure, Booth has grown the organization from 3 students to over 350 Pre-K through 12th grade students across Wake, Franklin, and Vance counties. In April 2021, Booth received the Vance County Champion of the Arts Award for bringing the first after-school string program to the district.
Booth is an accomplished woman. She is author of Meals for Musicians: Delicious Meals to Fit Your Busy Lifestyle. Booth was awarded a patent for a device to enhance string instruments (USPTO# 20140260902). She was featured in the 2008 edition of North Carolina Symphony’s Opus magazine and performed on an episode of One Tree Hill, the WB network’s hit television series. Booth was recently appointed as lecturer of music education at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill. Booth previously served as Director of Strings at Winston-Salem State University.
Booth is in demand as a cellist and conductor. She has performed with Integrity Strings, Cellist Ti Awo, Colour of Music Symphony Orchestra, Greensboro Philharmonia, Raleigh Symphony, Duke Symphony, and Durham Symphony. Her most recent appointments include guest conductor of the Intercollegiate Music Association’s String Orchestra (IMA), conductor of NAfME’s All-National Honors Symphony Orchestra, and guest clinician for the California Orchestra Director Association (CODA 2022) and Washoe County School District High School Honors Orchestra in Reno, NV (2022).