Kelly to perform Christian concert at Paramount

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 19, 2002

Angie Kelly returns to Austin to perform on the Paramount Theatre stage.

Kelly and her band will perform original contemporary Christian music beginning 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $6 each and will be available at the door.

Concert-goers will see a former Austin High School graduate and Riverland Community College student they may remember from

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plays such a "The Sound of Music" or "The King and I."

They may remember her parents, Ron Kelly, the former pastor at Austin Church of Christ, and his wife, Jean.

Others may remember the Ellis Middle School student who didn't "fit in" and who suffered their harassment.

Kelly remembers them, too.

"I remember growing closer to people and God through the Christ In Youth conferences," she said. "I remember my dad's preaching, too. It was a huge growing experience after what I went through in middle school.

"I learned it is important to forgive and to love the unlovable and that most important of all, Jesus is for me."

By then, tears were flowing as the young woman recalled awkward moments as a preteen in Austin and a middle school dominated by cliques.

But those troubling times are behind her .

Today, Kelly is using the angst of her life to propel a career in music. In turn, her musical talents are putting her through college.

Kelly graduated AHS in 1999. She has an older brother, Phillip, who is a filmmaker.

The Kelly family lives in Terre Haute, Ind., where Ron is an assistant pastor for youth and music ministries.

Kelly is a student at Ozark Bible College, Joplin, Mo., where she is pursuing a five-year

music ministries degree with an emphasis on piano.

A year ago, desperate to continue her studies, she embarked on a letter-writing and telephone-calling campaign to raise money to continue her college education.

It worked. She was invited to churches, camps, retreats, conferences and other events.

After independently producing a CD of her original music, she produced a second.

Everywhere Kelly went, Ron and Jean joined her as backup musicians.

After the young woman's performance, a free-will offering was taken and the CD offered for sale.

The money was enough to get the family to the next stop and, more importantly, to keep Kelly in school.

She has performed before crowds of 1,000 people or more, church congregations in the hundreds and once a St. Louis, Mo., inner city mission audience of only 25.

Her music comes mainly from life experiences. "I have to be inspired. Mainly I write about what God has done in my life," she said.

When she is playing the keyboards or piano, she "hears a tune in my head" and waits for the "words to come to me."

Her first CD was entitled "Better Days" and the second "No Matter What."

"I think her music helps her relate to others and it empowers her to do something," her father said. "There's a message that comes through in her music. Some of her songs make you clap your hands. Some of them make your cry. She performs a variety of music."

Her father hopes Saturday night's audience will see a performer and hear her music in order to "allow God to help you through your struggles in life."

Kelly said, "Hopefully, it will be a worshipful experience in a fun atmosphere that will allow us to get to know each other and Jesus better."

Lee Bonorden can be contacted at 434-2232 or by e-mail at