Associate Professor — Music
The first day of 7th grade Nicholas Kenney was signed up for beginning band. He showed up – and quit. It all made sense to him at the time; without an instrument to play, how could he be in band? Without overreacting, Mr. Wayne Sibert, then band director at East Lincoln Middle School, pulled an old Holton trumpet out of the instrument closet for him to use. Two years later he switched to horn – because his nemesis was. What 9th grader could let their rival get away with something like that?
Born March 22, 1983, Kenney fell in love with the horn and classical music in the 11th grade when he performed a transcription of the finale from Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony as a member of the Charlotte Youth Wind Ensemble. In February of his senior year, he decided to audition for music schools to pursue a career as a hornist after nearly quitting music altogether in favor of a career in nuclear energy with the U.S. Navy.
After high school Nicholas earned the Bachelor of Music from Western Carolina University and the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Nebraska. He has performed in venues around the globe, including the Conservatorium in Brisbane, Australia, the historic Waterford Opera House in Waterford, Ireland and New York’s famed Carnegie Hall (twice). Nicholas is an award-winning soloist – having won both North Carolina and Nebraska’s MTNA competitions twice, winning the 2006 Western Carolina University Concerto Competition, and in 2009, he was named a finalist in the International Horn Competition of America.
Dr. Kenney has been extremely active as a teacher and clinician, giving master classes in Mexico, North Carolina, Nebraska, Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia. He has served as adjunct professor of horn at UNC-Pembroke and Concordia University and as graduate teaching assistant at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where his duties included assisting in the horn studio, Music 101 courses, teaching brass skills, coaching chamber music and teaching applied horn. He is currently assistant professor of horn at Southeast Missouri State University where he teaches applied horn, horn ensemble, music theory, music appreciation, and he is the assistant director to the athletic bands.
Dr. Kenney strives to inspire all of his students to attain all of their goals – small and large – using the horn and music as his medium. A Siegfried’s Call artist, Dr. Kenney performs exclusively on the Lewis and Duerk LDx5 horn and Atkinson mouthpieces. He currently lives in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, with his Bengal cat, Oakley.