Conductor Bios

Dr. Laurie C. Williams
Symphony Orchestra Conductor 

DR. LAURIE COLGROVE WILLIAMS has had a highly versatile career as
a music educator spanning 28 years as a classroom teacher, private teacher, and conductor. She is currently serving as a Lecturer of Music Education at the University of Texas at San Antonio where she teaches courses in instrumental music education. Previous collegiate appointments include service as Interim Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Instructor of Music Education at Texas Tech University. Prior to her university service, Dr. Williams taught for fifteen years in K-12 public school settings teaching general music classes, string and full orchestras, middle and high school bands, and elementary choirs in Amarillo, Ralls, San Antonio and Lubbock, TX.
Dr. Williams is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra with the Youth Orchestras of Lubbock, where she is currently in her twenty second season with the program. Under her direction, the YOL Symphony Orchestra was recently awarded with an invitation to perform and compete against select orchestras from around the country at the American String Teachers Association National Orchestra Festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico on March 8, 2019. During her tenure with the organization, Dr. Williams has served as a viola and trumpet coach, Assistant Conductor for the Prelude Strings Orchestra, and conductor for both the Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestras. She is a professional violist as well, performing with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra since 1994 and with various orchestras throughout Texas and New Mexico.
Beyond her regular duties, Dr. Williams maintains an active conducting and teaching schedule, serving frequently as a clinician and judge for instrumental groups in Texas, Kansas and Missouri. She is also an active researcher in the field of music education, having presented her work at music conferences throughout the United States. Dr. Williams holds an Interdisciplinary PhD. in Fine Arts from Texas Tech University. She earned her bachelor and master’s degrees in music education from Texas Tech, as well. She is originally from Mesquite, TX and is married to Todd Williams. They have four boys: Justin Anderson, Connor, Sawyer, and Carson Williams.

Brigido “Beau” Garza
Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor

BRIGIDO “BEAU” S. GARZA graduated with honors from Permian High School in 2001. While at Permian, he was under the direction of Kathy Fishburn and David Golden. He was a member of the “Satin Strings” strolling strings group and the Symphony Orchestra. He attended Odessa College for a year, and transferred to Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, where he studied viola under Ralph Fielding and Renee Moore-Skerik. While at Tech, Mr. Garza was a member of the Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Gary Lewis. Additionally, he was part of the first Texas Tech String Project under Dr. Bruce Wood, Director of String Music Education. Graduating from Texas Tech in spring 2006, Mr. Garza started his first year of teaching at Alamo Junior High School in Midland, Texas.

The following year, he took a teaching job in Odessa at Nimitz Junior High School. Mr. Garza came back to Midland as the assistant orchestra director at Midland Lee High School and the head director at Lee Freshman HighSchool, where he was honored to work with Karen McAfee for three years. Upon Mrs. McAfee’s retirement in 2010, Mr. Garza accepted the position as Director of Orchestras at Midland Lee High School. Mr. Garza has continued the tradition of excellence with the orchestras’ 50th year of sweepstakes at UIL contest. Recently, Mr. Garza became an adjunct professor of music education at the University of Texas at the Permian Basin.

In addition, Mr. Garza accepted an Interim position with the Youth Orchestra of Lubbock for the spring of 2019 conducting the philharmonic orchestra. He is a member of Texas Orchestra Directors Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association and plays viola with the Midland Odessa Symphony. He is married to Beth Garza, choir director at Hillander elementary school. They live in Midland with their 3 children, Tomas, Andrew and Aubrey.

Kathleen Smith
Prelude Strings Orchestra Conductor

KATHLEEN SMITH, conductor for the Prelude Strings Orchestra for the last 14 years, received her Bachelor of Arts degree in violin from Murray State University where she studied with Christopher Thompson and Eric Williams. Kathleen is a private violin teacher and a certified Suzuki Teacher of Violin with the STELR Program. She has been the Director of the STELR Program in Lubbock, Texas for the last 9 years. She has served as Coordinator and Violin Instructor for the String Program in the Jasper School District in Jasper, Indiana, and at the String Preparatory Division at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana. She was the Co-Conductor/Co-Music Director of the Charleston Youth Orchestra in Charleston, Illinois.

Mrs. Smith is a freelance violinist in Texas, as well as performing frequently in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee. She has performed with the Evansville, IN, Terre Haute, IN, Owensboro, KY, Danville, IL, Windsor, Canada, Flint, MI, and Saginaw, MI, Symphonies.

Kathleen is married to Christopher M. Smith, Professor of Horn in the School of Music at Texas Tech University. They are parents of three daughters, Mia, Natalie and Audrey. Mia is an Elementary Education major at Lubbock Christian University. Natalie is a Violin performance major at the University of Colorado, Boulder and Audrey is a student at All Saints Episcopal School and a member of the Philharmonic Orchestra.

Louie Pereira
Percussion Coach

LOUIE PEREIRA is a musician and educator based in West Texas. He graduated in 2011 from Harlingen High School, moving onto Texas State University, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education in 2015. During his time there he was a member of the Wind Symphony, a featured ensemble at both TMEA and CBDNA clinic/conventions, the Symphony Orchestra, the Jazz Ensemble, the Bobcat Marching Band, the Latin Ensemble Salsa Del Rio, and other various percussion ensembles and jazz combos, as well as accumulating multiple years of DCI/WGI experience. He has studied with Texas State University Professor Bobby Lopez, as well as the world renowned Count Basie drummer Butch Miles, Wayne Salzmann II, the Jazz Drum-Set Professor at the University of Texas, and the Grammy Award-Winning Drum-Set Professor at the University of Southern California, Peter Erskine.

Louie Pereira is currently the Assistant Band Director/Percussion Coordinator at Frenship High School and maintains membership with the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Jazz Educators Association, and the Percussive Arts Association.