Mike Simons

Founder and Executive Director

Mike founded Intonation in 2006 with a carful of his own instruments, a volunteer slot at a local community center, and a hunch that learning to play and perform the music they love would be a rewarding experience for kids. A musician himself since middle school, Mike combined his love for music with 13 years of overnight summer camp experience to create Intonation.


Earlier in his career, Mike traveled the globe as a Tour Director, landing in Chicago where he and a colleague started Skyline Chicago, a Destination Management Company which thrived for 8 years. In 2005, Mike co-founded the acclaimed Intonation Music Festival, later renamed The Pitchfork Music Festival. Mike also co-founded the long-running Chicago Ukulele Cabaret and plays with several bands including Hayward and David Singer & The Sweet Science.

Izzy Olive

Marketing Coordinator

Izzy Olive is a musician and arts administrator originally from Southern Illinois. Upon graduating from the University of Chicago, she worked in marketing and PR for Eighth Blackbird…

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Kate Walsh

Program Director

Kate joined the program and teaching teams in April 2015. She graduated with a B.A. in ethnomusicology from NYU and has been in the music industry and music education worlds…

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Kenneth Phillips

Education Director

Kenneth holds a BA in Communication from Southeastern Louisiana University and has over a decade of experience in arts based non-profit management. A native of New Orleans…

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Jen Busch

Operations Manager

Jen joined the Intonation team as Operations Associate in February 2015. Before Intonation, she worked as a Teaching Artist with Changing Worlds, teaching photography and…

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Kevelyn Wilson

Community Engagement Ally

Kevelyn joined the Intonation team in 2012 and teaches at Fuller Park, Taylor Park, and Kennicott Park. She started off as a student with Intonation at 14, playing in two bands…

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Vivian McConnell

Site Liaison and Special Projects Coordinator

Vivian joined Intonation at the end of 2014. She teaches classes at NKO, Barton Elementary, and Kennicott Park. She received her B.A. in Spanish from University…

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Matt Espy

Equipment Coordinator

Prior to joining the Intonation team in 2017, Matt was a managing partner at Chicago Drum Works for 10 years, where he curated drum clinics and helped to foster and grow…

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Kamaria Woods

Kamaria has been with Intonation since Fall 2017. She is a musician, singer, and producer who specializes in guitar and voice.

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JoVia Armstrong

Daringly innovative, percussionist and educator JoVia Armstrong is a well-traveled musician and a regional Sabian and Gon Bops Percussion endorsed artist…

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Drea Smith

Drea joined Intonation in 2016 after a year-long search for community work with children in the arts. She is a singer/performer with a strong focus in…

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Isaiah Oby

Isaiah has been working with Intonation since spring of 2017. He graduated with a Bachelors in Music from Columbia College in 2016 and since has begun to make a name…

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Edward Anderson

Edward Anderson has been an instructor since 2012. He has taught at Fuller Park, NKO Charter School, Fosco Park, Gage Park High School, CICS Irving Park, and Rock-N-Pop…

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Randy Hardy

Randy has been teaching with Intonation since the very first pilot program back in 2006 and has since taught at Fuller Park, Madison Elementary, New Sullivan Elementary…

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Alex Wing

Alex is a guitarist, bassist, oudist and creative musician living on the South side of Chicago. He has his B.A. in music from The University of Chicago. Alex joined…

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Dakari Waddell

Dakari started out as a student at Intonation in 2009. He played piano with his band ‘Trace’, and continued as a multi-instrumentalist with the Intonation All-Stars in 2013. He graduated High School in 2015…

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Boyang Matsapola

Boyang joined Intonation in 2015 and teaches the Intonation All-Stars, as well as K-3rd grade at Poe Elementary. He is a privately taught student of classical upright bass…

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Uriah Gunn

Uriah began teaching for Intonation in 2014 and teaches at Fuller Park. She started out as a student with Intonation back in 2008, after moving to Chicago from Tennessee. She…

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Cristalle Bowen (Psalm One)

Cristalle joined the Intonation Team in 2011 as the lead instructor for RhymeSchool, Intonation’s hip-hop program, and has brought the program to CICS Avalon, CICS Bucktown…

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Shalynn Brown

Shalynn attended Columbia College Chicago majoring in Music Instrumental Performance. While at Columbia, she started an all-female band….

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Jayson Kramer

Jayson joined the Intonation team in 2016. He currently teaches at Hedges Elementary and Kennicott Park. Jayson earned his B.A. in Biology from Boston University….

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Lara Jenkins

Lara is thrilled to bring her musical knowledge and life-long love for teaching to Intonation Music….

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If you are interested in joining us, send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!