Walt DeHaven

Walt DeHaven

Looking back to the beginning of the year, it sure felt like a continuation of 2021. We were facing a new COVID variant that was taking over, big shoes to fill with the departure of our former CEO, Paul Lhevine and as the snow started to fall, it shut down the school a few times. Now, just a few short weeks later, our concert calendar is rapidly filling for the spring and beyond. The school is bustling and  moving back towards pre-pandemic levels, and we are well on our way to choosing our next CEO.

It was the end of an era when former Swallow Hill Music CEO, Paul Lhevine left at the end of 2021, but with that came new opportunities for the organization as we began our search for our next CEO. We are working with Arts Consulting Group on a national search. Our entire board is energized as we search for a leader who will take the us to new places, develop strategies that will elevate our brand, patron engagement, and expand our impact here in Denver and beyond. If you or anyone you know is interested in applying, you can find the full job posting here. 

As we work diligently on the search, one thing remains constant – our extraordinary team continues to shine. There are a few new faces, new roles, and cross department collaborations helping to move us forward. Most importantly, there is exceptional work being done throughout our community that will support the success of Swallow Hill for years to come. Everything being done ensures progress in all areas and will also put our new CEO in the very best position for success.  

Our concert team is working hard to bring a rich line-up of diverse artists and genres to Swallow Hill, while ensuring your favorites continue to return. We are excited to have the Denver Botanic Gardens Summer Concert Series return this summer, after a two year hiatus. We have eight shows, with artists ranging from favorites such as The Mavericks, Judy Collins, and new artists like the Columbian performers, Monsieur Periné. We also found success last year at DBG with our Evenings al Fresco, highlighting local artists in a more socially distanced atmosphere. This series returns and takes place in June and August.

Our music school returned with in-person options in August 2021, and continues to add more in-person classes, workshops, and jams. Despite the rocky start this year, we are seeing familiar faces again in the building alongside new ones. We also have several teachers teaching online from new locations, like Austin, Kansas City and Palisade. We are able to add on more instructors and see others make their return to Denver and Swallow Hill. This year, we introduced a teen jam on the last Sunday of the month that allows teens to not only perform, but plan the jam. We also have Nabin Shrestha back and doing a tabla jam once a month on Saturdays, and just added a community chorus with Roy Willey back on the schedule. These are just a few of the highlights with much more to come…

And what better way to celebrate all of this great news and a return back to normalcy then by  attending One Epic Night!  This year our annual fundraiser takes place on Saturday April 23rd,   another very Swallow Hill event that was impacted by the pandemic. This is a great opportunity to see Swallow Hill instructors perform in their bands, see folks you haven’t seen since the last one (2019), and most importantly, raise money for Swallow Hill Music’s Community Outreach Programs. These programs are vital to our community as they bring music education to under-resourced communities, music therapy to seniors and veterans, sensory friendly shows, and more. Learn more about this event and more importantly, get your tickets here.

This is an exciting time for Swallow Hill Music. We are all energized by everything that lies ahead. The silver lining of the pandemic comes with vast opportunities, and we’re ready to take them on with the same energy with which we’ve always run the organization. We meet these opportunities with a truly exceptional team, and  a Board of Directors that is committed to selecting the very best CEO to lead us into the future. Once the CEO is in place, that commitment will shift to helping shape and implement a strategy which will build upon all of the great work that has come before; with a keen eye towards our continuing growth and success.

On top of all of this, we have a secret weapon: YOU!  

Our community, our heritage and all those that have come before us that have created something truly special. I thank each of you for your continuing support and…


I’ll see you on the Hill,

Walt DeHaven

Swallow Hill Music Board of Directors, Chair