Artistic Leadership

The Symphonia's Artistic Advisory Committee is led by Alastair Willis, Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor. He is joined by Susan Dirgins-Friend, M.M., Principal Bass, Music Librarian; Karen Fuller, M.M., Principal Flute; Marie Jureit-Beamish, D.M.A.; Jeffrey Kaye, M.M., President & Artistic Director of JK Productions; Joanna Marie Kaye, Executive Director of Festival of the Arts BOCA; and Kyle Prescott, D.M.A.

Alastair Willis, Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, has guest conducted orchestras around the world including the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Mexico City Philharmonic, Orquestra Sinfonica de Rio de Janeiro, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonic, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, China National Orchestra (Beijing), and Silk Road Ensemble (with Yo-Yo Ma). His recording of Ravel’s “L’Enfant et les Sortileges” with Nashville Symphony and Opera for Naxos received a Grammy nomination for Best Classical Album in 2009.

Susan Dirgins-Friend, M.M., like many of The Symphonia’s musicians, is a past member of the Florida Philharmonic. Currently serving as orchestra librarian and principal bass, she also plays with the Miami City Ballet Orchestra, the Klezmer Company Orchestra, and other local music groups. Ms. Dirgins-Friend also shares her expertise with children as a music educator. 

Karen Fuller, M.M., is Principal Flute of The Symphonia in Boca Raton, the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, the Miami City Ballet Opus One Orchestra, Orchestra Miami, and is a member of the Atlantic Classical Orchestra. In addition, she is co-founder and flutist of the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival, now in its 32nd season, and appears on all six of the Festival’s Chamber Music Palm Beach recordings on the Klavier Music Productions label. Ms. Fuller is currently an Instructor of Flute at Palm Beach Atlantic University and serves on both the Board of the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival and the Executive Board of American Federation of Musicians Local 655 (South Florida Musicians Association).

Marie Jureit-Beamish, D.M.A., has enjoyed an illustrious and versatile career as a performing musician and professor of music at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. After serving on the institution’s faculty for four decades as the Charles Stewart Harding Mott Distinguished Professor of Music, she retired in 2014 as Professor Emerita of Music. Dr. Jureit-Beamish has been recognized for her career-long leadership in the arts by prominent local and national organizations. She has enriched the communities of the Treasure Coast with over one-hundred concerts of the Jureit Musicales and shares her passion for culture as an active leader of domestic and international performing arts trips.

Jeffrey Kaye, M.M., founding member and Principal Trumpet of The Symphonia, is an internationally acclaimed orchestral, chamber, and solo performer. Mr. Kaye played Principal Trumpet with the former Florida Philharmonic Orchestra and the Florida Grand Opera for fourteen years. He has played with the IRIS Chamber Orchestra, has been a guest soloist with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, and has played in music festivals throughout the world. He has served on the faculties of UNLV in Las Vegas, FAU in Boca Raton, and the New World School of the Arts in Miami and is currently a faculty member and performer for Eastern Music Festival.

Joanna Marie Kaye, Executive Director of Festival of the Arts BOCA, has a long history of involvement with the arts community. She has served as Director of classical music stations in both Florida and Pennsylvania, and has moderated and produced Classical Variations, a radio program dedicated to music and the arts. Ms. Kaye is a member of the former Florida Philharmonic Chorus, hosts local concerts, and narrates major musical works.

Kyle Prescott, D.M.A., serves as Director of Bands and Coordinator of Winds and Percussion at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Prescott has conducted side-by-side concerts with the Youth Orchestra of Palm Beach County and The Symphonia and has led The Symphonia during community concerts. Known for his research in score analysis, Dr. Prescott has conducted bands and orchestras throughout the country. He served as Interim President of The Symphonia’s board during the 2015-2016 season.

Our Sponsors

Cultural Council
Discover the Palm Beaches
Palm Beach County
Florida Arts and Culture
City of Boca Raton
Cornelia T. Bailey Foundaton - pArts
Kimmel Family Foundation
The Wyndham
P.T. Anderson
Vegso Family Foundation
Blakesberg & Co.
Schmidt Family Foundation
Leslie Alexander Foundation
Community Foundation
Impact 100
Arts in Boca