Youth Orchestra Faculty

All Sarasota Orchestra faculty members are experienced musicians with excellent credentials and a strong commitment to teaching. Our instructors mentor each student’s unique needs and goals through both individual and group programs.

Mark Spreen
Associate Conductor
Mr. Spreen received his Bachelors Degree in Music Education from the University of Florida and his Masters of Arts from Grand Canyon University. He has also completed graduate courses at Florida State University and the University of Miami. Mr. Spreen is a Past President of the Florida Bandmasters Association and has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Florida Music Educators Association. He has also served on the Board for the Florida School Music Association. Mr. Spreen has served as the chairman of the Music Performance Assessment Committee and the Clinics Committee as well as District Secretary and District Chairman for the Florida Bandmasters Association. He is a graduate of Riverview High School and is a former Kiltie. Prior to returning to Sarasota, he directed the Lake Wales, Keystone Heights and Fernandina Beach High School bands. His bands have consistently earned Superior ratings at the FBA festivals and have performed in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland, the Hollywood Christmas Parade and the National Cherry Blossom Parade, the pre-game and half-time shows at the Sugar Bowl and many other popular events. Mr. Spreen is a member of the Florida Bandmasters Association, Florida Music Educators Association, Music Education National Conference, and Phi Beta Mu.
Celia Sperotto
Chamber Strings Conductor
Celia Sperotto is a native of Manatee County and alumni of the Sarasota Youth Orchestra Program. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of South Florida. Currently she teaches Orchestra and Chorus at Braden River Middle School, conducts for the Sarasota Youth Orchestras and teaches privately.
David Pope
Intermezzo Strings Conductor
David Pope is Director of Orchestras at Manatee High School in Bradenton, Florida. Previously, Dr. Pope was an orchestra director for Maryville City Schools in Tennessee. He also served as the Executive Director of the Tallahassee Youth Orchestras, and on the orchestral librarian staffs at the Aspen Summer Music Festival and Spoleto Music Festival USA. Dr. Pope received his Bachelor's degree from The Florida State University, Master's degree from the University of South Carolina, and Ph.D. in Music Education from The Florida State University. Currently, Dr. Pope serves as a conductor and co-director at Florida State University’s String Orchestra Camp. As an active adjudicator and clinician, he has conducted honor orchestras and served as a guest artist for numerous middle and high school orchestra programs throughout the southeast. Dr. Pope has been a leader in the American String Teachers Association by serving as the President of the Florida State University ASTA chapter and on the Board of Directors in Tennessee. In 2009, Dr. Pope was the recipient of the Outstanding Young Music Educator award for the state of Tennessee.
Robert Lambert
Youth Philharmonic Conductor
Rob Lambert is the Director of Winds & Percussion and Director of Jazz Studies at the Harrison School for the Arts in Lakeland, Florida. He has been on the Harrison faculty since 1994 and conducts the Harrison Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra, Chamber Winds, and Percussion Ensemble. Rob's ensembles have performed at the Midwest Clinic, an International Band & Orchestra Conference, four times with three of the various groups. As well, the HSO performed in La Croix Valmer, France at the Festival des Anches d’Azur. In addition to conducting at Harrison, Rob teaches Advanced Placement Music Theory. Outside of the school Rob is in his third season as the conductor of the Youth Philharmonic with the Sarasota Orchestra. He has also served as an Adjunct Faculty member at various post-secondary institutions. He is active as a guest conductor and clinician around the state and is a FBA certified Solo & Ensemble adjudicator. As well, Rob adjudicates various marching, concert, and jazz band events. Rob holds a Master of Music degree in Instrumental Conducting from the University of South Florida and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Florida Southern College. As well, he has obtained Music/EAYA certification from the NBPTS. He was Harrison School for the Arts Teacher of the Year and is listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. He is a member of the FMEA, the FBA, and the FOA and serves as FBA state Jazz Chair.
Susan Heinz
Symphonic Strings Conductor
Ms. Heinz is director of Symphonic Strings with the Sarasota Youth Orchestra. Ms. Heinz began studying the violin at age 9 in her hometown of Scranton, PA. At the Hartt School of Music, she studied music education with John Feierabend and violin performance with Eric Rosenblith. She graduated summa cum laude, earning her degree in 1994 and was also inducted as a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, the National Music Honor Society. Three years later, she relocated to Sarasota and began teaching general music and strings at Phillippi Shores Elementary School, where she was named Teacher of the Year. In 1997 she began working with the Sarasota Youth Orchestra Program.
Emily Eskildsen
Prelude Strings Conductor
Ms. Suydam grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She attended Dillard School for the Performing Arts under the direction of James Miles. As a student she participated in All-State and All-County. In 2005 Ms. Suydam received her Bachelors' degree in music education from Florida State University. While in Tallahassee she studied violin with Beth Newdome and worked with the Tallahassee Youth Orchestra from 2002-2004. She received a Hughes Scholarship in 2005 for her work at Oakridge Elementary, a title one school, in Tallahassee. Ms. Suydam joined the faculty at Electa Lee Middle School as orchestra director in 2005. She enjoys teaching Fiddling and Instrument Technique. Her Chamber Orchestra can be seen throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties playing at places like Hunsaders Farm, Winter Wonderland and even on floats in parades. Her students consistently receive superior ratings at district Music Performance Assessments and many students over the years have participated in All-State. She is a member of FMEA and FOA. She is very excited about the opportunity to work with Chamber Strings this year and be a part of the Sarasota Youth Orchestra family. Her only regret is that her black lab, Amos Lee, cannot attend the Sarasota Youth Orchestra's first concert!
Daniel Boyd
Symphonic Winds Conductor
Mr. Boyd earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Louisiana State University and his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Saint Leo University. Daniel is a proud member of the Florida Bandmasters Association, Florida Orchestra Association, and the Florida Music Educators Association. Mr. Boyd has taught at the middle and high school levels in both Florida and Louisiana. Mr. Boyd earned a 5-year Superior award while teaching at Carlos E. Haile Middle School. He is currently the Director of Bands and Orchestras at Bayshore High School. Mr. Boyd also teaches for the Sarasota Orchestra Summer Camp.
Beverly Boardman
For nearly two decades, Boardman has been actively involved in developing the musicianship skills of students participating in the Sarasota Youth Orchestra program. Her high energy, creative and inclusive approach to teaching is revered by students. A recently retired Manatee County music teacher, Boardman is trained in educating children in music and other curricular skills using movement as a tool in an active-learning setting. She is a field consultant with the High Scope Educational Research Foundation and has presented workshops for educators around the country. She also has co-authored two books, one of which contains movement warm-up activities for ensembles.
Christopher Allen
Youth Symphony Conductor
Mr. Allen is the Director of Orchestras at Joe E. Newsome High School in Lithia, Florida. He has previously served as an adjunct faculty member at the Blake Fine Arts High School and has spent 6 years as an elementary music teacher in Hillsborough County. Mr. Allen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Horn performance from the University of South Florida and is a member of the French Horn section of the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra in Fort Myers. Mr. Allen is very active as a freelance horn player and has played with the Walt Disney World Orchestra, Sarasota Orchestra, and The Florida Orchestra. Mr. Allen currently serves as the Hillsborough County 11th and 12th grade All-County Chairperson and is a member of the Florida Orchestra Association, Florida Music Educators Association, Music Education National Conference, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Musical Musings

