Krista Connelly is a composer of contemporary art music with a strong interest in writing for dance. Her compositional output canvasses solo works, chamber ensembles, orchestra, wind band, chorus, jazz ensemble, and electronic media. Currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she is a proponent for bringing new music to the community and is actively working toward this as a founding member of the LNK New Music Collective.
Connelly made her debut in the world of dance collaboration with her master’s thesis work, Life, After: A Dance Requiem, which premiered in March of 2016 at Central Washington University and featured choreography by professors Therese Young and Gabrielle McNeillie. Connelly presented over this collaboration at the Women Composers Festival of Hartford in spring 2017. Since then, she has worked with dancers from the dance program at UNL through LNK New Music Collective.
An avid traveler, she was recently a featured composer at Electronic Music Midwest 2019 and the SCI National Conference in Albuquerque, NM. She was also a composer participant in Sävellyspaja 2018, the Oregon Bach Festival Composers’ Symposium 2016, and Quatuor Bozzini Lab 2016. She has studied composition at length with Greg Simon, Tyler G. White, Martin Kennedy, Jeff Jordan, and Tim Rolls, and has taken additional lessons with Samuel Adler, Christopher Butterfield, Owen Underhill, Jukka Tiensuu, Tomi Räisänen, Carter Pann, and Diana Blom. Her music has been played on Gathering Her Notes, an online radio based in Ellensburg, Music of Our Mothers, a station that airs in St. Augustine, FL and Frostburg, MD, and is listed on www.newchambermusic.org.
Raised in western Kansas, Connelly attended Fort Hays State University for her undergraduate degrees in music education and trumpet performance and earned her MM in composition from Central Washington University. In between seeking degrees, Connelly taught elementary music in Kansas and Washington and applied trumpet at three regional colleges in central Kansas. Her interests have also lain heavily in worship music, having directed choirs and handbell ensembles in Lutheran and Methodist churches in Kansas, Washington, and Nebraska.
As a performer, Connelly’s greatest love is playing in orchestra and brass quintet, and she currently performs with the Haymarket Brass quintet in Lincoln. When living in Washington, she enjoyed sub performances with the Wenatchee Symphony, and during her time in Kansas she was the principal trumpet of the Salina Symphony and Hutchinson Symphony, both of which have premiered her works: Cycles by the former in 2014 and "Metals" from Symphony No. 1 by the latter in 2016. Connelly was recently a guest clinician at the Graceland University Honor Band 2020.
When not involved in musical activity, Krista enjoys traveling far and near, cooking, gardening, reading, and checking out new films and shows whilst yarn-crafting.