Leadership Team

Ayriole Frost
Ayriole FrostExecutive Director
Ayriole Frost is an active composer, performer and teacher. A graduate of the fifth class of Sistema Fellows at New England Conservatory, she received training in leadership, finance, and curriculum for social change, and completed a month-long residency in Venezuela. Ayriole’s writing on social justice can be read on her blog, on the New England Conservatory website, and in the El Sistema inspired international publication The Ensemble. She has taught music theory, choir and string ensembles, and led creative workshops with The People’s Music School, Chicago Metamorphosis Orchestra Project, Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids, and New West Symphony’s Harmony Project . Ayriole currently teaches an undergraduate course at North Park University and leads creative workshops around the country. She is a graduate of Ball State University, Carnegie Mellon University, New England Conservatory, and a summer leadership program at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
Mercedes Calcaño
Mercedes CalcañoTeaching Artist
Mercedes Calcano is an active multidisciplinary artist, performer and educator from Venezuela, holding a BA in Music from IUDEM and 3 years GD in Performance from the prestigious Judith Jaimes Piano Program at Simon Bolivar University (Ccs). In 2011 Calcano won a scholarship for a double MA in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Samford University (AL) graduating with two Honorific Awards. As researcher and advocate for social change through the arts, Calcano facilitates and designs alternate learning prototypes encompassing music, visual arts, psychodrama, role play, creative writing, philosophy and other humanistic subjects, to help develop life and leadership skills.
Calcano has authored a variety of music and interdisciplinary projects, working as educator, speaker and creative consultant alongside international and national organizations and ensembles, namely: EL Sistema, Musical Esperanza, Teatro Teresa Carreño and Banco Consolidado National Foundation for the Arts and Culture; Octeto Acádemico de Caracas, Contemporary Quintet, CESAP, Consucre, Tercer Escenario, Fundación Oro Negro, Rotarac- designing workshops and interactive performances to promote peace, empathy, authentic leadership & conflict resolution.
Pete Tashjian
Pete TashjianTeaching Artist
Pete Tashjian is a Chicago based drummer and educator. After studying with Paul Wertico, Ed Harrison and Reuben Alvarez, he graduated from the Chicago College of Performing Arts in 2010. He performs regularly around the midwest with a wide variety of artists including miss remember, the Goran Ivanovic Trio and the Astronomer.
An active teaching artist, Pete has led bucket bands and taught percussion at the Peabody Institue, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s ORCHkids, the The People’s Music School Youth Orchestras, Chicago Metamorphosis Orchestra Project, and the Allegro Music Center.