Operations FL

Amanda Sauer

General Manager
Tallahassee Symphony Youth Orchestras
Tallahassee, Florida
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Years in current position: 1
Years in the field: 2

Piano Performance B.M., M.M., and D.M.A.

Career Path:
Staff Accompanist, Okalahoma Baptist University 
Assistant to the Director, Norman (OK) Arts and Humanities Council 
Intern, Colorado Music Festival, Oklahoma Arts Institute 
Adjunct Staff, University of Oklahoma 
Assistant Professor, University of Oklahoma, Department of Music Theory 
Visiting Assistant Professor, Florida State University

What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
Thinking outside the box: What will turn kids on to “classical” music?  What will change the perception of music as boring, stuffy, and white-bread? What can I do to turn my experience with music—as a person who loves pop, rock, bluegrass, and jazz as much as classical—into proactive advocacy for music study? How can I make technology a really effective tool for advocacy, not just an empty bells-and-whistles experience? How can I more effectively convince granting agencies that youth orchestras are worth investing in?

What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
My entire professional career has been focused on bringing music to society, whether that be through playing music, music education (piano lessons and college music theory teaching), or, in the case of my current position with the TSYO, facilitiating this important organization’s role in my local community.

Would you do anything differently?
Yes! I continued to pursue degrees in performance because of the joy I derived from exploring the workings of music and the way it forced me to soul-search. But ultimately, this path seemed self-serving. What, exactly, was my impact on society? Teaching music theory provides me with a sense that I am giving back, but not in the way orchestra management does. It is up to me to make sure this very important service is offered in the capital of Florida. I am a one-woman show. All to say, I wish I had realized earlier how fulfilling this type of work could be, and I wish I had realized earlier the similarities between it, teaching, and performing. It is all about bringing music to those who need it!

What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
If this question means to ask about what areas I feel I had more experience in, I’d offer this: I wish I knew better how a healthy board functions effectively; I wish I were more comfortable selling my product to potential investors; and I wish I derived more pleasure from the business aspects of the field.