Staff Team

Jamie Wolf, Program Director

Jamie Wolf serves as the Choral Teaching Artist for the Garden Place after-school program and as the Assistant Director of the Transitions ensemble of the Colorado Children’s Chorale. In addition, Ms. Wolf supports El Sistema Colorado as the Program Manager, coordinating the new sites at Swansea Elementary and Bruce Randolph Middle and High Schools. She has taught choral and general music at a variety of schools in the Denver area since 2009 as well as teaching privately. Prior to moving to Denver, Ms. Wolf taught at The Music Place, a community music school in San Jose, Calif., and worked for Partners in School Innovation, a non-profit organization dedicated to education reform.

When Ms. Wolf is not teaching, she is busy writing and performing around the Denver area as a singer/songwriter. She also sings with the event band Lee Johnson & The Rhythm Method and provides demo vocals for local songwriters.

Ms. Wolf graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in music education from Northwestern University. Email Ms. Wolf.

Kyle Etges, Lead Teaching Artist at Garden Place Elementary School

 Kyle is a saxophonist, composer, educator, and bandleader from Denver, CO. He began playing music when he was 9 years old, and has been leading bands since he was 13. Kyle graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Northern Colorado, with a double major in Music Education and Jazz Studies.
During his studies, he performed internationally with the UNC Jazz Lab Band One, appearing with artists including Jeff Coffin, Terell Stafford, Jeff Clayton, John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, The New York Voices, and many others. For two years in a row, he won the UNC Jazz Composer’s Contest, and had an arrangement performed at the 2011 UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival. He also performed with the UNC Wind Ensemble at the Colorado Music Educator’s Association conference, and with the premiere saxophone quartet at the 2011 North American Saxophone Alliance conference in Las Vegas, NV. Three of his compositions were also featured at this conference.
In addition to teaching with El Sistema Colorado, Kyle has been participating extensively in the Denver music community. In 2012, he performed as the baritone saxophone player with the Lionel Hampton Jazz Orchestra, a jazz ensemble composed of select musicians from around the country. In 2013, his group Bop Skizzum placed 2nd in the Hard Rock Cafe Worldwide Battle of the Bands, and 1st in the United States. In 2014, another one of his projects -The Messers- won the “Best of the West” competition, and performed at the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre. He currently plays in the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, Denver’s premiere big band, and leads Contraband, who have recorded several albums and gone on two nationwide tours.
In July 2015, Kyle became an Orchestra Musician with Celebrity Cruises. Every night for over a year; he performed saxophone, flute, and clarinet for various guest entertainers, jazz, and big band sets. He also arranged and coordinated the music for Celebrity Reflection’s New Year’s Eve Party in 2016. During his contract, Kyle also transcribed the album Personal Appearance by Sonny Stitt, and is currently researching the harmonic sophistication of Stitt’s solos.
Kyle currently lives with his fiance in Denver. He will teach jazz saxophone at Middle Tennessee State University beginning in Fall 2017. He is excited to continue his studies in Nashville later this year.

Email Mr. Etges.

Alex Vittal, Lead Teaching Artist at Swansea Elementary School

Alex Vittal balances a busy schedule as music educator, viola performer, and composer/arranger of music. As an educator, Mr. Vittal works primarily with kindergarten students for El Sistema Colorado, teaches viola, violin, and music theory both privately and for Dana V. Music, a studio in Louisville, serves as Viola Section Mentor for the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestra and works with the viola section, chamber orchestra, and honors string quartet at Fairview High School in Boulder.

Mr. Vittal can be seen performing on the viola regularly with Colorado’s premiere string chamber orchestra Sphere Ensemble, the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra, Emerald City Opera, Argentine tango ensemble Orquesta Tìpica Natural Tango and, as a sub, with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and Boulder Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Vittal also made his conducting debut in the summer of 2013 performing the regional premiere of Lippa and Crawley’s musical, A Little Princess.

As an arranger of music, Mr. Vittal has contributed repertoire to the Phoenix-based Tetra String Quartet (available on iTunes), Denver-based Argentine tango ensembles Extasis and Orquesta Tìpica Natural Tango, Sphere Ensemble, as well as other arrangements for various ensembles, including several works for viola and classical guitar.

Mr. Vittal earned his Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance from Arizona State University and his Master of Music in Viola Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Colorado–Boulder. Email Mr. Vittal.

Hollie Bennett, Lead Teaching Artist at Bruce Randolph Middle & High Schools

Hollie Bennett is the lead teaching artist for El Sistema Colorado at Bruce Randolph Middle and High Schools. Ms. Bennett has most recently collaborated with Colorado music educators at Smoky Hill High School, Rocky Top Middle School, Abraham Lincoln High School, Greater Boulder Youth Orchestra and several CU outreach programs. She also has performed regularly in the Boulder and Denver Metro area as a woodwind player.

Ms. Bennett’s musical career began at the age of six and a half. She was so inspired by the flute solo in Peter and the Wolf that she fought her way (mostly just threw tantrums) to begin flute lessons at the Rocky Mountain Center for Musical Arts. Since then Ms. Bennett has studied with amazing musicians and educators including Jennifer Merrill, Ysmael Reyes, Christina Jennings, Michelle Stanley, Allan McMurray, Peter Miksza and Matthew Roeder. Ms. Bennett graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she was honored to be a member of Christina Jennings’ private studio. She also served for two years as the university’s collegiate president for the National Association for Music Education.

Ms. Bennett is very passionate about equity and accountability in education. She spent three months in Mexico volunteering in impoverished schools and working with Ministerios De Amor, an organization that raises orphans from infants to teenagers. When Ms. Bennett is not teaching, lesson planning and trying to find time to practice regularly, she enjoys pretending that she can salsa dance, cook without burning something and explore the Rocky Mountains like a true Colorado native should. Email Ms. Bennett.

Kelsey Reeve, Administrative Assistant

Kelsey Reeve currently serves as Administrative Assistant for El Sistema Colorado. A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Ms. Reeve moved to Denver during the summer of 2014 upon being appointed Director of Orchestras at Standley Lake High School and five surrounding elementary schools in Jeffco Public Schools. As Director of Orchestras, she has striven to increase opportunities for students to develop confidence and collaborative skills through chamber music, as well as opportunities for students to use music to give back to their community through outreach performances.

While much of Ms. Reeve’s formal education and musical experiences have been in performance and education, she has simultaneously developed a passion for arts administration through work with Orchestra Iowa, University of Iowa’s Hancher Auditorium, and Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory. Upon learning about the rich history of El Sistema in Venezuela and its impactful beginnings in the United States, Ms. Reeve felt compelled to get involved and is thrilled to be working with the thriving staff and students of El Sistema Colorado.

Ms. Reeve holds a Master of Music degree in Violin Performance from the University of Houston and Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance and Music Education from the University of Iowa.

In her free time, she enjoys hiking, climbing, running, baking, learning the banjo, and hanging out with her crazy dog, Mowgli. Email Ms. Reeve.