Leadership & Administration
Artistic Director – Oboist, early music specialist, and musicologist Billy Traylor, a native of Denham Springs, Louisiana, is a former student in Indiana University’s prestigious Early Music Institute, where he specialized in baroque and classical oboe performance. He holds diplomas in oboe and bassoon performance from the University of New Orleans (BA 2001) and Northwestern State University of Louisiana (MM 2004), where he was Adjunct Instructor of Bassoon and Early Music. His master’s document, “Antoine Reicha’s Duo pour piano et basson: An Analysis and Urtext Performing Edition,” consisted of a complete formal analysis and new performing edition, prepared from the composer’s manuscript, of this rarely performed duo sonata for piano and bassoon. In addition to doctoral early music studies at Indiana University in Bloomington, Mr. Traylor holds a Master of Science in Information Studies from the University of Texas at Austin (archival and library science), and completed doctoral coursework in musicology at the University of North Texas (Denton, TX) and Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA).
Mr. Traylor is the Artistic Director of the Austin Baroque Orchestra and Chorus, a period-instrument orchestra and choir based in Austin, Texas, which he founded in 2011, and in which he plays harpsichord, baroque oboe, and recorder. He also performs regularly with La Follia Austin Baroque, Texas Early Music Project, and the St. Cecilia Baroque Festival Orchestra, all in Austin. He has studied historical oboes with Washington McClain (late, Indiana University) and Debra Nagy (Amherst Early Music Festival & American Bach Soloists Academy), modern oboe with James Ryon (University of North Texas) and Tony Smith (Northwestern State University, emeritus), organ with Dr. Mary deVille (Northwestern State University), and harpsichord and fortepiano with Elisabeth Wright (Indiana University). He has performed with both modern- and period-instrument chamber ensembles and orchestras in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Indiana, and has participated in a number of summer workshops and festivals, including the American Bach Soloists Academy and the Amherst Early Music Festival Baroque Academy.
As a musicologist, he is primarily interested in colonial music and culture, specifically that of 17th- and 18th-century Latin America and 18th-century New France. He has also researched and written on the history and development of the oboe, music at the courts of Louis XIV and Frederick the Great, the music and lives of Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Antoine Reicha, and the traditional music of Greece and the Aegean. As an editor, he regularly produces performing editions of long-forgotten sacred works from Latin American cathedral and mission archives, and has also worked extensively upon the Manuscrit des Ursulines, the only extant music manuscript from colonial New Orleans.
Concertmaster – Stephanie Raby has been playing violin since she was 4 years old. However it was her teacher Deirdre Ward, one of the violin faculty at Chetams School of Music and a modern and baroque violinist, that helped inspire her to take up music professionally.
In 2006, Stephanie moved back to the U.S. in order to pursue a BM in modern violin performance at the University of North Texas with Dr. Igor Borodin and Julia Bushkova and in 2007 she was one of the winners of the UNT Concerto Competition with Shotakovich’s Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor under the direction of Maestro Anshel Brusilow.
Whilst at UNT, Stephanie actively participated in the baroque program, initially starting baroque violin lessons with Cynthia Roberts and then viola da gamba with Pat Nordstrom and Allen Whear. In 2009 and 2011 she had the opportunity to perform with the UNT Baroque Orchestra at BEMF (Boston Early Music Festival)
In 2011 Stephanie continued her education at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music under the direction of Stanley Ritchie and the EMI (Early Music Institute) faculty where, in 2013, she obtained a Master of Music in Early Music Performance. Most recently, she won the Indianapolis Baroque Concerto Competition with Vivaldi’s Concerto for 3 Violins in F major and performed with the IBO.
Additionally, Stephanie has played with ensembles such as the Denton Bach Society, Orchestra of New Spain, Austin Baroque Orchestra, San Francisco Bach Choir, Ascolti, Vox Reflexa, Exordium, Aston Magna, and Mountainside Baroque. Currently, Stephanie is an active member of the viol consort Les Touches, with whom she recently appeared as a finalist at the York Early Music International Young Artists’ Competition in the UK.
Visual Design and Media – Jennifer Davis joined the ensemble during its second season. She designs posters, handbills, and group promotional materials, and contributes to publicity outreach efforts, coordination of concert ticket sales with group administrator. Ms. Davis has been designing professionally in Austin for more than 20 years. After earning her BFA in graphic design from the University of Texas in the late 80’s, she spent nearly 10 years working as a graphic designer and art director for Austin luminary Richard Garriott at Origin System and NCSoft. Retiring from the gaming industry in 2004, she earned a BA in vocal performance at Texas State University and began to be active in the Austin area as a singer, musician, actress, theater director, and costumer. She has been nominated for multiple B. Iden Payne awards, and just this year for an Austin Critic’s Table award for her musical, and artistic contributions to Austin Theater.
Webmaster & Technological Director – Aaron LaBrie assists with logistical matters in running the ensemble in addition to his tech duties. An Austin resident for ten years, he began attending the University of Texas at Austin in 2010, where he majored in Computer Science. He began working in the Austin high-tech community in 2012, and while still at UT he exhibited software at SXSW Interactive 2014. He now works for one of the world’s leading email technology companies, for whom he builds software utilized by millions of users across the world.
Aaron discovered ABO through word of mouth in 2013 and offered his website services soon thereafter. On concert day, he helps to manage the production aspects of the performance, including setup and teardown, ticket sales, wrangling recording equipment, and even the occasional night of catering.