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Meet Kelly Watkins

Kelly Watkins (she/they) has forged a diverse path in the arts as a performer, educator, conductor, and administrator. A twenty-year career with the United States Coast Guard Band led them to performing engagements across the United States, Japan, and Taiwan, including musical support for heads of state and many U.S. Presidents. In 2022, Kelly joined the staff of the critically acclaimed chamber ensemble So Percussion as Director of Operations and Tour Manager. From 2013-2016 Kelly served as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Queer Big Apple Corps Symphonic Band in New York City and in 2017 was appointed to the faculty of Eastern Connecticut State University as Director of the Eastern Concert Band and instructor of applied conducting. Kelly holds degrees from Illinois State University, Northwestern State University of Louisiana, and has studied conducting with Dr. James Patrick Miller and Dr. Michelle Rakers, among others. They currently serve on the Board of Directors of the Athena Brass Band and as the Connecticut State Chair in the Eastern Division of the College Band Directors National Association and are a past President of the International Women’s Brass Conference.

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