GMI Pedagogical Advisory Committee

The PAC brings together predominantly BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) music educators with expertise in music styles and related pedagogy from non-dominant cultures in and outside of the Eurocentric canon. They will provide advice and guidance on the innovation and development of MacPhail’s programs to become culturally relevant and sustaining to reflect the diversity of the communities that we serve.  

Originally from Denver, Colorado, Elizabeth (Liz) Winslow moved to Minnesota to earn her undergraduate degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in Instrumental Music Education with honors in composition, magna cum laude. After graduation, Elizabeth served as assistant director at Brooklyn Center High School and then moved on as director of band and choir at Marshall County Central High School. She worked with the Richfield Marching Spartans from 2012-2021 and was the Richfield High School director of bands from 2016-2021.

Prior to her time in Richfield, she founded the band program at Hiawatha Academies in South Minneapolis through extensive fundraising and community involvement so that all band students could participate regardless of their family’s financial situation. Previously featured on Classical MPR’s Teacher Feature segment, Elizabeth is a recipient of Hiawatha Academies’ first Exceptional Contribution Award, is a College Band Directors National Association Conducting Study Grant recipient and holds a 2015 DeLucia Award for Innovation in Music Education for her contribution to music education in the Minneapolis area. Most recently, she was awarded Community Music Educator of the Year in 2024 by the Minnesota Music Educators Association. She has served as a judge for MBDA, MSHSL, and MMEA All-State and is the Vice Chair on the board of directors of the newly formed Minnesota Wind Orchestra. She also holds a master’s in Educational Leadership and is currently working on a Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership and her K-12 principal license.

Conductor and Violist Chi-Chi Lin Bestmann enjoys a diverse career, from performing Mozart in Carnegie Hall to jamming with rapper Jay Z at Radio City Music Hall to conducting The Annual Westchester All-County Orchestra Festival.  Her ability to straddle both roles of musician and conductor across different genres, has led her to venues including Saturday Night Live, Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Merkin Hall, performing with such artists including Kurt Masur, John Rutter, Beyoncé, and Enya.

While living in New York, Ms. Bestmann performed with many ensembles in the US and abroad.  She was a faculty member at Mannes School of Music (Extension), Hoff-Barthelson Music School, and Third Street Music School Settlement.  Her commitment to education inspired the creation of Petite Concerts Inc., a nonprofit organization that offers live-music experiences to young children through local venues with easy access in hopes of cultivating classical music audiences of the future.

Ms. Bestmann holds a Bachelor of Music in Orchestral Conducting, a Master of Music, and a Professional Studies Diploma in Viola Performance, all from Mannes School of Music.  She recently relocated to St. Paul, MN with her husband and two daughters and is currently a faculty member at MacPhail Center for Music and freelances with ensembles in the Twin Cities area including the Minnesota Orchestra and Minnesota Opera. 

Karen Howard is Associate Professor of Music at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in music education, vocal pedagogy, research, and global music traditions. Karen holds degrees from The Hartt School, University of Hartford, and a Ph.D. in music from the University of Washington. She taught elementary vocal music and directed choirs for 20 years in Connecticut and Washington. She also taught infant, toddler, and preschool music and movement classes for several years. She has extensive training in global vocal, instrumental, and dance traditions from many music cultures including Ghana, Cuba, Tahiti, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Georgia. Karen has presented at the national and international level helping teachers around the world to make meaningful connections with music and dance of diverse cultures and navigating the creation of learning experiences that promote and celebrate equity. Her research interests and publications include works on world music cultures, music activism, and anti-bias education. Her books include First Steps in Global Music; Dance Like a Butterfly: Songs from Liberia, Senegal, Nigeria, and Ghana; and World Music Pedagogy: Secondary School Innovations.

Adrian Davis, a music educator with 22 years of experience, currently teaches choir, band, percussion, and music production at Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis. Adrian is the Director of the University of Minnesota Gospel Choir. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Memphis, and his Master of Music degree from the University of Saint Thomas. He is currently a PhD candidate in music education at the University of Minnesota.

Throughout his professional teaching career, Adrian has established and developed school music programs throughout the United States that display artistic excellence and promote social justice, while inspiring learners to be leaders and champions of the community. Adrian’s work as a music educator was featured on the Classical MPR Choral Stream, January 2014. He was nominated for Grammy Music Educator of the Year in 2014, 2016, and 2018. In 2017, he was nominated as a finalist for Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

Adrian is the Chair of Equity and Diversity for the Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA), and an active member of the National Association for Music Educators (NAfME). He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).

Adrian is an active musician, producer, and songwriter. He owns Divers Music, a music production company which he founded in 2008.

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