Florida native Taylor Tyson is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Florida Atlantic University with a degree in Political Science. With a strong commitment to academics, Taylor was the Executive Editor of her university's Undergraduate Law Journal, an Award-Winning Delegate at National Collegiate Model United Nations Competitions, and a member of the national honors fraternity, Phi Kappa Phi. Upon graduating, Taylor received acceptance to seven law schools, and was en route to attend Stetson Law to pursue her JD/LLM in Trial Advocacy before winning the title of Miss Florida 2018.
A classically trained pianist, Taylor made her national debut at eleven years old on NPR's hit show, "From the Top." In addition to performing across the country, Taylor was selected as one of fourteen pianists internationally to train at Boston University's Tanglewood Institute and has studied under the tutelage of Van Cliburn winner Vladimir Viardo in France.
Tyson started playing piano at the young age of four and has been mastering the keys ever since. As a high school freshman, she was a member of University of Miami's Frost School of Music Young Artist Program. She was also chosen to perform as part of the Academie Pianistique Internationale in Aix-en-Provence, France to receive instruction from Van Cliburn winner Vladimir Viardo.
Tyson’s piano career has not stopped there. She was selected as one of fourteen pianists internationally to participate in Boston University's summer intensive program at Tanglewood. She has performed with multiple prominent Florida orchestras and throughout the country as a soloist.
Combing her musical talents with her strong academic record, Tyson was awarded the Nicholas Green Gifted Student Award for the state of Florida. As a result, she was offered and accepted an academic scholarship to attend the Laurel Springs Academy for the Gifted located in Ojai, California throughout high school.
For over ten years, Taylor has been dedicated to serving others. As the President of the 501(c)(3) Beethoven Beatles and Beyond, she has raised and donated over $40,000 in instruments to underprivileged kids; as the Palm Beach County Director of the For a Day Foundation, she has spent countless hours one-on-one with terminally-ill pediatric patients; as a bi-weekly literacy tutor, she volunteers at D-rated elementary schools; and as a personal mentor to numerous young girls, she works to equip young women with practical tools needed to be confident leaders.
Tyson started her pageant career in the International Cinderella System. After winning the national title in multiple age divisions and trying her chance at Miss Florida’s Outstanding Teen, Tyson entered her first Miss Florida local competition, the 2014 Miss Kendall, Coral Gables and Hialeah Pageant. She won the title of Miss Kendall and went on to place in the Top 10 at Miss Florida 2014.
Tyson came back in 2016 for another chance at the crown. That year, she won a preliminary talent award as well as placing fourth runner-up. Tyson took the year off in 2017 to concentrate on finishing her Bachelor’s degree and applying to law school.
Tyson’s dream came true on her third try at the Miss Florida title. She was crowned Miss Florida 2018 on Saturday, June 30th, 2018 at the Youkey Theatre at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, Florida. In addition to the title, Tyson won preliminary interview, swimsuit and evening gown. She was also first runner-up for the Quality of Life Award as well as the recipient of the William Sullivan Memorial Scholarship. Tyson received over $22,700 in scholarship money with the title of Miss Florida 2018. She will compete for the title of Miss America 2019 on September 9, 2018 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
After experiencing gender discrimination in the male-dominated worlds of classical music and academia, Taylor feels uniquely prepared to empower our next generation of female leaders to defy stereotypes, know their value, and boldly pursue greatness!
For more information, visit Taylor's website, www.taylormarietyson.com