Kessa Mefford is a native of Peekskill, New York. Homeschooled by two musicians, she was raised not only to be a pianist, but a well-rounded musician. Her mother was a full-time pedagogue and her father was the general director of an opera company. By the time she was three, her parents discovered she had perfect pitch, and her piano studies began. Throughout her youth, she also studied voice and sang with her father’s opera company. She made her first public piano concert appearance at age six. Her first full-length solo piano concert was at age fourteen, and she has since performed solo recitals every year in different locations around New York.
Kessa received a BM in piano performance in August 2017 at Brigham Young University, where she received several academic and music merit scholarships. After two and a half years of studying with Dr. Richard Anderson, she was accepted to the renowned studio of Dr. Irene Peery-Fox, whom she studied with for two years. While at BYU, she competed at their annual concerto competition with Mozart’s 23rd Piano Concerto in 2015, where she was a finalist. She gave her concerto debut in April of 2016 with the Taconic Opera Chamber Orchestra performing this concerto as well. She begins her MM in Septmeber 2018 at the Mannes School of Music studying under concert pianist Simone Dinnerstein.
For the last several years, Kessa has also worked as a vocal accompanist, as well as a private piano teacher. She has participated in numerous recitals, concerts, master classes, and coachings. Her master class and coaching opportunities have allowed her to work with renowned pianists Kirill Gliadkovsky, Evelyn Chen, Michael Gurt, Tamás Ungár, Marc Silverman, and Evelyne Brancart. Her recent awards and distinctions include 1st place in the Best Brahms Performance edition of the Great Composers Competition series and 2nd place in the Best Liszt Performance edition of the same series.