About Us

Mission Statement

To cultivate the creation and sharing of new music by connecting adventurous composers, ensembles, and musicians with each other and the greater Phoenix & Arizona community.
Two musicians on stage performing at an OME concert. The left one is using several electronics devices and the right one is playing electric guitar.
Seven Oh My Ears staff members pose for a photo at the end of the 2023 OME festival.
OME Staff Members at the 2023 festival

Who We Are

OME is a new music presenting organization in Phoenix, AZ that seeks to connect emerging composers, ensembles, and musicians with each other and with the greater Phoenix community. OME is a grassroots organization run by a team of musicians, composers, and music educators who are passionate about new music and the Phoenix community. We are DIY in every sense of the word. OME has a small budget- we operate on funding received from small grants, ticket sales, donated services and equipment, and the 100% volunteer efforts of our staff and community.

Annual Festival

The OME New Music Festival is an annual event where we invite unique and adventurous ensembles, solo artists, and projects to perform works by modern composers. The OME Festival has historically featured its performers in an eclectic variety of venues, from traditional concert halls to art galleries, bars, and cafes.

To participate in the annual festival you must fill out the application and be selected by our panel. The application typically goes live in January and is open for 1-2 months.

The Cartel Sessions

Presented by
Cartel Roasting Co. horizontal logo

We regular show to primarily feature AZ artists as well as some non-local touring artists. Events are held at various Cartel Roasting Co. locations. A portion of the coffee sales during each event goes to support OME.

If you are interested in performing or composing as part of The Cartel Sessions Concert Series, get in touch!

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Staff

Amber Walker

Program Director
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Flute

Amber Walker is a flutist, music educator, and arts administrator from Phoenix, AZ. Amber devotes most of her time to educating young musicians and working with non-profit arts organizations. She is currently the Band and Orchestra Director at Royal Palm Middle School and is also active as a flute teacher, adjudicator, and clinician. Amber is a Program Director for Oh My Ears (OME), the current President of the Arizona Flute Society, and a member of the National Flute Association’s Youth Engagement Committee. As a performer, Amber specializes in contemporary techniques and is especially passionate about presenting the works of living and female composers. She performs regularly as a soloist and as a member of the Desert Echoes Flute Project (DEFproject). Amber has previously performed with the Longview Symphony Orchestra, Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, and in masterclasses for Alexa Still, Eugenia Zuckerman, and Jennifer Grim. Amber received her Master of Music in Flute Performance from Stephen F. Austin State University, where she studied with Dr. Christina Guenther and served as the graduate teaching assistant for the flute studio. She also holds bachelor’s degrees in Instrumental Music Education and Flute Performance from Northern Arizona University, where she studied with Dr. Emily Hoppe. 

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Bill Clay

Program Director
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Guitar, Composer

Dr. Bill Clay is a composer, guitarist, and music educator living in Tempe, Arizona.  He strongly believes in the musical community in the Phoenix area and has collaborated with many artists from the region.  He currently serves as a program director with Oh My Ears.   Bill’s music is influenced by a love for classic counterpoint, spectralism, and math metal.  He is a faculty associate teaching Aural Skills, Theory, and Freshmen Seminar at the Arizona State University School of music.  He also teaches students of all ages in a private studio, with an emphasis on inclusion of those with learning differences. He remains an active performer in the Phoenix area and has been a member of Valley Guitar Duo since 2016, (contemporary, classical, and gig music) with his partner, King-Wea Ng.

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Briggs Kennedy

Director of Institutional Advancement
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Composer/Flute

Briggs is a composer, flute player, and grant consultant living in Phx, AZ. Briggs founded Oh My Ears in 2014 at Trunk Space, an organization where Briggs currently sits on the board. Their works have been performed all over the county / globe and they have participated as a composer at Composing in the Wilderness, Bang on a Can Summer Festival, The Cortona Sessions, Millay Arts, and many more. Briggs primarily works with small-medium ensembles employing a wide range of techniques to produce music that is dense, sometimes unhinged, and not without humor and beauty. 

Briggs works as a funding specialist for Learn, Design, Apply, helping schools and organizations in rural areas of the country gain access to distance learning and other technologies in order to stay connected and have equitable access to education, job training, and other essential services.

josuekinter.bandcamp.com/ 

www.thetrunkspace.com/

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Joe Millea

Marketing Director
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Percussion

Joe is a musician, educator, & UX designer in Phoenix, AZ. He has degrees in percussion performance from University of Minnesota, & Arizona State University. He also studied with Daniella Ganeva at the Royal College of Music in London, England. He was a founding member of the Heartland Marimba Quartet which seeks to give a platform to the music of American composers in its programming and continues to expand its repertoire with works from composers worldwide. The group has performed more than 140 concerts around the world since 2016. Joe works as a full-time digital designer, creating websites, apps, and other digital technology.

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Julia Lougheed

Production Manager
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Clarinets

Julia Lougheed is a clarinetist, educator, and arts administrator in Phoenix, AZ. She specializes in performance of music by living composers, and has been working with Oh My Ears to stage performances of this music since 2017. In addition to her work with OME, Julia teaches clarinet at Scottsdale Community College and Rosie’s House, works as Visual and Performing Arts Event Coordinator at Phoenix College, serves as Executive Director for the New Works Project, and plays bass clarinet in front of audiences whenever possible.  She is dedicated to using music to bring people together, with particular interest in uniting members of Phoenix artistic community. Julia holds a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from Arizona State University, a strong affinity for small-batch bourbon, and a special place in her heart for stray cats.

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Megyn Neff

Operations Director
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Violin

Megyn Neff is a violinist and educator in Phoenix, AZ. Her musical collaborations span across many genres including classical, americana, klezmer, indie and rock, folk, country and much more. She especially loves to blend and cross-pollinate genres in improvisatory settings and with new works by living composers. She currently performs with the West Valley Symphony, OpenScore Ensemble, MusicaNova, The Sunpunchers, Kabarett, and the Jon Rauhouse Orchestra. As a Suzuki-trained educator, Megyn directed a studio of motivated young violinists as well as served as violinist faculty and co-department head at Rosie’s House, a non-profit music academy for children, and was adjunct faculty at Paradise Valley Community College. She holds a Masters in Violin Performance & Pedagogy from ASU with Dr. Katherine McLin, and serves on the board of the Arizona Musician’s Union Local 586 and Peer Solutions Inc.

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Riley Braase

Director of Institutional Advancement
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Clarinets

After moving to Arizona to pursue his doctorate in clarinet performance at ASU, Riley began looking for musicians who shared his professional interests in performance, education, and nonprofit administration. He connected with the Oh My Ears team through a shared passion for advancing contemporary music, and joined OME leadership in 2022. He is currently writing his dissertation, working for the ASU Graduate College, teaching woodwinds lessons, and performing with chamber ensembles such as Opuntia Winds and the Braase-Hannon Duo. Opuntia was recently awarded the Arizona Commision on the Arts’ Artist Opportunity Grant to record an album of contemporary music for wind quintet by American composers, expected to release in Fall 2024. Riley’s background in nonprofit development and advancement includes positions with Harmony Project, Live and Learn AZ, and Great Hearts Academies. For fun, he loves to bike the beautiful trails at Papago Park in Phoenix and kayaking with his wife Mikaela Hannon and their shiba-inu/chichuaha, Dawson. 

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Board of Directors

Nicole Underwood
President
Joshua Gardner
Secretary
Betsy Ganz
Treasurer
Kait Ahlschwede
Member
Robert Spring
Member

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