2010 Young Alumni Award

Kelly Biese '01

Kelly Biese’s involvement in helping and serving others while advancing her own life and career began as a student at SNC. She performed as principal euphonium in the Wind Ensemble, trumpet in the Concert Band, and trombone in the Jazz Band, and participated in Pep Band, Concert Choir, Low Brass Ensemble and Pit Orchestra. She was also a guest soloist and guest conductor with the De Pere City Band.

During her St. Norbert years, Kelly served as both a residence hall assistant and a music office assistant. She practice-taught instrumental music at local schools, and also gave private instruction in euphonium, trumpet and trombone. Impressively, Kelly managed to balance her full slate of activities with a strong academic performance; she graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in music.

After graduation, she went on to Bowling Green State University, earning master’s degrees in euphonium performance (2006) and music education (2007). As a graduate teaching assistant, Kelly worked in the music library, taught a course in low brass techniques, and helped organize several school bands. She was principal euphonium in five musical groups, and taught music part-time at two area grade schools.

Since 2005, Kelly has been the director of bands for all the Catholic schools in Lima, Ohio, and conducts the high school’s Concert Band, Marching Band, Pep Band, Jazz Band and Pit Orchestra. In 2007, she introduced a music theory course at the high school.

Of her teaching experiences, Kelly says: “… special to me is that I have the unique opportunity to work with my students and watch them grow from 5th grade through 12th grade, knowing that I taught them to play their very first note … There truly is no greater feeling than watching them walk across the stage at graduation and begin a new phase in their lives, knowing that God blessed me with the opportunity to play some small role in their growth and development.” Kelly has also been a member of JUNCTION, a professional tubaeuphonium quartet, performing across the United States and Europe, including guest appearances with Pershing’s Own U.S. Army Band, the Lexington Brass Band, and brass bands in Switzerland and Austria. She has also been honored by, among others, the International Women’s Brass Conference Artist Euphonium Competition.

Recently, Kelly was one of three leaders who introduced “Celebrate Recovery,” an international 12-step Christian recovery program in their community. In addition, she has served as a volunteer on the Expressive Arts committee for Camp Sunrise, which helps children and teens who are impacted by HIV and AIDS. Kelly credits her liberal arts education at St. Norbert with instilling a passion for learning, as well as a strong desire to stay involved with her Catholic faith. She gratefully cites the influence of faculty members including professors Muhs, McAndrews, Ebert, Wadell and Huff.

Her advice to current and future students is something she herself has clearly heeded: “Savor each moment you have as an SNC student, and take advantage of every opportunity you have to get
involved.”