Kathryn Wyatt


Abreu Fellow, New England Conservatory, 2009-10; Masters of Music, Viola Performance, Cleveland Institute of Music, 2004; Bachelor of Music, Viola Performance, Indiana University, 2001; Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, Indiana University, 2001.

Founder and Executive Director, Kidznotes, 2010- present. Currently manages a staff of 3 full time and 30 part time employees, 275 students, and an operating budget of $650,000. Raised over $1 million for Kidznotes in 3 years.

Director of Education and Community Engagement, North Carolina Symphony, 2007-2009.  Managed corporate and state sponsored education programs and planned, executed and evaluated all education and community engagement activities of the Symphony including an extensive series of statewide concerts for schoolchildren.

Orchestra Management Fellow, League of American Orchestras, 2006-2007.

Performance and Teaching:
2013-14 Duke University “Duke-in-Durham Fellow,” Duke University Vice Provost Office of Durham and Regional Affairs.

Adjunct Faculty, Duke University Music Department, Undergraduate Course, Music and Social Entrepreneurship

Principal viola, Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, 2011- present.

Substitute viola, North Carolina Symphony, 2012- present, North Carolina Opera, 2013- present, Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, 2013 present.

Connections/Expertise w/ El Sistema-inspired programs
Ms. Wyatt’s first direct experience with El Sistema was through her participation in the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, where she played viola in performances with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel.  After doing related work expanding the outreach and education offerings of the North Carolina Symphony, Ms. Wyatt applied to and was accepted into the first class of Sistema (Abreu) Fellows at the New England Conservatory in 2009-10.  During her fellowship she deepened her understanding of the philosophical foundations of El Sistema, honed practical skills related to non-profit management and fundraising, and gained direct experience through service learning opportunities in Venezuela and at El Sistema-inspired programs around the United States.  Under Ms. Wyatt’s leadership, Kidznotes has become one of the most successful examples of an independent organization within the national movement, demonstrating improved student outcomes, managing steady annual growth in enrollment, staff, and budgets, and strengthening the movement through hosting a conference and a seminario. Ms. Wyatt has also served as a consultant sharing her expertise and resources with a number of affiliated organizations in San Diego, CA, Waterbury, CT, Charlotte, NC, and Portland, OR.

Special skills/professional expertise/resources/connections that the candidate would bring to the board
Ms. Wyatt brings expertise in: fundraising for non-profits; developing robust community partnerships with school districts, universities, and social service agencies; evaluating the impact of participation in El Sistema-inspired programs; organizational growth and development, including expansion to a second nucleo; and effective public advocacy for El Sistema-inspired music education, engaging a broad range of potential stakeholders as supporters and allies.

Ms. Wyatt also brings a vast network of relationships within the El Sistema movement, with the national community of professional orchestras and musicians, and with leaders and people of influence outside of the field.

Why the candidate wishes to serve on the board
I would be honored to serve on the board of NAESIP, as someone who has found a home and a family in the el Sistema community. My friends are my colleagues in el Sistema across the country, and when we’re able to come together to share ideas, stories, challenges and love, I feel reconnected and part of something bigger. After first being inspired by el Sistema in Venezuela, I am now proud to be inspired everyday in my own backyard of Durham, and by the incredible el Sistema programs of the United States so much closer to home. Continuing to build relationships between the el Sistema programs of this country will be crucial to the future of el Sistema in the US, and it’s this uniting that I would like to make my chief priority as a board member. I’d like to contribute to strengthening the el Sistema community in the US by connecting new nucleos to established ones, and by supporting the creation of new nucleos in communities that are eager to get them off the ground, particularly in parts of the US where there is limited knowledge of el Sistema and scarce resources for start-up ventures.  I’m excited to join a group of other motivated leaders to ensure that el Sistema will be a force in social change in the US for a long time to come.

“I first met Katie when we attended the Cleveland Institute of Music and witnessed her excellent musicianship.  Katie and I participated in several Youth Orchestra of the Americas Tours and I watched her fall in love with South America and the joy that El Sistema had brought into the lives of some of our YOA friends from Venezuela. From that experience I watched her redirect her energy toward El Sistema, become an Abreu Fellow, and grow from a talented young violist into a passionate educator and arts advocate for children.  I enthusiastically endorse Katie Wyatt for the board of the National Alliance of El Sistema Inspired Programs for she will only continue to influence the lives of young children and show them a world they never imagined before music.”

– Jennifer Arnold
Violist, Oregon Symphony
Viola Faculty, Sphinx Performance Academy

“I am writing to endorse Kathryn Wyatt of Kidznotes for membership on the NAESIP National Board. Ms. Wyatt came to visit our program, BRAVO, in our start-up phase, shared strategy and materials with us, and even spoke on our behalf with prospective funders who did end up supporting us. She was very professional, passionate about the mission of Kidznotes and the message of El Sistema, and very collaborative and helpful at a critical time for us. We certainly see her as being instrumental to our early success as a new program and heartily endorse her for this important position.”

Bonnie Reagan, MD
Board President
BRAVO Youth Orchestras
Portland, Oregon

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