Vocal Music Major

Ms. Jaylin “Jay” Shelton, a freshman Vocal Music major from Saint Louis, dreamed of attending college in Chicago. Several of the city’s finest universities courted Ms. Shelton due to her intelligence, her outgoing personality, and yes, her voice.

“I was accepted at DePaul and Columbia, but chose Chicago State because of the many opportunities here that I would not experience elsewhere. CSU allows me more freedom to participate in ensembles and learn in my first year. DePaul doesn’t allow music students to do anything until their junior year.”

“Jay” is taking full advantage of the interdisciplinary learning opportunities offered by the Department of Music. She sings in the CSU Gospel Choir, under the direction of Mr. Tim Lee. “Jay” also sings in the CSU Concert Choir, conducted by Ms. Deborah Williams, Associate Professor of Music. She also studies privately with Professor Williams, and works in the Music Department office.

Gospel and Opera may sound as distinct as night and day to the untrained ear. But, Ms. Shelton, a soprano, believes they work together.

“Both Gospel and Opera require great range capacity, especially the ability to reach the high notes. But the notes are approached differently in those two genres. Gospel singing comes from a different place in the voice and chest. It’s called a ‘power house’ voice. Opera employs what’s called a ‘lead voice,” which is more airy and requires more control.”

“Jay” brought an impressive resume with her to CSU. As a high school student she sang with the choir at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, and was invited to study with Dr. Horst Bucholz, the Cathedral’s Director of Sacred Music. Ms. Shelton can sing in five languages.

“I love the angelic, beautiful voices of Leotyne Price, Kathleen Battle, and Kimmy Skota. They make me feel confident when I sing opera.”

Ms. Shelton is the Minister of Music at her home church, Christ Temple Family Church of Saint Louis. She also sings with “The Next Phase,” a Gospel group.

“Jay” loves the beach, the Lyric Opera House and CSU. Her dreams are coming true.

“CSU has a friendly, loving, family atmosphere. Everyone here is personally invested in my success.”