Aspen Music Festival And School


September 24th 19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 24, 2019                                                                                                          

CONTACT:  Kristin Cleveland
Publications and PR Coordinator
970 205 5073




Teachers are among five new ArtistYear AmeriCorps Fellows
participating in the first national service program dedicated to the arts


Fellows also will teach in AMFS AfterWorks programs; registration continues for
Beginning Strings, Lead Guitar, and Maroon Bel Canto Choir ensembles


ASPEN, COLORADO Thanks to a continuing partnership between the Aspen Music Festival and School (AMFS) and the ArtistYear program, four music educators are among five new ArtistYear AmeriCorps Fellows serving as teaching artists alongside music and art faculty at Title I schools in the Roaring Fork School District during the 2019–20 school year.

Now in its third year of partnership with ArtistYear, the Aspen Music Festival and School—through the generous support of several donors—provides funding, training, and support for four full-time ArtistYear AmeriCorps Fellows teaching music to underserved youth in the area. A fifth ArtistYear AmeriCorps Fellow is also serving as a teaching artist in the visual art classroom at Basalt Middle School.

Three of the ArtistYear Fellows spent their summers taking private violin lessons with a 2019 AMFS student who specializes in violin performance and string pedagogy for young students, while two studied collaborative piano with another 2019 AMFS student who specializes in choral/vocal collaboration. “I’m so pleased we were able to support the Fellows with these private lessons and allow them to develop their own pedagogy and performance skills,” says Katie Hone Wiltgen, director of Education and Community Programming at the AMFS.  “After seeing the huge differences the Fellows were able to make in music classrooms in the past two school years, we are more than confident that this new group of Fellows will be similarly successful at bringing engaging and sustained music experiences to the lucky students with whom they work in the Roaring Fork School District.”

In addition to teaching full time in Roaring Fork Valley classrooms, the ArtistYear Fellows will be part of the AMFS’s AfterWorks program for local schoolchildren, which provides in- and after-school music instruction in Beginning Strings (violin, viola, and cello group classes and private lessons), Lead Guitar (classical guitar classes) and choral music with the Maroon Bel Canto Choir ensembles. Registration for AfterWorks opened August 22 and is still under way, with programs starting October 7.


2020 Roaring Fork Valley ArtistYear Fellows

  • Jeanette Adams is a recent graduate of Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, where she studied double bass. She is based at Sopris Elementary School in the general music classroom, with music teacher David Parker, and is teaching in the AMFS AfterWorks Beginning Strings program at after-school locations and at the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork.  Adams has a breadth of music performance experience in classical, contemporary, jazz and folk styles; and is a passionate educator, cultivating a private studio of string students as well as working as a bass teacher with nonprofit organizations such as the Fox Valley Youth Orchestra and Superior String Alliance Music Camp. “I’m excited to craft a career as a performer and teacher and I hope to form a nonprofit organization that will benefit the artists in the community around me,” she says. “I look forward to providing educational growth through music for students of the Roaring Fork Valley.”
  • Bassoonist Rosalie Avery is teaching in instrumental music classrooms at Carbondale Middle School and Roaring Fork High School alongside band director Tami Wisely, and is teaching Beginning Strings at after-school locations. From West Allis, WI, Avery is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she earned a BA in music performance. Although bassoon is her primary instrument, her studies encouraged her to develop a love for trombone, guitar, piano and violin. She’s performed with the Milwaukee Philharmonic and the UW-Milwaukee and Waukesha Community Orchestras, as well as attended the Madeline Island Chamber Music clinic. As an undergraduate, Avery also began teaching and coaching local youth ensembles, including the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, the University of Milwaukee Youth Ensembles and students in productions at several local high schools including her alma mater West Allis Nathan Hale. “Throughout these experiences I discovered a strong passion for arts education and the importance of its accessibility to our youth and communities,” says Avery. “I hope that my time as an ArtistYear Fellow will provide me with the tools to continue making the arts accessible to our communities of all ages, everywhere.”
  • Cecelia Gulley is a music educator from Greensboro, NC, and is teaching in the general music classroom at Riverview School with music teacher Melinda Baum, as well as at Beginning Strings after-school locations. She also will be a pianist with the Maroon Bel Canto Singers ensembles. Gulley graduated from Appalachian State University with a bachelor’s degree in choral music education. She studied piano as her primary instrument, but also has violin experience. While an undergraduate, she sang in the University and Chamber Singers and in 2017 was selected to attend the National Association for Music Educator’s Collegiate Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC. She served as a teaching assistant in the choral music program at the North Carolina Governor’s School in Raleigh during the summer of 2018, and in 2019 taught PreK–8th-grade music at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School in High Point, NC. “I believe music education is a crucial part of a child’s development and should be made available to all students, says Gulley. “I’m very excited to be serving as an ArtistYear AmeriCorps Fellow in the Roaring Fork Valley!”
  • Art Williams, now in his second year as an ArtistYear Fellow in the Roaring Fork Valley, is teaching in the general music classroom at Glenwood Springs Elementary School with music teacher Emma Leake and the vocal music classroom at Glenwood Springs High School with choir director Shanti Gruber. He is also serving as a pianist and choral technician with the Maroon Bel Canto Children’s Chorus. Although primarily a pianist, he has vocal and choral experience and was a student in the AMFS’s Seraphic Fire Professional Choral Institute this summer. A native of Dallas, TX, Williams holds a holds a BA in music with an emphasis in piano performance from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ, where he honed his performance skills as a member of the Grand Canyon University Wind Ensemble, multiple choral ensembles, solo piano performance and staged plays. “I’m excited to be undertaking a second service year as an ArtistYear AmeriCorps Fellow in the Roaring Fork Valley,” says Williams. “I feel fortunate to be able to continue to use my art and talents to make a meaningful impact on students and the community.”
  • Delaney Kjellsen, a visual artist and the fifth ArtistYear Fellow, is supported solely by the AmeriCorps program. She will be teaching in the visual art classroom at Basalt Middle School alongside art teacher Guinevere Jones. A graduate of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, she has a bachelor’s degree in studio art. Kjellsen works primarily with oil paint to make large-scale works but also enjoys the ceramics and charcoal media. Her creations often focus on the intersection of people and the environment—and their interactions—with the intention of making art that raises awareness and inspires action to better protect our planet. When not creating art, Kjellsen spends her free time “slow looking.”  She believes it is vital to slow down and look at our surroundings, to be in the moment. “I find taking the time to observe nature, art, people or anything else that is important to you, helps you become more connected with your environment,” she says. “I’m excited by the opportunity to live in the Roaring Fork Valley and help students learn to express themselves through art!”


