Mark Sheldon Conducting Internship

History and Program description

St. Martin’s 2011-2012 Conducting Intern Hannah Wunsch

In 2003, after a long battle with cancer, beloved KVOD radio host, St. Martin’s singer and assistant conductor and all-around music educator Mark Sheldon passed away. A legacy was established in his memory to be used in part for educational outreach. The Mark Sheldon Conducting Internship was established to fulfill this part of his legacy.

The conducting internship is one of the few, perhaps the only one of its kind in the US. It provides this unique opportunity for college conducting students to conduct a professional choir on an ongoing basis during a concert season. Potential interns go through an application process and the intern is selected by St. Martin’s Artistic Director, Tim Krueger. The intern is expected to attend all rehearsals, assist in rehearsals and conduct when Mr. Krueger is unavailable. Perhaps most unusually, the intern is also assigned at least one piece to conduct in nearly every concert. The intern is warmly welcomed into the St. Martin’s family and builds a rapport with singers and staff, is encouraged to attend St. Martin’s board meetings and serves on the Education and Outreach committee of the board. With all these duties also comes an internship stipend. The expectations are rigorous, but the rewards are immeasurable (see quotes below.)

2021-2022 Mark Sheldon Conducting Intern

Soprano Sheila Melendez is a Latinx singer and conductor with a passion for oratorio and sacred music. A frequent soloist for various church denominations, she has been a soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Rutter Gloria, and Schubert Mass in G. As a conductor, she works as the Assistant Conductor and Treble Choir Director at Trinity United Methodist.  Ms. Melendez is the Assistant Director for Vittoria Ensemble and conducting intern for St. Martin’s Chamber Choir. She is also the Music Director for the Silver Singers Community Choir at The Ridge Pinehurst in Lakewood.

 In Colorado, she continues to teach private music lessons in voice, guitar, and piano. Her teaching approach focuses on the student’s ability to access the language of music; she specifically focuses on ear training, improvisation, and variety of genre.

Ms. Melendez earned a dual bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance and Music Education from Towson University in Maryland. Currently, she is pursuing a dual Master’s Degree in Voice Performance and Choral Conducting at DU’s Lamont School of Music. Ms. Melendez currently studies under Dr. Nathan Payant and Dr. Catherine Sailer.

Past Conducting Interns

  • 2005 – 2006 :: Heather Kohl, University of Denver
  • 2006 – 2007 :: Gabrielle Dietrich, University of Colorado
  • 2007 – 2008 :: Ace Edewards, University of Denver
  • 2008 – 2009 :: Jill Schroeder, University of Denver
  • 2009 – 2010 :: Brian Stone, University of Colorado
  • 2010 – 2011 :: Adam Kluck, University of Northern Colorado
  • 2011 – 2012 :: Hannah Wunsch, University of Colorado
  • 2012 – 2013 :: Taylor Martin, University of Denver
  • 2013 – 2014 :: Brett Kostrzewski, University of Denver
  • 2014 – 2015 :: K. James Howe, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • 2015 – 2016 :: Matt Stewart, University of Denver
  • 2016 – 2017 :: Ana Spadoni, University of Denver
  • 2017 – 2018 :: Michael Johnson, University of Denver
  • 2018 – 2019 :: Blake Nawa’a, University of Denver
  • 2019 – 2020  :: Michael Ballard, University of Denver
  • 2020 – 2021 :: Drew Ritchie, University of Denver

Future Opportunities

The Mark Sheldon conducting internship is ongoing. If you are a conducting graduate student in Colorado, please consider applying for this program. If you are a college choral music professor, or if you know of Colorado conducting students who would be interested, please let them know about this internship.

All inquiries and applications should be directed to St. Martin’s Artistic Director, Tim Krueger.