Faculty Recital: Dr. Daniel Kelly & Libby Vanatta

Dr. Daniel Kelly

Daniel Kelly, a native of Charleston, South Carolina, joined Texas A&M University-Commerce in the fall of 2010 after serving on the faculty of Indiana State University and the University of Southern Mississippi.

Dr. Kelly has performed with the Mobile Symphony and Opera Orchestras, Gulf Coast Symphony, Mississippi Symphony, Meridian Symphony, Sinfonia Gulf Coast, Terre Haute Symphony and Brass Quintet, Philharmonia à Vent, Columbus Brass, The Prairie Ensemble, Champaign-Urbana (IL) Symphony and Brass Quintet, Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana (BACH), Peoria Bach Festival Orchestra and the Festival of Trumpets at International Trumpet Guild conferences in New York and Evansville, Indiana.  Dr. Kelly was a featured presenter at the 2006 ITG Conference in Glassboro (NJ) and has presented solo recitals throughout the South and the Midwest. He is also a founding member of The Ambassador Brass Quintet, which has given concerts and workshops in the U.S., Thailand and China.

Dr. Kelly holds a B.S. in trumpet performance from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, and an M.M. and D.M.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His principal teachers include Michael Ewald, Ronnie Romm, Ray Sasaki and Richard Steffen.  He has been designated a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) by the Music Teachers National Association and is a member of the Music Teachers National Association, the College Music Society, the International Trumpet Guild, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

Dr. Kelly is a Yamaha Performing Artist/Clinician.

Libby Vanatta

Libby Vanatta, a native of Middle Tennessee, joined the music faculty at Texas A&M University-Commerce in 2010 as an instructor of piano. She currently teaches class piano, piano pedagogy, piano literature and private piano lessons as well as coordinating accompanying services for the department.  An active accompanist in Commerce, Vanatta has also performed throughout the country at conferences, competitions and guest artist recitals. Passionate about chamber music, Vanatta formed Doppio Movimento in 2011 with her A&M-Commerce colleague, Dr. Luis Sanchez.  The duo gives regular performances and presentations including a presentation at the 2013 Texas Music Teachers Association conference on how to use piano duets to teach other musicianship skills in regular piano lessons. 

Prior to her appointment at A&M-Commerce, Vanatta taught at The University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg, MS), Indiana State University (Terre Haute, IN) and Millikin University (Decatur, IL).  Her teaching responsibilities have included music theory classes, class piano and applied lessons. In addition to teaching and accompanying, she also served as coordinator of graduate studies at The University of Southern Mississippi and coordinator of class piano at Millikin University. 

Through the various university community outreach programs, Vanatta has taught Musikgarten classes, private piano lessons, theory/musicianship classes for kids and beginning group classes for all ages. For eight years, she spent her summers working for Illinois Summer Youth Music camps at the University of Illinois, teaching theory classes, class piano, and music listening classes, and as piano camp instructor.  For five of the ten years that she spent teaching in the Piano Laboratory Program at the University of Illinois, she served as coordinator of the program, managing its day-to-day activities. 

Designated a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music by the Music Teachers National Association, Vanatta continues to be active in the organization as advisor to the TAMU-C Collegiate Chapter and Treasurer for Hunt County MTA.  While in Mississippi, she served on the Mississippi Music Teachers Association board as Certification Chair.  She is also a member of the National Federation of Music Clubs, National Guild of Piano Teachers and Sigma Alpha Iota international music fraternity, where she serves as Director for the Graduate Performance Awards.

Vanatta has served as an adjudicator for many events, including state solo and ensemble competitions, ensemble festivals, sonata/sonatina festivals, Piano Guild auditions, NFMC festivals, and MTNA state syllabus events. She served as an examiner during the summer of 2013 for the International Piano Performance Examination Committee in Taiwan. In addition to administering piano examinations all over Taiwan, Vanatta also participated in a charity concert given in Tainan.

Vanatta holds a Bachelor of Science in Piano Performance from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, and a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 6:00pm

Music Building, Finney Concert Hall
1614 State Highway 24, Commerce, TX 75428

Event Type

Arts and Culture, Concerts & Musical Performances


Events for Students, Events for Faculty & Staff, Events for Alumni, Events for General Public, Events for Prospective Students





Contact Name

Dr. Daniel Kelly

Contact e-mail


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