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Artistic Team

Raymond Hughes, Director

Raymond Hughes joins the Thomasville Music & Drama Troupe as director just in time for its 40th performance season.

Hughes, the former longtime chorus master of New York’s renowned Metropolitan Opera, brings a lifetime of experience to the job, including posts in the upper echelons of classical music at premiere theatre and opera companies in Norway, South Africa, Italy and Germany, among others.   A Thomasville native, Hughes graduated with high honors from the University of Georgia where he was Phi Beta Kappa and was a member of the Marching Redcoat Band.  He did his graduate work in music and conducting at the University of South Carolina before embarking on a successful career working with the top singers, directors and musicians around the world. 

Hughes worked with the Thomasville Music & Drama Troupe on several pieces earlier this year and accompanied the group during portions of its spring production in May.

Fred Allen, Founder & Director Emeritus

In 1972, Fred and Winnie Allen, and their daughter, Allison, moved to Thomasville from New York where they had all worked as professional entertainers and performers. With 20 charter members, they formed a new group of singing teenaged entertainers they would call the Thomasville Music & Drama Troupe and began sharing skills he had gained from training at the world renowned Juilliard School, professional experience on the New York stage and a career as an artist and repertoire producer with RCA Records.

A Georgia native and graduate of LaGrange College where he earned degrees in Performance and Psychology, Fred Allen went on to earn his Master's Degree in Education from Auburn University and his Master's Degree in Sacred Music from Union Theological Seminary/Yale University Institute of Sacred Music.  He completed his doctoral work in Adolescent Psychology at New York's Columbia University and holds the Artist's Diploma from Juilliard, where he studied voice with Hans Heinz, the eminent authority on the tenor voice.

In founding the Thomasville Music & Drama Troupe, Fred Allen set out to create a vehicle through which he could share his talents and his experiences with area teenagers, give them the opportunity to learn first-hand about musical theatre and showcase their talents. Four decades later, he remains a valued member of the Troupe's artistic team.

Stephanie Hart, Assistant Director & Outreach Coordinator

A certified music educator, Stephanie Hart joined the Troupe's artistic team in 2011. 

A graduate of Alabama's Samford University with a degree in Music Education, she came to Thomasville from central Florida, where she was director of the Indian Trails Middle School chorus program and musical director of Broadway Blazers, a successful musical theatre program there. A positive, enthusiastic young musician and teacher, she has helped bring additional focus on the teaching of singing to the program for both Junior Troupe and Troupe members.

Dana Willis, Choreographer

Dana Willis brings more than 20 years of experience as a dance educator to her role as Troupe Choreographer.  A native of Cairo, she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from Birmingham Southern College, with a minor in Business.

Well versed in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, theatre and hip hop styles of dance, she opened the Off Broadstreet Centre for the Dance Arts in 1993 and founded The F.I.R.M. Dance Company in 1998.  Her dance companies have won numerous regional and national awards for performance and choreography, and she is sought after as choreographer for school and community theatre productions.

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