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Formed shortly after Shelton State Community College came into existence, the Music Department has built an outstanding reputation for both training and performance.  The continuing excellence of the program is a tribute to highly trained faculty, talented students, and the supportive administration of the College. Students can prepare for degrees in music or simply participate in the various ensembles and performance areas. Music-making might range from playing jazz to singing an aria or from entertaining local school children to performing in Carnegie Hall.  We encourage the highest level of skill in performance but do so in a nurturing environment. Scholarships are available to gifted students even if they do not intend to pursue a career in the arts. Please look closely at the many different aspects of our Music Department, then join us as we make music together!


Students at Shelton State Community College who are pursuing Associate Degrees with an emphasis in Music or are Fine Arts Scholarship recipients may take Private Voice, which consists of one-on-one lessons and a weekly Voice Performance Lab. Students are offered opportunities to sing recitals as well as to sing for sports events, pageants, churches, civic groups, college events, and the weekly Terrific Tuesday Concert Series. Students must meet repertoire requirements in their study, and many choose to participate in the annual Alabama NATS Vocal Auditions. Shelton State has had winners in NATS every year for over 20 years, although they have often been the only Two-Year College that competed against Four-Year Colleges. Shelton students have been selected for NATS Vocal Workshops and for the Vann Opera Institute, and 95% of Shelton Voice Majors who have transferred to Four-Year Colleges have received scholarships.

Students who take Private Voice at Shelton are given the opportunity to learn musical theatre repertoire in addition to classical repertoire. Students may present staged performances of musical theatre numbers in Voice Performance Lab, for the Terrific Tuesday Concert Series, in the Shelton Singers Showcase, in Bach to Rock shows, and at the Alabama NATS Auditions. In 2010, seven students from the Shelton State Music Department were winners at the NATS Auditions, including sweeping the First Year College Women category. Students are also encouraged to audition for roles in productions by local and regional theatre companies. Students from Shelton have become performers for Opryland, Six Flags, Disney, and Dollywood, and many received scholarships to four-year colleges in Musical Theatre. One former Shelton student has begun his own theatre company, The Actors Charitable Theatre; another directs for the Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre, and another has recently been named Technical Director for Theatre Tuscaloosa. The philosophy of the Voice Faculty is that a good singer should sing well in a variety of styles with solid, healthy classical technique and careful attention to stylistic details.


The Shelton Singers was the first ensemble to be established in the Shelton State Music Department, and they are still the principle choral performing ensemble on campus. An auditioned concert choir, the choir has performed  major works such as the Haydn Lord Nelson Mass, the Faure Requiem, the Vivaldi Gloria, and the Durufle Requiem with chamber orchestra. In collaboration with the UA University Chorus, the Singers presented the Five Mystical Songs by Vaughan Williams, and with the Prentice Concert Chorale, the Singers performed Missa Kenya by Paul Basler and Requiem by Lee Scott. In addition to traditional choral repertoire, the Singers have presented full-scale musicals and operettas and themed concerts such as American Music, Poetry in Music, and International Music. The 50-voice choir has sung in Atlanta, Orlando, Salt Lake City, Honolulu, and 6 times in New York’s Carnegie Hall.  On May 21, 2011, they will again sing in Carnegie Hall in A Festival Chorus conducted by Z. Randall Stroop.

Glinda Blackshear, Vocal/Choral Instructor at Shelton State Community College, originated the concept of educating and entertaining school children with an ensemble of college students who sing a variety of music from different composers and styles, thus the name “Bach to Rock”. A typical Bach to Rock show includes art songs in Italian, French, and German, opera arias, spirituals, Gospel songs, jazz, bluegrass, country, pop, rock,  R&B, and musical theatre.

The auditioned group of 10-14 students has been performing for over 20 years, with an average of 25 performances each year. Performances are primarily for elementary school children; but the group has also sung for the RISE program at the Stallings Center, for senior adults groups, for civic clubs, for the Tuscaloosa Music Club, and for Shelton graduation.

