Two trustees of The Florida Orchestra, Barry Alpert and Maria Cantonis along with long time subscriber Mary Turner, began to recruit members for orchestra support in 1991.

The first meeting was held in September and members began developing the structure of the organization. A Planning Committee was formed, a name selected, and a mission statement was written, with activities centered on audience development, education and fundraising. The Florida Orchestra North Suncoast Associates, Inc. was born.

A Steering Committee consisting of Mary Turner, Joyce Bennett, Rhoda Smolensky, Barry Alpert and Maria Cantonis was formed to carry on the work for two years. The first Tune Up Meeting was held on March 30, 1993.



NSA recruited members, conducted general meetings, initiated the Meet the Artist series, recognized new orchestra subscribers at Ruth Eckerd Hall, delivered orchestra literature to community events, gave assistance to Youth Concerts, preconcert lectures, Orchestra 101, a children’s petting zoo of musical instruments, promoted fundraising projects and inaugurated the Bravura Brunch which has generated major funds for the orchestra.

In 1994 a Steering Committee wrote bylaws and adopted a regular organization structure. In May 1995, Susan Siewruk was installed as the first elected president of The Florida Orchestra/North Suncoast Associates.

Today, NSA continues to organize events to promote The Florida Orchestra. We will be celebrating our 29th Bravura Brunch on March 4, 2023.

Diane, Pat, Lynda, Gisela

Executive Committee

Lynda Olander


Gisela Bennie

Vice President

Sue Ulrey

Recording Secretary

Dr. Patricia Donohue


Eleanor Cicerchi

Past President