Kelly Balmaceda, entrepreneur
As early as 2nd grade, Kelly knew she wanted to be a "singer and a dance.r" Little did she know that her life wouldn't follow a traditional performance trajectory...if that even exists. High School and College were as expected, filled with numerous theatrical and then 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 and shortly after 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 Coast Guard and embarked on a new journey...military spouse. She adopted the new phrase, "Home is wherever the Coast Guard sends us." At that time, home would be Corpus Christi, TX. What on earth would Kelly do in TX? Little did she know, this move would launch her into opportunities she never dreamed. At the young age of 24, she founded and directed an opera company, Sparkling City Light Opera (SCLO), that produced 6 productions a year, along with 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 Coast Guard decided that Savannah, GA would be Kelly's new home. While she was thrilled to explore a new beautiful and historic city, Kelly was sad to leave her company and students. She was given 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, CANTARE Workshop. Once again, the Coast Guard decided it was time to move. This time 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 little one to consider, 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 her latest "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 has since taken off and is now thriving in 2 locations, both West lafayette, IN and Kelly's new home, Elizabeth City, NC. Kelly continues to produce solo and joint recitals, operas, and more. Having recently moved to Elizabeth City, Kelly is still asking herself, "Who will I be in NC?" We will just have to wait and see how Elizabeth City will be impacted by Kelly's musical mark....