Khelsey Zarraga

Chief of Staff & Culture


Indiana University – MM in Violin Performance
Indiana University – BM in Violin Performance


Khelsey Zarraga is excited and proud to serve as the Chief of Staff & Culture at Merit. Recently the violinist and Director of Operations of Fifth House Ensemble, she brings a passion for community-focused engagement and the amplification of marginalized voices into all facets of her work.

As a violinist, Khelsey is a member of D-Composed, an all-black chamber music collective, and the violinist of Black Moon Trio, where she enjoys the exploration of new works and innovative collaboration. She prioritizes performing a wide variety of genres, and has performed concerts of gospel, hip-hop, and jazz in venues such as the Chicago Theater, United Center, Auditorium Theater, and Harris Theater, among others.
As an educator, Khelsey has worked with a wide variety of students, from elementary to the university level. She has been in residence and led masterclasses at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Southeast Missouri State University, and Denison University.
In her spare time, she loves eating chocolate and traveling to new places.

Favorite Musician/Band:

This is so hard! I love Anderson Paak., Tom Misch, Mac Ayres, and Fiji Blue. Ella Fitzgerald will always have a special place in my heart.