Ayriole Frost headshot

Ayriole Frost

Musician & Educator

Ayriole Frost is an active composer, performer, and teacher. They co-founded Shift: Englewood Youth Orchestra, an El Sistema-inspired youth development program on Chicago’s Southwest Side. They are a sought-after workshop leader for creative music projects around the country, including a program of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra called OrchKids. Their history of working with music programs focused on social justice, including The People’s Music School Youth Orchestras and Chicago Metamorphosis Orchestra Project as well as their own program in Englewood, led them to join North Park University’s faculty as part of their Certificate in Music for Social Change and Human Values. They have currently expanded their work at North Park University as a Professor of Music Theory, where they teach all levels of music theory, aural skills, composition, and chamber music coaching.

Ayriole also continues their passion of teaching and training in the arts education space as the Manager of Partnerships & Learning at Ingenuity, Inc., a backbone organization whose mission is to ensure that every child, in every grade, in every Chicago Public School has access to the arts as part of a quality, well rounded education. In this role, they have the opportunity to work with teaching artists and program managers across the sector to provide learning programs that address quality and access in Chicago Public Schools.

Ayriole received their Bachelor of Music from Ball State University, where she studied composition with Eleanor Trawick, Jody Nagel, Keith Kothman, Derek Johnson, and Andrew Estel; viola with Philip Tietze; and voice with Yoko Shimazaki-Kilburn. They also studied composition with Reza Vali at Carnegie Mellon University, where they completed their Master of Music in Composition and teaching certification in May 2012. Because of their interest in social justice through music, Ayriole became part of the fifth class of Sistema Fellows at New England Conservatory, where they received training in leadership, finance, and curriculum for social change, and completed a month-long residency in Venezuela. They completed the Sistema Fellows Program at New England Conservatory in 2014. Ayriole is a member of the Society for Composers, Inc., Society for Music Theory, National Guild for Community Arts Education, Teaching Artists Guild, and Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity for women.

Ayriole continues to perform as a singer and violist, and to compose music collaboratively and individually. Their ongoing project is an opera in collaboration with their sister. They have also begun to branch out into other art forms, including fiber arts and fashion.

Featured Artworks

  •  Ayriole, a brown skinned Black person stands facing away from the camera, in a black tunic, black and grey leggings and black shoes, natural hair styled in an updo. They are facing a group of string students, their arm poised in a conducting motion. Ayriole Frost conducts Shift:Englewood Youth Orchestra Andrea Tashjian
  •  Photo of Ayriole, a brown skinned Black person, standing in the background and playing their violin while in the foreground a student, a brown skinned Black young person with short natural hair and a blue t-shirt with a sports logo, plays their viola. Trazell Harrell and Ayriole Frost perform at the Shift:Englewood Youth Orchestra concert Andrea Tashjian
  •  Photo of Ayriole, a brown skinned Black person, under reddish stage lighting, wearing a light-colored button-down shirt, playing their violin on a stage with other band members behind them Ayriole Frost fronts the band Plastic City Photo Credit Zeb Carter
  •  Photo of Ayriole, a brown skinned Black person, standing behind a wooden podium in a stage near a large projector screen, facing an audience of people sitting in red theatre seats. Ayriole Frost presents on the work of Partnerships & Learning team of Ingenuity at the annual All Partner Meeting. DT Kindler Text on screen reads: “Strengthen and Rebuild Arts Partnerships | Build Capacity of Chicago’s Arts Education Sector through: Adult Development & Learning Programs  Constellation o Responsive to high-need learning areas o Peer-to-peer o Cohort Model o TA Stipends  Ingenuity Virtual Learning o Access learning independently at your own pace! o Newest course: Afrocentric SEL Through the Arts (A QR code and indistinct graphic also appear on screen)
  •  Ayriole, a brown skinned Black person with their back to the camera, on a low lit stage conducting a string ensemble. A string of international flags hang above the stage and a projected image reads "sustainable development goals" Ayriole conducts the North Park University Orchestra performing "Changing Chaos" screen grab from YouTube video Changing Chaos was a work commissioned by North Park University Orchestra and written by Shift:Englewood Youth Orchestra Students, transcribed for orchestra by Ayriole Frost, to address issues of climate change.