Guy Allen Kelpin was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin on November 30, 1976. In early elementary school, he began piano lessons through Project Create, an arts program at Carroll College, and continued piano study through his late teens. Before he was ten, Guy had expressed a strong curiosity in composing. His first ambitions included several suites for piano, two highly imaginative operettas based on original stories, and a few small symphonic works that were decidedly Classical in style. The young Kelpin would have been first to admit a strong influence of his idol, Mozart. In sixth grade, Guy was recommended for the Waukesha Public Schools' Gifted and Talented Program. As a result, he met James Machan, with whom he began to study music theory, history, and composition. During his six-year term with Jim Machan, Kelpin continued to develop his interest in music of varied styles and traditions. Armed with new knowlege and composition skills, he produced many new pieces. His "Romanza" for woodwind choir was performed by an ensemble from Butler Middle School at the WSMA solo and ensemble contest. Stepping slowly away from the eighteenth century, he wrote a number of songs in the Romantic German Lied style. A set of these won Guy his first of several prizes from the WSMA composition contest. A more emotionally and technically advanced "Abendlied" provided him with yet another WSMA award.
Kelpin's first whole-hearted plunge into twentieth century music was his Suite for Band, a large multi-movement composition that established the style for his work as a teenager. The suite was also given a 1st-prize award by WSMA and received several performances, including the Waukesha North H.S. Symphonic Winds, the UW-Milwaukee Youth Wind Ensemble (formerly known as GMYWE), and the Waukesha Area Symphonic Band. The suite features idiomatic wind writing and a collage of modern techniques that the composer had learned in recent years. It also forshadowed Kelpin's later efforts in its use of programmatic elements.
The works that followed the Suite for Band include "The Bell," a narrated piano solo based on a Grimm fairy tale and the Symphonic Suite for Percussion: Of Gods and Goddesses. "The Bell" enjoyed frequent local performances and 1st Place and National Incentive awards from the National Federation of Music Clubs. The percussion suite was written for the Project Create High School Percussion Ensemble, a group the composer joined in pursuit of broadened musical experiences. Like the Suite for Band, it is a musical portrayal of various ancient Greek mythological figures and exhibits a creative use of twentieth century musical elements, owing allegence to Debussy, Prokofiev, Bartok, and Holst. In May of 1999, Guy graduated Magna Cum Laude from Illinois Wesleyan University with a Bachelor’s degree in music. He was elected as a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, the national music honor society, and served as the vice president of the Alpha Lambda chapter of Phi Mu Alpha. At IWU, he studied composition with Dr. David Vayo and Dr. Phillippe Bodin. His musical character continued to mature with compositions like "Navajo Windway" (a short orchestral tone poem), "Piano Sonatina," "Horizons" (a duet for viola and percussion), "Brass Quintet in Bb," "October's Bright Blue Weather" (mixed choral work), incidental music for Spoon River, a performance-art work for percussionists titled "Actuated by Selfish Motives," and several electro-acoustic projects. Most of his works of the time were performed on the IWU campus. Study at Illinois Wesleyan brought Kelpin into contact with such prestigious composers as Joseph Schwantner, John Coligliano, and Arvo Part.
As a musician, Guy Kelpin has led a double life as composer and performer. His experiences as a performing instrumentalist have had an enormous impact on his perception of composition. Guy began playing trombone a few years after he started piano, along with a fascination with music theory, history, and composition and his experiences performing choral, percussion, and string music, Kelpin's future was destined for a musical career. In High School, Kelpin was a member of Wisconsin State Honors ensembles (Band and Jazz), the Milwaukee Youth Symphony, and the Greater Milwaukee Youth Wind Ensemble (now UWM-YWE). His summers took him to camps including Interlochen, Birch Creek, and Indianhead Arts Center (where Guy received the Outstanding Camper Award from the National Band Association). At Waukesha North High School, Guy served as a drum major for the Rose Bowl Parade  marching band and was presented with the Outstanding Musician and J. P. Sousa Band awards. He also won an Honorable Mention in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition.
In college, while studying low brass with Dr. Thomas Streeter, the young composer served as principle trombone in all of IWU's major ensembles, performed a Senior Honors Recital, and won the school's concerto competition. Perhaps his most important orchestral and contemporary music experiences were provided by three summers at the Aspen Music Festival, where Guy studied with the internationally acclaimed trombonist Per Brevig. Those summers also introduced Kelpin to many aspects of the contemporary music scene. He attended hundreds of performances and took courses in film music with Brane Živković. As a performer, Kelpin has traveled between New York and L.A. and abroad to Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Japan. These numerous opportunies have supplied Kelpin with historical and cultural insight to fuel his compositions.
In 1999, Kelpin enrolled as a graduate student at the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he is persuing a degree in Film Music. He has aspirations to use his skills as a composer in the movie industry and his interest in music of a programmatic nature helped lead to that decision. Guy is active as a teacher of private trombone lessons, which he plans to continue in the future. His favorite hobby is collecting and listening to recordings, and he feels strongly that live performance is one of the most things our society has to cherish. Outside of music, his interests include reading, hiking and astronomy.