About Ellen Shea


 I returned home to the Bay Area after receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Pitzer College, and a Master of Music in Vocal Arts from the University of Southern California.  I have performed roles with most of the regional opera companies throughout the bay, and have won multiple awards in Art Song and Classical Cabaret competitions. I have performed with San Francisco Opera Chorus, the Community Music Center Orchestra, and am regular soloist with The Golden Gate Symphony. I am the Director of The Merrie Olde Christmas Carolers, the oldest and largest professional caroling organization in the country, and have thoroughly enjoyed singing soprano with the company for over 25 years.  

I have been lucky to serve as faculty at many local music schools, colleges and universities, including The San Francisco Community Music Center and my private voice studio, and I've taught everything from private & group lessons voice lessons, to music history to vocal pedagogy and more.

I live an active lifestyle with my husband and 3 children, and to keep my sanity I play soccer at least once a week.

To find out more about The Merrie Olde Christmas Carolers, please click the link below: 

The Merrie Olde Christmas Carolers

Weddings and events

Wedding Ceremony

 I LOVE music! I have a graduate degree in singing and I’ve dedicated my entire life to it. I have a vast knowledge of music and strive to find the perfect songs for the perfect moments. I am happy to offer free consultations to choose just the right music for your events, because it’s so much fun for me – and I know how important it is to you. I am happy to work side by side with your wishes or to make recommendations based on my expertise. .

Funeral/Memorial Service

Planning a funeral or memorial service can be overwhelming, and I understand that you want to celebrate the life of your loved one in the most meaningful ways possible. I will be sensitive to your requests and I can provide planning assistance as needed for ensuring the best musical choices. If desired, instrumental accompaniment (1-5 instruments) can be arranged at an additional fee. 

Reception & Other Events

Looking to keep the guests occupied and happy during the reception? Searching for live entertainment for a dinner party? Need music to transition  between the ceremony and the DJ? I can perform lively jazz standards, pop classical and /or classical pieces with accompaniment (instrumental ensembles or single instrument options available). 


Teaching & Philosophy


Musical Background
My degree is in the field of Vocal Performance, and I also have a great knowledge of Music History, Vocal Literature, Lyric Diction and Vocal Pedagogy. As a performer, I have sung with many of the premier regional opera companies in the Bay Area, performed numerous solo recitals and faculty concerts, and have performed with all sizes of instrumental ensembles from piano to orchestra, a cappella to amplified. My classical background and love for music both contribute to my expertise in the mechanics of the voice, and provide a vast understanding of classical, musical theatre and jazz repertoire.

My instructional philosophy begins with the belief that students need to be in a comfortable environment if they are to open up and let go musically and artistically. I am a bundle of energy with lots of ideas and creative approaches to the fundamentals of singing. I believe that the foundation of all singing is rooted in the breath, and although I may describe them in hundreds of different ways, the principles remain the same. A singer needs to take in the right breath, and consequently needs to learn the correct ways to use that air in vocal production.


I bring over 25 years of teaching experience to my studio with enthusiasm, organization, knowledge and genuineness. Because of my consistent student retention, I know that my students also enjoy studying with me. The feeling is mutual. Every day is an adventure, and every student is unique. I truly love teaching!



Recommendations From Clients

"Ellen's voice added so much charm to our wedding and we are so grateful that she was a part of the ceremony. She was a joy to work with and we have already recommended her to our friends."

"We were lost when we were planning our memorial service, and really counted on Ellen to help organize the music. She handled everything expertly, and her voice was literally a breath of fresh air for my entire family. We can't recommend her enough."

"We have worked with Ellen and The Merrie Olde Christmas Carolers for years, so she was our first call as we planned our 60th wedding anniversary celebration. She put together an outstanding program and our guests were thrilled with the performance. "

A Few Words from Her Students

  "Under her guidance, I have created a strong repertoire of classical, musical theatre and American Standards."

"Ellen brings so much knowledge and charisma to her studio that I can't wait for every lesson."

"Simply put... Ellen is a great teacher!"