Kelly Mason is not only a music performer, but an educator, conductor and administrator of bands in the Rochester area.
1. Musical beginnings
When Kelly was in elementary school, she was asked to play the clarinet for the school band (or so she thought). It turned out she was supposed to play the cornet and not the clarinet at all.
2. Instrumental knowledge
Kelly started playing the trumpet in middle school, and now she plays piano, guitar, bass, drums, and just about every band instrument imaginable. Her biggest challenges are the oboe and bassoon. “Double reeds are my nightmare,” she says.
3. Workaday life
Kelly focuses on work that is music-related. She teaches private trumpet lessons, performs concerts for individuals with disabilities, and even played for the Salvation Army red kettle-bell ringers this past Christmas.
4. Higher education
Kelly attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and is finishing her master’s degree in instrumental conducting at Portland State University in Oregon. She plans to pursue a doctorate degree in music and teach at the college level.
“Music is an outlet for change and also a way to bring people together.”
6. What’s in a name?
Kelly has played in bands with names like Kim Jung Pill (a commentary on North Korea’s leader) and The Ultrasounds (a pop/rock/punk all-female group). She currently plays guitar for Glitter Lung, a Minneapolis-based punk band. The name is taken from the pseudo-disease that elementary school art teachers succumb to in their glitter-laden classrooms.
7. Favorite place to play
“I like an establishment that knows how to run sound for trumpet.”
8. Rochester music scene
“There is much more response and support of local musicians, and I’d like to see even more people get involved in the music scene.”
9. Musical style
Kelly plays in classical and jazz groups, plus she plays in riot grrrl and punk bands. “I’m all over the board,” she said.
10. Where to find Kelly
Kelly will be playing with Glitter Lung at Kathy’s Pub (second story) on March 12 and at the Jazz Jam at Rochester Civic Theatre from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. March 13.