New affiliates: January 2019


The Denver Alumnae Chapter affiliated four new members at the January chapter meeting!

Keena Day is from Detroit, MI, and eventually received her B.A., and M.A., in English with education credentials from Tennessee State University. She has been an educator for 15 years, completing an educational fellowship situated at Yale University and subsequently opening her own educational consulting company and blog called The Savvy Urban Educators and is currently working for KippColorado Schools as the Director of Secondary Literacy grades 3-12. Keena is also a published author, freelance writer and journalist having written for newspapers and magazines in Nashville, TN and working in media while performing as a poet. Keena was initiated into the Kappa Iota chapter in 2003 at Tennessee State University; she went on to serve as Psi B Province Officer and Region 4 Officer while living in Tennessee. She is the mother of a graduating senior (Jimmy, III), a 6th grader (Jimari) who both play low brass instruments and her partner Jimmy, II is a member of Phi Mu Alpha and is Band Director at East Middle School and Assistant Band Director at Hinkley High School.

Jessica Kneiff graduated from Washburn University  in Topeka, Kansas in May of 2018 where she was a member of Theta Chapter. She plays the bass clarinet and the saxophone and graduated with a degree in public relations and a minor in music. Jessica moved to Denver in June for a marketing job at a software company. Her fondest memories of SAI are when her chapter earned the Katherine Becker National Collegiate Chapter Achievement Award in 2017 and when she attended the 2018 National Convention in Scottsdale, where she met some of her new Denver SAI sisters for the first time. Jessica volunteers with the Aurora Symphony Orchestra and is looking forward to finding new ways to bring music into her life through the SAI Denver Alumnae Chapter sisterhood.

Callie O’Buckley is from North Carolina and has recently moved to Denver, CO. Before moving, she graduated from University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in Arts Administration. While in her collegiate chapter of SAI, she served as the Sergeant at Arms, Secretary, and President. Callie plays flute and she is looking for new opportunities in Denver to continue playing. She has recently accepted a position with the Boy Scouts of America, Denver Council as a District Executive.

Tina Phillips is a respected Jazz artist and songwriter based in the Denver region. Influenced most by Betty Carter, Sarah Vaughn, Charlie Parker and her dear friends Sheila Jordan and Art Lande, her style is versatile – including straight ahead, bebop, blues, and Latin Jazz. Her charismatic on-stage performance is the finishing touch. Tina, a Denver native, attended the University of Colorado as a vocal performance major. She is a highly respected vocal coach, clinician, award winning billboard songwriter and performs with internationally known jazz musicians.  Her music is played worldwide and she performs nationally. Respected Internationally known Jazz critic, Scott Yannow, listed Tina in his book The Jazz Singers The Ultimate Guide.

Meet our new affiliates!


The Denver Alumnae Chapter was thrilled to affiliate three sisters at our meeting on Nov. 27, 2018!

Nicole Kobayashi was initiated into the Sigma Upsilon chapter at the University of Denver in 2014 where she held the office of Treasurer for a year and a half. While at the University of Denver, she studied clarinet with Dr. Jeremy Reynolds and graduated in 2016 with a BM in Music Performance. A few months prior to graduation, Nicole began working part time at a finance firm in Cherry Creek where she later accepted a full time position immediately following graduation. Since then, Nicole has been working in the financial services industry and is currently studying to obtain her Certified Financial Planner TM designation along with her Series 65 license. Nicole is from Honolulu, Hawaii and enjoys spending much of her free time outdoors in the Colorado wilderness.

Shelley McCluskey was initiated into the Epsilon Theta Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota at Appalachian State University in April of 2013. There she held numerous committee chair positions, as well as served on the Executive Board for two years as corresponding secretary and president. Shelley completed her degree in music therapy in December of 2016. She is currently a Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) with the Child and Family Therapy Center of Denver, where she provides in-home and clinic-based services for children and young adults with developmental disabilities, life-limiting illnesses, and rehabilitative needs. A North Carolina native, Shelley now happily resides in Denver with her boyfriend, Ben, who is a 2nd year law student at DU, and their wonderfully weird cat, Teddy. Hobbies include eating delicious meals she didn’t cook, quoting “Gilmore Girls”, and watching each snowfall with her nose pressed against the bedroom window as if she’s never seen the stuff before. Shelley hopes to enroll at CSU to begin graduate coursework in music therapy next fall.

Ariana Olivero graduated from Florida International University in May 2018 with a Bachelor in Communication Arts and a minor in Global Media Communication. She initiated in Fall of 2017, and was part of the Fraternity Education/Ritual committee and Public Relations committee for the Lambda Omicron Chapter. An accomplishment she’s proud of while being in her chapter was being able to rebuild the entire website from scratch. Ariana is a mezzo-soprano vocalist. Her hobbies include DIY projects, exploring Denver, and writing in her bullet journal. Ariana was always involved in the arts from a young age through dancing, playing guitar/piano, singing, and even painting. Although she doesn’t paint or play instruments anymore, that is something she hopes to do again in the future. She loves SAI because it allows her the opportunity to connect with women from all walks of life that share the same love of music she has. Ariana recently moved to Denver to be an AmeriCorps member with City Year where she dedicated a year towards decreasing the amount of graduation dropouts. She also founded the first ever cheerleading team at her school in the 92 years it’s been open.