Kira Omelchenko, D.M.A.

Associate Professor of Music
Director of Orchestra
and String Studies

My goal as an educator is to be a positive role model to my students in everything I do. I aim to encourage, mentor and challenge students in new and exciting ways so they can challenge themselves and support their peers. Music for me is a means of self expression and a way to communicate and connect emotionally with others. In the classroom I strive to bring individuals together and create a sense of community.”

Winner of the 2016 International Conductors Workshop and Competition, Dr. Kira Omelchenko is an Associate Professor of Music and the Director of the Orchestra and String Studies at Florida Southern College. A passionate educator, Dr. Omelchenko was the 2018 recipient of the Miller Distinguished Professor Award, which recognizes excellence in Teaching and Advising.  In addition, as a 2014 recipient of the National American Prize in Music (Prize Winner in Opera Conducting), she has served as the Interim Artistic Director of the St. Augustine Youth Orchestra as well as the assistant conductor for the Imperial Symphony Orchestra Opera Productions.  Prior to Florida Southern College, Dr. Omelchenko served as the Director of Orchestra and Strings Studies at The University of Tampa. 

As the 2017 winner of the International Institute for Conductors in Bulgaria, Dr. Omelchenko conducted the Vidin State Philharmonic Orchestra in a Concerto Festival and was invited back as a guest conduct in their 2017-18 season.  In summer 2018, Dr. Omelchenko serving as artist in residence and guest conductor at the University of Aveiro (Portugal) where she mentored graduate conducting students and conducted the University Symphony. Upcoming conducting engagements include and director and conductor at the International Opera Performing Experience Festival in Mercatello sul Metauro (Italy).  Recent guest conducting engagements include concerts with the Gwinnett Symphony Chamber Symphony (GA), the Imperial Symphony Orchestra (FL), the Seasons Music Festival Orchestra in Yakima, Washington, and with the Bulgarian State Opera.  In 2015 Dr. Omelchenko was selected to participate in a conducting festival in St. Petersburg, Russia where she conducted the orchestra in the historic Mariinsky Theatre.  Additional international conducting fellowships include studies in Vienna, Rotterdam and Amsterdam conservatories in the Netherlands and Bulgaria. 

Dr. Omelchenko specializes in orchestral conducting, operatic conducting, and violin performance and instruction.  As a violinist, Dr. Omelchenko has performed with Opera Tampa and with IBEX productions in concerts with Andrea Bocelli and the Mannheim Steamroller.  During her graduate studies, Dr. Omelchenko served as the Music Director of St. Ambrose University Community Symphony Orchestra in Davenport.  She was also the assistant conductor to opera production at the University of Iowa, the University of New Mexico, as well as the International Opera Lyric Academy in Viterbo, Italy.  In addition, Dr. Omelchenko has been a conducting fellow with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony.

As a recipient of the Sigma Alpha Iota Conducting Scholarship, Dr. Omelchenko has presented research at national and state conferences such as NSEE, NAfME, ASTA, and FMEA.  As a highly sought-after lecturer, clinician, and adjudicator, she has been invited to be the 2021 Florida All-State Orchestra conductor and has conducted several All-County Orchestra Festivals.  Dr. Omelchenko has worked with Middle School and High School students in Summer Orchestra Music Camps at Florida Southern College, The University of Tampa, and the University of Iowa.  She currently serves as Director of the Florida Southern College String Camp, as a clinician and adjudicator for Florida Orchestra Association, OrlandoFest, Music USA Festival at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL, and Brightparks Travel Festivals. Active in the greater community, she serves on the faculty senate and on the Board of Directors for the Imperial Symphony Orchestra.

Recognized for her research and contribution to her field, she has been awarded numerous grants including American String Teachers Association Grants, Sigma Alpha Iota Professional Development Grants, FSC Faculty Summer Stipend and Professional Grants, FSC Faculty and Student Collaboration Grant, as well as the University of Tampa Alumni, Dana, and the David Delo Research Professor Grants.  Dr. Omelchenko’s research on health and music has been published in Health Education Journal (SAGE publications, UK) and her critical edition of G.F. Bristow’s Overture to Rip Van Winkle is recorded and released by the Royal Northern Sinfonia (England) and New World Records (2015).  A native of Kansas, Dr. Omelchenko holds a doctoral degree in music from the University of Iowa and degrees from the University of New Mexico and Knox College.

