• Baylor prof’s album hits No. 1 on Billboard chart

    Professor Kathleen Kelly and the Billboard chart with her album at No. 1

    A Baylor professor just hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts.

    Yes, you read that right. Specifically, 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.

    When Force of Nature hit the top on Billboard’s chart, it beat out such albums as Thomas Adès’ Dante by the LA Philharmonic, a Beethoven album featuring Yo-Yo Ma, and a new recording of John Williams conducting the Berlin Philharmonic — an impressive feat.

    The album was born out of Albrink’s desire to create a lasting tribute to her mother and children. She brought in Kelly as a collaborator, based on their long-shared mutual admiration. Thanks to that partnership, the world premiere of Force of Nature took place at Baylor this spring as part of the Lyceum Series. Students and audience members got to hear the project live for the first time and ask Kelly and Albrink questions. (This summer, the pair will perform together again — this time, in France!)

    Though new to the Baylor faculty, Kelly has already impacted the School of Music’s mission and culture.

    “Kathy Kelly stands as one of the pre-eminent operatic/lieder coaches in the world of music today,” says School of Music Dean Gary Mortenson. “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 here.”

    Sic ’em, Professor Kelly!