By Tori Bachman-Johnson ‘12
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven…a time to be born, and a time to die…a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” This week, it’s Lauri Hensley’s time to conduct.
On Thursday, April 23 at 8 p.m. the Georgetown College Symphonic Tiger Band will present their annual Spring Concert in the John L. Hill Chapel. Among other features, including flute and horn quartets and a djembe [hand drum] solo by senior Taras Golditchuk, Hensley will pick up a baton to serve as Student Conductor. She will lead the band in a new work by Julie Giroux entitled “A Time to Dance” – a piece based on the passage above from Ecclesiastes 3.
While Hensley has experience conducting, she has never conducted anything “this big – just a few rehearsals every once in awhile,” said the senior from London, KY. “I get butterflies every time I conduct in rehearsal, so I am expecting to as well on the concert.” “A Time to Dance” is essentially a series of dances which Hensley has to shift between, including changing styles and time signatures, which can be a challenge.
“Lauri is a fine young lady who has grown, matured and blossomed into a young professional while at Georgetown,” Band Director Pete LaRue said. “We will always consider it an honor that she was part of our Tiger Band Family.”
To anyone who knew Hensley growing up or during her college days, it’s obvious why she was selected by Dr. LaRue for this honor. Before coming to Georgetown, she played alto saxophone in the South Laurel High School marching band and symphonic band. Hensley was a member of the All-Festival and All-Region honor bands, and served as Field Commander for the marching band her senior year. She was also a member of the Tri-M music honor society, National Beta Club, and National Honor Society. At her home church, Grace Fellowship Assemblies of God, she played drums for several years, as well as piano.
After arriving on campus in the fall of 2005, Hensley continued her involvement in music. In 2008, she traveled to Salzburg, Austria where she studied music with the KIIS program. She is both the President for the Georgetown chapter of the Collegiate Music Educator’s National Convention and Vice-President for the state level of the convention.
A Music Education major, Hensley is currently working as a student teacher in Bourbon County for band directors Eric and Nadine Hale. She teaches general music in the middle school band (grades 6, 7 and 8) as well as at the high school, and works with the middle school winter guard, who won the Tri-State Championship with an undefeated season.
Her busy schedule also includes Phi Mu Fraternity, Campus Ministries, CMENC, and tutoring at Scroggin Park Head Start, Child Development Program, where she mentors students every Tuesday. In March, Hensley planned a music workshop for these children of low-income families, and brought them to campus, where they learned percussion instruments, piano and voice from GC music students.
Though unsure of exactly what she’ll be doing after graduation, Hensley does have some ideas for her future. “The only thing I know is that I love teaching music and band, but leading worship is my passion, so I hope to find one or both opportunities,” said Hensley.
Hensley is the daughter of Michael and Katherine Hensley of London, Kentucky.