Sean Kelley

Assistant Professor of Music; Associate Director of Bands



+1 630 637 5358

Sean Kelley is Associate Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at North Central College, where he directs the Chamber Players, Symphony Band and Cardinal Athletic Band Program, which comprises the Cardinal Marching Band and several basketball bands. Additionally, he instructs courses in instrumental conducting and music education, supervises instrumental music education practicum students and student-teachers, and teaches lessons in music composition. Prior to arriving at North Central, Sean served as Director of Bands for the Hillsboro and West Clermont school districts in Greater Cincinnati. He holds degrees in music education from Wittenberg University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and degrees in wind conducting from Wright State University and the University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Kelley is an active composer, arranger, show designer, guest conductor, and clinician for high school bands throughout Chicagoland and his native Ohio. He has adjudicated music ensembles across the Midwest with the Central States Judges Association, and has served as Director of the Wright State University Concert Band, Assistant Director of the Cincinnati Junior Youth Wind Ensemble, and as a teaching graduate assistant with the University of Oklahoma’s Wind Symphony, Symphony Band, “Pride of Oklahoma” Marching Band, and "Sound of the Sooners" basketball band.

In addition to studying extensively with his primary conducting mentors, David Booth and William Wakefield, he has opened new lines of research in the area of the interpretive development of wind band conductors. Through these endeavors, he has worked closely with Gary Green (University of Miami), Michael Haithcock (University of Michigan), Michael Hancock (University of Oklahoma), Gary Hill (Arizona State University), and Joseph Missal (Oklahoma State University). Sean is a member of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), the College Music Society (CMS), and the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE). 

Dr. Kelley's latest composition, A Prairie Hymn has been published by Kjos Music Company. 

Selected Scholarship

Kelley, Sean. The Interpretive Development of Four Successful Band and Wind Ensemble Conductors Concerning Lincolnshire Posy by Percy Grainger and Symphony in B flat by Paul Hindemith. Diss. University of Oklahoma, 2015. 


Kelley, Sean. The Effects of SmartMusic® on the Performance Ability and Content Knowledge of Preservice Music Teachers, and Perception of Smartmusic® as a Means of Supplemental Instrumental Music Education. Cincinnati, Ohio. University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, 2011. 

Kelley, Sean. "Recruiting Strategies for Small College Athletic Band Programs." The Instrumentalist Online, June 2017.

Kelley, Sean "Schadenfreude." January, 2021.

Kelley, Sean "Defiantly Sculpting the Sky." February, 2020

Courses Taught

Chamber Players

Wind Orchestra

Cardinal Marching Band

Cardinal Basketball Bands

Elements of Instrumental Conducting

Advanced Instrumental Conducting

Applied Composition