School of Music Director
Kelly Burke’s record of achievement as a musician includes many years as principal clarinetist of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra and bass clarinetist of the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra, as well as five internationally released recordings for which she was the principal artist. She has appeared in recitals and as a soloist with symphony orchestras throughout the United States, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Russia, and China.
She has been hailed as “an accomplished player with prodigious technical skills and impeccable musical judgment” possessing “a gorgeous dark tone that is incredibly even from the bottom to the top of the register” with a “lustrous tonal palette.” Her most recent review (2022) of her performance of Messiaen's Abîme des Oiseaux, which is “sometimes incredibly slow-moving and other times frenzied, Burke's playing of this movement was phenomenal.”
Burke is an award-winning teacher who has been recognized multiple times including Teaching Excellence awards from the UNCG School of Music, the University, and the UNC Board of Governors, and a nomination for a UNCG Research Excellence Award. Her teaching has been described as “bringing to her students the insight of a thoughtful teacher, the objectivity of a meticulous scientist, the technical wizardry of a clarinet virtuoso, the mind of a learned scholar, and the soul of a true musician.” She has been invited to lead residencies and give masterclasses at universities all over the world. She is the author of numerous pedagogical articles and a critically acclaimed volume on clarinet pedagogy.
Currently a Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina Greensboro’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, she was the Professor of Clarinet for 25 years before moving into full-time administrative roles. She has served as Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School, Associate Dean of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, Head of the Department of Music Performance, and treasurer of the International Clarinet Association.
She holds the BM and MM degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the DMA from the University of Michigan. Burke is an artist/clinician for Vandoren International and is a Buffet performing artist who plays exclusively on Buffet Crampon clarinets.