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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

Kelly Garner

Kelly Garner

Dr. Kelly K. Garner has been an Assistant Professor of Commercial Voice at Belmont University since 2015.  She presently teaches Applied Commercial Voice, Commercial Vocal Styles II & III (Pop-Rock & Country), Performance Seminars, is the Director of the Gospel/R&B Commercial Vocal Ensemble “Voxology” and also developed a music business course entitled “The Complete Performer” about the “Artist in 360” that she teaches as an elective in the commercial music program.  Dr. Garner taught the Pop/Rock ensemble, Phoenix, during her previous years of employment at Belmont University from 2001-2006.

Dr. Garner earned a Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in Mathematics from Auburn University in 1990.  In 1992, Dr. Garner graduated with a Bachelor of Music from Belmont University in Commercial Voice with a Performance emphasis, and began her career in Nashville as a nationally distributed recording artist/writer in the gospel music industry.  She wrote and co-produced her debut release for the record label, Brentwood-Benson, and has been singing, writing and producing ever since.  From 1998-2003, she was signed as an Exclusive Staffwriter for Centergy Music Group, garnering Dove Award and BMI Award nominations for Song of The Year and Most Performed Gospel Song, “I Stand Redeemed” recorded by Legacy Five.  As a session singer, Kelly was awarded two RIAA Certified Gold Records in 2001 for her work in Nashville as a background vocalist on major artist recordings.  In the same year, she agreed to accept a position on the Commercial Voice Faculty at Belmont University and began to pursue a Master of Arts degree in Jazz Studies from Middle Tennessee State University, graduating in 2004.  She remained on Belmont’s Voice Faculty until she resigned in 2006 to manage Big Dog Studios in Franklin, TN and found Kelly Garner Productions, LLC.  She continued to develop and produce independent artist covering a variety of styles from Jazz to R&B, Gospel, Country and Rock.  She also currently owns and operates Nashville-based, Yellow Tree Music Group, a music publishing company that provides Southern Gospel, Worship, CCM, Jazz and Country songs to the music community and has recently started a print division, Yellow Tree Press.  Dr. Garner has served for the past five years as a publisher on BMI’s Gospel Songwriter Showcase Committee.

In May of 2014, Kelly completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Voice Performance with a cognate in Music Technology from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami.  While a doctorate student at Frost, Dr. Garner was the recipient of six prestigious Student Downbeat “DB” Awards including three individual Outstanding awards for Graduate Jazz Vocal Soloist, Graduate Jazz Arrangement for her jazz vocal arrangement of “East of the Sun,” and Graduate Blues/Pop Rock Soloist.  She received three additional awards for Outstanding Large Vocal Ensemble as a group member of Jazz Vocal Ensemble I, and Winner, as well as Outstanding Small Vocal Ensemble as a member of the Frost sextet, Extensions.  Dr. Garner’s dissertation is entitled, “Vocal Recording Techniques for the Modern Digital Studio.”  As a clinician, she has presented at the Jazz Education Network 2013 in Atlanta, GA entitled, “Studio Recording Techniques for Jazz Vocal Ensembles: Getting the Most Out of Your Vocals Without Compromising Musical Integrity.” Most recently, she also presented two different clinics at Jazz Education Network 2016 in Louisville, KY entitled, “Music Publishing 101: I’ve Just Written ‘The Next Best Thing’ Now What Do I Do” & “Recording Tips and Tricks: Finding Ways to Improve Your Jazz Ensemble Recordings.”

