2017, Montclair State University, NJ; major, Graduate Level Music Therapy Certification
2004-2005, Michigan State University, MI; major, Western Composition and Orchestration
M.M., 2002, William Paterson University, NJ; major, Jazz Composition and Orchestration.
B.M., 1993, William Paterson University, NJ; minor, Voice, Opera Performance; major, Vocal Jazz Performance; major, Music Management.
1988-1989, University of Miami, Miami, FL; major, Music Management
1987-1989, University of District of Columbia, Washington, DC; major, Undeclared
Ms. Wallace has studied Orchestral Conducting privately with Diane Wittry, Music Director of the Allentown Symphony in Pennsylvania, Music Director of the Norwalk Symphony in Connecticut and Music Director and Conductor of the Garden State Philharmonic in NJ; Ms. Wallace also studied Conducting with Wesley Broadnax and Dr. Tiffany Engle at Michigan State University.
Ms. Wallace has subsequently conducted countless ensembles ranging from small chamber ensemble, to jazz big band and everything in between in addition (Wind Symphony and Concert Band)
Ensembles Conducted by Ms. Wallace also include:
Michigan State: Conductor, Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble (big band)
Michigan State: Guest Professor: Voice, Composition and Arranging, Small Jazz Combo
Women and Conducting: Short Documentary Directed and Edited by Shunda Wallace
Blvd Warriors: Documentary Directed by Rene Carson (some camera work, interviewing and talent by Shunda Wallace)
Shunda was asked to compose the “Original Score” that features Trumpeter Freddie Hendrix, in the Trumpet with Strings Score for Urban Feature Film “Transformations” Written by Javier Molina, Directed by Edwin Decena, previewed at the July 2006 HBO Film Festival in NYC
To view trailer visit www.transformationsthemovie.com
Upon experiencing Wallace’s’ 2002 debut as Composer and Arranger, Bill Houston, Director of the then Wayne Chamber Orchestra offered Ms. Wallace an opportunity to become the first singer to complete the daunting task of arranging for both the Wayne Chamber Orchestra and The William Paterson University Jazz Ensemble combined. The commissioning debut was performed and arranged by Ms. Wallace on the Warren/Gordon classic “The More I See You.” Instrumentation included the following: Chamber Orchestra; 3 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 3 Clarinets, 3 Bassoons, 4 French Horns, 3 Trombones, Tuba, Harp, Timpani, 8 Violin I’s, 6 Violin II’s, 6 Viola’s, 3 Celli’s, 3 Double Bass’s, Jazz Band, 5 Jazz Saxophone’s, 4 Jazz Trumpet’s, 4 Jazz Trombones, Piano, Contrabass, and Drums.
Shunda also assisted legendary Jazz Composer and Arranger Frank Foster on his latest book entitled “Creative Orchestration”.
An only child, Shunda was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and encouraged by her voice instructor Dr. Samuel Bonds at nearby Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts High School to pursue classical voice. This early training enabled Shunda to study and sing before some of the most formidable skilled artists in classical music. This list includes Legendary Baritone Todd Duncan, Professor Emeritus of Voice at the University of Miami Mezzo Soprano Carolyn Stanford, World-Renowned and former Metropolitan Opera Mezzo Soprano Betty Allen (formerly Professor Emeritus at Harlem School of the Arts) as well as Grammy nominated Bass-Baritone Dr. Stephen Bryant are most recent among them. Shunda was recently called upon to sing at a host of concerts with the NJ Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Mark Laycock conductor with the NJ Symphony Orchestra and the Princeton Symphony in New Jersey. Professional Opera Theatre Performances starring Ms. Wallace as the lead, include excerpts from Die Zauberflote, Ipheghenie, Rigoletto, Der Rosenkavelier, Orfeo ed Euridice, Don Giovanni and Puccini’s Suor Angelica. Non-lead roles include Carmen and Le Nozze Di Figaro.
After receiving a call to perform her first professional gig in New York City in 1991 with established drummer Winard Harper then of the Harper Brothers, Shunda went on to perform with some of the most notable jazz musicians in the business. Some of which include Ray Bryant, John Blake, Chico Freeman, Don Braden, Jimmie Heath, Frank Wess and Rufus Reid to name just a few.
Ms. Wallace has also appeared with numerous big bands and orchestraís, as featured jazz soloist, among them, The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and The Wayne Chamber Orchestra.
Ms. Wallace was called upon to perform Jimmie Heath’s orchestrated arrangement of “Moonlight in Vermont” under the direction of Mr. Heath. Shunda also assisted legendary Jazz Composer and Arranger Frank Foster on his latest book entitled “Creative Orchestration”.
Several club performances as a Solo Jazz Vocalists in the NY tri-state and surrounding areas include, Birdland In NYC, Blues Alley in DC, as well as Shanghi Jazz and Trumpet’s in NJ.
It is very rare to find singers that demonstrate professional range with a multitude of skills as performer in the areas of both classical and jazz, in addition to composition, orchestration and education in this business, “I think that it is safe say that this is only the beginning for Ms. Wallace”, say’s jazz violinist Posthumously John Blake.
“There is always a debate about who is truly a jazz singer. Wallace is a jazz singer, she takes songs and imbues each one with an unmistakable originality. There is an instrumentalists feel for phrasing in her approach”
NJ Jazz Society, Joe Lang
“Wallace sings with a conception of her own in mind..adventurously bending and stretching time. Ms. Wallace already has a distinctive voice with depth and projection others should envy”
NJ Star Ledger, George Kanzler
“Vocalists come and go, but to find a young jazz artist who not only sings, but uses her voice as an instrument is unique.”
DC Washington Post, Eric Charles May