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Carla McElhaney

  • Asst. Professor, General Music
  • School of Music



Carla McElhaney is an artist innovator, pianist, coach, and educator. Her mission is to foster an unshakeable sense of wholeness, connection, and aliveness—both within individuals and among communities—through the soul-affirming power of the arts. An award-winning pianist, her playing has been recognized by the Austin Critics’ Table, praised by the Austin-American Statesman as exhibiting “infectious enthusiasm”, commended by the Austin Chronicle as delivering “an exciting mix of focus and passion,” and described in the Chronicle’s 2019 “A Guide to Classical Music” as “absorbing and exhilarating.” She can be heard on several recordings, including Conspirare’s Grammy-nominated album, The Hope of Loving.

As the co-founder and artistic director of the Austin-based collective Revel, she has presented over a hundred themed “revels” since their 2009 debut, performing for enthusiastic audiences at diverse venues such as Fuel Coffee House in Llano, Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Recording Studio in Wimberley, the Armstrong/Connelly Studio at Ballet Austin, New Mexico Tech in Socorro, the Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose, the Krotona School in Ojai, 4th Tap Brewing Co-Op, Albuquerque’s Chatter, the Blanco Performing Arts Series, the Mid-Texas Symphony, and more, inviting listeners everywhere to dispense with the standard protocol of the day, rebel against the straight-laced austerity of the modern concert hall, and “come as you are, clap when you feel like it, and revel in the music like no one is watching.”

Dr. McElhaney earned degrees from Eastman School of Music (B.M.) and The University of Texas at Austin (M.M, D.M.A). A faculty member at Texas Lutheran University since 2009, she has also served on the piano faculties of The University of Texas at Austin and the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music in Berea, Ohio.

Photo credit: Nathan Russell