John Kelly

John Kelly’s Mission: Pull the Audience in

Music Education and Saxophone Performance | Conservatory of Music and Dance
Graduation Year: 2016

Where is UMKC taking you?

It is taking me to the next level as a teacher, musician and human being in general.

Why did you choose UMKC?

I chose UMKC because of the people I met and the reputation of the Conservatory.

How has college inspired you?

The people at UMKC have inspired me to work hard, be creative, uphold values and have fun!

Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?

I have learned that I’m beginning to show early signs of male-pattern baldness.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received from a professor?

“Cast out a web and pull the audience into your sound.” This quote by Karen Kushner has depth and meaning that can be transferred to many aspects of life.

Who do you admire most at UMKC?

Professors Joseph Parisi, Steven Davis and Zachary Shemon have helped mold me into the musician and person I am today, along with many other great teachers in the Conservatory of Music and Dance. They truly care about their students and would go to the ends of the Earth to help me and my peers. These great examples motivate me to maximize my path of becoming a music teacher.

Are you a first-generation college student?

No, I’m currently the third generation of my family to pass through college and the University of Missouri System.

What excites you?

UMKC sporting events.

What’s your greatest fear?

Spiders. Eh… maybe snakes.

What got you interested in performance?

My early music teachers. I’ve been taking piano lessons since first grade.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years I will be 31. I hope to have a doctoral degree by 31 so I can justifiably wear a Dr. Pepper T-shirt that says “trust me I’m a doctor” — I’m only slightly kidding. One of my main goals is to become a music teacher at a high school or university and I hope to be well on this path by 31. Also, it would be nice to be married (or close to it) and live somewhere near a large body of water where one could fish, water ski and swim at will.

What is one word that best describes you and why?

Passionate. I created a life mission statement over the summer that I strive to live out. It can be best explained by Revelation 4:11. “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”