TYO Music Staff
After serving for many years as Associate Music Director/Director of TYO chamber Orchestra, Christopher Miller has been appointed Music Director/ Director of TYO Symphony. In addition to his work with Tallahassee Youth Orchestras, Mr. Miller is known as Director of Orchestras at Lawton Chiles High School, where he directs three orchestras in addition to teaching A.P. Music Theory, Advanced Guitar, and Theatre. Under his direction, orchestras from Chiles have placed 1st (click to read more)
Katarzyna (Kasia) Bugaj is an Associate Professor of Music Education at The Florida State University, where she helps prepare future music educators to work with orchestras and string students. In addition to teaching college students during the academic year Dr. Bugaj enjoys working with young musicians at the FSU Summer Music Camps. Prior to her appointment at Florida State University, Dr. Bugaj was
Will Whitehead is a string music educator, orchestral conductor, and violist pursuing a Ph.D. in Music Education at Florida State University. He is currently the Music Director of the FSU Sinfonia, the Director of the Tallahassee Youth Orchestras' Intermezzo Strings, viola faculty with the FSU String Orchestra Camp, and District 3 Chairperson on the executive board of the Florida Orchestra Association.
Dr. Alexander Jiménez serves as Professor of Conducting, Director of Orchestral Activities, and String Area Coordinator at the Florida State University College of Music. He has served on the faculties of San Francisco State University and Palm Beach Atlanta University. He holds degrees from Baylor University (B.M.) and Florida State University (M.M., M.M.E., D.M.). Dr. Jiménez is an active guest conductor, teacher and adjudicator through the United States and Europe.
Mr. Chris Miller
Dr. Kasia Bugaj
Mr. Will Whitehead
Director, Symphony Orchestra
Director, Chamber Orchestra
Assistant Music Director
Director, Intermezzo Strings
Music Director Laureate
Gabriela Fogo was born in Brazil where she began music studies at age ten through the Metodo Jaffe. She acquired her bachelor’s degree in violin from Faculdade Cantareira, Sao Paulo, and holds a master’s degree in string pedagogy and violin performance from The University of New Mexico. She was a member of various orchestras and chamber groups in Brazil and served as concertmaster of the UNM Symphony Orchestra and violinist in the Abe Franck graduate string quartet. She was also a member of...
Erika is a Tallahassee-based violinist and teacher with over 20 years of musical experience. Erika has been teaching since 2016 and is passionate about helping students discover their potential through music. Erika has completed 12 music education-specific courses during her undergraduate degree and recently obtained her Suzuki Book 1 Teacher certification. Currently, Erika maintains a thriving studio of in-person and online students. Erika is the first runner-up to both the 2019 Ocala...
A native Texan, Dr. Allyson Royal began her viola studies within the Mesquite ISD public school system at twelve years old. She decided to further pursue her studies in viola and began taking private lessons for the first time at the ripe age of seventeen, which is considerably late in the string world. But within a few months, she was able to prepare for college auditions and have success. Dr. Royal completed her Bachelor of Music (Education) from...
Shelby Morris is a graduate of FSU and earned her Bachelor of Music Education in the Spring of 2021. As a native of Tallahassee, she graduated from Raa middle school, Leon high school, and was once principal cellist in TYO herself in the 2015-2016 season. She has played with professional symphonies in Florida and Georgia but says her true passion lies in spreading the love of cello with her students. She is ecstatic to return to her TYO family for a third year!
Dr. Allyson Royal
1st Violin Coach
2nd Violin Coach
Brenna Wiinanen, flutist, is an active performer, teacher, and researcher whose experiences have led to numerous masterclasses, performances, and conferences around the world. Wiinanen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (Music Performance) from Coastal Carolina University, where she graduated as the Outstanding Senior in the Music Department, with Honors, and Summa Cum Laude. She also...
Paul Ebbers was on the faculty of FSU for 38 years. Mr. Ebbers studied with Arnold Jacobs, world renowned wind pedagogue. He earned a B.A. from the Univ. of No. Iowa, a M.M. from Northwestern Univ, and pursued doctoral study at Indiana Univ. Mr. Ebbers has performed with the St. Louis Symphony, Pensacola Symphony, Florida Orchestra, Chicago Civic Orchestra, and Florida Philharmonic. He has toured the U.S., Italy, and Germany performing in such venues as Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.
Jackson Kowalczyk is a junior at Florida State University, where he is pursuing a degree in percussion performance. He frequently performs with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Gulf Coast Orchestra, and Tallahassee Community Chorus. Jackson spent the last two summers as a merit scholarship recipient at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina, studying with John Shaw (The Florida Orchestra), Eric Schweikert (Fort Wayne Philharmonic), and...
José is a Masters Student in Jazz Performance for FSU’s College of Music, He is an FSU Alumni graduating in 2019 with his bachelors in Music for Jazz Performance. He has been playing Upright Bass for over 15 years and has been teaching music for more than 5 years. José was raised in Venezuela where...
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Lee Taylor enjoys a varied musical career involving performance, education, and administration. Lee is currently a member of the Atlanta Ballet and Tallahassee Symphony Orchestras and is a founding member of Amati Chamber Music. She was a long-time member of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra and has played with the Alabama Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, and Colorado Music Festival. As a private teacher, Lee...
TYO Quartet Coach
Mira Gaitanis was born in raised right here in Tallahassee Florida. She started violin lessons in first grade at Mason’s School of Music and continued grow in her musical studies from there. She has been a long time member, and now alumna of the Tallahassee Youth Orchestra, and she also took Orchestra as an elective in middle and high school. But she really began to bloom when she began to move outside the box of classical music. In the Acoustic Ensemble and Fiddlers, she was exposed to...
Thum Rangsiyawaranon is an alumnus of TYO. He is currently a Junior at Florida State University majoring in Classical Trumpet and Information Technology. While at FSU he has performed with multiple ensembles such as the Wind Ensemble, University Philharmonia, University Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Trumpet Ensemble, and Marching Chiefs.
Levi Vickers is a TYO alumnus who graduated from Florida State University School. He is a sophomore majoring in Brass Performance at the University of South Florida.
Marina Edwards is an alumna of Tallahassee Youth Orchestras. She started playing cello at 11 years old and has played in every ensemble that TYO had from Fundamentals to the TYO Symphony Orchestra. Marina attends Florida State University as a double major in Music and Criminology.