Kirby Kay began her musical training as a violinist and pianist at the age of 4 and has been a devoted musician ever since. She completed long-term Suzuki Certification through book four at the Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville in 2009, and graduated from the University of Illinois with her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance in 2008.
Kirby very much enjoys teaching privately at the St. Louis School of Music, as well as group and studio classes, and has done quite a bit of guest coaching and sectional instructing with the Lake Forest High School, Midwest Young Artists and University of Illinois.
During her time as a student at the University of Illinois she was the youngest winner of the University of Illinois Concerto Competition String Division, a winner of the Rolland Violin Competition and the Armstrong Competition. Kirby has studied privately with members of the Pacifica Quartet, Mr. Mark Zinger, and Mr. Gene Purdue. She has had several opportunities to work with other outstanding musicians such as Rachel Barton-Pine, Almeta Vamos, Illya Kaler, Steffan Milenkovich, Jacques Israliavich, members of the Emerson Quartet, and the Autobaun Quartet.
On top of extensive solo performance experience, having also been featured as a soloist with the Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra, Kirby has also been an avid chamber and orchestral musician having frequently served as section leader, most notably the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra.
Some of her professional affiliations include Baroque Artists of Champaign Urbana, Prairie Ensemble, Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra, Millikin Decatur Symphony Orchestra, Eastern Illinois Orchestra, and Champaign-Urbana Symphony. Kirby’s teaching perspectives are enriched thanks to opportunities she has to take several international tours to such places as Scotland, Vienna, China, and Korea.