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Thomas H. Shellenberger, 73 of Williamsport passed away at his home on September 2 surrounded by his wife of 52 years and his daughters.
He was born in Lewistown, PA on September 14, 1947, the son of David A. and Beatrice (Horning) Shellenberger.
Tom was a graduate of Juniata Joint High School in Mifflintown in Pennsylvania’s beautiful Juniata County. After graduating from
Mansfield State College, he pursued graduate studies at Temple University, Villanova, the University of Louisville and SUNY Potsdam.
He participated in several jazz workshops at the University of North Texas.
Tom loved the Lord and served as church choir director starting in 1970 through 2018 at High Street Methodist Church (now Sojourner Truth),
Covenant Central Presbyterian Church, Pine Street United Methodist Church and First United Methodist Church.
In the course of his musical career, he taught in the Williamsport Area School District from 1970 to 1974 and Loyalsock Township Middle and
High Schools from 1974 to 2004. His credits include musical direction of more than sixty high school and community theater productions. His
favorite roles to perform were Charlie in the musical “Shenandoah” and Harold Hill in the musical “The Music Man”. He also loved being The
Model of a Modern Major General in the “Pirates of Penzance” as well as Judge Turpin in “Sweeney Todd”. One of his proudest moments as
musical director was the production of “1776” at the Community Theater League.
Tom directed the choruses of Gesang Verein Harmonia (German Club) from 1975 -1986 and brought home many first place trophies from
competitive singing at the annual Sängerfests throughout the state.
His high school vocal jazz ensemble, “Knight Music” helped pioneer vocal jazz in north-central Pennsylvania and received statewide
recognition for its greatness. Additionally, Tom presented numerous jazz clinics in New York and Pennsylvania and served as the Choral
Reviewer for the PMEA News. In 1998 he received the PMEA “Citation of Excellence” award. His was the former ACDA Jazz
Chairman for PA. In 1994 he founded ”VJQ” the Vocal Jazz Quartet, an SATB group for which he arranged most of the music. VJQ has
been recognized for their vocal excellence, their unique sound and extensive jazz repertoire.
In 1998 Tom founded the Gatehouse Singers, a choral group that ministers to hospice patients and their families.
He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite, Valley of Williamsport, the American Choral Directors Association, The
Association of Concert Bands and Windjammer’s Unlimited.
Tom was predeceased by his parents and brother, James E. Shellenberger. He is survived by his wife, Judith B. Shellenberger,
daughters, Anna L. Radspinner (Matthew), Carol E. Schwanger (Daniel) and seven adorable granddaughters; Megan, Libby and Nina
Radspinner and Madelyn, Eleanor, Miriam and Beatrice Schwanger, and his brother, David N. Shellenberger of Lancaster, PA.
A “Celebration of Life” service will be held at Covenant Central Presbyterian Church, 807 West 4th St.
Williamsport, on Saturday, September 11th. Visitation will be from 9:45am -10:45am, followed by the
service at 11 am with the Rev. Richard D. Waters officiating. Parking is available in the rear of the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Tom’s name to the Williamsport Symphony Youth Orchestra, 220 West Fourth St.
Williamsport. PA 17701.
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