Music educator, cantor, and organist Laura Potratz is passionate about the spiritual awareness that results from the study of performing arts, both personally and communally. She maintains a private studio of voice, organ, and piano students in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and sings with the Bach Society of Minnesota, the Minnesota Chorale, and the Early Lutheran Music (ELM) Ensemble. She is a mentor with the Voices of Hope women's prison choir in Shakopee, MN, and serves as Associate Cantor for the Lutheran Summer Music Program for middle school and high school students from across the nation. As actress and musician she appeared in Theatre in the Round's production of The Government Inspector in early 2019. She is currently organist at Unity Church Unitarian in St. Paul.
Laura holds a Master of Music and Musicology from the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne completed in 2012 studying the use of visual colors in the notation of Pierre Boulez' Tombeau, Thomas Adès' Darkness Visible, and Naji Hakim's Sakskøbing Præludier. Her prior Maîtrise researched the state of François-Henri Clicquot's 18th century visual organ treatise. Having earned a Bachelors degree in organ performance magna cum laude with a minor in studio art from Valparaiso University (Indiana) in 2005, her studies there included three months abroad in Paris working with the Dalsbaek-Merklin organ builders on the restoration of the 1855 Merklin & Schütze organ at the church of St-Eugène-Ste-Cécile. Upon her return to the U.S., she worked for a year and a half for organ builder Goulding & Wood in Indianapolis. She moved to Paris in 2006 to study at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris in the classes of counterpoint, harmony, analysis of early music, and music history. In 2010 she completed a Certificate in organ at the regional conservatory in Boulogne-Billancourt where she also taught the introductory organ class to children.
In 2013 she earned her professional diploma (French DEM) in organ under Eric Lebrun at the conservatory in Saint-Maur-des-Fossés while also a voice student of Milanese vocal coach Matteo Carminati and a member of the Sebastian Wesley vocal ensemble and the Bach Collegium Paris. She spent several years as the assistant to the organist at the Reformed Church of St. Esprit and at the American Church in Paris where she was also a member of the Bronze Ringers handbell ensemble. From 2010 to 2013 she was professor of piano and musicianship at the conservatory in Ézanville (Val d'Oise).
Since moving to Minneapolis in late 2013, Laura has worked as a classroom music specialist for the Bach Society of Minnesota, assistant director of the Augsburg University Masterworks Chorale, co-teacher with ComMUSICation, pipe organ technician with Grandall & Engen Organbuilders, and in church musician positions with various denominations.