Prof. Kellie Turner

TPTF Instructor of Gospel Choir

Prof. Kellie Turner

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Kellie Turner is Instructor of Music at Millersville University where she conducts the Gospel Choir. Her experience in the Entertainment Industry, and Ministry through the portal of Gospel Music is long-standing. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas she began singing at an early age. Her talents as an organist were recognized around the same time and consequently, she became the church organist.

While growing up in Dallas, Professor Turner attended the Alex W. Spence Middle School for Talented and Gifted Students. Her association with the school landed her first of several movies for the local PBS station in Dallas. Continuing her involvement in the Arts as well as Music Ministry, she enrolled at The Arts Magnet High School for the Performing Arts at Booker T. Washington. Her focus was split between the music and theater departments. She was introduced to the world of jazz while at Arts Magnet and toured with The Lab singers, the school's jazz ensemble. She also was a member of the Chamber Choir. She graduated a Theatre major, National Honors Student and Who's Who Among American High School Students all while still serving as part of the music ministry at her local church.   

Upon graduation, Professor Turner enrolled at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. She took courses in broadcasting before deciding on committing once again to the Theatre and Music departments. She holds a B.A. in Theatre with a minor in Music Performance.  During her undergraduate work at Pepperdine, she stayed connected to music ministry by attending Cornerstone Institutional Baptist Church. It was at Cornerstone that the gospel musical tutelage began. Kellie was able to work alongside and learn from the likes of Gospel Music icon, Reverend James Cleveland, as well as award winning Gospel artist, Kurt Carr, Calvin Rhone, and Quincy Fielding Jr.

As an artist, Ms. Turner has been featured in George Faison’s production of "The Wiz" with Stephanie Mills and Andre DeShields, and Harold Prince’s Broadway and touring productions of Show Boat to name a few. She has appeared on the Cosby Show, the Sopranos, Modern Love, and is featured on three recordings for Deutsche Bank, Milan Italy.

Ms. Turner has also performed with the Harlem Gospel Choir on their tours for the USO in Japan and Korea. She toured with them as a singer then moved up to Music Director and traveled with them throughout New Zealand, Australia, Italy and the Caribbean. She has also toured with Queen Esther Marrow and Reverend Charles Lyles and the world-famous Harlem Gospel Singers. She was choir director on their "Movin’ On" tour, which toured Germany, Budapest, France, The Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, and the Slovak Republic. She was featured in the role of Billie Holiday in "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill" at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. She also drew critical acclaim when she performed the lead role in Lynn Nottage’s play “Intimate Apparel” at Arkansas Reparatory Theatre under the direction of Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj.  She has also written several pieces for the stage including Stormy, Son of A Preacher Man, Love, Honor and Cherish, Anchored, as well as, “Jimmy Earl’s Defense”, based upon the lives of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther, Jr. and James Earl Ray.

Professor Turner has worked with youth in the Newark, New Jersey public school system as part of the successful after-school program, “Mic It Up,” which trained aspiring young vocalists for careers in the Entertainment industry.

Professor Turner has served as Interim Director of Music for the Canaan Baptist Church of Christ under the pastorate of civil rights leader and former Chief of Staff to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker, Sr. in Harlem, New York.   She has served on the music staff as Praise and Worship Leader at Metropolitan Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey under the pastorate of Rev. Dr. David Jefferson, Sr. She has also served as Minister of Music and Arts at Fountain Spring Baptist Church in Bronx, New York, Living Water United Church of Christ in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Rivers of Living Water United Church of Christ in New York City, Bethany Baptist Church in Harlem New York, and presently Trinity United Church of Christ in York, Pennsylvania. Professor Turner holds a Master of Divinity Degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary and is the 2017 recipient of the Dr. Paul Reid Pontius Memorial Award in Worship. She is presently a doctoral student at Drew University where her focus is Courageous Leadership. She has toured China and Japan with the New York Harlem Singers and has facilitated Gospel workshops in Milan and Roma Italy as part of Gospel Connection. As Gospel music evolves, Professor Turner works to hold space for both traditional and contemporary styles.