Mr. Kelly is the Choral director at Millbrook High School. He directs five ensembles: Varsity Men’s choir, the Route 7 Jazz ensemble, Treble ensemble, Advanced Women’s ensemble, and concert choir. Before Mr. Kelly started in choir, he was in band, but he decided to go into choir because he says teaching choir fits his personality better. He wanted to become the instruments and help others to become their own instrument.
Mr. Kelly loves to teach all parts of music, but he especially loves to teach musicality because it is understanding of the concepts of phrases in music and the direction music is going in. “I love when students understand the framework of what we do or the foundations of what we do,” said Mr. Kelly. He added that he enjoys it when students have the ability to teach one another. Expression in and through music is another important aspect to Mr. Kelly. He loves classes when students discuss the meaning of a piece and get very deep into the meaning without caring what others think. Choir, to Mr. Kelly, is also a tool for people to express and develop themselves. “I hope it [choir] gives people a singing voice and not only that but a speaking voice,” he said.
Each year, the style of music Mr. Kelly’s ensembles perform changes. He wants to bring pieces and concepts to students that would fit them. Mr. Kelly is always eager to bring students concepts that he finds that are exciting.
The most challenging aspect of teaching choir to Mr. Kelly is overcoming preconceptions and different obstacles students face. He wants students to overcome those obstacles to more easily learn new concepts then start build on them to excel. He it is also getting students to break their preconceptions about choir. High school choir, to Mr. Kelly, is finding out who you are and embracing new experience and knowledge. He wants choir to be a place where students come to learn and express themselves while having fun and being a part of something. He wants students to be able to express the meaning of music with others while enjoying themselves in choir.