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Photo by Ann Brown 

Dr. Kelly Ker Hackleman earned the degrees of B.M., M.M.

and D.M.A., all in Piano Performance, from the Cincinnati Conservatory, New England Conservatory, and the University of Memphis, respectively. She has served on the faculties of George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Frederick Community College in

Maryland, and in Tennessee - the University of Memphis and Rhodes College, and most recently, the University of Missouri at Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. In addition to teaching applied piano, coaching chamber music, and serving as staff accompanist, Dr. Hackleman also taught Sight Singing and Ear Training, Keyboard Skills, Keyboard Literature, Fundamentals of Music, Intro to Classical Music, and Music in Computer Technology. She developed, launched, and taught the first online course – Intro to Classical Music - offered by the George Mason University School of Music for the 2012-2013 school year. She taught the same course for the UMKC Conservatory of Music for 10 years, from 2014 to 2024.


Kelly was Minister of Music at Grand Avenue Temple United Methodist Church in Kansas City, MO for two years, where she was privileged to play the oldest surviving 4-manual Skinner organ in existence which has not been mechanically or tonally modified by anyone other than Mr. Skinner himself. The organ and the church are in the registry of US historical landmarks. She presently serves as Minister of Music at Gashland Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Gladstone, MO  and is also Director of Music at Shawnee Presbyterian Church in Shawnee, KS. She launched a new concert series, "Community Concerts at Shawnee Presbyterian" in 2021, for which she is Artistic Director.

Kelly was organist at Kirkwood Presbyterian Church in Springfield, VA for 9 years where she also served as Artistic Director for Concerts from Kirkwood. Her composition, “In This House,” a choral anthem, was premiered by the Kirkwood Presbyterian Church Choir in 2006 upon the dedication of their newly renovated sanctuary.

As an orchestral pianist, Kelly has played keyboard for the Montréal Symphony Orchestra, the McGill Chamber Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the Washington Concert Ballet, the Washington Choral Society, Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra, Fairfax Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony, and the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra. She served as principal pianist with the Alexandria Symphony for 12 years and held the same position with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra for 6 years. Kelly’s doctoral dissertation was on the use of piano as an orchestral instrument.


Kelly was pianist for the Washington Symphonic Brass, and has recorded three CDs with them –Voices of Brass - which includes Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Saint-Saens’ Organ Symphony - and The Edge, which includes Copland’s Appalachian Spring, and Classic Rock for Brass. Kelly has also recorded a CD with her husband, Martin Hackleman – Solitary Hotel - which can be found on iTunes.


An accomplished chamber musician and accompanist, Dr. Hackleman was a founding member of the Peabody Trio of Memphis. She has performed frequently in chamber music performances in the Washington, D.C. area, including the Millennium Stage Series at the Kennedy Center, Mount Vernon, and the Lyceum in Alexandria, with colleagues from GMU and the National Symphony Orchestra.


Dr. Hackleman has won or placed in numerous solo piano competitions, notably second prize in the International Beethoven Sonata Competition and fourth prize in the National Masters Piano Competition. The honor of “Distinction in Performance” was awarded to her upon graduation from the New England Conservatory.

An avid ambassador for music, Dr. Hackleman has been asked to present lectures for the Faculty Arts Board of George Mason University, the Friends of Music for George Mason University, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and the Springfield Music Club. She served as resident lecturer for the McLean Orchestra’s “Classical Insights with Kelly: A Pre-concert Lecture Series.”


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