Board & Staff

El Sistema
El Sistema
El Sistema
El Sistema
El Sistema

Executive Director

Kelly Dupuy Schmitt is the driving force behind Greater Milwaukee El Sistema.  A native of Canada and proud American Citizen, Kelly earned her Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto and her Master’s Degree in Music and Teaching Certification from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Kelly served as Trumpet Section Leader and Section Commander in the Canadian Armed Forces Band of the Ceremonial Guard, Royal Regiment of Canada and National Band of the Naval Reserve before focusing on a career in education and leadership in arts education. A talented musician, writer, and teacher with extensive expertise and training in Early Childhood Music, she currently also serves as the Music and Band Director at the Montessori School of Waukesha, Wisconsin. Kelly is a tireless advocate for bringing music to young people and passionate about collaborative learning that embraces cultural diversity. She has over 15 years of experience in directing and participating in music with International Christian Worship.

Assistant Director

Sarena Lawrence first became involved in El Sistema in 2013 when her daughter joined the orchestra. After seeing the powerful impact music instruction can have on youth, she began supporting the program by developing fundraising opportunities for the families. She has since applied her experience running organizations dedicated to youth development by becoming El Sistema’s Assistant Director. In addition to working with El Sistema, Sarena also is Client Coordinator at Pace Autism where she conducts therapy sessions with autistic children and coordinates group activities and outings. She grew up and continues to live in Waukesha with her husband and two children.

El Sistema Instructors 2017-2018

Heather Caldwell-Olson

Ms. Heather is a trained Suzuki level one instructor.  She began her teaching career with her son, Finn, who joined El Sistema in 2015.  Heather is a talented musician who plays violin, viola and cello.  Heather has an affinity for working with and relating to young people.  Heather’s teaching experience with GMES led her to work as the elementary strings teacher at Montessori School of Waukesha.  Heather teaches private string lessons in addition to her work caring for her four musical children.

Casey Arnold Violin, Viola, Cello

Casey is a talented instrumental musician and singer.  Casey began her work with El Sistema in 2015 as a volunteer.  In 2016 Casey was invited to be a teaching assistant and co-taught the Summer Community Connections Program.  Casey is a loved and respected teacher with our students.  She continues her work as a musician in the community in choirs and performing at weddings.

Alina Vasquez, Cello

We welcome Alina this year as our cello teacher!  Bio soon to come!

Emma Lenz, Cello

Emma Lenz is a high school junior at Brookfield Academy. She has been studying cello since 4th grade and participates in her school string group, the Milwaukee Youth Symphony orchestra, and a string quartet. As a soloist, she has participated in several competitions and was awarded the Exemplary Soloist award, the most prestigious award, at the Wisconsin School Music Association festival. In her free time she also enjoys composing and arranging music.  Capable and empathetic, Emma connects especially well with the El Sistema students as her youth and enthusiasm inspires them to see possibilities in their own lives.  Emma is off to College this year, but will continue to visit with us during her breaks.

2017-2018 Board Members

  • Abby Lorenz, President
  • Ashley Rewolinski, Vice-President
  • Susan Goldstone, Treasurer
  • Michelle Krauska, Grants and Funding
  • Karen Kirpatrick
  • Jose Sanchez
  • Jean Erickson