A St. Louis native, Kelly Winter Sim became a St. Louis Irish Arts student at the age of seven studying piano accordion and dancing. During her younger years, she received numerous awards at the National Fleadh Cheoil and traveled to Ireland yearly. In 1998, she was the All-Ireland World Champion bronze medalist on the piano accordion, making her one of
few Americans to achieve this world title. Several of Kelly’s students and grupai cheoils have also gone on to win medals in the All-Ireland competition.
Kelly earned the Gold Congressional Medal in 2001. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Louis University and a Masters Degree from the University of Missouri St. Louis. Kelly also studied in Ireland for a year at the University College Galway in 2003.
Kelly has performed with many Irish groups and musicians over the years including Misla, the Banks Ceili Band, Glen Road, and Emerald Beat- the traditional music and dance show at Busch Gardens. Kelly also plays throughout the year at John D. McGurk’s Pub in St. Louis, Missouri with various artists.
Kelly has been teaching at St. Louis Irish Arts for over 10 years. She currently directs classes for grupai cheoil, piano accordion, and concertina while also teaching privately.
Kelly was invited to teach at the Scoil Éigse music school – which she attended in youth – during the 2007 and 2008 Fleadh Cheoils in Ireland and adjudicated at the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann. She has also taught at many tionals across the United States.
In addition to teaching Irish music at St. Louis Irish Arts, Kelly travels nationwide to play for feisanna—Irish dance competitions. She also teaches preschool at Faith Academy of Montessori in Webster Groves.