Shelbie Wahl-Fouts

Shelbie Wahl-Fouts

Associate Professor and Chair; Director of Choral Activities

Shelbie Wahl-Fouts Shelbie Wahl-Fouts - Hollinsummer

Shelbie L. Wahl-Fouts is associate professor of music, music department chair, and director of choral activities at Hollins, where she conducts three choirs, ranging from beginner to advanced (Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, and Talmadge Singers). In addition to choral ensembles, her courses include Sight-Singing I/II and Conducting I/II.

Wahl-Fouts has conducted numerous area VMEA/VCDA honor choirs, and is also a frequent festival conductor for All-City and All-County choruses. She has served as an adjudicator for Choral Assessments, and as a judge for multiple All-District, All-Virginia, and Honors Choir auditions.

Wahl-Fouts received her Doctor of Arts in choral conducting from Ball State University, with a secondary emphasis in music education, and holds a Master of Music in choral conducting from Butler University and a Bachelor of Musical Arts in trumpet from DePauw University.

Choral repertoire for women’s/treble voices is the primary focus of her research endeavors, having written for the ACDA Choral Journal and in the book Conducting Women’s Choirs. She also advocates for self-reflection and critical observation in the teaching of conducting, through immediate video feedback in the classroom. Her presentations and interest sessions include national and regional conferences of ACDA, as well as national conferences of the College Music Society and the Sister Singers Network, and MEA state conferences for Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia. As a performer, she was formerly the accompanist for the Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir, having performed with them at 2014 ACDA Southern Division, 2015 ACDA National, and 2016 VMEA conferences. She currently serves as interim music director and conductor for the Valley Chamber Orchestra, and as Women’s Chorus Repertoire & Resources chair for Virginia ACDA.

Areas of Expertise

  • Choral Repertoire for Women’s Voices
  • Teaching Musical Literacy in the Choral Classroom
  • Incorporating Technology in the Conducting Classroom

Courses Taught

  • Concert Choir
  • Chamber Choir
  • Talmadge Singers
  • Introduction to Sight-Singing and Ear-Training
  • Sight-Singing and Ear-Training II
  • Conducting I
  • Conducting II


  • Invited Festival Conductor. VMEA: 2017 District II Senior High Women’s Chorus (Virginia Beach); 2016 District IX 9th/10th Grade Women’s Chorus (Woodbridge);  2015 District VII Middle School Treble Chorus (Bristol); 2013 District VI High School Treble Chorus (Danville).
  • Local: 2017 Danville All-City High School Mixed Chorus; 2016 Botetourt County Schools All-County High School Chorus; 2015 Danville All-City High School Mixed Chorus; 2015 Roanoke County All-County High School Mixed Chorus; 2012 Montgomery County Schools High School Mixed Chorus
  • 2013-18: Accompanist for the Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir, for regional and national conference performances (ACDA Southern Division 2014, ACDA National 2015, VMEA 2016)
  • 2017-present: Interim conductor and musical director for Valley Chamber Orchestra.
  • Weekly Repertoire Blog on the American Choral Directors Association’s

Conference Presentations

  • Quality Repertoire for the Intermediate and Small-But-Mighty Women’s/Treble Choir. (2018 West Virginia Music Educators Association Conference and Maryland Music Educators Association Conference)
  • Immediate Video Feedback in the Conducting Classroom. (2016 ACDA Southwestern Division Conference)
  • The Road Less Traveled: Recent Women’s Chorus Repertoire by Self-publishing Composers. (2015 Virginia Music Educators Association Conference)
  • Conducting Women’s Choirs: Strategies for Success [panelist] (2013 ACDA National Conference)
  • Women of Strength: Choral Works for Women’s Voices (2012 ACDA Southern Division Conference)
  • Relevant Repertoire for MS & HS Women’s Voices, by Women Composers & Authors (2011 Voices United Regional Choral Conference)
  • By Women, For Women: Choral Works for Women’s Voices Composed and Texted by Women (2010 Sister Singers Network National Conference)

Research Interests

  • Choral Repertoire for Women’s Voices
  • Teaching Musical Literacy in the Choral Classroom
  • Incorporating Technology in the Conducting Classroom


  • D.A., Ball State University, Muncie, IN
  • M.M., Butler University, Indianapolis, IN
  • B.M.A., DePauw University, Greencastle, IN

Publications & Articles

  • Wahl-Fouts, Shelbie L. “Musical Activism: Songs in Support of Social Justice.” Lecture Recital. April 6, 2014
  • Wahl, Shelbie L. “Conducting Women’s Choirs: Strategies for Success.” Panelist. American Choral Directors Association [ACDA] National Conference, Dallas, TX. March 15, 2013
  • Wahl, Shelbie L. “Repertoire By Women, For Women.” In Conducting Women’s Choirs, edited by Debra Spurgeon, 145-166. Chicago: GIA Press, 2012