Read our blog about the Sarasota Orchestra and Sarasota Music Festival.

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Written byHerald Tribune

 There's no doubt, audiences are thrilled by the Sarasota Orchestra's new music director, Anu Tali. She's brought an intense energy from the orchestra in previous performances and we found this yet again in a downright thrill ride of an encounter...  

Written byHerald Tribune

 Literally gripping the arms of my seat, I was not the only one propelled on this rollercoaster of delightful music.  

Written byHerald Tribune

 Every section and soloist within the orchestra played their role with strength and beauty; every tree proud and tall. Tali served as an excellent guide leading the forces with assured confidence. The overall sound was lush and, yes, intense just where it needed to be.  

Written byHerald Tribune

 The Sarasota Orchestra was brimming with bubbling energy...  

Written byHerald Tribune

 A lifetime of musical moments, cinematic in scope, gave every section of the orchestra a leading role at one time or another. Chief among them was the virtuosic solo of concertmaster Daniel Jordan.  

Written byHerald Tribune

 It was a thrill ride resulting in an explosion of audience enthusiasm.  

Written byHerald Tribune

 Tali conveyed a clear vision for the dramatic outline of this symphony, carefully pacing the darker, searching character of the music with pastoral conversations among voices in the orchestra.  

Written byThe Observer

 If you haven’t seen Tali yet, this will be a great introduction to the skyrocketing conductor who’s quickly becoming a household name around the world. You’ll see why we feel we’re lucky to have her here.  

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About Us

Our mission is to engage, educate, and enrich our community through high-quality, live musical experiences.

 709 N Tamiami Tr, Sarasota, FL 34236

 Box Office: 941.953.3434

 Administration: 941.953.4252

 Box Office Hours:
Monday - Friday, 10 am - 4 pm
Saturday, 10 am - 1 pm
and at the concert venue one hour prior to show time

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