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Meet the New Uniting Voices COO, Amy Alvarado Tinucci

Uniting Voices Chicago (formerly Chicago Children’s Choir) is pleased to announce Amy Alvarado Tinucci has accepted a new role as Chief Operating Officer! Amy will succeed Rachel LeFevre-Snee.

Amy formerly served as Vice President of Development and Communications at Uniting Voices Chicago, where she demonstrated proven excellence in nonprofit leadership through a dynamic and compassionate approach. Over the past four-plus years, Amy has successfully led the Uniting Voices development team, securing the largest contribution received in the organization’s nearly 70-year history.

With 15 years of experience in philanthropy, Amy excels in systematizing and driving efficiency in fundraising with a data-centric approach. Prior to Uniting Voices, Amy spent a decade working in development at Lyric Opera of Chicago. She is renowned for her ability to build genuine and deep relationships with the community, fostering a supportive and engaged network of donors.

Amy’s professional journey is marked by her poise, emotional intelligence, and cultural competence, much of which she attributes to 10+ years of rigorous music education and performance experience. Over the past decade, she has developed and nurtured a vast network of connections within the arts and culture space, solidifying her reputation as a fierce advocate for the arts. Amy is a member of the Board of Directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals Chicago. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Elmhurst University and is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE). Amy is a deeply invested mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend, as committed to her loved ones as she is to her profession. A sincere proponent of philanthropy, she became a kidney donor in 2022. She has a genuine love for travel, food, and culture, finding joy in the company of her family and pets, a good book, or attending live concerts and performances.

Amy wholeheartedly believes in the power of music education to build critical skills, positive community, and transform young lives. With a commitment to excellence and a passion for the arts, Amy continues to inspire and lead, making a significant impact in both the philanthropic and cultural sectors.

We caught up with Amy to learn more about what she's most excited for in her new role, what she's learned in the past four years with Uniting Voices and the passion she brings to our mission.

Uniting Voices: How are you feeling about the transition? Could you talk a bit about how your previous experience at Lyric Opera has set you up for success in this new leadership position at Uniting Voices?

Amy Tinucci: I am overjoyed to be able to continue my professional journey with Uniting Voices. I felt an immediate connection to the work when first introduced in 2020, and my passion has grown exponentially over the past four years. I have always had a knack for operations and strategy, beginning with my very first role as Administrative Assistant at Lyric Opera. I was known for identifying areas of opportunity and making unsolicited (hah!) recommendations for new or improved procedures. My collegial approach and innate communication skills allowed me to easily work across teams to implement said procedures. This ambitious and thoughtful approach to process improvement led to various roles with increased responsibility, and eventually to the creation of a centralized Development Operations team that I would oversee for the last half of my tenure. Management and strategy are certainly passion points for me and I look forward to leaning into these areas as Chief Operating Officer.

UV: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned or experienced with Uniting Voices over the past four years?

AT: The sheer magnitude of what Uniting Voices achieves in a single program year. Over 3,000 lives impacted (and that’s just the kids!), countless concerts and community performances, national and international tours, media appearances, workshops and collaborations. It’s truly unbelievable.

UV: What are you most excited about in your new role as Chief Operating Officer?

AT: The challenge. Steering this ship is complex and each day presents new and varied challenges and opportunities. I look forward to developing new muscles and flexing existing ones, forging new relationships/partnerships, and maintaining those that we’ve held dear for nearly 70 years. I’m eager to listen to and learn from this powerhouse team, Board of Directors, Ambassadors Board, Councils and Task Forces. And most of all, I’m excited to help expand the impact of this incredible organization, so that more people are exposed to the vibrancy and community that is Uniting Voices.

UV: What’s your favorite performance or event memory with Uniting Voices?

AT: My first experience will always be my favorite. I attended the Black History Month Concert Series in February 2020 as a candidate for the development leadership role and had not a clue what I was in for. I sat through that performance grinning ear to ear, ugly crying, and joining in to sing an impassioned arrangement of “We Shall Overcome” with thousands of Chicago youth, committed supporters, and ardent community partners. I immediately knew I had found my place. I wanted to help everyone experience the power of this program.

UV: Why are you so passionate about our mission to inspire and change lives through music?

AT: My music education changed the trajectory of my life. As the youngest of five children, I grew up in a blue-collar suburb west of Chicago in a family with limited means. Opportunities within the education system were scarce, with minimal guidance for pursuing higher education. However, with encouragement from my supportive, artistically and musically gifted family, I seized every chance to participate in music classes. I played percussion, sang in choir, and engaged in musical theater workshops and performances. Through music education, I gained confidence and a sense of self, which allowed me to envision a brighter future. I am proud to say that I am a first-generation college graduate. Being part of an organization that provides accessible music education and youth empowerment programs is deeply personal and important to me.

UV: What’s your favorite concert/live performance (non-Uniting Voices) you’ve ever been to?

AT: This is impossible for me to answer because I have a favorite within every genre of music!! For classical/opera it’s Massanet’s Werther at Lyric in 2012. Something just clicked for me during that production and I was completely captivated. For rock/alternative, it was an Incubus concert at Northerly Island nearly a decade ago. Brandon Boyd sang a cover of “Stand by Me'' under the stars, next to the expanse of Lake Michigan and it was blissful. Other contenders include Bonnie Raitt, Regina Spektor, Sara Bareilles, Brandi Carlile, John Legend, Pretty Lights, Troyboi, or any of the 50 times I’ve seen the musical RENT. I’ve had the privilege to see hundreds of live concerts, operas, and theater/musical performances over the past 20 years. It’s a shared passion with my husband and family and what adds the most vibrant color to our lives.

UV: How do you bring our values of expression, education and excellence to your own life?

AT: My mom always taught me to “go the extra mile.” This, while incredibly frustrating at times, has served me very well. It has prompted an insatiable desire for learning and a need to always put my best foot forward. For expression, I have long been encouraged to be my authentic self and spent many years in music education building the preparatory skills to have the confidence to do so. My eyebrows do the rest! ;)

UV: In your own words, how do you think building a harmonious world starts here in Chicago?

AT: When people feel pride in their own identity and respect the broad diversity of those unlike themselves, differences are simpler to reconcile. Through Uniting Voices’ culturally empowering curriculum and very intentional cross-cultural connections and collaborations, we reveal our common humanity through the shared experience of music. There is so much beauty and positivity in Chicago, we see it every day. Our young people will begin to shift the narrative here in Chicago, and they will lead the way.