The Voice Merlin – Dr. Christopher Shelt

He Works Wonders with Voices!





The Voice Merlin – Dr. Christopher Shelt

He Works Wonders with Voices!



Tori Gozzi

Completed Masters at Westminster Choir College in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance. Now, Artistic Director of the Newtown Centre of Classical Ballet & Voice.

Dr. Shelt was my vocal professor during my undergraduate education. He made sure my degree was tailored toward my learning style as a scientifically-minded student and helped create a solid foundation for all my studies, especially knowledge of my own voice, over my four years with him. He also desired for his students to become caring and compassionate musicians and educators and opened our minds and ears to the beauty of musical cultures around the world, using music as a way in which to unite people across cultural divides, something which continues to shape me personally and in my work as an educator today.  His hands-on, experiential teaching approach both in the classroom and abroad put his students at an advantage in the field; I felt highly prepared for my graduate studies and teaching practicum in the areas of vocal pedagogy and vocal science because of his tutelage.

Lee Farrar Bailey

Free-Lance Artist

Dr. Christopher Shelt not only taught voice lessons that established a free and healthy vocal production, but he also invested in his students’ lives outside of lessons and rehearsals. He modeled a unique blend of professionalism and faith that has inspired my own teaching philosophy to encourage students to discover, develop, and apply their gifts and skills. 

Victoria Jelstrom Swilley

Dr. Shelt was such a big part of my college experience and my growing-up process. As a mentor and teacher, he was always kind, open, a listening ear, and a great giver of wise counsel. His commitment to excellence in the studio and the choir room encouraged me to achieve, to reach for the best, and not just settle for “good enough”. Through almost 5 years of instruction together, my most vivid and valued memories of him include his willingness to put aside academic pursuits to really listen and help me with life, family, and relationship issues when I was in need. He was and is always trustworthy, always encouraging and always a friend.

Jesse Noote

High School Teacher

Doctor of Music Arts grad student – As a junior music major at Belhaven College, I really did not know what I was going to do with my degree. During a class with Chris Shelt that year, he stated that he saw conducting potential in me, and that he would like to help me explore this career possibility. I will never forget the first time he allowed me to conduct the concert choir. I knew from that moment that this is what I was meant to do.  He would meet with me on a regular basis to discuss gesture, tone, style, or any other topic related to conducting. He challenged me as a musician, answered my questions about class, helped me explore career options, and even prayed with me as I sought God’s plan for my future. I should also mention that most of the time he spent with me was outside of class. Chris Shelt helped guide me to my first teaching job and ultimately helped launch my career. He was more than a teacher. He was mentor who went out of his way to let me know he cared and to uncover my own potential. Since that time, I have directed many choirs to district and state festivals with success. In 2007, I was voted Young Outstanding Music Educator of the Year by the Mississippi Music Educators Association. This year I was voted Teacher of the Year at my school. I am also currently ABD in my pursuit of a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Southern Mississippi. None of this would have happened without the loving and guiding hand of Chris Shelt. I am forever grateful to you. 

Kara Funke

Kara Funke received her BA in Church Music from Belhaven University and MM in Vocal Pedagogy and Vocal Performance from Belmont University. Kara is an adjunct professor of music at Covenant College and the vocal coach and orchestra conductor for the musical theatre department at Chattanooga Christian School.
 I came to Dr. Shelt in need of comprehensive technical coaching & training. His extensive knowledge of vocal technique was obvious and coupled with his passion for teaching and his commitment and love for his students, he accelerated me to new levels of growth that were needed in becoming a complete, technically sound performer. Dr. Christopher Shelt was paramount in my skill development that I draw from to this day as I sing on the professional stage in multiple genres and as I teach and coach my own students.

Andrew Craig

Andrew Craig has just completed an MFA in Performance and Musical Theatre at Tulane University – He serves as Director of Vocal Music at Chapel Hill Academy in the Twin Cities metro and maintains a modest private voice studio.  Recent singing engagements include Handel’s Messiah, Haydn Masses, and Lieder by R. Strauss and Brahms. Musical Theatre performances recently include Adolfo Pirelli in Sweeney Todd and Enoch Snow in a concert version of Carousel. Conducting and music directing appearances have included Haydn Masses, Brahms’ Requiem,  Poulenc’s Gloria, and fully orchestrated musicals, Into the Woods (Variety Magazine Award), Damn YankeesHello Dolly!


Testimonial: Dr. Shelt is a stalwart voice teacher who’s teaching excels with an in-depth knowledge and application of solid vocal pedagogy. He helped me undo poor singing habits and implemented healthier vocal practices, allowing my voice have more clarity, more versatility, and more freedom. Because of his training, I successfully sing in any number of genres (classical, opera, musical theatre, jazz, pop) without strain or fatigue. I also had the privilege of studying conducting with Dr. Shelt. He equipped me with a foundational conducting technique that gave me the platform to successfully direct choral, instrumental, and theatre ensembles. A key component of his choral conducting is the incorporation of vocal pedagogy into every rehearsal. To study with Dr. Shelt is to pursue excellence. You will not regret the experience.