Adam Kallestad

phot of Adam smiling outside
Hometown: Boone, NC
B.M. in Instrumental/General Music Education with a Certificate in Jazz Studies

How did you first get interested in music?
Coming from a family of professional musicians, I have always been immersed in music. I received a healthy diet of jazz and classical music as I grew up listening to my mother play organ and sing, and my father play saxophone. Throughout high school, I participated in many types of ensembles and was very fortunate to attend music clinics, summer camps, and honor bands, some of which I am now involved in professionally!

What kind of career do you hope to have?
Currently, I look forward to directing and building a high school band program. Whether I will further pursue music in grad school remains to be seen, but I have no doubt that educating and performing will continue to coexist in my professional and personal life. 

What is your favorite thing about the College of Arts + Architecture?
The College of Arts + Architecture listens to its students and their needs. I feel like my voice is heard within the music department, and like my opinion matters. What's more, this college believes it is important to build interdisciplinary relationships, such as through the incredible NYC Spring break trips, or at campus events like CoAAPalooza. 

Do you participate in any community activities or work in the Charlotte arts community?
I can be found gigging throughout the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area, performing in both jazz and classical settings. I particularly enjoy playing at local venues, such as wineries and coffee shops. 

Can you talk about your experience as a scholarship student?    
I am a recipient of the MJR Jazz Scholarship, a generous scholarship made possible by Dr. Jayaraman and Mirunalini Raja. As a result of the scholarship, I have had the opportunity to study with Grammy nominated jazz saxophonist Tim Armacost. Additionally, I traveled to New York City in 2023 to experience live jazz music and visit historically significant sites. 

When you are not in class, studying, or working, what do you like to do for fun?
I cook nearly all of my meals, and I love finding (or improvising) new recipes. I enjoy playing table tennis and frisbee, and I value spending time with friends more than anything else.