Office: School of Music, Room 127
Originally from Rockwood, Tennessee, Justin Nelson graduated magna cum laude from Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee in 2000 with a B.M. in Music Education. As a student he performed with the Carson-Newman A Cappella Choir under the direction of Dr. Eric Thorson.
Following graduation from CNU, he enjoyed thirteen years as the Director of Choral Arts at Cherokee High School (CHS) in Rogersville, Tennessee. At CHS he directed the CHS Chorale and Concert Choir, taught music theory, music appreciation, and musical theatre classes — as well as directing the annual spring musical production. While in Rogersville, Justin was recognized by his colleagues for his excellence in teaching as Cherokee High School's Teacher of the Year an unprecedented three times during his tenure. In 2014 he was additionally named the Hawkins County Teacher of the Year. He also served as the Lead Teacher in Fine Arts for Hawkins County and was instrumental in the implementation of the Tennessee Growth in Arts Measurement System in Hawkins County.
In addition to his work at Cherokee High School, Justin served as the Director of Music Ministries at First Baptist Church of historic Rogersville, TN. There he directed the Sanctuary Choir, Joyful Sounds Handbell Ensemble, and oversaw a graded choir program. While living in East Tennessee Justin sang with the Knoxville Choral Society.
Justin graduated with honors from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN with a M.M. in Choral Conducting in May 2016. As a student at APSU, he served as the Graduate Assistant in Choral Music. He studied voice and vocal pedagogy with noted voice teacher Dr. Sharon Mabry and conducting with Dr. Korre Foster. While in Clarksville Justin sang in several choral organizations: the APSU Chamber Singers, the First Presbyterian Sanctuary Choir, and the Gateway Chamber Chorus.
In his second year of D.M.A. studies at Texas Tech University, Justin will be a graduate conductor for the Matador Singers as well as for the University Singers. This past year, Justin served as the graduate assistant conductor for The Lubbock Chorale and was also a choral scholar at Covenant Presbyterian Church.