Penelope Shumate

Style: Opera; Classical; Musical Theatre
Title: Assistant Professor of Voice at Western Illinois University
Bio: Praised by The New York Times for singing with “bell-like clarity and surpassing sweetness,” and complimented by the New York Concert Review for “sparkling coloratura perfection,” soprano Penelope Shumate has been a frequent soloist at Carnegie Hall and David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City, and has performed with opera companies and orchestras around the United States. A recipient of the Chicago Oratorio Award, her performances as a soloist in this genre include appearances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, and in the United States, the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Heartland Festival Orchestra, Berkshire Choral Festival, Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association, Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra, Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra, The Virginia Consort, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, Rapides Symphony Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. She is equally accomplished as an opera singer and has sung many roles including Violetta, Pamina, Micaëla, Adele, Musetta, and Pamina. She has appeared with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Roanoke, Lake George Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Annapolis Opera, and Opera on the James, among others. She has been an award winner with the Gerda Lissner Foundation, Marie E. Crump Vocal Arts Competition, MacAllister Awards, New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera Vocal Competition, Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition, Kennett Symphony Orchestra Vocal Competition, and the Altamura/Caruso International Vocal Competition. At WIU she was selected as the winner of the 2018 Provost's Award for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative/Performance/Professional Activities. For two years in a row, she was also the winner of the College of Fine Arts and Communication Dean's Award of Excellence for Creative/Performing Activities (2018 & 2017). In addition to her current active professional performance career, she frequently performs as a soloist at WIU and has appeared with the Wind Ensemble, the Chamber Orchestra, University Singers, in solo recitals, and in the Faculty Chamber Music concerts. Dr. Shumate holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Louisiana State University, a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Temple University, and Bachelor of Science degrees in Vocal Performance and Radio and T.V. Communication from Radford University. Her WIU voice students' professional successes include being selected for international and national voice training programs, winning awards and placing in vocal competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and NATS, and being hired for performance engagements. At WIU, her students' successes include being selected as winners of the School of Music Aria/Concerto Competition for both 2018 and 2017, performing leading and supporting roles in the Opera Theatre main-stage productions, appearing as soloists with university ensembles, Opera Workshop, and Student Showcase Convocation concerts, and being awarded vocal scholarships. Learn more at – updated Jan. 2019
Voice Type: Soprano
Music Styles Taught: Opera; Classical; Musical Theatre
Availability: I am available as a performer; I am available as a clinician or presenter; I accept students through a college or university program

Contact Information


Western Illinois University, School of Music, Browne Hall, Studio G
Macomb, IL
USA 61455

TEL: 215-868-6888


Vcard: import to my address book