About ArtistYear

ArtistYear is the first national AmeriCorps program that enables artists to dedicate a year of service to the nation. Its mission is to address the Arts Education Gap by ensuring that underserved students in America have arts education through a National Service Arts Corps. The organization develops, supports and places artist Fellows—recent higher-education arts graduates from all disciplines (including actors, creative writers, dancers, filmmakers, musicians, visual artists)—as full-time teaching artists at low-income schools.

This strategy serves not only to significantly bolster arts education for underserved youth, with all its attendant benefits, but also enhances the capacity of schools, benefits the larger community and underscores the importance of service for the next generation of artists and arts educators. To date, ArtistYear has trained and placed 137 ArtistYear Fellows to serve as full-time teaching artists in 51 low-income schools, collectively engaging over 35,000 non-duplicated students at low-income Title I schools and delivering over 233,000 hours of arts instruction. 11% of ArtistYear alums have been hired as a certified arts specialist by a school district immediately after their service year.

ArtistYear launched as a pilot program in Philadelphia in 2014, founded by now-CEO Margo Drakos, an entrepreneur, U.S. military spouse and former professional cellist, and Elizabeth Warshawer, a senior arts consultant and arts executive. The organization became an independent 501(c)(3) organization in 2016, thanks to a generous gift from H.F. Lenfest, and partnership with the School District of Philadelphia and higher-education partners Curtis Institute of Music and Drexel University. In 2016, ArtistYear became the first program dedicated to the arts to receive national AmeriCorps funding and recognition via the Corporation for National and Community Service. During the 2016-17 school year, ArtistYear expanded in three locations: Philadelphia, PA; New York City’s Borough of Queens in partnership with the NYC Department of Education; and the Roaring Fork Valley through a partnership between the Aspen Music Festival and School and the Roaring Fork School District. To learn more about ArtistYear go to


About AMFS AfterWorks

The AMFS’s AfterWorks program, now in its 14th year, offers after-school instruction in violin, viola, cello, classical guitar and choral music in collaboration with local schools from Aspen to Glenwood Springs. These programs are designed to complement the quality music instruction students receive in school and from private instructors. AfterWorks offers three main programs: Beginning Strings, Lead Guitar and the Maroon Bel Canto Choirs. Beginning Strings offers instruction in violin, viola or cello to students in grades 2–5. Lead Guitar offers instruction in classical guitar technique to students in grades 4 and up. The Maroon Bel Canto Children’s Chorus and Maroon Bel Canto Singers offer after-school choral experience to students in grades 3–5 or 6–9, respectively, both in their own school community and in Valley-wide large ensemble settings.

Registration is still open for all 2019–20 AfterWorks programs. A limited number of tuition and instrument scholarships are available to students who demonstrate financial need. For more information, visit:

Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO