MEET THE FOUNDER
Our musical directors continue to enhance Bel Canto’s visibility within the community by preparing and leading the ensemble in concert and educational performances in such venues as churches, Richland Library, WLTX TV: “Songs of the Season” (for 3 years), and encore performances of major works such as, “The Seven Last Words of Christ,” accompanied by the Columbia Community Orchestra.
SHAWN SMITH-ROBINSON, Ed.S
Shawn Smith-Robinson was born in Columbia, South Carolin. She attended and graduated from Mount Pisgah Academy in Asheville, NC, then Oakwood College where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Music performance. While at Oakwood, Shawn was a member of the College Choir under the direction of Dr. Eurydice Osterman, then the world-renowned Aeolians, under the direction of Dr. John Dennison, where she traveled extensively. The highlight of her travels was a performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C where the Aeolians preformed Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater” accompanied by D.C's Regional Orchestra.
Shawn furthered her education receiving a Master of Arts degree from South University, then a post graduate certificate in trauma, from Grand Canyon University, Shawn received her (ED.S) Education Specialist degree in Teaching and Learning in December 2021.
Shawn began playing the piano at the age of 9 under the tutorage of Mr. John Britt Jr. She continued to grow musically , at age 12 she began directing The O’Neal Singers of Ephesus SDA Church.
Though out her musical career she has played for several churches within Columbia and the surrounding areas where has been humbled by the natural talent of many individuals. She formulated Bel Canto of Columbia in 2012, an ensemble who enjoys and support music education a diverse Christian repertoire of jazz, anthems. spirituals and gospel arrangement.
Shawn is presently employed South Carolina department of Mental Health as a mobile crisis counselor and by Mt Pisgah Baptist Church in Ridgeway SC as Church musician, where the highlight of her musical ministry is teaching Voice of Praise Ensemble, a musically aggressive gospel ensemble. Shawn also currently directs and has revitalized the Jubilee Choir of Ephesus SDA Church, where the congregation enjoys a diverse repertoire of spirituals, common meter, contemporary and traditional selections.