National Contemporary/Commercial Co-Chair (Show Choir)
Bio: Raised in Solon, OH, Kelsey D. Burkett is a 2006 Graduate of Capital University, where she majored in Music Education and served as the alto section leader in the renown Chapel Choir. She completed her Masters of Music in Music Education and Kodaly Certification from Capital University in 2019. In her 17th year of teaching, she has a passion for the developing voice and middle school singers. She serves as the Director of Choirs at Hilliard Memorial Middle School, where she directs the 7th Grade Treble Choir, 8th Grade Treble Choir, and Blue Notes. Alongside Jeremy Witt and Alyssa Schott, she oversees the Jaguar A Cappella Program, which boasts four contemporary a cappella groups in grades 7-12. She also serves as co-director of Bradley High School’s premier Contemporary A Cappella Group, Shades of Blue, who have gone viral on TikTok and Instagram with over 350,000 views of their multiple arrangements of pop hits. Shades of Blue will make their debut as a featured ensemble at the 2023 American Choral Directors Association National Conference.
Choirs under her direction have consistently received Superior and Excellent ratings and Grand Championships at the District, State, and National Contest levels. In June 2016, the MMS Choirs made their Carnegie Hall Debut as a part of the Songs of Inspiration and Hope Concert under the director of Mrs. Lori Loftus. In Summer of 2018, the MMS 8th Grade Treble Choir performed for the Ohio Choral Director’s Association Summer Conference at Otterbein University. In 2022, they were chosen as the only middle school choir to perform at the Ohio Music Education Association Professional Development Conference. Ms. Burkett has been spurred to be a warrior for Social Justice within her community, and recently co-founded the Hilliard BIPOC Alliance, for her coworkers of color within the Hilliard City School District, working for change within and outside of their classrooms. Recently, she co-presented as part of the OCDA Virtual Series “New Directions” on the Decolonization of Choral Ensembles. She also serves as the South-Central Region Chair for the Ohio Choral Director’s Association. In 2022, she was appointed an American Choral Director’s Association National R&R Co-Chair for Contemporary and Commercial Choirs.
In March 2020, Ms. Burkett was selected as one of 10 educators from across the United States as a Country Music Association Music Teacher of Excellence.
Ms. Burkett maintains an active singing career, performing with professional ensembles around the city of Columbus. She is also in demand as a clinician, music education advocate, and honor choir conductor. She is a member of the American Choral Director’s Association, Ohio Music Education Association, and the Organization of American Kodaly Educators. She lives in Columbus with her 4-year-old daughter, Harper, and their cat, Phil.
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