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2020 Headshot, Composer Audrey Kelley

Photo: Patrick Harlin

Audrey Kelley has been commissioned by orchestras, visual artists, choreographers and filmmakers to compose music for projects ranging from textile installations and musical theatre works, to modern dance and animation. Many of Audrey’s acoustic and electronic works combine important issues and themes with music – from mental health, to sustainability, to women’s suffrage. Her most recent work for full orchestra, Speakeasy: Vignettes of the Roaring Twenties, was commissioned by the Jackson Symphony Orchestra and premiered in 2021. Using the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage as a thematic springboard, Speakeasy is an homage to the music, philosophy, fashion, and excess that flared into being in the 1920s and became exemplified by the empowered Flapper. Composed in four scenes/movements, the work can be performed whole or as selections. Audrey’s orchestral, chamber, and electronic compositions have been commissioned and performed by the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, Lansing Symphony Orchestra chamber players, Salina Symphony, Firehouse Performing Arts, Bellingham Electronic Arts Festival, the Sitka Music Festival, and others.

In addition to her composition career, Audrey has held leadership roles in the arts for over 15 years. 2023 marked Audrey’s 14th and final season with Bellingham Festival of Music in Bellingham, Washington. Previously she was the Director of Executive and Board Operations for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra where she collaboratively led the Advancement department in the areas of engagement, fundraising and governance.  She has also led marketing and development for Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as well as public relations consulting for the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. As an educator, Audrey has maintained a private studio of piano, clarinet, and composition students for more than 20 years. She has given masterclasses, preconcert lectures, and taught undergraduate composition at Western Washington University.


Audrey was a 2023 Women’s Leadership Program graduate of the Yale School of Management and she holds a Master’s degree in Music Composition from Western Washington University. In August 2023 she attended the Hermitage Artist Retreat, an invitation-only residency based on previous artistic output. Her orchestral work Speakeasy opened the 23-24 Salina Symphony season, and her chamber work for string quartet and harp, Queen's Bath, Kauai, which was written for Earth day 2023, was premiered by Lansing Symphony chamber players as part of their Planet Earth program for the “LSO at the Robin Theater” chamber music series. Audrey is currently creating the band transcription of Speakeasy for the 24-25 season, as well as collaborating on a musical with composer Patrick Harlin, with plans for a 2025 showcase in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Salina Symphony, 2023

Student masterclass at Lakewood Middle School, 2023.

Photo: Alison Harbaugh

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