June 18, 2921 - Kelly, I haven’t been able to get, much less hold my arms up overhead in years now. I’d be shot first in a bank “hold up,” for instance…! However, TODAY is not THAT day!!! First ever in at least 2 years. I was able to braid my own hair for the first time ever! Sure they do it nicer in a salon…BUT I COULD DO IT!!!! I am THRILLED! Beyond! - NK
November 28th, 2020
Dear Admissions Team,
This letter represents our family’s strong recommendation of Kelly Harris for graduate study in the Shenandoah University Conservatory. Our knowledge of Ms. Harris’s qualification is based on her role as a piano instructor for our two children, currently ages 10 & 13.
Our relationship with Ms. Harris began in September 2015. We have a piano at home and our daughter (then 7) had expressed an interest in learning to play it. There were many piano teachers offering local instruction, but we were seeking a strong match for our young child with a passion for socializing and a shorter attention span. Through casual inquiry among fellow parents with similar aged children, information shared about Ms. Harris was intriguing. She is an artistic, vibrant presence in many areas of our community. Her interests and abilities are broad and diverse, leading us to hope that she would appreciate a new student full of enthusiasm, but needing strong focus.
The hopes that we had for our daughter’s early piano education have been realized because of Ms. Harris. She has worked to connect with our daughter as an individual: recognizing her interests, identifying the strengths in her piano practice, and being candid about areas for improvement. After tagging along to lessons for two years, her younger brother expressed a desire to begin his own piano education because of the positive working relationship he observed. Despite different personalities and learning approaches, Ms. Harris has served the needs of both children admirably well through thoughtful, tailored instruction. As a family, we have benefitted from her approach with them and enjoy daily live music in our home. Practice is not always perfect, but it is completed with an appreciation for the art form and a respect for progress. Practice is also completed with a respect for their teacher and an awareness of her investment in them. In their words:
“Ms. Kelly has patience and is always willing to help. When we play a song right, we get rewarded with a sticker to go on that page! She is always nice and caring to us. She has helped us learn the basics and then build up to the hard songs we are playing now.” (Age 13)
“Ms. Kelly is a great piano teacher. She explains things like dynamics and notes really well. She is sort of strict. She taught me how to recognize notes using sentences.” (Age 10)
We are confident that the Graduate Conservatory would be incredibly fortunate to include Ms. Harris among their future alumni. Based on our rewarding musical relationship with her, we respectfully submit our recommendation.
November 29, 2020
To Whom it May Concern:
Re: Kelly Harris
I am pleased to have the opportunity to write a letter of recommendation in support of Kelly Harris and her application for admission. I’ve known Kelly for more than fifteen years. Given that she ad I played tennis together, she’s my massage therapist, she is my goddaughter’s piano instructor and she was my late husband’s piano teacher, I believe I can give you a full picture of Kelly, her skills, abilities and her knowledge base.
I would want you to know that as an organizational consultant, I’ve worked with hundreds of CEOs in a variety of settings – from Fortune 500 companies to Federal administrations to municipalities to universities. My evaluation of Kelly is based on that experience and knowledge base though I know Kelly from person, not business interactions.
Kelly is very other-oriented, giving freely of her knowledge and talents. For example, early in our tennis years – before I knew the range of her skills – my game was interrupted by a severe leg cramp. Kelly immediately came around the net, applied pressure on my leg and within seconds the pain was gone. After the set, she explained how I could prevent similar episodes in the future. That’s how I learned she’s a trained massage therapist with a comprehensive knowledge of the human body.
Kelly’s ability to connect with her piano students is well-known in this area. She meets the student on the student’s leve, lexplains what will be accomplished, demonstrates enormous patience and freely gives praise when deserved. I know – I’ve been an observer of many lessons, several students and multiple recitals.
She is a team player, highly supportive of others as they work toward goals, infinitely patient when someone is struggling, professional and innovative. I believe faculty will find her a pleasure to work with – she is always prepared and, as evidenced by her desire to continue her education, always up for a challenge to expand her knowledge and abilities. Fellow students will find her a well of resources and an enthusiastic audience of their efforts.
It is with pleasure that I recommend Kelly Harris to you, without reservation. Please feel free to call on me should you need additional information or insight.
