Tom FitzStephens headshot

Oglethorpe Faculty

Thomas FitzStephens

Visiting Assistant Professor, Music Office: [email protected]

B. Mus., Music Education, University of Michigan
M.Mus., Music Conducting, Michigan State University
Ph.D., Music Education, Georgia State University


Dr. FitzStephens currently serves as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia. He also serves as choir director for Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia. He also serves as Music Director and Conductor for Harmonia Atlanta, an intergenerational community chorus with members ages 15-85. Prior to 2023 he spent 18 years teaching music in public and private middle and high schools. For a decade he served as Vocal Music Director at the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program at Berry College, working with Georgia’s most gifted high school students. He also worked for five years with professional singers at Capitol City Opera of Atlanta, leading and performing in the Madrigal Singers, a Renaissance-themed vocal ensemble.

Dr. Tom FitzStephens holds a Bachelor of Choral Music Education from The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, a Master of Music in Conducting from Michigan State University’s College of Music, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Music Teaching and Learning from Georgia State University. He studied conducting with Dr. Jerry Blackstone, Dr. Sandra Snow, Dr. Jonathan Reed, and Dr. David Rayl, and voice with George Irving Shirley and Molly Fillmore.

Dr. FitzStephens’s writing is published in Visions of Research in Music Education, Teaching Music magazine, and his dissertation is available in ScholarWorks. He has presented at state and international music education conventions.

Teaching and Research Interests:

  • Lifelong music learning and teaching to maximize lifelong learning
  • Musical amateurism

Courses Taught:

  • COR 103 – Music and Culture
  • MUS 134 – University Singers
  • MUS 164 – Oglethorpe Chorale


FitzStephens, Tom. Amateurism in Music Education (1967–2019): Three Calls to Action. Visions of Research in Music Education, 38. 2021.
FitzStephens, Tom. Teaching for Lifelong Musical Amateurism. Teaching Music, 2021. 29(1), 14–15.

March 2020 – December 2021: Research Support.
Thomas, M. Mercier-De Shon, M., & Freer, P. K. (in press) “Sound Learning: The Pedagogical Pivots of Teaching Artists” in A. Maas & J. Lewis (Eds.), Music Education on the Verge: Stories of Pandemic Teaching and Transformative Change. Lexington Books.