Skip to Content


July 21, 2020

Fourteen Denver Music Organizations Unite to Launch the Alliance for Music Education Equity


Ramsey Walker
Communications Chair, Alliance for Music Education Equity
(720) 577-5552‬,

Fourteen Denver Music Organizations Unite to Launch the Alliance for Music Education Equity
Collaborative organization will address inequities in music education across the Denver metro area

July 21, 2020 – Denver, CO – Announcing the formation of the Alliance for Music Education Equity (AMEE), a new collaborative organization addressing inequities in music education across the Denver metro area. Currently serving 14 music organizations that work with Pre-K to university students in a broad range of musical genres, AMEE uses a collective impact approach to facilitate a shared vision and strategy to address diversity, equity and inclusivity (DEI) in music education. Functioning as a backbone organization, AMEE is the glue that strengthens connections and pilots the work necessary to enact social change.

In January 2020, 14 organizations became the Alliance’s first members, working alongside the Global Leaders Program graduate capstone team to create the Alliance for Music Education Equity, (or AMEE). Those members included Colorado Children’s Chorale, Colorado Honor Band Association, Colorado Symphony, Denver School of the Arts, Denver Young Artists Orchestra, El Sistema Colorado, Inside the Orchestra, Little Kids Rock, Metropolitan State University Department of Music Education, The Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Denver, Swallow Hill Music, University of Colorado Denver Music Entertainment Industry Department, Vocal Coalition, and Youth on Record.

“The Colorado Symphony is proud to partner with a group of passionate and dedicated organizations in forming AMEE,” said Jesse Martinez, Director of Community Education with the Colorado Symphony. “This alliance is committed to improving equity, diversity, and inclusivity for Denver youth music education, and creating a lasting impact on youth music education in this city for years to come.”

Both Denver Public Schools (DPS) and the City of Denver have acknowledged that equity in the arts is a serious challenge, and have selected it as a primary focus. Equity in music education across a large metro area is a complex problem, but research shows that one of the best ways to create large-scale social change comes from “better cross-sector coordination rather than from the isolated intervention of individual organizations.” There are an astonishing 50+ music organizations doing great work in the city, yet they are largely working in silos. AMEE wants to change this through coordinated, collective efforts.

“As a long-standing community partner with Denver Public Schools, we have seen first-hand the lack of equity and access to music education in Denver,” said Emily Crile, Artistic Director for the Colorado Children’s Chorale. “The Colorado Children’s Chorale is excited to join AMEE members as we collectively reimagine a diverse and inclusive music community.”

“It is extremely rewarding to see this collaborative effort come together,” said Kelly Waltrip, Executive Director for Denver Young Artists Orchestra. “The music education equity work we are all passionate about has become even more critical during these past few months. DYAO is very excited about AMEE’s next chapter!”

AMEE’s primary focus is to equip member organizations with tools to better serve our community, with the ultimate goal being to build a stronger community. One where all people across Denver can develop their gifts, share their creativity, and engage with the city’s thriving arts and culture scene. If we work together like never before, we can amplify the voices of the silenced and reimagine community.

“The belief that music education needs to be accessible to everyone has always been close to our hearts at CHBA,” said Melinda Ho, Director of Development and Marketing for Colorado Honor Band Association. “We believe in meeting students wherever they’re at in their journeys to help them realize their potential and develop a lifelong appreciation for music. Colorado Honor Band is stoked to get to work with all of these amazing organizations to promote inclusivity in music education. This is an incredible opportunity.”

To learn more, please visit


For more information or to request interviews, please contact:

Ramsey Walker
Communications Chair, Alliance for Music Education Equity
(720) 577-5552‬,

Alliance for Music Education Equity (AMEE): The Alliance for Music Education Equity is the backbone organization of a collective impact effort of music organizations that are passionate about equity, diversity, and inclusivity, and are committed to cooperatively making systemic change in music education across Denver. To learn more, please visit


Colorado Children’s Chorale, Emily Crile

Presents professional choral concerts and educational programs that entertain, inspire and bring joy to audiences and communities. Children of all ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds thrive in an engaging, disciplined and nurturing environment in which they receive outstanding performance and music training as well as the skills, experiences and confidence to succeed wherever their lives may take them.

Colorado Honor Band, Steve Martin

To provide an inclusive instrumental youth music program that fosters peer camaraderie, respect for culture, and a pursuit of excellence.

Colorado Symphony, Jesse Martinez

Creating extraordinary musical experiences that transport today’s listener, from the best of the past to the edge of the future.

Denver School of the Arts, Anthony McWright

Fostering a lifelong love of the arts in a culturally diverse, academically challenging environment.

Denver Young Artists Orchestra, Kelly Waltrip

To provide the finest possible youth orchestra programs, inspiring and educating young musicians through the performance of great works of music, and offering valuable cultural opportunities to the community.

El Sistema Colorado, Whitney Stuberg

To empower children by providing an intensive music program that teaches the importance of teamwork, promotes self-confidence, and instills the value of social responsibility.

Inside the Orchestra, Shelby Mattingly

To bring orchestra music to young children in the greater Denver metropolitan community, cultivating music appreciation and enhancing their education through an engaging first-hand experience with the orchestra.

Little Kids Rock, Mary Claxton

Transforming lives by restoring, expanding, and innovating music education in our schools.

Metro State University Music Department, Carla Aguilar

Newman Center, Ramsey Walker

To inspire and enrich the University of Denver campus and the Colorado community by presenting a rich program of diverse artists and thinkers in public performance, providing education and community engagement programs to learners of all ages, and stewarding a state-of-the art venue for the campus and community.

Swallow Hill, Tiffany Grady

Bringing the joy of music to life every day.

University of Colorado Denver Music Entertainment Industry Department, Richard Strasser

Vocal Coalition, Travis Branam

Where music can bring us together.

Youth on Record, Brent Adams

Youth on Record empowers Colorado’s underserved youth to achieve their academic, artistic, and personal best by employing local, professional artists as their educators.