Deke Sharon greeted the Reeths-Puffer Madrigals with a smile and a wave as they were warming up in the Allendale H.S. choir room on October 11th. “I was in complete shock as I shook Deke Sharon’s hand. I didn’t know he was still singing with The House Jacks. For me, this was the equivalent for others of meeting someone like Brad Pitt or Oprah Winfrey. I was totally star-struck!” gushed Mrs. Regina Schlaff, R-PHS choir director, after being greeted by the legendary a cappella artist. “Deke is known as the father of contemporary a cappella music. He has been arranging pop music for over 20 years. We own volumes of his arrangements!”
If you love singing, you’ve probably heard of the movie Pitch Perfect. Sharon served as consultant, arranger, and singer on the film, and has a cameo on the soon-to-be-released, Pitch Perfect 2. He also serves as producer and arranger for the hit television show, The Sing Off. He’s worked with, and made various arrangements for, groups like Straight No Chaser, Nota, and won a Dove Award for his work with Committed. Deke Sharon’s roots go back to Tufts University where he performed with a group called the Tufts Beelzebubs. He developed that group into one of the first award-winning collegiate vocal rock bands. As humble as he is talented, Sharon even offered to write an a cappella arrangement specifically for the Reeths-Puffer Madrigals!
The Madrigals had a one-hour workshop with The House Jacks in which the professional singers gave them advice on how to develop their song, “Africa,” by 80’s rock band Toto. They also had a session on vocal percussion lead by John Pointer, The House Jacks’ incredible vocal percussionist.
That evening, Deke Sharon and The House Jacks performed at Allendale High School, amazing the audience with their vocal abilities. At one point in the show, they even brought Mrs. Schlaff to the stage to sing “Happy Birthday” to her! Then, to close the show, the Reeths-Puffer Madrigals sang Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” with them! “The best part is that The House Jacks were so great with the kids, so accepting. Before our clinic, they said, ‘Don’t be nervous, we are just an older version of you, true choir geeks at heart!’”
The Reeths-Puffer Choirs present their Fall Clinic Concert on Wednesday, October 22, 7 p.m. Guest clinician, Dr. James Borst will work with our four choirs in half hour sessions on stage in front of an audience. Come watch the choirs sing, learn, and grow before your very eyes and ears!