Kelly Smith Toney received her bachelor and master degrees from The Juilliard School, where she studied with the world-renowned violin pedagogue, Ivan Galamian. Upon graduation, she joined the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra for a two-year engagement.
Mrs. Toney arrived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana October of 1985 and promptly began performing with the Baton Rouge Symphony. In 1986 she became concertmaster of the Baton Rouge Symphony chamber orchestra (which is now The Louisiana Sinfonietta) and performed with the Valcour String Quartet (comprised of the core musicians of the Baton Rouge Symphony) for two seasons. She is also former concertmaster of 27 years for The Louisiana Sinfonietta.
Since 1991, Mrs. Toney has been included in several editions of the Marquis “Who’s Who” series and in the 1992-93 edition of “Who’s Who Among Young American Professionals”. She held state chairman positions in the Louisiana Federation of Music Clubs and Louisiana Music Teachers Association for several years and is a member of Music Teachers National Association and National Association for Music Education.
In addition to her performing career, Mrs. Toney maintains a private violin studio, including the Violine Junior Music Club. She is a former board member of the Louisiana Youth Orchestras and was the String Orchestra Instructor at Tara High School, Woodlawn High School and Woodlawn Elementary School in Baton Rouge for over ten years. Mrs. Toney joined the staff of Grace Notes Music Studio in 2016.
Currently, Mrs. Toney is concertmaster and orchestra contractor for Opera Louisiane and several Baton Rouge area orchestras. Her other performing duties include first violinist of The Campanile String Quartet and String Trio (of which she is a founder), Zenaida chamber group and Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. Mrs. Toney is also Musician-in-Residence for the Baton Rouge General Hospital’s Arts in Medicine program.