Integrating musical creativity into everyday life

seth_staff_pageSeth Boustead – Founder/Executive Director
Seth Boustead is a composer, radio host, arts manager and writer, concert producer, in-demand speaker and visionary with the goal of revolutionizing how and where classical music is performed and how it is perceived by the general public.  He received his Master of Music Composition degree from the Chicago College for the Performing Arts in 2002 and has gone on to forge a unique and highly personal musical identity through a prolific outpouring of works in every conceivable genre.

His music is regularly performed across the United States and in Europe and has been heard on radio and television stations in Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Paris among others and his orchestra piece This Point Forward was a finalist for the American Prize in 2012.
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Francesco Milioto – Artistic Director
Since his debut in Chicago just over a decade ago, Mr. Milioto now balances a busy career conducting a wide range of orchestral and operatic repertoire while maintaining a full schedule as a pianist and vocal coach. He currently holds the positions of Co-founder/Conductor of the New Millennium Orchestra, Principal Conductor of the Highland Park Strings, and Artistic Director/Conductor of Access Contemporary Music.
In addition to these, Mr. Milioto is a frequent guest conductor with Chicago Opera Theater, and cover/assistant conductor at both Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Santa Fe Opera.

Upon returning from a successful production of Salome at the Santa Fe Opera, Mr. Milioto will open the 2015-16 season with a production of Lucio Silla for Chicago Opera Theater, where he recently led a production of Macbeth (Bloch) that was listed as “one of the 10 best performances of 2014″ by the Chicago Sun-Times. Immediately following his work with COT, he will return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago as cover conductor for The Merry Widow, with Sir Andrew Davis, as well as Der Rosenkavalier.
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ChristyChristy Bennett – Director of Education
As an educator, Christy Bennett has taught voice and piano at the Academy of Music and Art and has recently joined the staff at the ACM School of Music in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood. She enjoys teaching beginner and intermediate piano of all ages. She also teaches all levels of voice students.

As a piano instructor, she emphasizes early implementation of composing to solidify theory and technique and encourage creativity. As a voice instructor she builds a solid foundation of theory, technique and sight-reading to strengthen the student in any style they choose to sing.
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Sarah Tyyska – Composer Membership Director
Sarah is thrilled to have recently joined ACM as the Composer Membership Director.  She is passionate about the arts and has spent several years working in the field in different capacities.

Sarah’s background is as a circus performer from Chicago who has traveled all over the United States performing aerial acrobatics and fire. Though not a professional musicians, she has a background in wind instruments specializing in alto saxophone, though these days it’s more a hobby than a vocation.

As Composer Membership Director, Sarah is responsible for all communication with ACM’s composer members including shaping their profile page, sending out the monthly list of opportunities and serving as a liaison between the composers and our partner ensembles around the world.

When not at work she enjoys community based teaching of circus arts to adults and children and assisting local arts organizations with event production.   Her favorite thing about working in the music community is watching students grow and flourish and helping composers get their music played. Which makes working at ACM a perfect fit!


Andrew_Tham_staffAndrew Tham – Program Director

Andrew is a creator, performer, and advocate of experimental music and theatre in Chicago.  He is a frequent collaborator with the Neo-Futurists and is a co-founder of Parlour Tapes+, a cassette tape label dedicated to contemporary classical music.

Andrew received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music and English from Cornell College in Iowa.