2019 The University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award winner Scott Laird

Scott Laird, nationally recognized string pedagogue and conductor (and NS Design Artist and Educator), has received The University of North Carolina Board of Governors 2019 Excellence in Teaching Award.

Steven Krull Photography

Established by the Board in 1993 to highlight the importance of teaching, the award recognizes the extraordinary contributions of faculty members System wide, honoring 17 outstanding faculty members this year.

“We take great pride in honoring these recipients. They all bring a high standard of excellence in the classroom through creative teaching methods that impact our students,” said UNC Board of Governors Chair Harry Smith.

Laird, who has served on the faculty of The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics is currently the Fine Arts Coordinator and Instructor of Music.

Beginning in 2001, Laird’s milestone achievements include promoting and developing a high standard of musicianship and pride in the Orchestra and initiating popular electives Classical Piano and Guitar, Audio/Digital Music Production, and History of Western Music. Taking on the new role of Fine Arts Coordinator in 2008, Laird has played an integral role in recruiting, hiring, and supporting all of NCSSM’s Fine Arts instructors with an eye toward developing a team that exemplifies excellence in teaching, scholarship, impeccable musicianship, care for students, and collegiality.

In his 18 years as NCSSM’s orchestra conductor, the string section has grown from only 12 members in 2001 to over 60 players this year. They have performed major works every year including symphonies by Beethoven, Dvorak, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Haydn, and this year, Brahms and have featured over 70 student soloists over the years as part of an annual Concerto Concert. He sponsors and supports students who are selected for the NCMEA Eastern Regional Orchestra, NC Honors Orchestra, and NAfME National Honor Orchestra.

“This award is an opportunity to acknowledge the great work that’s being done by some of the finest instructors in all of higher education,” said UNC System Interim President Bill Roper. “It represents the talent we have in the UNC System and the high-quality education our students receive.”

Noted for his innovative approach to ensemble development and musicianship, Laird is a frequent conductor of honor orchestras and is a sought-after conference presenter. He has developed relationships with the Durham community by promoting the Fine Arts Series events to the community on area list-serves and our programs are now well known for their high quality, free admission, and family-friendly atmosphere.

He regularly performs on acoustic and electric violin and is known for his abilities in both the classical and improvisatory arena. We’re proud to add that his electric of choice is the NS Design CR Violin.

His blog: “Thoughts of a String Educator,” enjoys broad readership in the music education community.

More on Scott and the other esteemed recipients of this prestigious award:  https://www.northcarolina.edu/Board-Governors-Awards/Teaching-Awards-2019


NS Design welcomes bad snacks to its roster of violin artists

NS Design is pleased to welcome the artist known as bad snacks to its roster of electric violin endorsing artists.

Classically trained on the violin, she had a career as a singer-songwriter on the east coast before moving to Los Angeles. Turning her talents to electronic music, bad snacks’ current work encompasses synthesized soundscapes with a “chillhop-meets-experimental” vibe. Recent performance credits include a commissioned album for YouTube’s Audio Library, playing with Grammy-nominated R&B/neo-soul group KING, and performances with the avant-garde Hollywood Light Orchestra.

Beyond performing, bad snacks has cultivated a YouTube following of over 30,000 subscribers. Her channel includes an in-depth look into production techniques for orchestration, mixing and mastering electronic music. A series of videos feature effect and synth pedals matched to the NS violin among others.

This demo of the NS NXT5a electric violin with the Meris Enzo synth pedal shows the creative potential of bad snacks’ work, and her talent for explaining the complex ideas of electronic music.

bad snacks raves about the NXTa violin:”I have never played an electric violin that has felt as natural yet versatile as the NXTa Violin. It’s incredibly comfortable to play, and the control of signal through the active setting and the pickup switch allows me to have all kinds of tonal versatility which is incredibly important as I tend to synthesize my instrument and put it through all kinds of effect chains. My live sets would be literally impossible without this instrument!”For more information and news on bad snacks, visit her YouTube Channel or Facebook Page.Visit ThinkNS.com for more info on the eco-friendly, battery-free NXTa Series of NS violins.