Alliance for Music Education Equity Makes Denver Music Education More Inclusive | Westword

Alliance for Music Education Equity Sounds Off in Denver

Denver's music organizations have come together to promote inclusivity in music education.
Swallow Hill is a member of the Alliance for Music Education Equity.
Swallow Hill is a member of the Alliance for Music Education Equity. Kit Chalberg
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Fourteen Denver music organizations that work with students from pre-kindergarten to college recently launched the Alliance for Music Education Equity to address inequities in music education across the Denver metro area.

"We imagine a future Denver where music organizations have come together to take joint action so that all people (regardless of their resources, ethnicity, neighborhood, sexuality, gender identity, or age) can find greater self-actualization through music," explains the group in its vision statement. "We imagine a sustainable continuum of comprehensive music education that has a ripple effect, bringing more joy and increased well-being across the broader community. We imagine a cooperative, solutions-oriented network that is adaptive and responsive to the changing needs of this great city so that the power of music is unleashed in new and creative ways."

The fourteen groups involved are the 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, the Vocal Coalition, and Youth on Record.

Jesse Martinez, director of community education with the Colorado Symphony, says, "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."

Emily Crile, artistic director for the Colorado Children’s Chorale, a longstanding community partner with Denver Public Schools, says members of the organization have seen firsthand how many communities lack access to music education in the city.

“The Colorado Children's Chorale is excited to join AMEE members as we collectively reimagine a diverse and inclusive music community," Crile says.

Kelly Waltrip, executive director for Denver Young Artists Orchestra, says it's extremely rewarding to see the alliance come together.

“The music education equity work we are all passionate about has become even more critical during these past few months," Waltrip says. "DYAO is very excited about AMEE's next chapter." 

AMEE plans to equip member organizations with tools to better serve and strengthen the community.

 “The belief that music education needs to be accessible to everyone has always been close to our hearts at CHBA,” says Melinda Ho, director of development and marketing for the 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.”
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