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School of Music

May Alumni Spotlight - Adam Kehl, ’14

Adam Kehl


Adam Kehl, ’14

Doctor of Musical Arts, conducting


Adam Kehl serves as Associate Director of Bands, Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he conducts the Symphonic Band and fall Concert Band, directs the Rainbow Warrior Marching Band and teaches courses in music education. He previously served as Director of Bands at Elon University in Elon, NC, conducting the wind ensemble and chamber winds, directing the marching and basketball bands, teaching courses in music education and advising undergraduate research projects. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Kehl holds Bachelor of Music degrees in Music Education and Percussion Performance from the University of Oregon, a Master of Music in conducting from the University of New Mexico, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting from the University of South Carolina. He previously served as a high school band director in the public schools of California and is highly active as a clinician, adjudicator, guest conductor and music arranger for concert and marching bands across the United States. 

Dr. Kehl maintains an active research agenda in two areas. His primary research focuses on the creation of historically accurate critical editions, for the purpose of modern performance, of wind music from the French Revolution. Three of his editions from composers Gossec, Catel and Hyacinthe Jadin are published and available from Maxime’s Music (, with additional editions scheduled to be published each year through 2024. He frequently presents sessions at music education and conducting conferences across the United States on his secondary research interest, Laban Movement Analysis and its usage in conducting gesture development, score study and ensemble rehearsals.  

As a keen advocate for new music, media integration, creative programming and inter-arts collaboration, some of Dr. Kehl’s notable projects include, “A Little Song and Dance,” a collaboration with the Elon Dance Department, and “Mozart in Popular Culture,” an exploration of the use of Mozart’s “Gran Partita” in television and film. Dr. Kehl is actively involved in bringing new works to life through commissioning and conducting premieres, including works by Donald Grantham, Kevin Walczyk, David Clay Mettens, ’13, Carter Pann, Adrienne Albert, Todd Coleman, Ted King-Smith, David Kirkland Garner, Nick Omiccioli, and Aaron Perrine, and has worked with such guests artists as Dr. David Constantine, Dr. Nave Graham, ’11, famed Hawaiian singers Willie K and Henry Kapono, Lynn and Dr. John Beck, and Elon University President Dr. Leo Lambert. 

He currently lives in Hawaii with wife Sarah and son Declan. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.