Friday, August 27, 2010

God Is At Work In You: Getting To Know The Keller Brothers

Please tell us about the Keller Brothers.

TKB: The Keller Brothers is a unique singing group of two tenors and a bass, all in one family. We sing a wide range of different types of music, from church hymns, opera and classical music to pop, rhythm and blues and show tunes. We try to inspire and touch the hearts of those around us.

When did the Keller Brothers become interested in and start singing?

TKB: Our family sings all of the time, even when we are driving from place to place in one of our cars. The Keller Brothers started joining into each song and we turned quite a few heads as we blissfully motored down the road!

After that, our entire family joined the St. Agnes Catholic Church choir here in Elyria, Ohio and our choir director, Donna Hurley, carefully instructed us over the next several years. John’s elementary school music teacher noticed his talent, discovered the other Keller brothers and the rest is history.

Our professional careers began in 2008, when we were a part of The Keller Family Singers. In 2010, George, Peter and John formed their own singing group, The Keller Brothers.

Since The Keller Brothers just got started as a separate singing group in 2010, we are just at the beginning of our careers. From the overwhelming response we are receiving, however, we can see that our popularity is spreading.

Tell us about yourselves as individuals.

TKB: George Keller (Dramatic Tenor): George was a member of the Oberlin Choristers before joining the Collegiate Chorale, Vocal Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble at Lorain County Community College, Elyria, Ohio. He was also a soloist at the Spring Pops Concert and sang Nessun Dorma from the opera Turandot, as the opening act for the Cleveland Pops Concert. George is currently attending Baldwin-Wallace College's Conservatory of Music, studying voice and opera. George had been a cantor for about a year and a member of the choir at St. Agnes Church, Elyria, Ohio for four years. George also starred in the musical, the Apple Tree, Comedia del Arte in addition to his many other performances. His dream is to some day sing at the Metropolitan Opera or at the Royal Opera House in Rome, Italy.

Peter Keller (Bass): Peter began his singing career with the Oberlin Choristers, Oberlin, Ohio, where he lent his powerful bass to many challenging music selections. Peter continued singing as a soloist and member of the choir at St. Agnes Catholic Church for four years. Peter joined his brothers, singing Nessun Dorma from the opera Turandot, as the opening act for the Cleveland Pops Concert in Ely Square in August, 2008. He also has many other interests, including drawing, sculpture, painting as well as many other art projects. After high school, Peter will attend college and major in art and computer design. Some day, Peter hopes to specialize in archaeology, including dig site detailing, and perform as a featured singer every chance he gets.

John Keller (Lyric Tenor): John began his singing career with the Oberlin Choristers in Oberlin, Ohio and was a featured soloist in many school concerts. At the age of 13, he was the youngest cantor at St. Agnes Catholic Church, Elyria, Ohio, and was a soloist and member of the church choir for four years. Recently, John was awarded a blue ribbon at the Lorain County Solo Competition and also performed as the lead in the school musical, Willy Wonka, Jr. John hopes to continue his vocal training in high school and college, and major in voice and science. Some day, John would like to sing at the Metropolitan Opera or on Broadway and record several CDs of music that would touch the hearts of so many around the world.

Does anyone play a musical instrument?

TKB: Both George and John play the piano and John is teaching himself guitar. Peter plays a “mean” recorder!

Does anyone else ever sing with you?

TKB: George, Peter and John are The Keller Brothers, although our mother and father sometimes join us for some selections.

Who else works with The Keller Brothers, and in what capacity?

TKB: Both George and John have had some professional music instruction in the past, and Peter and John are now beginning voice lessons with a talented musician and vocal instructor, David Blazer. George will continue perfecting his vocal performance at the Conservatory at Baldwin-Wallace College, and Peter and John will both be involved in their school choir at Elyria High School this year. Of course, our mother and father are constantly working with us, guiding us as they also help manage and market the group.

How does your faith influence your music?

TKB: The formation of The Keller Brothers began in our church choir. All of us marveled at the way the church “rang” with the high note of the great amen during Mass and we loved listening to that wonderful harmony filling the church nave. If we hadn’t started singing in the church choir, we don’t think The Keller Brothers would exist.

Has your family always been Catholic?

TKB: The three Keller Brothers have been Catholic from the very beginning of their lives, as has their father, Kerry. Our mother, Ann, converted from being a Methodist when she met and married our father.

What are your favorite types of music, who are your favorite singers, and what are your favorite types of music to sing?

TKB: George is more of a classical musician and his favorite types of music are opera and classical pieces. Peter likes show tunes and opera and John just can’t get enough of opera, pop and R & B. Our favorite singers are Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Mario Lanza and Andrea Bocelli,

Do you write any of your own music?

TKB: Yes, George writes some of the music we sing and a few selections will be included on our first CD, Autumn Harvest.

What comments have people made after hearing you sing?

TKB: At church, fellow parishioners would stop us after Mass and comment that we truly have a gift. They could not get over that John Keller, the youngest cantor in our parish, had such a great voice and stage presence at only age thirteen. At school, teachers and staff would stop what they were doing and come investigate the beautiful sound of music wafting down the halls from the gym, where the Keller Brothers were practicing for an upcoming concert. When George sang an Italian aria at Bay Days in July, people heard him from over a half mile away and had to come to the concert to see who possessed such an incredible voice. Peter is the bass upon which we stand. He feels the music deeply and that comes through so clearly that people cannot help but be touched by everything he sings.

