2022 Colorado Music Educators Association Conference 2022 Colorado Music Educators Association Conference

Building an Equity Bridge Through Student-Led Chamber Ensembles

- MST
Bartolin Hall 207/208/209

Whitney Luther
El Sistema Colorado, Executive Director

Whitney Luther is the Executive Director of El Sistema Colorado. She joined ESC as Development & Operations Manager in September 2019. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Music Education at Colorado State University and her master’s degree in Arts Development and Program Management at the University of Denver. Whitney has spent her career creating unique opportunities to connect communities through collaborative learning experiences in the arts.

As a public school choral director and cellist, she created a private lesson program for Title I schools, drawing on the skills and talent of local teaching artists. During her tenure she also directed musical productions entirely produced by middle school students. In 2017 Whitney transitioned into arts administration. She realized her calling to organizational leadership while working in development with Opera Colorado. El Sistema Colorado’s transformative mission perfectly blends her passion for providing music to all children and her commitment to bringing communities together through shared experiences.

Jamie Wolf
El Sistema Colorado, Teaching Artist

Jamie Wolf has been on the El Sistema Colorado team since 2012, and has served as the Program Director, the Music Education Coordinator, and a Teaching Artist. She is a seasoned educator, and has taught choral and general music at a variety of public schools in the Denver area as well as private lessons. Jamie currently teaches El Sistema’s Early Childhood (ECE) classes and oversees the development of the ECE curriculum. Beyond El Sistema, Jamie is mom to two little girls, the music teacher at Escuela Valdez, and the Music Director at Highlands Church. Jamie graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in music education from Northwestern University. She also earned an Executive Graduate Certificate through the Global Leaders Program.


El Sistema Colorado's mission is to harness the joy of music and ignite the potential in our future leaders through an immersive youth music education program that transcends socioeconomic barriers. We see our equity focus coming to life in two distinct areas: Dismantling white supremacy within the arts environment and facilitating socio-emotional learning with a social justice focus. How does a music program make this shift? Through student-led chamber ensembles designed to give students both voice and choice in their music making experience. We think these small ensembles may be the most efficient and effective way to shift music education to being more student-centered, equitable, and culturally responsive.

Join El Sistema Colorado and Quartet Maravilla as we demonstrate how chamber music can build an equity bridge while preparing students for lives as professional musicians.

Looking to dive deeper into the content of the session? Check out these supporting materials: