No. 1 on the Charts, No. 1 in our Hearts

August 22, 2023

If you’re a Bear who keeps their eyes on the Billboard charts, you may have seen a familiar name recently. This summer, Baylor School of Music’s Kathleen Kelly, an assistant professor of vocal coaching, collaborated with soprano Emily Albrink on the recent release Force of Nature, which reached No. 1 on Billboard Magazine’s “Traditional Classical Albums” chart the week of May 13.

Force of Nature was born out of Albrink’s desire to create a lasting tribute to her mother and children. Kelly was brought in on the album as a collaborator based on their long-shared mutual admiration.

The partnership between Albrink and Kelly led to the world premiere of Force of Nature taking place at Baylor this past spring as part of the Lyceum Series. Thanks to the premiere at Baylor, students and the local community were able to hear the project live for the first time. The concert was followed by a Q&A with Kelly and Albrink about the album and their collaboration. Later in the summer, the pair performed in France.

While she is new to the Baylor faculty, Kelly has already positively impacted the School of Music’s mission and culture.

“Kathy Kelly stands as one of the preeminent operatic/lieder coaches in the world of music today,” says School of Music Dean Gary Mortenson, D.M.A. “Kelly has knowledge and vast experience, at the very highest levels of artistic understanding that is exemplary in every way. Our students thrive under her careful guidance and support. We are so fortunate to have her on our faculty.”