Arts for Life

Arts for Life (formerly Sostenuto) supports existing chorus, band, world music, orchestra, guitar, dance, and theater programs in the Santa Fe Public Schools by engaging professional Teaching Artists to work alongside the classroom teachers, providing individualized instruction, support, and technical expertise to students. During our 2020-2021 Season, Arts for Life will serve Aspen Community Magnet School, Capital High School, El Camino Real Academy, El Dorado Community School, Mandela International Magnet School, Milagro Middle School, Nina Otero Community School, Ortiz Middle School, and Santa Fe High School.

Arts for Life Teaching Artists serve the same classrooms every week! This consistent presence, technical expertise, and one-on-one evaluation increases the students’ musical skills, self-confidence, and creativity while promoting curiosity, teamwork, and engagement in other curricular disciplines.

Please contact Education & Administration Coordinator Alice Norris to bring this program to life for your classroom: or 505 984 8759.


Meet Our Teaching Artists

Cal Haines

Percussionist Cal Haines has been performing professionally for more than 40 years. An alumnus of the University of Memphis School of Music, Cal has performed with luminaries including Diahann Carroll, Bob Hope, Al Greene, and Yul Brynner. Cal has been an Arts for Life Teaching Artist since it was established in 2010. Santa Fe High School band director Todd Miller notes that “students get the best possible experience by working with Cal,” while El Camino Real Academy band director Clarissa Madrid Riggins raves that her percussionists “have gained skills that they would never have gotten if it weren’t for Cal…by building their skills he is also building their confidence.”


Pat Malone

Guitarist Pat Malone is a mainstay of the Santa Fe jazz scene, known for his energy and versatility. Over the years, Pat has worked with legendary guitarists including Joe Pass and Joe Diorio. Pat has also been an Arts for Life Teaching Artist since it was established in 2010. Jesse Parker, World Music Ensemble director at Mandela International Magnet School, notes that “specialized instruction from a high level performer on each respective instrument is invaluable in inspiring students as well as understanding the nuances of mastery on the instrument. I don’t have the time to address each section as much as needed and Teaching Artists like Pat allow me to address other sections and keep them fully engaged, growing, and developing.”

this teaching artist is Sponsored by Thornburg Investment Management

Kat Keener

Soprano Kat Keener has been involved with Performance Santa Fe’s Arts for Life program since 2018. Kat teaches elementary music and choir at Acequia Madre Elementary, performs regularly, and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from UNM. Kat recently shared a moving story about her impact on students: “One student at Ortiz was having trouble matching pitch, but he really wanted to audition for a solo. I worked with him one-on-one a few times, and he improved greatly…When his teacher asked for a volunteer to sing the solo in class, his hand shot up. He sang confidently and could not stop smiling afterward.”

this teaching artist is Sponsored by Beth Beloff and Marc Geller

Suzy Reeder

Flutist Suzy Reeder studied music at Miami University of Ohio and has been teaching since 2000. Her love for education encompasses flute mentorship, special education, and fine art. She has been involved with Arts for Life since 2017. El Dorado Community School band director Maurice Norman recently praised Suzy’s tutelage for allowing his flutists to “become stronger and more confident as section players,” while Capital High School band director Ricardo Hernandez applauds his students’ “increased ability to play more advanced music.”

this teaching artist is Sponsored by The PSF Education Committee

Alex Murzyn

Saxophonist Alex Murzyn performed in the San Francisco Bay Area for over three decades, appearing alongside many accomplished artists as an in-demand sideman. An alumnus of Berklee College of Music, Alex boasts over 15 years as a music educator, and his students have won acclaim including national honors at the DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards. An exciting new addition to Arts for Life this year, Alex has maintained an active performance and teaching schedule since moving to Santa Fe in 2018.

covid-19 update

In light of remote-learning efforts, our Teaching Artists are now reaching hundreds of students through Google Meets and have already provided dozens of hours worth of support on this new platform.

your support matters

As always, our education programs come at NO COST to the students they serve and are 100% funded by the generosity of donors like you.
Please consider making a tax-deductible gift today to support our ongoing education initiatives!

special thanks to our partners in education:

This project is supported in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts.