Shelley Axelson

Shelley Axelson bw copy

Covington Center 143
Interim Director of Bands, Instrumental Music Education, Conducting
(540) 831-5177



Dr. Shelley Axelson is currently the Director of Bands at Radford University in Virginia where she conducts the Wind Ensemble, Campus-Community Band, graduate conducting students, and teaches courses in the music education curriculum.  She was previously an Assistant Professor of Music Education and Assistant Director of Bands at Montclair State University in New Jersey for twelve years where her duties included conducting the Symphonic Band and teaching courses in conducting, instrumental methods, and music education.  She also served as an academic advisor, faculty advisor for Sigma Alpha Iota, and created a Campus Band and Pep Band so students majoring in a subject other than music would have an opportunity to continue their musical education and experiences.

Dr. Axelson earned her undergraduate degree in music education from the University of South Florida, where she studied conducting with Jerry Junkin, Michael Votta, and Mallory Thompson.  She continued her training by earning a Master of Music degree in Conducting at the University of Michigan, where her principal teacher was H. Robert Reynolds.   After graduating from Michigan, she taught at Pasco Middle School in Dade City, Florida (co-author of the Secondary Music Curriculum), and Richardson Junior High in Richardson, Texas.

After earning her Doctorate in Conducting with Mallory Thompson at Northwestern University, Dr. Axelson was appointed Director of Bands at Central College in Pella, Iowa where she was responsible for running all aspects of the band program.  After three years in Iowa, she relocated to Indianapolis, Indiana to become the Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Indianapolis.  In 2009, she joined the faculty of the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University in New Jersey and has been at Radford University since the fall of 2022.

Dr. Axelson is a highly sought-after conductor, clinician, presenter, and adjudicator for professional development events, band festivals, honor bands, and conferences throughout the United States and Canada.  She recently presented at the National Association for Music Education Regional Conference in Atlantic City and the Mid-West Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago.

Dr. Axelson is a proud member of the College Music Society, College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, and Sigma Alpha Iota.