Sheila Hershey is a singer and multi-instrumentalist composer, performer, and teacher. Her performance largely features her work as a pianst and a cellist. She composes and performs widely in classical, film, and theater and also crosses over into pop genres (rocking cello!).
She composed and performed the music for films by John Welsh about the envriomental impact of coal mining in Pennsylvania. Most recently, the short film "Scorched," features an improvised solo cello score full of loops and guitar effects. Also, her haunting score for the preview for "Beyond the Breaker," focuses on the legacy of the one of the last remaining coal breakers in the region.
Hershey also performs with Umoja Strings throughout the Delaware Valley. Umoja (meaning unity) Strings seeks to bridge cultures with music from many historical and cultural orgins. With alternating members, the flexible string ensemble performs both classical music and contemporary dance music from various countries across the globe.
Her music as a singer-songwriter cellist can be heard in her debut EP Gotta Start Through looping melodic and percussive phrases created on her cello, she creates a self-made orchestra of indie-jazz inspired music above which she sings. Much like the album’s blusey tango “Hard to Come By,” Hershey’s voice, style and arrangements blend genres. Her lyrics reflect love and hope in humanity and relationships.
In addition, Hershey works with classical, pop and rock songwriters and composers. She is currently working to preiemer a programatic piano fantasy by local composer Mitch Warren. The performance is scheduled for April 2017. In the past, she has also performed with many local rock and pop groups.
With a degree in music education from Lebanon Valley College, Hershey is an educator promoting music-making and songwriting in the Wilmington and Philadelphia region. She teaches both privately and also for the Chrstina School District. The work has made full use of her talents as an arranger for string orchestra. She also designed a beginning piano cirriculum for middle school. (Hopefully, these arrangements will be available to music teachers worldwide this summer!) Her teaching philosophy is to connect with students, cultivate their strengths and help them to open their great musical potential.