Read about our Vision, Values and Inclusivity Statement
MVPS believes music belongs to everyone and should be accessible for everyone
Meet our Executive Director
Meet our Instructors
Meet our Board of Directors
We are so incredibly grateful for our sponsors!
MVPS envisions a community that makes excellent music education available to all young people in the Mid-Valley area.
MVPS is committed to:
MVPS is committed to being a welcoming and safe community for young musicians and their families of all cultures, races, religions, genders, sexual orientations, and circumstances.
Fighting racial injustice connects to the very core of the Mid-Valley Prelude Sinfonia — to make music available to all children in the area. We hold equity and inclusion as the cornerstone of our organization. No student is expendable. The death of George Floyd and so many before him has elicited grief and outrage in every corner of the nation, including here in Linn County. The well-being of our community requires that we acknowledge the pain, fear, and disillusionment that exist for many of our young students of color. It is a fact that systematic racism has, and still does, produce lower incomes and large gaps in generational wealth for people of color in the United States.
Youth music education, especially the individual study of instrumental music, has been exhaustively shown in the scientific literature to increase children's learning aptitudes and provide important social and mental health benefits. These are lifelong benefits. It is also known that poverty and racial disparities work in the opposite direction. Providing such a valuable resource to all children, but most especially to those at risk, is our way of pushing aside the barriers for these kids who could see lifelong benefit from music, yet may be the least likely to encounter it.
We are committed to breaking down the barriers that prevent BIPOC children from access to youth educational opportunities. Working with our community partners, we envision a world without racism where all children can enjoy the gift of music.
MVPS Board of Directors
Kim has been with MVPS since 2009 as an instructor and conductor, and stepped into the role of the organization's first Executive Director in 2018. Her goals for the organization are to make orchestra classes available for all students in Albany and greater Linn County, and to ensure that classes are available to all children without barriers.
Emily joined us in 2021. Her responsibilities include communications, social media, and helping us become more sustainable financially as we grow. Emily grew up in Albany and loves being part of bringing youth music to the community. She recently received a degree from WOU in Spanish and business. She also plays viola!!
Isaac Andrew is a performer, educator and conductor. He holds music education and performance degrees from Azusa Pacific University and Cal State Long Beach. Isaac teaches cello for MVPS and tuba and euphonium at Oregon State University and Linn Benton Community College and is a founding member of Chintimini Brass. He currently performs and teaches low brass, electric bass, cello and ukulele. You can find him around the Willamette Valley playing in groups from praise bands to swing bands, symphony orchestras to acoustic trios. He enjoys sharing the joys of music with others, training for triathlons and video games!
Jasmine has an extensive music background, starting with being an orchestra kid in school! She recently received her music production degree from OSU. Jasmine plays and teaches guitar, bass, keyboard and violin and is a composer and audio engineer. In addition to teaching Level 1 at South Shore, Jasmine will be leading Junior Orchestra and teaching our new Music Production classes.
I am Julie Ritchey and I have taught elementary music in public schools since 1997. I received my bachelors degree from BYU in 1996 and my masters degree from OSU in 2005. This will be my 7th year teaching strings at South Shore Elementary School. I love teaching music and inspiring kids. I believe music creates an opportunity to help students see that they can do hard things. The confidence they gain can also help them in their future.
Denver Speelman graduated summa cum laude from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. At Oregon State he studied violin with Jessica Lambert and was the recipient of the Homer Maris Music Scholarship. He has performed with the Corvallis-OSU Symphony, the OSU
Opera Workshop, the Corvallis Repertory Singers, and the Eugene Ballet. Denver is currently the assistant concertmaster of the Willamette Valley Symphony and teaches violin privately in Corvallis.
Nicole Kalita joined the MVPS Board in 2019. She became part of MVPS when her son joined the program at South Shore Elementary School in 2016 (he is now one of the cellists in the Junior Orchestra). Nicole believes that music plays an important role in building resilience in children, giving them an escape from whatever may cause them str
Nicole Kalita joined the MVPS Board in 2019. She became part of MVPS when her son joined the program at South Shore Elementary School in 2016 (he is now one of the cellists in the Junior Orchestra). Nicole believes that music plays an important role in building resilience in children, giving them an escape from whatever may cause them stress. She is honored to be a member of the MVPS Board and help promote MVPS's mission of providing music education to Albany's youth.
Heather has been a parent with our program from the very beginning and we are very happy to have her join our organization as a board member. Her career in small business makes her the perfect fit for a small, community-led nonprofit like MVPS.
Carrie Falotico has two children involved in MVPS, beginning in 2016. She joined the board in 2019, and was elected Secretary in June 2020. She believes learning to play an instrument has many positive effects on children's development that benefit many areas of their lives, and that access to music programs should be available to all children.
Nicole is a mom of three who joined our board in 2019. Her son has been in our program for three years and her daughter will be starting her second year. She brings incredible energy and a true commitment to volunteering.
Logan is the first student to have a position on the MVPS Board. He has been involved with the program for five years, starting with the cello in fourth grade. He moved up to the double bass in sixth grade, because that was what he had wanted to play from the beginning. He has learned quite a lot from the program and recommends it highly to anyone who is interested in playing string instruments.
Scott has been with the MVPS board for seven years and has had two children in our program. He has previously held the president and treasurer positions. He owns the Browsers' bookstores in Albany and Corvallis.
A scientist by training, John has been a longtime supporter of MVPS, first as a parent and then transitioning to the board when his daughter finished our program. John is an ultramarathoner and novelist in addition to his career in public land management.
Nancy founded Mid-Valley Prelude Sinfonia in 2007 with Cheryl French and Sandra Byers to provide her two sons an opportunity for group music, as there was no program in the schools. Nancy also plays cello!
Gaby has been with MVPS for six years, first as a parent of two daughters and volunteer, now as a board member. Gaby is bilingual and many of you have seen her at concerts providing our Spanish communication. A small business owner, she is also a fundraising genius for MVPS.
Nicole Schukow works at LBCC and is a mother of four. Three of her children have been in orchestra and her youngest will join when he is old enough. As a PTA mom she wanted to help grow the orchestra program in both her children’s school as well as other schools in Albany. Although Nicole never learned as a child how to play an instrumen
Nicole Schukow works at LBCC and is a mother of four. Three of her children have been in orchestra and her youngest will join when he is old enough. As a PTA mom she wanted to help grow the orchestra program in both her children’s school as well as other schools in Albany. Although Nicole never learned as a child how to play an instrument or read music, she loves listening to her children play and learn a new life skill.
Ron joined our board in 2019. He comes with strong family ties to music and a dedication to providing Albany youth with musical education. Ron is an accountant who brings financial expertise to our organization.
Interested individuals are encouraged to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Become a part of a vibrant and growing youth program!
2021: Jan 14, Mar 11, May 13, July 8, Aug 12, Nov 11
All meetings 7pm by video conference. Meetings are open to the public. Please contact us for meeting information if you wish to attend. There are currently two open positions on the board of directors. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact us at email@example.com. Become a part of a vibrant and growing youth program!
Mid-Valley Prelude Sinfonia is a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit organization whose goal is to provide affordable strings education to youth in the greater Albany area. Mid-Valley Prelude Sinfonia receives support from the Oregon Arts Commission, a state agency funded by the State of Oregon and the National Endowment for the Arts and is supported in part by a grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust, investing in Oregon's arts, humanities and heritage and by the Linn County Cultural Coalition.