Sidney Central School Alumni Association
Wall of Fame
For Distinguished Alumni & Educators
R. Douglas Sheldon, Class of ‘59
Exemplary Leadership in Arts, Community Service & Mentoring
R. Douglas Sheldon graduated from Sidney High School in 1959 with honors and the school record for achievement points awarded for extra-curricular activities including sports, choir, band, Reflector, Student Council and the Maroon & White. In 1958 he was among the first American students sent to Europe as part of the American Field Service student exchange. Doug graduated from Hamilton College with honors, and went to Brown University as a graduate assistant, Conductor of the Freshmen Glee Club, and Assistant Conductor of the Brown University and Pembroke College Glee Clubs. He returned to Hamilton College in 1964-65 to fill the conducting position of his mentor, John Baldwin, who was on sabbatical, leading the choir in several on-campus concerts, on tours and on Public Television broadcasts.
After a year spent working for the Music Director and General Manager of the Rochester Philharmonic he moved to a career in artist management in New York. Now a director, Senior Vice President and member of the Executive Committee of Columbia Artists Management, Mr. Sheldon has served that company continually since 1966 and is acknowledged internationally as one of the pre-eminent managers in classical music managing the careers and projects of artists such as Valery Gergiev, Leonard Slatkin, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Marilyn Horne, Grace Bumbry, and the projects of Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, Mstislav Rostropovich, the New York Philharmonic, Boston, London and Pittsburgh Symphonies, Mariinsky Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, China Philharmonic and Dresden Philharmonic.
He has appeared as voice-over and principal interviewee in a 2009 international documentary feature length film about the musical life of the conductor Valery Gergiev and in Nike’s international television ad for the 2008 Beijing Olympics along with Chinese pianist Yundi Li.
His continuing pro bono activities and his charitable giving include Conductor and Music Director of Historic St. Peter’s Episcopal Church since 1976, Choirmaster of the Hamilton Reunion Alumni Choir since 1980, and director and officer of the SCSAA Alumni Association since 1999, an organization he has served as Chair of the Wall of Fame Committee and now serves as President. As Vice-President, Vice Chair and Chief Operations Officer of the White Nights Foundation of America, 2003-13, he led its reorganization and fund-raising efforts totaling $8,500,000.
Doug is winner of Hamilton College’s most prestigious award for alumni service, the Bell Ringer Award. He has been a guest conductor of the 110-voice University Glee Club of New York in St. Thomas Church, and has conducted Orpheus Club of Philadelphia, a 65-voice male chorus, in both the Academy of Music and the Kimmel Center. In 2015 he is invited by Orfeón Pamplonés, a 120-voice chorus, to conduct two of its 150th Anniversary Concerts in Pamplona, Spain.
In 2005 he founded The Sheldon Singers to perform in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall which ensemble became the 40-voice Baldwin Festival Chorus of New York, presenting annual concerts in Manhattan since 2008. He is married to Eileen Yencik, Smith College ’63, and is the proud son of Ray and Belle Sheldon.
Inducted July 20, 2014