What are your plans for the future, both inside and outside of performing?

TKB: George hopes to become a professional opera singer some day, Peter would like to become an archaeologist and a teacher, and John’s path may very well lead him to Broadway or to the opera, as well. In any case, we will continue to remain close to our family and connected as the Keller brothers, no matter where life leads us.

Who inspires you?

TKB: Our shining example is the singing career of Luciano Pavarotti.

Have there been challenges?

TKB: Of course, there have been challenges! Life wouldn’t be “normal” without a few obstacles in one’s path. Our largest challenge at the moment is a financial one. Many people who hear The Keller Brothers ask us for a CD of our music and we are now working on the Keller Brothers’ first CD, Autumn Harvest. As you can imagine, however, studio time can be expensive. Also, we usually perform without a sound system, which limits our audience to those within the range of our voices. We are actively searching for sponsors, willing to help The Keller Brothers.

Has anything happened that stands out as having been quite unexpected or especially delightful?

TKB: We will never forget that marvelous day when we sang as the opening act for The Cleveland Pops Orchestra here in Elyria. The performance was completely unexpected and we had to scramble, because our grandmother had just been discharged from the hospital that day. Even though she was still weak, Patricia Keller positively glowed with happiness, witnessing her grandsons singing before over 2,000 people. The crowd asked for an encore and we sang Nessun Dorma for them, from the opera Turandot by Giacomo Puccini. We received a standing ovation and the entire square rang with their whistles and loud clapping. It was an inspiring and life changing moment for us.

Unbelievably, this year we have been asked to sing WITH the Cleveland Pops Orchestra at their Concert in the Park during Labor Day weekend! The Director of the Cleveland Pops remembered us from two years ago and we are incredibly honored to sing with so many talented musicians.

What do you like best about performing?

TKB: The Keller Brothers adore the applause, whistles and cries of “Encore!” we often receive when we perform. It is also wonderful to see the audience’s faces when we open our mouths and start singing for the first time. Their surprise quickly turns to incredulous delight.

What are your favorite parts of Holy Mass?

: Our favorite part is Communion. The sharing of Jesus' Body and Blood among all of the members is a treasured part of the Mass. It helps all of us to feel connected, a part of something greater than we are.

Do you have any favorite causes?

TKB: As a family, we support the work of St. Mary of Egypt in assisting the poor and homeless, the Humane Society, and the World Wildlife Foundation.

What would the Keller Brothers most like people to know about them?

TKB: The Keller Brothers are very close siblings and share a wonderful love of music. Although we have lost our greatest cheerleader, our grandmother Patricia Keller, last year in addition to our choir director, Donna Hurley, this year, the Keller Brothers will never stop singing. Singing is in our hearts and in our blood. It is a gift from God and we welcome sharing it with the world.

Please tell us about the making of the new Keller Brother's CD.

TKB: There is no doubt in our minds that God led us to the doorstep of Michael Zaremba. We frequently begin our recording sessions with Michael and our marvelous pianist, Brian Smith, with a simple prayer, asking God to bless all of us and help us to do our best to share His message.

The Keller Brothers, Peter, John and George,
with Emmy Award-winning audio producer and sound designer
Michael Zaremba at his recording studio, Advanced Audio Design.

Michael Zaremba played bass and sang with Cleveland, a 14-piece original show band, for over 20 years and was instrumental in helping to bring the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to Cleveland. Michael and his wife Lisa recently hosted the Christian worship band, HisNameHigh, for three months as they recorded their CD, His Burden Is Light, at Advanced Audio Design ( The Keller Brothers’ talented pianist, Brian Smith, is the father of Tyler Smith and Zach Smith, who sing and play drums and acoustic guitar with HisNameHigh.

Look for the Keller Brothers CD to be released later this year.

My children and I had the privilege of meeting the Keller Family during a recent visit to Ohio, were welcomed into their home, and treated as members of their family. We were captivated by songs sung by the entire family, a beautiful mother-son duet by Ann and John, and solos by George and by John. At the conclusion of our visit, we said our goodbyes to the sound of George's beautiful piano playing, wishing we could remain longer and hear so much more from this very lovely, very talented family.

From L to R: The Keller Brothers: Peter, John, and George Keller;
Andre and Nick Bottesi; Ann and Kerry Keller; Alyssa Bottesi.

The Keller Brothers recently performed in concert August 13, 2010
at the Cuyahoga County Fair in Berea, Ohio.

Their next performance is on September 4, 2010:

The Keller Brothers Concert with
The Cleveland Pops Orchestra
Ely Square, Elyria, Ohio

To follow the Keller Brothers, please visit:

To listen to a sample of their music visit:

To arrange a Keller Brothers Concert
for your parish,

private party,

church fund-raising event,
or charitable cause,

or to find out more about The Keller Brothers,
please contact Ann or Kerry Keller

at (440) 309-4017