AUDREY KELLEY (b. 1982) is a Michigan-based composer, teacher and classical arts concert coordinator. Many of Audrey’s contemporary classical and electronic compositions combine major issues and themes with music – from mental health and sustainability to women’s suffrage. Her most recent work for full orchestra, Speakeasy, premieres November 2021 with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra. Using the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage as a thematic springboard, Speakeasy is a four movement orchestral celebration of the music, philosophy, fashion and excess that flared into being in the 1920s and became embodied by the empowered Flapper.
As a composer she has collaborated with visual artists, choreographers and filmmakers on projects ranging from textile installations and music theatre works, to modern dance and animation. Her commissioned works have been presented by the Bellingham Electronic Arts Festival (BEAF), Sitka Music Festival, and FireHouse Performing Arts. Her first instruments included her father’s harmonica, mother’s guitar, and grandparent’s electric organ, before trading those in for the piano and shortly thereafter clarinet because, with its large mass of gleaming silver keys, it looked the most complicated of all the instruments.
Audrey’s work takes her to her birth state of Washington each summer for the Bellingham Festival of Music, where she serves in varied professional roles including festival and outreach coordination, pre-concert lectures and interviews, and production management, as well as scouting and contracting guest artists. During the academic year Audrey resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she composes, handles guest artist contracting for the Bellingham Festival of Music, and teaches a private studio of piano, clarinet and composition students. Audrey earned both her bachelor and master of music composition degrees from Western Washington University.
Completing her most recent orchestral work Speakeasy in a 1929 cabin in the mountains of Utah, elevation 7,000 feet. August 2020. (Photo: Patrick Harlin)