About Amplify & Ashley Ricks
The Early Years
Ashley Ricks began studying classical piano at age 6 which enabled her to perform in numerous recitals, competitions and theory competence tests through the Texas Music Teachers Association. After her family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, she studied piano with Roger Bushell, a 3rd generation student of Franz Liszt, the Austrian composer who was a student of Beethoven.
In high school, Ashley continued her intensive study of music at the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts. She auditioned and was selected to the Choral Music program and continued piano study as well. Her experiences at this national Blue Ribbon and Grammy award winning school prompted her to expand her musical experience to include private vocal study at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. It was at this time that she determined to make voice her primary instrument. She actively participated in university recitals, choral competitions, all-state solo competitions and NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) competitions. Performance became a way of life, and Ashley had opportunities to perform with well known celebrities at venues throughout the Las Vegas area. She also toured throughout much of the western United States and Canada as part of Academy choral ensembles.
A love of voice and choral music brought Ashley to Northern Arizona University where she completed her degree in Music Education with an emphasis in Choral Music. The collegiate music program gave her many opportunities to perform as a soloist and in chamber music groups as well as large ensembles. Additionally she later earned a Masters of Music Education degree at NAU.
Ashley spent 8 years teaching music in the Arizona Gilbert Public Schools. While there, she taught K-6 general music and worked extensively with junior high choirs. Her choral groups participated in community events as well as local and state competitions and festivals. Many of her students were selected to be part of ACDA Western Division Honor Choirs. She also maintained a private home studio for voice and piano while in Gilbert.
Leadership responsibilities included 4 years service with the Arizona chapter of the American Choral Directors Association as the Canteremos Honor Choirs Chair, an honor choir festival for 5-9th grade students in Arizona. She has also served as a judge and clinician in state choral festivals and as a sight reading judge for high school regional honor choir auditions.
Sharing musical abilities has always been important to Ashley and she actively participates in church and community choirs and vocal performances. Most recently, she sang first soprano for two seasons with the East Valley Mormon Choir, a professional community chorus with symphony orchestra. In the summer of 2011, she traveled to Salt Lake City with the EVMCO to record a CD (available fall 2011) and a debut performance in the historic Tabernacle at Temple Square. Her experience with the EVMCO philosophy to engage future generations in a high quality musical experience has prompted her to enlarge her studio to include group voice lessons for younger children ages 4-12.