Faculty & Staff

Kelly Quesada

Faculty: Cello


University of Alabama, BM, Cello Performance
University of Oregon, MM, Cello Performance


Kelly Quesada, cello, is an active performer and educator in Chicago. She teaches lessons, group classes and orchestra at various locations throughout the south and west sides. Formerly principal cellist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, she currently primarily plays chamber music with Midwest-based Tuuli Quartet and is a founding member of Unsupervised, Chicago’s conductorless chamber orchestra.


It’s hard to choose, but I am currently listening to Joni Mitchell who is one of my very favorite musicians! I love her use of harmony, vocal tone, and imagery in her lyrics.

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I think music is a way to connect more deeply with other human beings; it is essentially the practice of empathy, which I believe we need most in the world. Merit intentionally tries to respond to the needs of our city as it brings music instruction to young people in Chicago.