Cellist Shanda Wooley was raised in Montana and began piano studies at age 5. After switching to cello in high school, she received her Bachelor of Music Performance from University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, magna cum laude. She is an active recitalist and freelancer in NYC, and is principal cellist of the New York Repertory Orchestra. The main thrust of her work involves collaboration, whether as part of an educational community at Third Street Music Settlement and the Nightingale Bamford School or with her husband, trumpeter Nate Wooley; documenting works by avant-garde composer Anthony Braxton. As a soloist, Wooley has fervently championed the music of mid-twentieth century composers such as Hans Werner Henze, Benjamin Britten, and Elliott Carter. She has performed chamber music with diverse groups - from rock bands to the Artemis Ensemble - at Merkin Concert Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Symphony Space, Riverside Church and Manchester Music Festival.
But, her deepest passion is education. While working an executive track position in the financial sector, Shanda started her training as a Suzuki cello teacher, ultimately leaving the private sector to teach. She gets the greatest joy and fulfillment from watching the love of music and art blossom in a young mind through the discovery of the musical language and the skills that go with it. She has been involved in building an open and loving community of educators and students at Third Street Music Settlement since 2007 and prizes the tradition of opening minds to the beauty of music that the school enjoys.