Education

D.M.A., Musical Arts, Orchestral Conducting, University of Iowa
M.M., Music, Orchestral Conducting, University of New Mexico
B.A., Music and Theatre/Dance concentration, Knox College (IL)

Honors and Awards

  • Miller Distinguished Professor Award (FSC), 2018
  • Winner, Mastering the Concerto, Winner, Mastering the Concerto Conducting Festival, the International Institute for Conductors (Vidin, Bulgaria), 2017
  • First Prize Winner, International Conductors Workshop and Competition (USA), 2016
  • American Prize in Music, Third Prize in Opera Conducting, 2014
  • Inducted into Phi Kappa Lambda, National Music Honors Society, 2012
  • Sigma Alpha Iota Conducting Scholarship, 2011
  • Conducting Fellow, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, 2011

Publications and Exhibitions

Omelchenko, K. L. Hall, C. A., Gainey, M., & Olson, G. (2018). Rhythms of the Heart: An Interprofessional Community Health Collaboration to Increase Cardiovascular Health Knowledge. Health Education Journal.

Omelchenko, Kira, editor, “Overture to Rip Van Winkle” from George Frederick Bristow: Symphony No. 2 (“Jullien”)/Overtures. Royal Northern Sinfonia; Rebecca Miller, Conductor. Rec. Oct.-Nov. 2015. New World Records, 2015. CD.

Grants Received

  • ASTA (American String Teachers Association) String Project Grants, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014
  • FSC Faculty/Student Collaboration Project Grant (Conducting in Vidin, Bulgaria), 2017
  • SAI (Sigma Alpha Iota) Professional Development Music Grant, 2016
  • FSC Faculty Summer Stipend (Conducting in St. Petersburg, Russia), 2015
  • Professional Development Travel Grant, The University of Tampa, 2012, 2014
  • David Delo Research Professor Grant, The University of Tampa, 2013
  • Dana Professor Grant, The University of Tampa, 2013
  • Alumni Grant, The University of Tampa, 2013

Guest Clinician, Adjudication, and Research Presentations

Guest Conductor, Osceola All-County Festival 11/12 grade Orchestra (FL), March 2018.

Guest Conductor, Hillsborough All-County Festival 7/8 grade Orchestra (FL), Jan 2018.

Clinician and Presenter, Music Educators’ Professional Development Day, Volusia County Schools, Daytona Beach, FL, Sept 2017. 

Guest Conductor, Pinellas All-County Festival 11/12 grade Orchestra (FL), Feb 2017.

Clinician and Presenter, Music Educators’ Professional Development Day, Miami-Dade County Schools, Miami, FL, August, 2016.

Clinician and Presenter, Music Educators’ Professional Development Day, Orange County Schools, Orlando, FL, August, 2016. 

Clinician and Adjudicator, High School Music Performance Assessment, Florida Orchestra Association (various counties in FL) 2016-present.

From Zero to Hero: Strategies for Building a String Program from Scratch Guest Presenter, American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Conference, Tampa, FL, March 2016.

From Zero to Hero: Strategies for Building a String Program from Scratch Guest Presenter, National Association for Music Education (NAfME) National Conference Nashville, TN, Oct 2015.

Conductor, Florida Southern College Chamber Orchestra performance Florida Orchestra Association Conference, Orlando, FL, Oct 2015.

Clinician and Adjudicator, Music USA Performance Festival Universal Studios, Orlando, FL, 2015-present.

Innovative Movement Strategies for the Music Classroom Guest Presenter Florida Music Educators Association (FMEA) Conference, Tampa, FL, Jan 2015.

Innovative Movement and Music Strategies in the Classroom Guest Presenter National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) National Conference, Baltimore, MD, Sept 2014.

Setting Expectations on and off the Podium. Guest Presenter National Association for Music Education (NAfME) National Conference, Nashville, TN, Oct 2014.

The Art of Editing Music Manuscripts. Honors Symposium, Guest Lecture Series. The University of Tampa, Nov 2014.

Conductor and Clinician, Bright Parks Travel Educational Tour Company (FL), 2014-present.

Guest Conductor, Polk All-County Festival 11/12 grade Orchestra (FL), Feb 2014.

Guest Conductor, Hillsborough All-County Festival 11/12 grade Orchestra (FL), Jan 2014.

The Art of Editing Music Manuscripts. Paper Presentation. Faculty Colloquium. The University of Tampa, Jan 2014.

Setting Expectations on and off the Podium. Paper Presentation. Florida Music Educators Association (FMEA) Conference. Tampa, FL, Jan 2014.

Using Music to Teach Innovation and Technology Management. Presentation with Professor Michael Weeks (Business College) National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) National Conference. St. Petersburg, FL, Oct 2013.

Adjudicator and Clinician, Tampa Classics Music Festival (FL), 2013-present.

Adjudicator and Violin Clinician, All-State Orchestra Festival (Tampa, FL) Florida Orchestra Association and Florida Music Educators Association, 2012-present.

Adjudicator and Clinician, Solo/Ensemble Festival, Florida Orchestra Association (various counties in FL), 2012-present.