Leap Year Music Publishing
Adrian Gordon is an internationally performed composer and seasoned music educator. He currently serves as the Director of Orchestras at Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC. In addition to teaching, Mr. Gordon is the founder of Leap Year Music Publishing, which publishes string music for elementary, middle, and high school ensembles. Adrian received his B.A. in music from the University of Miami, and his master’s degree in music education at Florida International University.
Laura Mulligan Thomas
Charlottesville City Schools, Retired
President of Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association
Laura Mulligan Thomas retired in June 2022 after serving for 40 years as the director of the nationally-recognized Charlottesville High School Orchestra. Ms. Thomas is the President of the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association and Conductor of the Youth Symphony of the Youth Orchestras of Central Virginia. Ms. Thomas has received numerous honors for her work with young musicians, including the 2022 Elizabeth A. H. Greene Award from the ASTA.
Elizabeth Fortune is a music education change-agent from Seattle, Director of Education for the Wintergrass Festival, co-host of a popular music education podcast called “The Beth and Kelly Show,” and chairperson of NAfME’s Orchestra Council. In 2019-2021, Fortune served on the ASTA Board of Directors. In 2018, she was a recipient of CMA’s Music Teachers of Excellence distinction. In 2015, Fortune was one of 25 semi-finalists for the Grammy Music Educator Award.
Texas State University
Dr. Sam H. Flippin is assistant professor and String Project Director at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. He taught high school and middle school orchestras in the Houston and Dallas areas for 11 years where he developed his interests in string pedagogy and the ways effective classroom teaching increases opportunities for students who cannot afford private lessons. He is married to Jordan, and they have two children ages 8 and 5.