WHAT: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT – Teaching Contemporary A Cappella
DATE: Friday 6 September, 2019
TIME: Registration 9am, Workshop 9:30am to 12:30pm (includes 15min break)
VENUE: Prahran RSL – Memorial Hall (301 High St, Prahran VIC 3181)

Heralded as “The Father of Contemporary A Cappella,” (Entertainment Weekly), Deke Sharon is responsible for the current sound of modern a cappella, having created the dense vocal-instrumental sound in college, subsequently spreading it around the world. Deke produced “The Sing-Off” worldwide and served as arranger, on-site music director and vocal producer for Universal’s Pitch Perfect 1, 2 & 3 starring Anna Kendrick & Rebel Wilson!

Deke Sharon will cover a number of a cappella topics during this Professional Development sessions suitable for teachers, music directors and music education students.

Topics covered will include:

Beginning Vocal Percussion: One of the most notable elements of contemporary a cappella, vocal percussion has become an essential element in presenting a dynamic, current sound with nothing but voices. Learn the fundamentals of this skill, weaving together bass drum, snare and high hat to provide a compelling groove, and begin to explore some additional sounds like cymbals, shakers, and wood blocks.

Singing Instruments: 10 years ago, a cappella singing was mostly “bum” and “doo.” Now, people sound like drums, guitars, horns, and a myriad of other instruments. Learn how to use one or many voices to sound like instruments, and work them into your arrangements. 

Managing Rehearsals: the nitty gritty issues that sometimes make you crazy: teaching notes vs. using learning tracks, how many songs per rehearsal, attendance management, sectionals vs. group rehearsal, number of rehearsals (regular and before major gigs), how much warm-up time, what kinds of warm-ups, when do you allow mistakes to happen and when do you stop and fix them, rehearsal discipline (use of other leaders as “enforcers” for rehearsal discipline, and balancing fun and musicality.

Expert Level Music Director’s Toolkit: Deke’s best tips, for music directors who are ready to take their group’s sound to the next level. Learn how to harness the physics of sound to build your toolkit, make your group’s vocal textures sound more instrumental, increase success with tuning, blend and rhythmic accuracy, turn a wooden choral melody into a smooth pop phrase, and so on. 

Question time: Is there an a cappella topic that you really want to learn more about. Ask Deke your pertinent questions about everything a cappella from starting a new group, arranging, improving tuning, performance presentation, how to get your group to work together in harmony to create harmony, singing games to help build focus or musical precision, improvisation and songwriting. 

Early Bird
(until sold out)
Full Rate
(until sold out)
Adult  $80 (sold out)  $100  $120
Concession  $60 (sold out)  $80  $100
Group (Adult/Conc.)  $50 (sold out)  $70  $90

All events are general admission. There are no allocated seats.
There are no refunds available so please select your tickets carefully.
Minimum of 8 tickets required for Group rates.
Group rates only available online.
Door sales (if available) may incur additional charges.
Each ticket tier is only available until sold out.

Learn more about Deke Sharon 

“The father of contemporary a cappella” – Entertainment Weekly
“A one man a cappella revolution” – Boston Globe
“Deke Sharon makes a cappella cool again” – NPR

Born and still living in San Francisco, California, Deke Sharon has been performing professionally since the age of 8. As a child he toured North America and shared the stage performing in operas with the likes of Pavarotti.

Heralded as “The Father of Contemporary A Cappella” this performer, arranger, music producer, author, producer and coach is credited by many as being responsible for the current sound of modern a cappella.   While at college, he pioneered the dense vocal-instrumental sound that we today take for granted as the sound of contemporary a cappella..

Deke founded the Contemporary A Cappella Society while in college, and is responsible for many seminal a cappella programs, including the CARAs (Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards), the ICCAs (International Championship of College A Cappella), the BOCAs (Best of College A Cappella Compilations), the first contemporary a cappella conference (the A Cappella Summit), the Contemporary A Cappella League, the professional ensembles Voasis and Vocalosity, as well as the educational residential program, Camp A Cappella. He’s a frequent emcee at events, and gives corporate speeches on business lessons from vocal harmony, to companies like Google and Facebook

He is also contemporary cappella’s most prolific arranger, having arranged over 2,000 songs, with many of them in print worldwide with Hal Leonard/Contemporary A Cappella Publishing. A few of the songs he has arranged for DCappella appear in this folio.  He has written 5 books: A Cappella Arranging (2012), A Cappella (2015), The Heart of Vocal Harmony (2016), A Cappella Warmups for Pop and Jazz Choir (2017) and So You Want to Sing A Cappella (2017). He is also the vocal orchestrator for the Broadway’s first a cappella musical: In Transit (2016).

As the founder, director and arranger for the House Jacks for almost 25 years, the original “Rock Band Without Instruments,” Deke shared the stage with countless music legends, including Ray Charles, James Brown, Crosby Stills and Nash, Run DMC, The Temptations, LL Cool J and the Four Tops, and performed for luminaries including President Bill Clinton. The House Jacks have eight albums, and dozens of international tours to their names, including multiple appearances at Carnegie Hall, and even a performance of the “Monday Night Football Theme” with Hank Williams Jr. in 2011.

Deke has produced dozens of award winning a cappella albums (including Straight No Chaser, Committed, Nota, Street Corner Symphony and the Tufts Beelzebubs), created a cappella groups for Disneyland and Disneyworld, and frequently tours the world teaching a variety of topics to students and professional singers. His voice can be heard in commercials and video games, including “Just Dance Kids 2.” He is one of only 20 honorary members of the Barbershop Harmony Society since 1938, as well as an honorary member of BYU Vocal Point, and has received CASA’s lifetime achievement award in 2016 and the PT Barnum Award for Excellence from Tufts University in 2017.

Deke has also helped popularize a cappella in the mainstream.  He produced five seasons of The Sing Off for NBC (which was also adapted for TV in France, the Netherlands, South Africa and China), was arranger, on-site music director and vocal producer for all three of Universal’s hit films in the Pitch Perfect franchise and was most recently seen in Lifetime Television’s Pitch Slapped, coaching the group Stay Tuned  and on BBC1’s Pitch Battle as music director and guest judge.

Most recently Deke was approached by Disney Concerts to co-create the concept of DCappella.  He led the search for the group, has arranged all the music performed by the group, including the music in this folio.  He is also music directing DCappella’s live appearances and producing their studio recordings.

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