February 7, 2018
The Community Table loves when Kelly comes to perform during our dinners on Monday nights! She is an extremely talented musician! And, she is so generous with her time. Our patrons really love when she comes. They love singing along with her, and she is so gracious to let them do it. Her music is loved by all! We would love to have you, again, in the near future. Thanks for spreading joy through your music! Jill Lund - Volunteer Coordinator for The Community Table
January 16, 2018
Kelly, thanks so much for the music this past Sunday. It was truly a joy and gift to have you singing with you mother. You have incredible musical skills, but what comes through so well is how it all comes from your heart. Thanks!
The Rev. Steve Willis, Interim Pastor - Collierstown Presbyterian Church, Lexington, Virginia
Phi Gamma Delta January 11, 2018
Great website and a great talent. Kelly is a multi-talented lady who is as pretty on the inside as she is on the outside. The audiences for her talents range from the smallest children when she has on her clown face, to mature adults when she has on her evening gown and pearls and plays music for the heart on the grand piano at the Omni Homestead. – B.H.
RVSCI Roanoke Valley Sister Cities Dec. 13, 2017
"Our Roanoke Valley Sister City Holiday Celebration was delighted to have Kelly Harris as our pianist. She played wonderfully and skillfully all evening, engaging several attendees to sing to her international pieces. Not only did she arrive early, but she stayed late, playing until we asked her to stop. The variety of music that she performed attested to the fact that she came well-prepared and ready to play the music that we had requested. We would definitely ask her again!" -Mary Jo Fassié RVSCI President
May 19, 2014 - Dear Kelly: We all appreciate greatly your presence and accompaniment at the Vesper service. Your choice of hymn tunes before and during the service is so uplifting. It makes the worship truly joyous.
Have a great day...in His grace. Don
3/11/14- Kelly Harris, Girl, your talents are many! And your passion for music and people are unquestionable. -SMB
Comments from Kendal at Lexington residents and staff November 2013
Dear Kelly, from the first moment I saw you I knew you would make a difference wherever you were, and you have. Keep bringing sunshine to wherever you are AND come back!! - E.D.
We’re certainly going to miss your shoes, your music and your skill in seeing that we do every exercise correctly. Many thanks for all you’ve done for us. Your star pupil, M.C.
Thanks for all the joy you brought into our lives. We’ll miss you! God’s blessings, A.&K.B.
Dear Kelly, We will all miss you very much. I will especially miss boogie-woogie piano and Stars & Stripes piano. Please visit sometimes. D.E.
Dearest Kelly, Thank you for sharing your many talents with us. Your enthusiasm and your imagination (and not least, your sweet little Tina.) It was great to sing with you and dance with you and be a little silly with you. Many good wishes for all your other endeavors in the days to come- R.C.
You kept me on my feet every Friday morning. - P.Y.
I will miss you. I remember the day you massaged my shoulder as you were leaving the Borden Center (at my request.) You found a knot and relieved me of the pain I had for 6 months. Thank you. I tell that story often. – B.S.
Kelly, you have brought laughter & joy to our Kendal family. Please come back and visit anytime. Will miss you bunches. May God Bless, Love T.M.
Kelly – Love playing duets with you! Your mini-piano lessons on the fly –“ Light Up My Life.” –LH
Kelly – “Around the World I’ve Searched For You.” -memories of our programs together in Anderson Center and so many more. “Start Spreading the News!” “Let Me Entertain You.” Love, LK
Kelly – We have enjoyed your class. Best of luck in the future. M.M.
You have made the 8:15 H2O class Tuesday & Friday very special for me. So glad you have been with the Kendal Singers since Lisa left. The very best to you! – B.E.
Kelly, I am so glad to have received all of your happiness & fun! – J.H.
So happy to be in the process of making many great memories with you! C.H.
Kelly, You are so special with so many, many talents. We will miss you at Kendal and hope you will come often with precious Tina! S.&P.
You gave us (Kendal Singers) confidence that “we can do it.” – D.T.
Thanks for your musical talents in leading water exercise and the Kendal singers. – D.M.
Kelly, We will miss your extra-size and expertise. - B.J.
Dear Kelly, We really appreciate your stepping in with the music when we needed it! - B.J.Y.
Kelly, Not only has our time with you in the swimnastics class been obviously good for us physically, but it has also been a lot of fun. We have really had a good time there and incidentally enjoyed your great collection of music! Many, many thanks to you and our very best wishes for the future. We hope to see you soon and often. Gratefully, - M.P.
Kelly – Aquasize will never be the same. You made it fun and special. We didn’t even think we were exercising. Positive! The C word has new meaning. Thank you. May you be blessed in whatever your endeavors are as you have blessed us. – M.R.P.
Dear Kelly, You really did make my life much better. Love, G.
