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.
Megan Moran, Lead Teaching Artist at Garden Place Elementary School
A native of the Pacific Northwest, Megan has a passion for music that began at an early age, largely due to school music programs and the Portland Youth Philharmonic. Acknowledging the gifts she continually receives from music, she has developed a love for giving back through teaching and sharing her passion.
After beginning her career as an orchestral librarian, she served as a music facilitator in rural communities across Oregon through AmeriCorps. In 2008, she joined Ethos Music Center, a nonprofit dedicated to the promotion of music and music-based education for underserved youth. In her roles as Rural Coordinator, Rural Outreach Project Manager, and Director of Programs, Megan helped the Ethos team bring music to thousands of underserved students. She has also enjoyed working with Caldera, where arts and the environment are used to help transform the lives of young people.
In 2013, Megan was accepted as a Sistema Fellow at the New England Conservatory in Boston, Mass., where she was immersed in learning about El Sistema, including a month long trip to learn about its origins in Venezuela.
In November of 2014, Megan was hired to be a Lead Teaching Artist at Garden Place Elementary School for El Sistema Colorado. Already, she has been inspired and excited by her students, the community, and her team of staff members. In addition to her teaching and administrative duties, Megan is an active freelance violinist who enjoys playing classical music, vintage swing jazz, and folk music. Email Ms. Moran.
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.