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The Florida Orchestra Association Hall of Fame was established to honor Florida orchestra educators who have exemplified outstanding achievement, as well as a lifetime of service and leadership to Florida schools.

The criteria for the FOA Hall of Fame are as follows:

  • The nominee has been an active member of the Florida Orchestra Association throughout his or her career.
  • The nominee has at least twenty-five years of teaching experience, the majority of which were served in Florida.
  • The nominee has made significant contributions to the music education profession in Florida.

Nomination Form

Hall of Fame Inductees

Philip Fink Photo

Dr. Philip H. Fink

Dr. Philip H. Fink
2023 (posthumously)

Dr. Philip H. Fink was the principal cellist with the Miami Philharmonic (15 years) and Miami Opera Orchestra (10 years). He served on the faculties of Miami-Dade Community College (1966-72) and Florida International University (1972-94) where he was Chairman of the Music and Fine Arts Departments, respectively, and where he played a major role in the development of the music programs at these institutions. He is a past president of the Florida Orchestra Association and Florida String Teachers Association. Dr. Fink was listed as one of five outstanding orchestra arrangers in the country (The Instrumentalist), and many of his arrangements have been published by Columbia Pictures Publications. He also served as Music Director at Old Cutler Presbyterian Church in Miami for over 25 years. Dr. Fink passed away on August 5, 2015.

Michael Allen Photo

Michael Allen

Dr. Michael Allen
2022 (posthumously)

Dr. Michael L. Allen, co-author of Essential Elements for Strings, received a bachelor's degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a master's degree from Case Western Reserve University and a Ph.D. in Music Education from The University of North Texas. He began his teaching career in the public schools of Spartanburg, South Carolina. Following a graduate fellowship from The University of North Texas, he served as String Coordinator for the Denton Independent School District (Texas) for eight years.

Allen was appointed to the Florida State University faculty in 1993. He also served as Coordinator, Director, and Conductor of the FSU String Orchestra Camp. He was named the Florida Music Educators Association College Music Educator of the Year and earned a Citation for Leadership and Merit from the American String Teachers Association.

Dr. Allen is widely published and served as Editor in Chief of The Florida Music Director as well as Editor for the national publication The String Research Journal. He conducted honor orchestras throughout the United States and presented string workshops at all of the major music education conferences both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Allen was a Master Teacher. He was able to inspire people to become better teachers, musicians, and human beings. Allen taught patience, kindness, love of teaching, love of music, and integrity. Generations of teachers and students will be forever impacted by his lifelong work. Dr. Allen passed away in August of 2010.

Judith Evans Photo

Judith Evans

Judy Evans

Judy Evans currently serves as Program Director for the Collier County, Florida, Music Scores programs. She designed and oversees the Pre-K Violin Literacy Program at the Guadalupe Early Childhood Center in Immokalee and coordinates the Pinecrest Elementary Mariachi program and Middle School Master Classes with community support groups, school sites and FGCU interns.

Judy retired after thirty-eight years of teaching public school orchestras in Ohio and Florida. Orchestras under her direction performed in Australia, New Zealand, Washington, D.C. and three times in Carnegie Hall.

She has held officer positions in many local, state and national music education associations.  She was named FMEA’s Music Educator of the Year in 1995, was a recipient of Collier County Public Schools Golden Apple Award in 1996, received Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory’s Alumni Achievement Award in 1997 and Florida American String Teachers Lifetime Achievement in 2011.

Judy currently serves on the national ASTA Curriculum Committee and is a consultant to school orchestra programs.  She is an adjunct professor, string education, at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Bower School of Music.

Mark Thielen

Mark Thielen

Mark Thielen

Mark Thielen is a 40 year resident of Polk County. Mr. Thielen retired after 30 years of teaching in the public schools where he served as theory, electronic music instructor and orchestra director at the Harrison School for the Arts in Lakeland, Florida.

Mr. Thielen’s orchestras have performed successfully at state, regional, and national level festivals and conferences. From 2006-2015, Mark was the orchestra director at All-Saints’ Academy in Winter Haven where he taught string students in grades 6-12. In May of 2015, Mr. Thielen retired from his position at All Saints. He maintains a private studio as well as works with Central Florida schools as a guest clinician/conductor.

Maestro Thielen performs professionally with the Hollingsworth Trio and the Unstrung Quartet. He is a past president of the Florida Orchestra Association. For 14 years, he was conductor of the Honors Orchestra program at the University of Central Florida. Maestro Thielen has been associated with the Imperial Symphony Orchestra for more than 40 seasons. He served as concertmaster and associate conductor for 24 of those years before becoming music director and conductor in 2000.