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Music Department

   Music Faculty and Staff 

The Music Department faculty are committed to your success and are always willing to help you in establishing goals, finding answers, and pursuing your musical aspirations.


Image of Elaine Schaefer



Elaine Schaefer has a wide range of experience working with both instrumental and vocal music in Elementary, Junior High, and High Schools in California, Nevada, and Saskatchewan, Canada. She is in her thirteenth year at COS, having spent the previous 18 years in Saskatchewan where she was a well-known teacher, conductor, guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator. At COS she serves as the Director of Vocal/Choral Studies conducting the Ladies' Chamber Singers and the Concert Choir, teaching the voice classes, Music Fundamentals and Ear Training, acting as Musical director for the annual Spring Musical and administering the Applied Music program. For ten years she was the Camp Director for the COS Vocal Jazz/Show Choir Camp held each year in the fourth week of June.

Ms. Schaefer received her B.A. from CSU Hayward in Instrumental Performance and her Masters in Choral Conducting from the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, where she taught music theory and conducted the University Chorus. In her spare time, she plays clarinet in the COS Concert Band and Orchestra and Alto Saxophone in the COS Jazz Band.

The 2005-06 year was a special year of recognition for Ms. Shaefer who was accepted into Who's Who in America, Who's Who Among American Women, and Who's Who in American Education. She was also selected as College of the Siskiyous' first Faculty Member of the Year.

Ms. Schaefer is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the International Association of Choral Singings, the Music Educators' National Conference and the California Music Educators Association.

Ms. Schaefer may be contacted at: 530-938-5315 or email:



Instrumental Music Instructor Sean Abel also serves as the Department Chair for the Performing and Visual Arts Department. Abel comes to COS from the Jefferson City Missouri Public Schools where he was the Assistant Director of Bands and the Director of Jazz Studies for nine years. His previous experience includes one year at the Woodbury Central Schools in Moville, Iowa; the Nishna Valley Schools in Hastings, Iowa; and the Maysville R-1 Schools in Maysville, Missouri.

Mr. Abel holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Kansas at Lawrence and a Master of Education from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree through Boston University. He is a native of Columbia, Missouri and graduated from Hickman High School.

He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Music Fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi Band Service Fraternity, National Association for Music Education and Massachusetts Music Education Association and the International Association of Jazz Educators.

At COS Mr. Abel conducts the Concert Bands and Jazz Band and teaches first year Music Theory, Music Appreciation, History of Jazz and Pop, improvisation, and directs the Siskiyous Serenaders, the college's new Barbershop Harmony Chorus.

Mr. Abel may be reached by calling 530-938-5260 or emailing:

Image of Jan Stensaas  


Janet Williams Stensaas has been a staff accompanist at COS for over 30 years, playing for voice classes, choirs, and vocal jazz ensembles, working with every choir director the college has employed. She is also a singer and has been featured as soprano soloist in several concerts.

Twice at COS, Janet taught voice, two choirs and vocal jazz as sabbatical replacement. She also co-directed COS musicals for over 20 years. Her full-length musical, "The Good Old Days," was produced twice by the COS drama department. Janet has had several choral pieces published and has written four children's musicals and a book of holiday songs and histories entitled "Holiday Fun."

Ms. Stensaas also teaches Intermediate Piano and conducts the Siskiyous Sweethearts, the college's new Barbershop Chorus for women.



Andy Shelden is a classically trained, jazz influenced pianist, organist and composer. He also plays bass, percussion and tin whistle. He earned his BA from Southern Oregon University and studied organ and piano at the University of the Pacific's Conservatory of Music. He has been playing professionally for 26 years and has presented music from Ventura,CA to Seattle, WA and as far east as Denver, CO. His compositions range from jazz and rock to classical and folk styles, including two piano concerti, a concerto for tin whistle, and concert pieces for organ, piano and choir. His musical, "Tall Ships and Cutlasses," was premiered by the music and theater departments in the spring of 2006 to rave reviews.

At COS, Andy is the staff accompanist, providing support for Beginning and Intermediate Voice classes, Ladies Chamber Choir, the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Musical Comedy Workshop and Dance classes. Andy also teaches private percussion, bass and organ lessons and Music and Computers. In addition, Andy is currently serving as Organist at Yreka United Methodist Church, a post he has held off and on since he was 14 years old.


Lloyd Elliot received his undergraduate training in voice, theory, and conducting at the University of the Pacific. He continued graduate studies in composition with Howard Hanson at the Eastman School of Music and further orchestral conducting with Pierre Monteux, Thor Johnson; choral conducting with Helmut Rilling, Elmer Thomas, Dale Warland, and Eric Erickson.

Mr. Elliott returned to California to teach, conduct, and write. He served as chair of the music department at Beyer High School in Modesto, as well as Director of Choral activities at Merced College. He has taught music at the University of the Pacific, San Francisco State University, Dominican College, Contra Costa College, and Santa Rosa Junior College. In connection with his teaching he has written books on harmony, principles of Choral Excellence, and Technical Studies for the voice.

He has conducted the Merced Symphony, Modesto Masterworks Chorus and Master Singers, San Francisco Concerto Orchestra, Santa Rosa Symphonic Chorus, and the Kensington Symphony. He has held the post of Music Director for many church music programs throughout his career.

Mr. Elliot conducts the COS Orchestra, teaches second year theory, and teaches private voice and piano lessons.



With over 425 titles in print, and 11 million copies in circulation, Roger Emerson is one of the most widely performed choral composers in America today. Emerson has been awarded ASCAP's (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) Standard Award for nine years running, and most recently has been applauded by environmental groups for his musical, Assignment: Earth, What Kids Can Do To Save The Planet.

His contribution to the Teen Series Musicals was recognized by inclusion in the Grammy balloting for 1987. In that same year Quincy Jones applauded him for his work on Hot Summer, a tribute to Donna Summer. Joe Preposo of Sesame Street fame gave Roger the supreme compliment on his arrangement of the hit, Sing when he said, "Finally, someone has done something creative with my song!"

He received his degree in choral music education from Southern Oregon University.

Mr. Emerson conducts the COS Vocal Jazz Ensemble and teaches a guitar class.



Ron Hoopes has been teaching at the College of the Siskiyous since 1974 . Coming from the Los Angeles area, he played professionally and had private students before his move to the Siskiyous. With a B.A. in Performing from CSU Long Beach and an M.A. from CSU Los Angeles in Composition, he has provided many of the arrangements for the college performing jazz groups.

Mr. Hoopes has a jazz trio album on Revelation Records and is about to release a CD which is a duo with L.A. bassist Putter Smith.

Mr. Hoopes teaches Beginning Piano.

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