Short Story

Angelyn Traylor is a pianist and music educator in the Orlando area. She currently works as one of the Company Pianists for Orlando Ballet and is an active freelance pianist for a number of arts organizations and schools throughout the community. Angelyn also works as an instructor at both All Saints Conservatory of Music and Saint Andrew’s Conservatory of Music, where she teaches piano, as well as music theory and ear training. Angelyn holds a bachelor’s degree in Instrumental and Vocal Music Education from Auburn University and a master’s degree in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music.


Long Story

Hi there! My name is Angelyn, and I’m an Orlando-based pianist and music educator.

Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. We owned just about every KidSongs VHS tape when I was a child, and any time we watched “A Day at the Circus,” my mom would quiz me on the composer when this segment came on. Imagine her thrill when three-year-old me would exclaim, “Khatchaturian!!!” Whether you want to call it nature or nurture, there’s no doubt that music has been consuming a large portion of my brain space from a young age.

I grew up in LaGrange, Georgia, where my earliest musical influences were in the church. I was singing in a children’s choir by the time I was four, and I was taking piano lessons through the church School of Music by age seven. My mom was (and still is) incredibly involved in church music ministry, and so naturally, I spent a large amount of time sitting in her rehearsals, and, as I grew and matured as a musician, wandering into the Sanctuary to practice the piano or the organ. Over the course of my childhood, my musical studies expanded from piano to include organ, flute, and voice.

In 2013, I earned a bachelor’s degree in Instrumental and Vocal Music Education from Auburn University (AU), where I was an active performer as a pianist and member of the AU Symphonic Winds and Chamber Choir. Also in 2013, I won the Alma Dark Howard Memorial Scholarship Competition in Buies Creek, North Carolina, for my performance on piano.

I completed a master’s degree in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music in 2015. At the Frost School, I worked as a Graduate Conducting Fellow and Teaching Assistant while remaining active as a collaborative pianist. I served as Assistant Conductor of the Frost Symphonic Winds, University Band, and Woodwind Ensemble, and served as the Associate Conductor of The Other Ensemble, a new music ensemble focused on performing the works of contemporary composers.

The influential teachers and mentors I was fortunate to learn from throughout my schooling include Anthony Criswell (piano, organ), Rick Robertson (piano), Sally Traylor (flute), Marty Davis (voice), Jeremy Samolesky (piano), April McDonald (voice), William Powell (conducting), Rick Good (conducting), and Gary Green (conducting). These are the people who have shaped and molded me into the musician that I am, and I am incredibly grateful for the impression that each has made in my life. 

Following graduate school, I spent two years as the Director of Bands at DeLand High School (FL), where I served as the primary administrator and conductor of the 180-member program, comprised of three concert bands, chamber ensembles, and a marching band.

In 2017, I began offering private piano lessons, and I am currently a member of the teaching faculty at All Saints Conservatory of Music in Winter Park and Saint Andrew’s Conservatory of Music in Sanford. Since 2019, I have worked as one of the Company Pianists for Orlando Ballet. I also maintain an active schedule as a collaborative pianist playing chamber music, accompanying choirs, and accompanying students for various festivals and auditions. 

You might be thinking, “How or why did you end up teaching and playing piano after earning a masters degree in conducting?” A lot of people ask me this, and I certainly took a circuitous route to end up here. The simple answer is this — playing piano has almost always been a part of my life. This was perhaps the most obvious career path for me, but it took me a while to realize I could make a living doing something I love so much. Furthermore, my conducting training has had a tremendous impact on my skills as a pianist. I find that I have a better ear for the larger musical picture, a better understanding of how to collaborate with other musicians, and a desire to imitate the depth and diversity of color available among other instruments at the piano. 

The piano feels simultaneously the most natural and most terrifying place to be. It is my home but also a portal into the unknown. It sometimes shows my strengths and other times exposes my weaknesses. It’s this dynamic relationship that draws me in and keeps me sitting down at the piano every single day. I’m constantly learning.