LORA R. MCDONALD-FERGUSON
I received a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College in 1963. Contrary to expectations, I wasn't interested at that point in becoming a performing musician. I worked with my husband, Frank Ferguson(OHHS 1958), for several years in developing a pre-school reading program which was used in several Head Start programs in the late 60's and early 70's.
Later, I began playing chamber music for fun and decided I missed music. I went back to school and got a Master of Music degree from Catholic Uuniversity in 1974. I joined the Musicians Union and did free-lance playing with various DC area orchestras, taking auditions along the way when a permanent orchestra opening arose. In 1980, I won the position of Assistant Principal Clarinet with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, where I have been ever since. It's a great job, playing for everything that comes to the Kennedy Center, including opera, ballet, and musicals. I also have been playing with a wind quintet, the Capitol Woodwind Quintet, for over 30 years. We have a concert series in DC and have made a CD, with another in the works.
I do a lot of teaching: at George Washington and George Mason Universities, the Levine School of Music, and in my home studio in Arlington. I also taught for 15 years at Duke Ellington School of the Arts and the DC Youth Orchestra.
Frank and I have two sons - Paul, age 44, who is an elected official in Arlington; and Matthew, age 41, who is Chief Financial Officer of a company in the San Francisco Bay area. Paul has 2 boys, whom we see often, and Matthew has 3 boys and a girl, whom we see whenever we have time to make the trip to California. We try to all get together every summer at a beach house just south of Dewey Beach.