The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts' Patel Conservatory has named musician and educator Lauren Baker Murray chair of the music department.
Joining the Tampa conservatory, which offers instruction in dance, theater and music for children and adults, is a homecoming for Murray. The graduate of Tampa's King High School has also earned degrees from the University of North Texas, Yale University and Stetson University.
Murray has served on university faculties at schools including Columbus State University and the University of South Florida. Most recently, she was the program director for Empowered Youth of Columbus, Ga., an after school program with an emphasis on the arts for at-risk youth.
As a musician, Murray is an accomplished oboe and English horn player. As a performer with the North Texas Wind Symphony, she can be heard on more than fifty original master recordings contained in the Klavier Wind Recording Project.
As an oboist, she is half of the duo Harmonie del Sur with trumpeter Robert Murray. The duo has performed at prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and have written more than a dozen compositions together.