Russ Shelley


Director of Choral and Vocal Studies
Elma Stine Heckler Professor of Music
Chair, Music Department

Office Phone: (814) 641-3473
Fax: (814) 641-3472
Email: shelley@juniata.edu

Dr. RUSS SHELLEY is the Elma Stine Heckler Professor of Music at Juniata College (Huntingdon, PA), where he serves as chair of the Department of Music and teaches Music for Classroom Teachers and Introduction to Aesthetic Experience. He also conducts the Concert Choir, Choral Union, Alumni Choir, and Chorale. Under his direction, Juniata choirs have performed in 21 states and 20 countries on more than 25 extended concert tours. Most recently, he conducted the Concert Choir on a tour to France in March 2009.  The Juniata College Concert Choir released a compact disc in each of the past 15 years.

In addition to his conducting opportunities at Juniata, Shelley is music director of the State College (PA) Choral Society. Choral Society repertoire under Shelley’s direction includes Mendelssohn St. Paul, Haydn Creation, Mendelssohn Symphony No. 2 “Lobgesang,” Bach Magnificat, Fauré Requiem, Ramirez Misa Criolla and Navidad Nuestra, Brahms Requiem, and Tippett A Child of Our Time. The Choral Society commissioned its first composition in 2003—Voices of the Holocaust premiered in November 2004 and has since been performed four times in Brazil and three times in Pennsylvania.

International teaching assignments include the National Conservatory in Bucharest, Romania in the fall of 1998 where Shelley lectured on American choral music and conducted Kontakion, the premier academic choir in Romania; and in Brazil in May of 2006 where he conducted Voices of the Holocaust. He has conducted and/or performed in 25 countries. The Regent Chorale, a high school honors choir instituted as a means of providing international performing opportunities for deserving high school singers and of which Shelley is a co-founder, has performed two European tours.

A native of New York, Shelley has baccalaureate degrees in music education and sacred music, a master’s degree in vocal performance from Mansfield University (PA), and a doctorate in music education from Penn State. Prior to his graduate work at Penn State, he taught junior and senior high school general and choral music in New York and served as a church musician. Active as a guest conductor, adjudicator, and clinician, he has appeared as a guest conductor more than forty times in seven states. 2009-2010 guest conducting locations include North Carolina and Brazil.  In June 2009, he presented a workshop on International Collaborations with Cicero Alves, his colleague from Salvador, Brazil, at the National Chorus American Conference.  Juniata hosted the 2009 Pennsylvania Collegiate Choral Association with Dr. Craig Jessop serving as guest conductor. 

Shelley is a member of the national music honorary Pi Kappa Lambda, Chorus America, the Music Educators National Conference, the American Choral Directors Association, the International Federation of Choral Music, and Omicron Delta Kappa. He is past-president and secretary of the Pennsylvania Collegiate Choral Association, a former Repertoire & Standards Chair for Community Choirs of the American Choral Directors Association-Pennsylvania, and the former conductor of the annual Pennsylvania Consort Messiah performance in Bedford, PA.

Honors and Activities:

Pi Kappa Lambda
Chorus America
Music Educators National Conference (MENC)
American Choral Directors Association (ACDA)
Served as President and secretary of the Pennsylvania Collegiate Choral Association (PCCA)
Past Repertoire & Standards Chair for Community Choirs of the American Choral Directors Association-Pennsylvania (ACDA-PA)
Past Conductor of the annual Pennsylvania Consort Messiah performance in Bedford, PA

2009 Host for the Pennsylvania Collegiate Choral Association Annual Choir Festival