Nikolette LaBonte, a native of South Florida, is an alumna of KBHC and is thrilled to be returning as a staff member in 2018! Nikolette is tenured as the Associate/Assistant/Utility Horn of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. She joined the RPO in 2016 but prior to that, LaBonte was appointed acting assistant principal horn of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra in 2015. While living and working with the orchestra in Honolulu, she also served as the associate principal horn of the Hawaii Opera Theater and Oahu Choral Society. In addition to the RPO and HSO, she has had the opportunity to perform with orchestras across the country including the New York Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, New World Symphony, and Syracuse-based Symphoria and is an award-winning soloist who recently made her concert debut with the Eastman Philharmonia.
LaBonte returned to Rochester not only as a performer, but also to complete her undergraduate degree coursework at the Eastman School of Music under the direction of RPO Principal Horn W. Peter Kurau. In addition to her degree studies, she maintains a private studio, is a guest clinician with the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and University of Rochester Symphony Orchestra, and is a member of several chamber ensembles including the Antara Winds and HardCOR quartet. In all of these endeavors, Nikolette performs on an Elkhart Conn 8D and was recently selected to be a Conn-Selmer Endorsing Artist. Outside of the concert hall, LaBonte is active in promoting classical music throughout the community. She previously worked as the education coordinator of the Hawaii Symphony, was a general music instructor with “Kalikolehua,” an El Sistema program, and is the co-creator and coordinator of “Olympic Overtures”, a multimedia project designed to spread awareness of classical music through collaboration with Olympic athletes. Away from the horn, she enjoys bicycling, hiking, and scuba diving, although she unfortunately has to reserve the latter for her visits to more tropical climates.
Eastman School of Music
KBHC Alum: 2011-2012
KBHC Staff: 2017, 2018