The Bach to Rock ensemble is under the umbrella of the Arts Council of Tuscaloosa, which has stated that every year Bach to Rock is their most requested educational program. In 2008, Bach to Rock won first place in the national Exemplary Initiatives Competition for Two-Year Colleges in the United States in the category of “Responding to Community Needs”.



Class piano is designed for a student who wants to learn to play the instrument with little or no previous training.  Classes are taught in the Keyboard Lab equipped with Yamaha keyboards.  Class meets twice a week.  Emphasis is placed on the rudiments of music, basic performance technique, and general musicianship skills.

PRIVATE PIANO- MUP 101, 102, 201, 202

Private piano is designed for a student with previous training.  Piano students in these sequential courses have individual lessons and a performance lab each week.  Emphasis is placed on developing technique, repertoire, and performance skills commensurate with the student’s educational goal. Students desiring to study private piano should contact the instructor.

Students have the opportunity to perform on the college concert series and give recitals.  Several of Shelton State’s private piano students have been recipients of transfer music scholarships to colleges in Alabama.



    • MUP 161, 162, 261, 262 – Private Trumpet
    • MUP 163, 164, 263, 264 – Private Horn
    • MUP 171, 172, 271, 272 – Private Trombone
    • MUP 173, 174, 273, 274- Private Euphonium
    • MUP 175, 176, 275, 276 – Private Tuba
    • MUP 281-282


Shelton students have an opportunity to study percussion on a variety of percussion instruments.  Students receive an individual lesson in conjunction with a weekly performance lab.  Emphasis is placed on developing technique,  repertoire, and performance skills commensurate with the student’s educational goals. Permission of the instructor is required.

Students have the opportunity to perform in the college concert series.


Concert Band is a large ensemble that meets once a week on Monday evenings. This ensemble is focused on the preparation of works for wind band and gives one concert a semester in the large group format. Other performances may be performed by smaller ensembles made up of members from the large group.


Jazz Ensemble is a traditional Big Band this group has a maximum of 5 saxophones, 5 trombones, 5 trumpets, and rhythm section (guitar, piano, bass, drums). Preparing music for large jazz ensemble this group performs a minimum of 2 concerts per semester and hosts an annual jazz festival with a nationally recognized guest clinician/soloist.


Jazz Combo is a small group of select students that focuses on improvisation in jazz. This group performs on all Jazz Ensemble concerts as well as other performances around Tuscaloosa and recruiting performances in West Alabama High Schools. This group requires students to have reliable transportation and Friday availability.


1920 Alabama Power Recital Hall
The Terrific Tuesday Concert Series and student recitals are held in the Alabama Recital Hall.  The hall is located inside the Bean Brown Theatre complex.

1802 Choral Rehearsal Hall
This room is designed acoustically for choirs and vocal ensembles.  Lecture classes are often taught in this room when rehearsals are not in session.

1805 Instrumental Rehearsal Hall
This room is designed acoustically for instrumental ensembles and is the rehearsal area for the Shelton State Jazz Ensemble.  Theory classes are taught in this hall when rehearsals are not in session.

1810 Lecture Room
Designed for Music Appreciation classes. It is fully equipment with a Bose sound system.

1813 Keyboard Lab
The keyboard lab consists of 16 Yamaha digital pianos.  This lab is used for class piano, ensemble practice, and MUS 115 students.

1821 MIDI Lab
Equipped with 8 computers this room is designed for music courses requiring computer usage. Special sound cards in the systems enhance the listening  experience. The software available in the lab is Music Ace, Musical Practicum, and Finale.

1820 Piano Studio
This studio houses a grand piano for applied instruction.

1817-1818 FacultyStudios
These voice studios are equipped with special recording systems for the instructor and student.

There are 7 practice rooms with acoustical pianos located in the music suite.