Kelly Balmaceda, entrepreneur
As early as 2nd grade, Kelly knew she wanted to be a "singer and a dancer." Little did she know that her life wouldn't follow a traditional performance trajectory...if that even exists. As expected, High School and College were filled with numerous theatrical and operatic performances. After graduating from the New England Conservatory of Music, Kelly moved to the BIG city, to realize her dreams of Broadway. However, her first audition landed her a job as a performer for a children's music program. It wasn't long before Kelly had the incredible fortune to work as a teaching artist with The Metropolitan Opera Guild. These educational/performance opportunities sparked in her a love of educational outreach. Shortly after, Kelly married a man in the USCG and embarked on a new journey...military spouse. She adopted the new phrase, "Home is wherever the Coast Guard sends us." Their first move to Corpus Christi, TX would launch her into opportunities she'd never dreamed. At the young age of 24, she founded and directed her first company, Sparkling City Light Opera (SCLO). She produced 6 productions a year in addition to a HUGE educational outreach program. She ran a thriving Private Voice Studio of nearly 30 students, all while continuing to perform regionally and locally. 5 years later, the CG decided that Savannah, GA would be their new home. She was thrilled to explore a beautiful and historic city heeding wise advice from another more "mature" spouse, "You have been given a blessing. Not many people have the opportunity to re-invent themselves everywhere they live. Don't feel that you need to recreate your last life, instead try something new and don't be afraid to fail." That is exactly what Kelly did. She accepted a voice faculty position at Georgia Southern University, stepped in as Interim Music Director at the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist, and co-founded an intensive vocal arts workshop for young/emerging singers, CANTARE Workshop. A few years later, the Coast Guard moved them to West Lafayette, IN. Having greatly enjoyed her time in academia, Kelly sought to teach again and was fortunate to find a faculty position at St. Joseph's College. Their new church home, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, provided the venue for the concert series that Kelly would shortly begin, The Cathedral Concert Series featured both professional and community artists. It served as a much needed cultural addition to the community as well as raised funds which were donated to area non-profit organizations. At this time, Kelly also had a one year old in tow and another little one on the way. As a musician and music educator, it was important for her children to be enrolled in quality music programs starting at a very early age. The lack of ANY children's music programs in their area provided an opportunity to create another, this time "family" business, mini MAESTROS, a music program for toddlers and infants. With multiple degrees in music, a wealth of experience in educational outreach, and business savvy from running her multiple companies (Opera, Workshops, and Private Studio), Kelly thought, "why not?" It was a great success and spread to multiple locations in schools and community centers. Most recently, after the CG moved her family to the beautiful coastal community of Elizabeth City, NC, Kelly created a cultural vibrancy that had not existed in over 100 years, literally. With the formation of MUSIC off MAIN, Kelly produced live, professional opera to sold out audiences, engaged 150 students of all ages (weekly) in superior music classes, workshops, ensembles, and lessons, and collaborated with national, regional, and local artists and businesses to produce chamber music, recitals, and other performances in traditional and non-traditional venues to make classical music accessible to ALL audiences.