Staff & Board of Directors

Amanda Stringer

Dr. Amanda (Mandy) Stringer has been CEO of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra since 2010. Her achievements include growing the budget 170%, increasing both corporate sponsorships and annual fund donations 200%; widening the TSO’s subscriber base; increasing federal and regional funding through new grants; and instituting many new initiatives and programs. Dr. Stringer is actively engaged in the industry’s association of orchestras, the League of American Orchestras (LAO), and currently serves as Vice-Chair of her constituent group.

In 2016, Mandy was chosen to participate in the LAO’s “Emerging Leaders Program,” a highly competitive program where participants are chosen based on their potential to make significant contributions to their orchestras and to the field as a whole. She is also a graduate of the LAO’s prestigious “Essentials of Orchestra Management” program.

Mandy has been on the music faculties of the University of Oklahoma and Florida State University, and has been involved in the Tallahassee community through managing the Word of South Festival of Literature and Music, acting as a Knight Foundation Creative Communities Institute Catalyst, participating in the Leadership Tallahassee program, membership in the Florida Economic Club, serving on the Leon High School Foundation Board of Trustees, acting as the Leon High Lacrosse Boosters’ Treasurer, and sitting on the Leon County Tourist Development Council.

Mary Kelsay
Director of Marketing

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Mary Kelsay served as TSO’s General Manager from December, 2016 to June, 2022. During this time, she managed TSO subscriptions, planned several concerts and donor appreciation events and put forth a new program called TSO Kids, an umbrella brand and fundraising initiative that includes all of TSO’s children and family programming and activities.

Before coming to the TSO, she worked at the FSU School of Dance, taught music theory, piano and voice. She continues to be musically involved in the community as a vocalist. Mary is thrilled to have been selected for Leadership Tallahassee this year and is a proud member of the LT 40 class.

In her new role at the TSO as Director of Marketing, Mary works to raise the visibility of the TSO, grow our amazing audience, and further the community’s access to the orchestra. She also manages the TSO’s Internship Program, working closely with graduate students from the Arts Administration masters program at the FSU College of Music. Above all, her goal is to engage, enrich, and inspire people at all stages of life through great music.

Katie Conway
Director of Patron Services

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Katie Conway, Director of Patron Services, strives to build connections through music. After receiving a Bachelor of Music in Performance from Georgia State University, she taught and performed in Atlanta before continuing her education in Tallahassee. She has a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from the Florida State University’s College of Music, and first worked with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra as an intern during her studies. After serving as Assistant Production Manager for the Sarasota Orchestra, she was thrilled to return to the TSO as Director of Patron Services, where she works to attract and maintain audiences and coordinate TSO events.

Brandon Norton
Director of Operations

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Dr. Brandon Norton joined the TSO as Director of Operations in 2023. In this role, he works in the areas of concert operations, patron services, office management, and guest artist services. He is also an active freelance trumpeter in the Tallahassee area and currently serves as Second Trumpet of the Boulder Chamber Orchestra.

Brandon is a native of Phenix City, Alabama. He holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Columbus State University, a Master of Music Degree from The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Carrie Holden

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Caroline Holden has played with many orchestras across the country, including the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Mississippi Symphony, and the West Michigan Symphony. She currently serves as Assistant Concertmaster of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and plays with the Mobile Symphony. She maintains an active violin studio in her home in Tallahassee. In addition, Caroline serves as the music librarian for the TSO.

Caroline is an avid chamber musician and is a founding member of the Argot Trio with her husband, Dr. Jonathan Holden, which recently released their debut CD, Mostly Mississippi. She is looking forward to rehearsing with her string quartet, The Purple Martin String Quartet, again soon.Caroline is a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and earned degrees from Hope College in Holland, MI and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She resides in Tallahassee with her husband and two children.

Megumi Terry
Personnel Manager & Education Coordinator

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A graduate of Florida State University, Megumi Terry has performed as a member of the Tallahassee Symphony, Venice Symphony, Sinfonia Gulf Coast, Northwest Florida Symphony, Valdosta Symphony, and Panama City Symphony Orchestras.Having toured throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe, Ms. Terry has collaborated with artists such as The Killers, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Train, and more. During her tenure at Florida State University, Terry was the concertmaster of FSU’s flagship symphony orchestra, and was a member of its resident quartet, the Burgin String Quartet.

This past year, Ms. Terry has helped create an after-school violin program for the Tallahassee Symphony and is working to expand its reach into other schools. One of her favorite ongoing projects is playing in the symphony’s quartet-in-residence, Mina String Quartet, presenting inclusive and interactive programs to elementary schools in Leon county.

Allyson Royal
Lead Teaching Artist

Hailing from the state of Texas, Dr. Allyson Royal is an alumna of Sam Houston State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Music in Education. She furthered her musical journey at Florida State University, obtaining both her Master of Music and Doctor of Music degrees in String Performance.

Dr. Royal is an active performer Florida and southern Georgia. Beyond her performances, she is a devoted educator, offering violin and viola lessons at Mason’s School of Music and through her private lesson studio. Dr. Royal's most recent endeavor, where she serves as the Co-Creator and Lead Teacher, is Murdock’s Lil’ Mozart’s—a tuition-free after-school violin program at Sabal Palm Elementary. With great anticipation, she looks forward to expanding this initiative to other elementary schools in Tallahassee, where access to string education is limited.

Read Dr. Royal's full bio here.

Jessica Epps
Graphic Designer

North Carolina native Jessica Epps is TSO’s self-taught graphic designer who believes in the power of striking imagery. She earned her BM from Appalachian State and MM from Florida State in flute performance and began interning with the TSO in 2010 as a graduate student in FSU’s Arts Administration program.

Upon earning her MA in 2011, she began working for TSO remotely from New York City. Simultaneously, she worked for eight years in various roles in the marketing department at The Juilliard School. She now resides in Brooklyn, NY and works in social media for a Caribbean medical school, continuing her passion for working in higher education.

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Board of Directors

The TSO Board of Directors is a wonderful body of creative, generous, community-minded Tallahassee citizens. The TSO is committed to maintaining a board that is diverse in age, race, and professional expertise.

  • Mary Lee Kiracofe, Chair
  • Joe Bodiford, Chair Elect
  • Steve Mindlin, Chair of Governance Committee
  • Major Harding, Parliamentarian
  • Tracey Cohen, Vice-Chair of Development
  • Matthew Hansard, Treasurer
  • David Watson, Secretary
  • David Ashburn
  • Brian Batchelder
  • Barbara Boone
  • Kathy Bye
  • Goldie Chaves
  • Janine Couch
  • Lori Elliott
  • Lily Etemadi
  • Byron Greene
  • Darryl Jones
  • Karen Large, Chair of TSO Musician Committee
  • Mary Ann Lindley
  • Ana Melendez
  • Torrio Osborne
  • Heidi Otway
  • Bob Parker
  • Todd Queen
  • Sanford Safron, TSS President
  • Kim Smiley
  • Amanda Stringer, CEO
  • Marjorie Turnbull
  • Christopher Turner
  • Susan Turner
  • Allyson Watson
  • Gary Zirin