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About Us


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Boulder MUSE was founded in the City of Boulder in 2015. The founders, Elisa Snyder and Mari Madeira, were inspired by El Sistema, a music education and human development program that has benefited the children of Venezuela since 1975. Programs modeled after El Sistema have been developed all over the world.

Comprehensive music education can be a vehicle for social change, where, through the rigors and joys of making music in a supportive community, young people grow into self assured and competent contributors, interested in using their leadership skills for the good of their families and communities. Music can inspire emotions and strengthen minds. It enlivens the whole child, body, spirit and mind. 




The Boulder MUSE vision is that ALL students, regardless of socioeconomic status, have access to individualized, high quality music education.


Boulder MUSE is a free music education program designed for under-resourced K-8 students in Boulder County. Our fundamental philosophy is that all children should be able to study music regardless of their financial circumstances.  The study of music, both instrumental and choral, enhances brain development, fostering intellectual and emotional growth. The majority of MUSE students are emerging bilinguals whose literacy is benefited by music education. MUSE’s education instills self-esteem, discipline, responsibility and respect for self and others.


Mari Maderia, Co-Founder

Mari Madeira's career has combined artistic and business success. Mari studied piano and voice at CU and Metropolitan State College. She spent 18 years as a piano teacher while also singing soprano in a gospel choir. On the business side she built a very successful sales agency representing some of the nation's top brands in outdoor and active sports. This rare combination of art and business makes her unusually well prepared to serve Boulder MUSE as a teacher, mentor, and leader. Her artistic roles at Boulder MUSE include teaching piano, theory, and choir. Her leadership and sales experience support Boulder MUSE's organization and fundraising requirements.

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Elisa Snyder has called Boulder home for 45 years. She attended the University of Colorado and Naropa University, where she graduated with a degree in Music Education. Elisa taught elementary school in the BVSD and was the Winds Director for Shining Mountain and Shepherd Valley Waldorf Schools before studying at CU Denver and earning an M.A. in Instruction and Curriculum, ESL/Bilingual. She taught English to second language learners at the high school level for 15 years in SVVSD. It was while teaching at Longmont High that she learned of El Sistema, the 47 year old Venezuelan music education program. Elisa knew immediately that creating a program inspired by El Sistema's principles was her calling. After decades of working with children and adolescents, she combined all she loves about her profession into one effort - Boulder MUSE.

Elisa Snyder, Co-Founder

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Carson Conley

While Carson aspires to be a professional clarinet performer and anticipate graduating with a Bachelors of Music, his passion lies in helping others. Since high school, it has become his mission to found or be involved in nonprofit efforts to help bring music to those who cannot afford it. While he is focused on his performance career in college, he am also minoring in leadership studies to build his skillset towards this mission. Carson is often humbled by the lessons he continues to learn from the talented and motivated youth he sees every week at MUSE. His hope is to be able to continue on to his M.M. while also expanding his participation in bringing music and inspiration to youth who may benefit from it as much as he did growing up, and provide them with a unique feeling of belonging that he has also found in the music community. 


Michael Maisonpierre

Michael has been a lawyer, a writer, and during all of that time, a musician as well. He plays saxophone, flute, clarinet, and trumpet. Though he plays mostly jazz, he enjoys classical too. In addition to being an invaluable teacher for Boulder MUSE, he is also the Board President.

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Tamara has been an educator of young children in bilingual settings for more than 35 years. She has a passion for teaching and a passion for music as well. Her greatest hope is to see the young people that she works with discover their musical potential and the joy of making music.

Tamara Sotillo

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Rex began piano at age five and cello at age eight. He took up cello again twenty years ago, and that journey led him from amateur to teaching professional. He currently teaches at Mojo's Music in Longmont and at The Lesson Studio in Boulder. Rex began volunteering as a teacher with Boulder MUSE in 2016.

Rex Weston

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Tom is a guitar and blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter. Jamming with friends led to playing guitar and learning to sing and play almost every James Taylor song. Since then his musical tastes have broadened to include Blues, Reggae, Rock and Folk. He performs solo and with his band called The Tube Sox. Tom is also a songwriter and has a knack for writing heartfelt, humorous songs about life's experiences. He's also a former teacher, loves kids and is excited to be part of the MUSE program!

Tom White-O'Connor
Guitar / Harmonica

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Board of Directors


Michael has been a lawyer, a writer, and during all of that time, a musician as well. He plays saxophone, flute, clarinet, and trumpet. Though he plays mostly jazz, he enjoys classical too. In addition to being an invaluable teacher for Boulder MUSE, he is also the Board President.

Michael Masionpierre
Board President

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As a Director for a Golden-based nonprofit, Maria enjoys bringing big growth to small organizations. After obtaining her bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and Spanish from American University, Maria moved to Colorado in 2014. She loves mountain biking and all kinds of music.

Maria Giordano
Vice President


Vinnie moved from New Delhi, India, 22 years ago, and has called Boulder home since. With a BS in nutritional science, and data and business analysis from Cornell University, she is a seasoned accounting professional with 20+ years of cross functional experience in bookkeeping, financial analysis, business development and project management. She came on board with Boulder Muse five years ago, and helps keep accounting and budgeting in place for Boulder Muse. When not working, you can find her hiking, biking and skiing in the Rocky Mountains with her family, reading and planning the next vacation. 

Vinnie Bushan

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Lauren Jost
Secretary and
Community Liasion

Lauren is a second grade teacher at University Hill Elementary in Boulder. She began her teaching career in Gallup, NM, where she received her Master’s in Elementary Education. She has also taught in New York City. She received an endorsement in Culturally, Linguistically and Diverse education from the University of Colorado.


Lauren has two sons, both who attend or have attended Uni Hill. She and her husband love spending time with their sons in the beautiful Colorado outdoors. In her free time, when she is not outside hiking or walking her two dogs, she enjoys reading, playing music and dancing in her kitchen.


Stephanie Fida

Stephanie is a native of Connecticut, but six years after first visiting Boulder, she adopted Colorado her new home in 2012. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Indiana University, where she completed dual undergraduate majors in Music (clarinet) and Ethnomusicology and a Minor in Spanish. She also earned an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from Indiana University and an M.S. in Music Education from the University of New Haven. During the 2012-13 school year, she began to work at Columbine Elementary School and discovered her passion for working with the bilingual student population.

Stephanie has taught general music, beginning band, marching band, and choir with students from kindergarten to 12th grade. She maintains a private studio of clarinet, saxophone and piano students.

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Skip is a highly recognized leader and entrepreneur in the ski and outdoor sports apparel industries. He currently is Managing Director of Point6, an emerging athletic sock company. Previously, he was the founder of Hard Corps Sports and a senior executive at both Sport Obermeyer and Skyr. He currently serves on the Board of Directors at Point6 and Leave No Trace, a not for profit environmental organization. Skip holds a BA from Princeton and an MBA from Stanford. He also served as pilot in the Marine Corps with the rank of Captain.

Carl "Skip" Rapp

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Eileen Krenzel Rojas

Eileen has two children who attended University Hill Elementary, where she was first introduced to the value of music education as provided by MUSE to the socioeconomically and linguistically diverse student population at Uni Hill. She strongly believes in the need for equal opportunities for all students regardless of their unique backgrounds. She is proud to be able to support MUSE in their mission for providing music education to all. Eileen played the viola as a child, and earned a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Boston University. She has previous experience working as a Scientific Writer and as a Grant Writer/Outreach Coordinator for an agency supporting victims and survivors of domestic/intimate partner violence and sexual violence throughout the mountains of Colorado and the Front Range.

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