Kelly, I give you thanks and I wish you joy! – M.
You have helped and guided me so much. I will miss your classes SO MUCH! - D.J.
Kelly, you lit up our community each day you came to work. But the “blue” gown is the one that was brightest for me! Best wishes. – M.T.
What a talented, caring person you are. Thank you for being here. I enjoyed your smile and happy spirit. – B.
Dear Kelly, I was shocked to hear that you and Tina are leaving us! However, I never needed your personal care so you probably don’t know who I am. But I know well who you are and of all the kind things that you have done for so many! And I will never forget your enthusiasm and love that you demonstrated to entertain and encourage us all. I will pray for your future success and happiness and for your nephew in Afghanistan – H.H.
Love you Kelly! You are so talented. I am so glad I have gotten to know you better. I hope we can continue to keep up our friendship. - R.W.
Glad I started working at Kendal before you left…You would have been a lot to miss out on! Love you – C.H.
July 27, 2013- Thanks, Kelly. You were a godsend…and also, a really nice person to meet. I think we appreciated you as much as you appreciated us…at least I know I did! My scapula made it through the week because of your help. So thanks again and see you next July! – CB member of musician workshop visiting Lexington July’13.
July 26, 2013- The Arthritis Foundation Aqua Arthritis class was well attended yesterday and Kelly did a great job teaching it. I can’t help but think what a great opportunity it is for the participants. Just spending an hour in a warm pool is good for their joints. And the class kept them moving – also good (and obviously the purpose of the class.) And then there’s the sociability – they were singing the words to the songs – obviously from their “era” – visiting with each other. I know one woman in the pool has fibromyalgia and she has told me that the arthritis class has helped her pain a lot – that’s so much better than taking pain meds. I like to visit the various classes that are held off-site and connect with the instructors and participants – wish I had more time to devote to that – it’s an important piece of the “job.” This class makes such a difference in the lives of the people who were in the pool – and that’s our mission.
A.R., Rockbridge Area YMCA Director
January 1, 2013 -Dear Kelly: Many thanks for your music-making which made the evening bright.
I've been told that never before have guests stayed through to the scheduled end. You captured them from the beginning and held them to the joyful end. May you enjoy a year of blessings in all ways. – DT
May 2012 – Dear Kelly: Your grandma (who is so precious and made me want to cry because I miss my own grandmother so much) was right. You have so many gifts and we are so glad you have shared them with different members of our family. See you Tuesday!- SW
October 20, 2012 – Bryleigh said her favorite part of her party was the clown. Thank you.
May 7, 2012 – Thank you, Kelly!! We should be showering you with thanks for all of the wonderful work and patience you have with our son. For allowing him to progress and still have fun and doing whatever you do that makes him want to keep playing piano. P.S. He is working harder (up from hardly working) on his scales.
January 24, 2012 – Kelly is an experienced, amazing, therapeutic massage therapist. She has REALLY helped my shoulder become pain free and mobile…Patti D.
November 14, 2011- Kelly, Thanks for helping to make the party such a success. My parents have received several great comments back regarding the party – all of them have made mention of the wonderful band! Both Joanna and I were very happy to have found you. Do feel free to use us as a reference in the future. Cheers, Wendy
Comments from Community Pool Aqua Class
4-13- 11 Kelly, I like anything you do –especially water aerobics. You are terrific. I think I see the emergence of a waist! Ann V.
4-14-11 My first choice is to be in a recliner reading, iced tea at hand. But I would really feel guilty doing that when I could be smiling and breathing in a pool while my good friend, Kelly, is standing on her head watching us to be sure our feet are still moving. Thanks for getting me going! – Audrey
4-14-11 I have congestive heart failure and COPD. Kelly was always very careful to set the exercise and pace so I did not get short of breath. Her program helped me exercise in safety. –A.S.
4-14-11 Regular attention to doing the exercises increases overall circulation and joint pain eases. –Aqua class member
4-10-11 It’s much easier to put my shoes and socks on now! DP
4-10-11 My back is about 70% better than before and I can get my arms over my head again!
Comments on survey cards from presentation to Buena Vista Virginia 60+ group March 2, 2010
Thanks Kelly for helping me leave my adult at the door.
It was great!
Kelly did a wonderful job. She is such an amusing person.
She made us laugh and have a good time.
I felt good before, and much better afterward. Thanks!
You were great!
Educational – makes you smile.
It’s okay to take time for yourself.
Kelly you are enthusiastic.
I learned to laugh more.
Come and speak here more often.
