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Dr. Frankie J. Kelly, Instructor/Staff Accompanist at UNO and professionally-trained orchestral clarinetist, is an experienced performer at the national and international levels. She is highly regarded for her lyricism and virtuosity. In the 1980’s she performed with orchestras in Mexico City. These include the Opera Orchestra of Bellas Artes, the OFUNAM, The State of Mexico Symphony, and the Mexico City Philharmonic. In each, she held the positions of either Assistant Principal or Principal clarinet. In addition, she appeared as soloist during the prestigious Cervantino Festival and on two occasions as a member of the festival orchestra, Mineria, which is now directed by Carlos Miguel Prieto , Artistic Director of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. From the principal chair, Frankie was invited to appear as concerto soloist, where she performed both the Mozart and Weber 1 concertos. As an artistic leader in the world’s largest city and a place that values classical tradition, she became a part of the international community and therefore worked with many others to link people, groups, and students to projects both in Mexico and the United States.
Upon returning to the United States in 1989, she has divided her time as artist/teacher/scholar, first completing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Illinois. While at Illinois, she served as the Teaching Assistant to J. David Harris and performed with Sinfonia da Camara, the Illinois Symphony, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony, the University of Illinois Opera Orchestra, and the Danville Symphony. In 1993, she entered the Institute of Chamber Music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and performed with the woodwind quintet, Aircraft. Aircraft was a semi-finalist in the Concert Artist Guild competition in 1994. In addition, she worked closely with the composers-in-residence in Milwaukee. These include John Downey, Yehuda Yannay, and Jon Welsted. Yehuda and Frankie were awarded grant monies to produce “Latin American Music NOW” in 1994, and a three day festival occurred in 1995. This festival brought together artists and composers from Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, and Columbia as well as from Chicago and Milwaukee.
Teaching appointments held include Western Carolina University, Southeastern Louisiana University, adjunct work at Loyola University, and her current position at the University of New Orleans. In each scenario, Frankie has written grants to bring important solo and chamber music stars to collaborate with Faculty and students, encouraged Latin American exchange by linking to her professional colleagues in Mexico City, Honduras, and Costa Rica, and by involving herself in international interests, not only through music performance but also study abroad. She currently serves as the Chapter Coordinator of Phi Beta Delta, an international organization that honors international academic and cultural achievement.
In Louisiana, Frankie performs as called upon by many professional organizations. These include the Baton Rouge Symphony, the Rapides Orchestra, the Lake Charles Symphony, the New Orleans New Music Ensemble, the Trinity Artist Series, the Jefferson Performing Arts Society, and in 2008-09 will work with two newly invented groups, Molto and the New Resonance Orchestra. In addition, she is now part of the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra staff of conductors and is conducting the North Shore Philharmonia, an intermediate level ensemble. Always concerned about music education, she supports young artist development by performing with the area’s best talent through the Suzuki programs, the GNOYO Young Artist Competition, and the Louisiana Philharmonic Young Artist competition.
Frankie has recorded with the UNAM Orchestra, the Mineria Orchestra, the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra, and the Mexico City Philharmonic. Just after completing her doctorate, she began a research oriented recording entitled, “Tapestry: New Music from the Americas”. This CD was released in 2000 and includes commissioned works by many of the composers represented. Tapestry has been reviewed in the Clarinet Magazine, Sequenza 21, and 21st Century Music. Selections have been aired throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Israel, Romania, and Germany. The CD is available through amazon.com, Eroica , and the American Composers Forum. CD recording number two is in progress and features selected solo and chamber music by American composer Robert Muczynski.
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