Chicago College of Performing Arts

Deans Alumni Awardee

The Dean’s Alumni Award recognizes alumni whose service, dedication, leadership and support have been exceptional to students, the Chicago College of Performing Arts, and Roosevelt University.

Music Education, '60
President of the National Association of Negro Musicians Inc. 

Anne-Marie Hudley (Simmons), native of Chicago, Illinois, is considered by some a “magnet of faith.” She has been elected the 24th President of the National Association of Negro Musicians Inc. (NANM Inc.) at the Centennial Convention in Chicago, Ill, in 2019. 

She received her bachelor’s degree at The Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University majoring in music education with a minor in performance (marimbist). She came to New York to attend Columbia University, yet, after a break in studies due to family matters, she ultimately received her master’s degree from Queens’ College and post-grad studies at Fordham University. Although she holds licenses as education administrator, supervisor/administrator of schools, K-12, she has maintained her skills as a performing artist. However, her main focus has been the development of young people in music education and the performing arts for which she founded and directed Friends of Young Artists, Inc. She is former Director of Music for the City of New York with its 1.2 million students, the largest school district in the country and during her tenure restored instrumental music to many of its elementary and middle schools. She held leadership over 800 teachers and a myriad of principals. Additionally, she was the Director of the All-City High School Chorus which concertized in Europe 3 years consecutively. She also served as former Region 5 Director of the Arts for Region 5 for 101 schools after founding the Performing Arts and Technology High School in Brooklyn of which she was first principal.  

On retiring from the New York City Public School system, she was appointed the Director of the Arts for the Freeport School District and created a sequential K-12 Arts program for the visual arts, bands, choruses, orchestras, electronic music, composition and music appreciation. During this time, she was asked to become the Principal of the Columbus Avenue School and implemented a solid arts program for the early childhood population. Recently, after a short break in service to write a book, she was selected to serve as Music Chairperson for the Elmont Memorial High School.  

Ms. Hudley Simmons serves as Minister of Music at the Presbyterian Church of St. Albans. She was the former President of B-Sharp Branch Queens/Long Island Branch of NANM Inc., an organization dedicated to the preservation of music composed and/or performed by African Americans, supporting emerging artists with scholarships and venues for performance. She was the Regional Scholarship Chair of NANM Inc. until she was elected to the National NANM Inc. board. She is a director of choirs, vocalist, pianist and marimbist.  

She holds awards from the National Association of Negro Musicians, Music Educators Association of New York, Reliance Award that recognizes educators nationally of distinction, Queens Professional and Business Women’s Award, New York State Administrators Honor Award, Honors Award for Community Service, Outstanding Service Award to the Church and Community from The Daughters of Rizpah Award, International Music Festival of Rome Award of Excellence and proclamations from each of the five borough presidents for outstanding contributions to arts education and performance.   

Anne-Marie has enjoyed playing the piano with Dave Brubeck at the premiers of his Mass – All My Hope, sung with the Carr-Hill Singers in Connecticut and playing the marimba with bassist’ Milt Hinton. She says she owes her talent and gifts to the Creator and its development from professors in the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt and parents who would not give up her ability, challenged with dyslexia, to reach her fullest potential. As a result, she pays it forward again and again. A role model to us all and a leader for all.