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Justin Leo Kennedy

Justin Kennedy

Assistant Professor

David Orr Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts

School of Music

Contact Information

Phone: 828.227.2400
Office: 183 Belk Building
Personal Website:
Pronouns: He / Him


Justin Leo Kennedy is a composer and producer specializing in electronic music. He is Assistant Professor of Music Technology here at Western Carolina University, where he directs the Music Technology Ensemble and teaches private lessons in subject of Performance Technology.<br><br>Dr. Kennedy has been invited to show his work at the Spoleto Festival (Italy), ISEA (Hong Kong), SEAMUS (Georgia), MUSLAB (Mexico), and more. His music has been heard at venues such as Disneyland, Hamburger Sprechwerk (Germany), and the Naru Arts Center (South Korea).<br><br>Justin's pieces for electronics and Mongolian-inspired vocalizations earned him a selection as an Alternate for the Fulbright Fellowship, a Title VIII Fellowship, and Ventura's Endowment for the Arts. He holds composition degrees from Chicago College of Performing Arts (B.M.), CSU Long Beach (M.M.), and Arizona State University (D.M.A.).<br><br>Prior to his academic employment, Justin worked full-time in the commercial market as Creative Director at Baltu Technologies, where he composed music for games, did sound design for VR applications, and programmed interactive media installations. His current research endeavors are anchored in accessible music technology. In these pursuits, Justin explores control possibilities of audio hardware and analog devices through the use of face- and eye-tracking software.<br><br>Justin often gets asked about why he wears a beret. There's a simple answer: his mother. She gave him his first beret when he was 16 and he’s been wearing them since. Justin’s mom is an artist, his father is a software engineer, his wife is a cat lover, and his brother was an IT specialist. Justin is the sum of those parts: a computer music-making cat lover.


  • DMA, Arizona State University, Music Composition
  • MM, California State University-Long Beach, Music Composition
  • BM, Chicago City-Wide College, Music Composition

Teaching Interests

-- Music Technology Ensemble<br>-- Performance Technology<br>-- Synthesis & Sound Design<br>-- Data Protocols for Music Making<br>-- Music Production

Research Interests

-- Accessibility in Music Technology<br>-- Game Audio & Ludomusicology<br>-- Human-Machine Interaction<br>-- Electronic Musical Instrument Design<br>-- Traditional Mongolian Music

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