Kelly Garner

Style: World; Pop; Opera; Jazz; Folk; Gospel; Rock; Classical; Musical Theatre


Title: Assoc. Professor/Director-Commercial Music & MM-MusTech, Union University

Bio: Kelly Garner’s career encompasses a wide range of professional activities as a working member of the music industry for the past thirty-two years. She recorded her first 4-song demo on analog reel-to-reel Two-inch 24-track tape in a Nashville, TN recording studio in 1985, then spent the next five years as college student, earning a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Math Education from Auburn University in 1990. Upon deciding to continue to pursue a career in music, Garner relocated to Nashville, Tennessee in order to earn a degree in music at Belmont University. After graduating with a Bachelor of Music in Commercial Vocal Performance in 1991, Kelly was offered a recording contract, beginning her career in Nashville as a nationally distributed recording artist/writer in the Gospel Music market. Kelly 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, Garner was signed as an exclusive Staff Writer for Centergy Music Group, garnering Dove Award and BMI Award nominations for Song of The Year and Most Performed Gospel Song “I Stand Redeemed.” 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 Nashville. That same year, she agreed to accept a full-time position as a member of the Commercial Voice Faculty at Belmont University while pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Jazz Studies at Middle Tennessee State University, graduating in 2004. Garner remained on Belmont’s tenure-track faculty until she resigned in 2006 to manage the recording facility Big Dog Studios in Franklin, TN. She also founded Kelly Garner Productions, LLC, where she continued to develop and produce independent artists covering a variety of styles, from Jazz to R&B, Gospel, Country and Rock. The list of artists for whom Garner has served as Engineer or as Vocal Editor on recordings include Sunny Wilkinson, Lauren Kinhan, Kate Reid, Cindy Morgan, Ronnie Freeman, Jim Van Cleave & Mountain Heart, Avalon, Broken Wire, Jonathan Taylor Martin, Sarah Peacock, Jessa Anderson, Jordan Anderson, Hunter Redmon, Maury Davis, Dakota Green, Mike Speck Trio, Greater Vision, Legacy Five, The Booth Brothers, Buddy Mullins, The Keffers, JP Murie and Kara Reynolds. Garner has also performed as a Back-Up Singer, sharing the stage with a variety of artists, including Gloria Estefan, New York Voices, George Benson, Steve Miller, Marie Osmond, Ray Stevens, Roseanna Vitro, Karrin Alyson, Kate Reid, Michael W. Smith, Billy Ray Cyrus, Michael McDonald, Shaun Groves, Mac Powell (Third Day), Russ Taff, Wendy Foy Green and Kathy Triccoli. Kelly Garner was a 2013 Student Downbeat Award winner as a member of the Jazz Vocal Ensemble, “Extensions,” a two-time 2012 Student Downbeat Award recipient for Outstanding Jazz Vocal Soloist (graduate level) as well as a member of UM’s Downbeat Award-Winning JV1 while pursuing a Doctor of Music Arts degree in Jazz Voice Performance with a cognate in Music Technology at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL. She was also a Graduate Assistant and Mancini Fellow within the Jazz Vocal Program, teaching Jazz Voice in addition to Commercial Voice within the Commercial Musical Program, as well as courses within UM’s Experiential Music Curriculum. Kelly was featured Clinician at the 2013 Jazz Education Network conference in Atlanta, Georgia presenting a course entitled “Studio Recording Techniques for Jazz Vocal Ensembles: Getting the Most out of your Vocals without Compromising Musical Integrity.” Garner has recorded three of her own albums, “Confession of Love,” “Undivided Heart,” and “I Stand Redeemed,” and appears on the movie compilation recording “Left Behind II – Adult Contemporary Collection” as a featured artist/writer/producer alongside fellow producer, Bob Carlisle (Butterfly Kisses). She currently owns and operates Nashville-based, Yellow Tree Music Group, a music publishing company that has seen over 50 songs recorded by various artists since 2010. Her published oeuvre includes over 100 songs recorded by major gospel artists and over 75 original songs and arrangements published in print. She is also a Pro Tools Certified Operator and continues her work as a Professional Recording Artist, Session Singer, Studio Engineer and an Award-Winning Songwriter in a variety of musical genres. Kelly is currently Associate Professor of Music, Coordinator of Commercial Music & Director of the Master of Music in Music Technology program at Union University in Jackson, TN. She joined the faculty at Union University in August 2019. As Coordinator of Commercial Music, she oversees the BM in Commercial Music degree with emphases in Recording/Engineering/Production, Songwriting, Comp/Arranging and Performance. Union's Master of Music in Music Technology, a program she designed from her past experiences in the music industry as an artist and music technician, has already received SACSCOC approval and is scheduled to launch in August 2021, delivered fully online, pending NASM approval. Kelly grew up in Piedmont, AL as the only child of Martha Yancey Garner and James R. Garner. She is the granddaughter of Corene Davis Garner, W. Hoyt Garner, K. Cecil Yancey & long-time educator, Elise K. Yancey, chair of Math & Engineering at Gadsden State Community College in Gadsden, Alabama.

Voice Type: Contralto

Music Styles Taught: World; Pop; Opera; Jazz; Folk; Gospel; Rock; Classical; Musical Theatre

Availability: I am available as a performer; I am currently accepting private students; I am available as a clinician or presenter; I offer lessons in a group environment; I accept students through a college or university program

Contact Information


1050 Union University Drive
Jackson, TN
USA 38305

MOBILE: 615-300-0305

Vcard: import to my address book