Ashley Killam (she/her) is an international speaker, trumpet player, entrepreneur, and drill designer based in Radford, Virginia. She is the President of Diversify the Stand, the General Manager for Rising Tide Music Press, and has spent her post-school years researching and presenting across the country.
An advocate for creating change in music, Killam is passionate about building awareness for underrepresented voices in music and providing performers and educators resources to make ethical and sustainable changes in performing and teaching music. She has presented her lecture, “Fanfare for the Unheard” to over 75 college and high school departments across the United States and Canada, featuring new music and providing insight and resources to create change in individual programs. This resource became the backbone for Diversify the Stand, which is a platform to listen and learn from the stories of underrepresented voices in the musical community through a podcast, book club, and commissioning projects. Killam has commissioned 16 new works for trumpet, with multiple sponsored by music grants, and edited a new collection of trumpet solos and duets by Belinda Reynolds. As a part of Diversify the Stand, Killam is commissioning, self-publishing, and selling the first-ever progressive trumpet solo book by 12 diverse composers.
Along with her work as a speaker and researcher, Killam currently serves as co-chair and founding member of the International Trumpet Guild’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and on the New Works Committee. Killam is the co-digital archivist for the International Women’s Brass Conference. Killam has been published in the peer-reviewed International Women’s Brass Conference NoteWorthy Journal and the International Trumpet Guild Journal.
An accomplished arts administrator, Killam is the General Manager at Rising Tide Music Press, a company committed to publishing works by Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian composers, creating dedicated spaces for traditionally underrepresented voices in music and providing music educators with culturally responsive pedagogy.
Killam has performed in a wide range of ensembles, from chamber music to large bands and orchestras, performing professionally with the North Carolina Brass Band, New Mexico Philharmonic, and the Sandia Brass Quintet.
As an educator, Killam teaches trumpet lessons, sectionals, full brass rehearsals and has worked with students of all ages and skill levels. She has taught privately for over a decade, and many of her students have been recognized for their excellence. Several of Killam’s students have participated in honor and All-State classical and jazz bands in New Mexico and North Carolina. She also has been hired to design a 53-week curriculum and record 371 videos for beginning voice and yoga, to provide online classes for younger students.
Killam also has significant marching band experience as a drill writer, visual instructor, and director. She marched for three years with the Marching Illini at the University of Illinois, appearing in Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2014 and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2015. She has written drill since 2014 and has written shows for the Appalachian State University Marching Band, the Marching Illini Sousaphone section, and high school bands in Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, writing for ensembles with 15 to 150 students.
Killam currently resides in Radford, Virginia, with her husband and corgi. She holds a Master of Music in Trumpet Performance from the University of New Mexico and a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her former instructors include Dr. John Marchiando, Charles Daval, Ron Romm, and Mark Thompson.