Dr. Garner has worked with the following artists as vocal coach: Denver Bierman (Denver & the Mile High Orchestra), Ricky Braddy (top 12 finalist for American Idol), Seth Costner (Lauren Alaina Band), Kiley Phillips (High Road), Erinn Bates (The Darlins), Jenny Lee Riddle (Revelation Song), Sam Allen (No Other Name), Jason and Lena Cox (Ragdoll), Mike and Kelly Bowling (The Bowlings), Tara Crabb Penhollow (The Crabb Family), Joseph Habedank (The Perry’s), Michaela and Adam Brown (The Brown Family), Wes Smith (The Dixie Echoes), Jordan LeFevre (The LeFevre Quartet), Valerie Ruppe Medkiff (The Ruppes), Sara Beth Geoghegan (Indie Pop Artist), Ella Glasgow Binion (Indie Pop/Urban Artist), Troy Peach (The Bowling Family), Sarah Peacock (Country/Pop Artist), Alvin Love (Indie Pop Artist), Michelle Rene (Country Artist), Jessa and Jordan Anderson (Indie Artists), Sarah Silva (Indie Pop Artist), Brett McLaughlin (Indie Pop Artist), Nanami Morikawa (Jazz Artist), Adam Tell (Indie Pop Artist), Claudia Lopez (Indie Latin Artist), Keith Waggoner (Tribute Quartet), Taylor Begert (Indie Artist), and Dakota Green (Pop Artist) just to name a few.

Kelly Garner has recorded or edited vocals for the following artists in the studio: Sunny Wilkinson, Lauren Kinhan (New York Voices), Kate Reid, Jim Van Cleave & Mountain Heart (tour with Alison Krauss), Kara Reynolds (Forte Femme), Broken Wire (Bluegrass Artist), Sarah Peacock (Country/Pop Artist), Kiley Phillips (High Road), Jana Long (Avalon), Ronnie Freeman, Cindy Morgan, Michael Boggs (former lead singer of FFH), Mike, Faye, and Melody Speck (The Specks), The Booth Brothers, Legacy Five, The Keffer Family, Paul Lancaster (Indie Gospel Artist), Matt Huesmann (Lifeway Press), Jessa and Jordan Anderson (Indie CCM Artist), Dakota Green (Indie Pop Artist), Jonathan and Emily Martin (Worship Artists) and many others.

Dr. Garner has sung back-up vocals for the following artists:  Marie Osmond, Ray Stevens, George Benson, Gloria Estefan, New York Voices, Steve Miller Band, Billy Ray Cyrus, Michael W. Smith, Karrin Alyson, Roseanna Vitro, Pam Thum, and Point of Grace.

Kelly Garner has shared the stage or done session work with the following artists/studio singers: Gail Farrell (The Lawrence Welk Show), Mandisa, Jaime Paul (Wynonna Judd), Shaun Groves (Worship Artist), Steve Wiggins (Big Tent Revival), Melissa Greene (Avalon), Travis Cottrell (Living Proof Live), Chance Scoggins, Russ Taff, Paul Lancaster (The Martins), Mac Powell (Third Day), Guy Penrod (Gaither Vocal Band), Wendy Foy Green (Sierra), Mike Eldred, Bev Darnell, Mary Bates George, Lisa Cochran-Kmecik, Kirk Kirkland, Ellen Musick, Jane Scherberg, John Scherberg, Mark Ivey, Bill George, Amy Joy Williamson Weimer, Leann Albrecht, Lisa Bevill, Melodie Crittenden Kirkpatrick, Lisa Stewart, Stephanie Hall and Leah Taylor.

Dr. Garner has had songs recorded by the following artist: Vestal Goodman, Legacy Five, Gold City, The Martins, The Perry’s, The Crist Family, The Kingsmen, The Whisnants, Brian Free and Assurance, Karen Peck and New River, Three Bridges, The Talleys, The Webbs, The Lesters, Jaidyn’s Call, Sarah Peacock, The Diplomats, The Dixie Echoes, The Dixie Melody Boys, Greater Vision, Lillenas Publishing, Word Music Publishing, Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, and Lifeway Music Publishing just to name a few.

Dr. Kelly Garner has four nationally distributed recordings, Confession of Love (Diadem Records/Brentwood-Benson Distribution), Undivided Heart (Independent), I Stand Redeemed (Maze Records), and as a featured artist-writer on Left Behind II (Adult Contemporary) Motion Picture Compilation CD (Butterfly Records/Diamante Distribution).  She is currently working on an album of original compositions, a Christmas album of original arrangements, and is writing a book for the NATS organization entitled “So You Want To Sing Country.” Her book is due to release on Scarecrow Press (Rowman-Littlefield Publishers) in the fall of 2016.

Contact: (615) 460-8220 or