Elaine Kelly, Viola

Name: Elaine Kelly '15
Hometown: Olympia, WA
Instruments: Viola, Mandolin
Major: Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance
Minor: Religion
Residence: Off Campus
Musical Involvements: Symphony Orchestra (Co-Principal, Orchestra Manager), Chamber Music, recitals
Involvements Outside Music: Puget Sound Outdoors Club (leads Backpacking, Snowshoeing, Blueberry-Picking trips!), Passages Leader, Student Market (sold homemade jam and granola), Study Abroad in Milan, Italy during 2013-2014 school year, works for a flower farm in Olympia during the summers

On why I chose Puget Sound: I chose Puget Sound for many reasons! When I came to visit as a senior in high school, I noticed the incredibly kind and supportive campus atmosphere. People were so friendly and community-oriented. I also really appreciated the small class sizes and the personal connections that the students and the teachers shared. The string faculty members were awesome and provided a high caliber of musical education. University of Puget Sound was also able to offer me some very generous scholarships, making college realistic and affordable for my family. Now, as a student, I have discovered that Puget Sound has exceeded the expectations that I created from these observations, providing an amazing place to learn, connect, and grow.

Favorite thing about Puget Sound and the School of Music: The teachers make the School of Music really special. They are all so dedicated to meeting the needs of the students. They go out of their way to make sure students are prepared for recitals, gigs, and lessons, always providing incredibly helpful feedback. The teachers all have active performing careers and are such talented and prolific musicians with very high standards for themselves and for their students. The concerts they put on are extraordinary; they never fail to impress.

Favorite Classes:

  • "Beginning Instrumental Conducting and Techniques" (MUS 291) with Gerard Morris. It bought me a whole new perspective on the role of the conductor and the concentration, coordination, and practice that goes into conducting. 
  • "World Religions" (REL 202) with Jonathan Stockdale. We read very interesting and thought-provoking books, and have had some wonderful discussions. It is a very rewarding class!

Favorite musical memory at Puget Sound (so far): The past two semesters I have had the opportunity to play in some awesome Chamber Music ensembles. In Fall 2012 I had the opportunity to play the String Quintet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 111 by Brahms. During Spring 2013 I was in a piano quintet, and we played two movements from Dvorâk's Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 181. Both are really important pieces in the repertoire of string chamber music, and provided a great canvas for musical creativity and development. The members of each quintet are such wonderful musicians and we always had productive and useful rehearsals. The performances were so much fun!

Favorite place on campus: I love Karlan Quad. It is my favorite place to go when I need a quick mid-day Frisbee toss or a nice morning stretch in the sunlight. After long hours in the music building or the library, it is the perfect place to stop for a moment and take a deep breath.


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