Dr. Jennifer Kelly is Associate Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities at Lafayette College, recent Artistic Director of the Concord Chamber Singers (2012-21), and the author of In Her Own Words: Conversations with Composers in the United States presenting her research in the U.S., Europe, and China. Earning her doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles under her mentor Donald Neuen, Dr. Kelly went on to conduct the Philharmonic Orchestra at the Kadima Conservatory, Los Angeles United Musicians Symphony Orchestra, and additional ensembles at the colleges of Los Angeles Valley and Lafayette.
Dr. Kelly is an active guest conductor and clinician, with her ensembles known for their energy, dynamic versatility, innovative programming, and impactful storytelling. With a grant from The Hearst Foundations, she developed several new commission projects with conducted premieres including a major work by Gabriela Lena Frank; the first concerto for sitar, tabla, orchestra and chorus, composed by Hasu Patel; and a major work honoring the shared narrative of cultures in the Lehigh Valley, composed by Libby Larsen. As a musical director for theater, Dr. Kelly’s shows include Chicago, Urinetown, Little Women, Steel Pier, Last Five Years, Cole, and Pippin. As a professional vocalist, she has studied with Karen Morrow, Kari Windigstadt-White, Dorothy Warenskjold, John Hall, Gary Busby, and Eric van Hoven. She was a professional ensemble singer with the London Philharmonia Chorus and BBC Concert Orchestra in the performance of contemporary work St. John Passion by James MacMillan, sang the mezzo roles in Gilbert & Sullivan: Revue, and is a professional cabaret vocalist.
Dr. Kelly was Lafayette’s Director of Arts from 2015-2021. From this leadership position, she led several multiyear campus-wide projects including grants that explore the arts in contemporary Muslim cultures, infuse the arts across campus, and examine the essential relationship between arts and technology. She helped to expand the footprint and visibility of the arts on campus while leading the development of a collaborative vision for Lafayette Arts. She has also served as project co-director with the College’s Engineering Division to reconceive the entrepreneurial mindset in higher education, and is the co-developer of Meta Mindset.