Shockley, a contralto, sang in the chorus of the Cincinnati Opera, and was a soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in the 1950s and 1960s. She was also a soloist with the Cincinnati Music-Drama Guild.
She made her Cincinnati Opera debut as a soloist in 1985 as Inez in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Gondoliers.
In addition, Shockley wrote a music column for Cincinnati's suburban newspapers, and was the opera company's archivist and newsletter editor for many years. Eldred Thierstein's Cincinnati Opera: From the Zoo to the Music Hall, published in 1995, features a forward written by Shockley.
"The book wouldn't have happened without her," Thierstein told the Enquirer. There wasn't anything about opera she didn't know."