Dr. Danny R. Kelley, a professor of Music, presently serves as dean of the Marvin D. and June Samuel Brailsford College of Arts and Sciences. Prior to his appointment to this position in 2004, he was head of the Department of Music and Theatre for seven years. As dean of the Brailsford College of Arts and Sciences, he has overseen tremendous growth in the college’s student population, faculty research and development as well as increased student engagement in research, and all areas of scholarship. Under his deanship, the college has experienced increased degree offerings, accreditation of the Chemistry, Social Work, and Music programs, and the visibility of faculty and students through worldwide recognition.
Dr. Kelley received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Prairie View A&M University in 1969 (a pupil of Connally S. Garret and University of Houston Artist-in-Residence, Albert Hirsh), and was subsequently accepted into the graduate program in Piano Performance at the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University, where he was awarded both a Master of Music degree (a pupil of Walter Hautzig) and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree (a pupil of Leon Fleisher).
Dr. Kelley was the recipient of many prizes and awards while studying at the Peabody. Among the listing is a Ford Foundation Fellowship for his doctoral studies and First Prize of the prestigious Baltimore Music Club Professional Recital Debut Award. He has performed extensively as a recitalist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. He has performed with the San Antonio Youth Symphony, the Peabody Chamber Orchestra, Houston Symphony North, and the Houston Symphony. He has also performed at major concert venues, such as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Recital Hall (Weill Hall), Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, and Steinway Hall. He has been hailed by New York Times critic Peter Davis as “…an artist of solid accomplishment.” Houston Chronicle music critic Charles Ward commented on his debut performance of the Johannes Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor with the Houston Symphony that his “…playing was very polished.” In March 2001, Kelley was presented in concert with the Houston Symphony in Jones Hall, in a commemorative concert, celebrating the 125th anniversary of the founding of Prairie View A&M University.
In addition to his artistic endeavors, Dr. Kelley is active in community affairs. He is a member of the Music Staff of St. Francis Episcopal Church (Piney Point Village), and has served on the first Board of Directors of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in the Woodlands, as well as the past President of the Regional Arts Center in Tomball. In 1993, he received the first Scholars Award for Excellence in Cultural Enrichment awarded by the Sun Newspapers and the North Harris-Montgomery Community College District Foundation. He has also served on the Board of Advisors for the Houston Symphony and the Board of Directors for the Houston Ebony Opera Guild.