High School Band Director

Karina Kelso is the high school band director at Clarke Community Schools. Mrs. Kelso teaches marching band, concert band, pep band and jazz band. Mrs. Kelso began her teaching career at Lenox Community Schools, teaching 5-12 band for 4 years. In her time at Lenox, she hosted the annual Lenox Junior High Honor Band and helped host the Iowa High School Music Association Solo/Ensemble Contest in 2013 and 2015. The band program also grew from 54 to 73 and both the high school and junior high bands received consecutive Division I ratings at Large Group Contest.

Mrs. Kelso is a graduate of Ballard High School and graduated summa cum laude from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. While at Iowa State, she studied abroad in Florence, Italy and performed with the ISUCF'V'MB, Iowa State Wind Ensemble, Iowa State Symphony Orchestra, Iowa State Flute Ensemble (National Flute Convention in 2008), and the pit orchestra for four Stars Over VEISHEA productions. She was a member of Esprit de Corps (music learning community) and Tau Beta Sigma band service sorority.

In high school at Ballard, Mrs. Kelso wrote a march that was performed by the high school band in 2006. The march was used as a 4-H project that was part of the Celebrity Showcase at the Iowa state Fair. Mrs. Kelso participated in multiple honor bands as well as all bands offered at Ballard. She also toured in Europe with the Iowa Ambassadors of Music in 2004 and 2006.

Mrs. Kelso is currently an active member of IBA, SCIBA, IMEA, NAfME, and the Clarke Education Association. She was recently selected as the namesake for the Ballard Instrumental Music Academic Award as part of the Dollars for Scholars Academics Awards Night.