- BA, Indiana University-Bloomington
- MM, Indiana University-Bloomington
- DMA, University Of Minnesota Twin Cities
Called “…one of the most talented and elegant pianists in the region” (composer David Evan Thomas), Heather MacLaughlin is one of the Twin Cities’ leading collaborative pianists. She comes from a musical family and has made four recordings with her father, tenor Tom MacLaughlin. She has collaborated with Pinchas and Arianna Zukerman, baritone David Malis, and violist Cynthia Phelps among others. MacLaughlin has been heard as both chamber musician and soloist on National and Minnesota Public Radio. She was awarded the McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians, and a travel and study grant from the General Mills,
Dayton Hudson and Jerome Foundations for travel to Hungary to study and perform the Bartok sonatas for Violin and Piano with violinist Leslie Shank; the Shank-MacLaughlin Duo released a CD of these works on the Centaur label. Together with her husband, classical guitarist Alan Johnston, she represented Minnesota on the Millennium Series at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. She received Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Indiana University as a student of Enrica Cavallo-Gulli, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano as a student of Margo Garrett. A former member of the MacPhail Suzuki Talent Education faculty,
she currently teaches at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park. MacLaughlin has taught and performed at Suzuki institutes and festivals in Wisconsin, Michigan, Colorado, Minnesota and Lima, Peru.