I learned that I feel better when I smile.
It helps to appreciate each day.
Kelly, you are happy!
Keep it up! You are a blessing!
Comments on survey cards from presentation for American Cancer Society Athens, Georgia October 2009
I think senior center groups would be a great audience
Fun and uplifting
I learned to take more bubble baths and play is good
Thank you. You were great.
It was fun and provided me with a lot of good tools.
Other groups need to hear this.
You are fun. Please come back.
You were fun and inspiring.
It’s okay to be silly.
You’re full of energy & encourage people to think in a happy way.
Get out there – just get more speaking engagements.
You are fun.
Lightens my heart and soul.
Upbeat, happy and nurturing
You’re entertaining and educational. You’re fabulous. Love your energy!
Just wish we’d had more time.
Loved all the stories.
I have benefited from Kelly’s many talents. She was my massage therapist and I received excellent care and professional treatment. I respect Kelly’s ability to get the job done. She is one who fits the saying, “Give the job to the busiest person; it will bet done.” That is Kelly. I saw this first hand when she seized the opportunity to organize a local organization that teaches dancing once a month. She led it for over a year until her other interests required her to step aside. I find Kelly to be just a great gal and I am so glad to know her. - Pam T.
Hire this lady! She is funny, cleaver, talented, friendly and can turn any party into a special and unforgettable event! – Katie & Nick
I have had massages done for many years. Kelly is the best and most caring I have been to. - Charlotte M.
Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc. – Kelly brings such lovely energy to our special events! Her heartfelt generosity is so unique in this uncertain time. I mean every word her, Kelly! Keep it up! – Carol B., director
Thank you for all you have done for the downtown Lexington events. You are truly a professional entertainer in many realms from your puppet Dee-oh-Gee to your performances at our Candlelight Processionals. It’s apparently you love what you’re doing as much as the audience loves you. The way you engage the audience and spur their participation and interaction makes everyone feel special and as if they’re a part of the show. Keep up the excellent work and we look forward to your next performance.
– L. M. former Promotions and Marketing Manager for Downtown Lexington
Hello Kelly, It has been a pleasure working with you in many capacities. You bring a smile to the children and also the seniors with DOG and the clown. I really like the different outfits for DOG. I will have to add the massages have been pretty great too. We appreciate you volunteering for many events here at Kendal. Thanks for all you do to brighten people’s day.
– Teresa M. Certified Activities Assistant Kendal at Lexington
While playing tennis, I had a horrendous foot cramp and had to stop playing. Kelly put down her racquet, walked over to me, knelt down, and locked onto a muscle. Less than ten seconds later, the spasm was gone and I was able to keep playing. After the match, Kelly gave me pointers on how to avoid future spasms (they happened more than once on the tennis courts.) Since then, Kelly has been my go-to massage therapist. She is really good at finding the problem points, getting my body to release and relax. Best, she doesn’t talk during the sessions, but she will offer guidance where you need it. Simply the best!
Kelly Harris has provided fabulous entertainment for our progressive dinners. She also has generously provided her piano skills to play Christmas carols at our annual party to wrap gifts for the residents of the Manor at natural Bridge. – Sharon S., former president of The Mental Health Assoc. of Rockbridge.
It was my privilege to be Kelly’s pastor for more than two years. She sings in our choir, teaches an adult class, plays piano and does children’s sermons (with Dee-oh-Gee) for our worship services. She is a gifted musician who has written and performed her own music. She is the most talented ventriloquist I have ever known. When clowning she makes all kinds of animals and things out of balloons to give all ages. Kelly is a trusted, caring person loved by all who know her. Her passion for life and her compassion for people are evident in her massage therapy. She is magical, charming, entertaining and always helpful. You will enjoy her. I give her my highest recommendation! – Dr. Roy Thomas, former Minister Buena Vista Baptist Church
Kelly has helped the Y in many ways…K.C. the Clown & DOG has brought many smiles to our Y kids. Kelly’s music has brought twinkles in the eyes of our Coffeehouse participants and her enthusiasm has encouraged the Y community to get out on the dance floor on numerous occasions. – Suzanne, former Exec. Dir., Rockbridge YMCA
Kelly Harris was an invaluable member of the team at Maury River Senior Center. She is a highly organized go-getter, possesses tremendous work ethic, is highly astute and is a wonderful and talented performer. Kelly also exhibits a wry sense of wit and is a delight to be around. You cannot go wrong with Kelly on your team. – Ray B., Asst. Dir. Maury River Senior Center Buena Vista, VA