Laura Jean Niland
Laura Jean Niland obtained a B.A. in Mathematics and Earth Science and an M.A.T. in Mathematics from St Mary’s University in San Antonio , Texas. She retired from teaching in 2008. During her 34 year high school teaching career, and 4 years as Math Dean, she taught courses from basic high school mathematics to AP Statistics and AP Calculus. In addition, she presented workshops for secondary mathematics teachers locally, regionally and nationwide on various topics including: graphing calculator, statistics, trigonometry, geometry, Science-Math relationships, student projects, among many others. She obtained the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching in 1988 from President Ronald Reagan, and has numerous additional national awards.
Niland’s accordion music career began in 1962 with lessons from Tony Rozance, a former ATG President. She continues with her music today, as director and lead accordionist of the Yellow Rose Accordion Band, formed in 2013, specializing in eclectic accordion music for every audience. Currently, Laura is the President of the San Antonio Accordion Association and editor of their newsletter, Bellow Tones.
Niland has written several summary articles about the National Accordion Association Conventions for the accordionusa.com website and has been a consultant for NAA from 1994 to the present. In 2016, Laura was the coordinator for the NAA National Convention. She currently serves as a board member for Accordion Renaissance, a Virginia-based non-profit, as well as serving as the Chair of the Education and Access Committee for NAAC, and continues to work as a consultant for many accordion endeavors regionally and nationwide.
Niland’s current interests lie in promoting the accordion through:
Design and implementation of programs that feature the accordion to a variety of audiences, including: workshops, festivals, summer camps, local and national conferences
Creating and implementing projects for young children, especially through working with music educators to bring the accordion into the music classroom at elementary, middle school and high school
Fostering excellent training programs for accordionists of all levels including teachers
Increasing the number of individuals playing the accordion
Assisting accordionists to create successful endeavors that promote the accordion
Creating projects that have long-range survival strategies so that they can continue beyond initial implementation