Gail Schoonmaker is an exceptional vocalist and instructor at Furman. A native of Charlotte, Schoonmaker studied under Frances Shafter before embarking on a singing career in Chicago. She sang professionally with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and the Richard Boldrey Singers.

Schoonmaker attended the Tito Gobbi Opera Workshop at Villa Schifanoia in Florence, Italy. Her solo performances include appearances with the Greenville Chorale, Music in the Mountains, Masterworks Choir, Brevard (N.C.) Music Center, South Carolina Baptist Convention, Charleston Southern University and the AMA Convention in Chicago.

An active member of National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) since 1978, Schoonmaker judged student auditions for the NATS South Carolina district and mid-Atlantic region. She also served as adjudicator for the Solo and Ensemble Festival of the South Carolina Music Teachers Association. Schoonmaker presented a paper, "Music and Ethics," for SAI Province Day. In addition, she was the chorus mistress for the Greenville Opera's production of Verdi's "La Traviata." She serves as music coordinator for Furman Chapel services.

Schoonmaker has helped a number of her students succeed in their careers. Her former students include Josh Copeland (first-prize winner of 2008 American Bach Young Artist Competition), Amelia Davis (soprano artist-in-residence for 2010-11 season of the Shreveport (La.) Opera), Erika Powell (district winner of Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions, overall talent winner for the 2006 Miss America Pageant), Garrison Carpenter (participant in Bel Canto Institute in Florence, Italy), and Jazmin Black (2009 Young Artist for the Lyrique-en-Mer Festival in Belle Isle, France.)

Name Title Description

I believe in a positive approach to teaching and in showing respect to each student. I respect students by constantly encouraging them and reinforcing the need for discipline, daily work, and perseverance. While I value and teach the importance of acquiring healthy vocal technique, ultimately I want each student to arrive at the point where he is connecting his voice to his heart. When we share our hearts through our voices, we enrich our own lives as well as the lives of others. In that way, we serve the art of music.

  • Who's Who among colleges and universities
  • Outstanding Young Women of America
  • Who's Who among America's Teachers
  • Who's Who in America
Northwestern University
Furman University
Training Under
Elizabeth Fischer and Norman Gulbrandsen
Northwestern University
Jerry Langenkamp and Bingham Vick
Furman University

Connect with Admission

Furman University is one of the nation's premier undergraduate liberal arts colleges. We offer outstanding academics, opportunities for a broad range of talented students with a passion for learning, a robust arts program, and NCAA Division I athletics.

Want more information about the admission process at Furman?

Contact us

Once you see our campus, making the right college decision will be so much easier.

Plan a visit

Undergraduate Evening Studies provides adults the opportunity to receive an education from one of the premier liberal arts universities in the nation.

Whether you are starting or continuing your education, or have been away from the classroom for a few months or several years, our program provides many services to assist you with accomplishing your educational and professional goals.

Apply now

Our graduate studies program is designed for the professional educator.

We know the challenges teachers and administrators face every day, and we are committed to helping you become a leader within your school system or district.

Apply now
  • Furman University