Cellist Laura Jekel was one of 10 people chosen to take part in the 2010-2011 Abreu Fellows Program, a training program through New England Conservatory that is helping to develop El Sistema-inspired programs in the United States. Originally from Boston, Laura has performed and taught throughout Latin America and the United States. After earning a bachelor of music degree at Indiana University in Bloomington, she traveled to Ecuador where she was a member of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Guayaquil and cello professor at the music school FronterasMusicales Abiertas in Cuenca. During her stay she gavemasterclasses and recitals around the country, including performances of the Dvorak, Schumann, Haydn C Major and Lalo cello concertos with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Cuenca, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Loja and the Cuen-KEnsamble. Aside from her solo and orchestral work, Laura is an avid teacher. During the summer, she has been the cello teacher at Encore/Coda, a music camp in Maine. Since returning from Ecuador in 2007, Laura has studied at Carnegie Mellon University, where she completed her master of music degree, and at the Peabody Institute. Laura currently resides in Cincinnati were she is the director of MYCincinnati, an El Sistema-inspired youth orchestra program that she founded in 2011. She is also the co-founder of the Price Hill String Quartet, and a substitute cellist with the Kentucky Symphony, Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, and Richmond Symphony.