HomeMeet Your CASA Ambassador: Shawn Pearce (Western PA)

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Shawn Pearce

When did you first become involved in a cappella? In what capacity?

I started singing aca with an at the time fledgling group at Penn State University called the Dreamers, which is a subset of the Alpha Zeta chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a professional music fraternity.  It's founder, Kevin McMahon, had a policy of no auditions - if you were a brother, and wanted to sing, you sang.   Having never sung before, it took me awhile to be musically competent with the group, but I, and many other brothers, discovered a love of singing and a cappella through that group.  Without that no audition policy, I may not have gotten into a cappella at all.

When did you first become involved with CASA?

In the early 90s, back when CASA was run out of Deke Sharon's flat or somesuch. I was the first Pennsylvania ambassador.

What geographical area do you cover as a CASA ambassador?

Western PA, from Penn State University west.

What role do you play as a CASA ambassador and/or what role would you like to play?

The role is currently being defined.  I'd love to get something set up similar to the Batman and Robin of CASA NC, Bob McSwain and Jenn Fiduccia (I'll let them figure out who's wearing the green underpants and pixie boots), which has a nice fluid information network of what's going on in their state.   I think there's a lot to be gained from the high school/college/pro groups in PA having more of an awareness of each other.  Obviously, the more groups that know I'm out here, the more chance I will have to positively impact their lives through my work with CASA.

What do you do for work and play?

I work for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as my day job, and I also run an online a cappella arranging business at valuevocals.com.   Between that and my kids, it doesn't have a lot of free time, but what I have I spend following the NFL, playing fantasy football, and various forms of reading, from biographies to comic books.

Tell us one thing about yourself people would be surprised to learn

Technically, I have Hoosier blood - I was born in South Bend, IN, and lived there for a total of one month before moving to Pennsylvania.  Haven't left since.

Favorite a cappella group?

Can't narrow it down. Sorry. Groups/acts in my radar right now are Peter Hollens, the Baudboys, Musae and the Red States. But that's far from comprehensive.

Favorite type of music?

A cappella, Contemporary Christian, Broadway

Favorite a cappella concert?

Again, too many to list. I will say the most recent one I saw was Project Philly's summer concert, and that was fun to listen to - partially because it was the first time in a while I've heard my arrangement sung live, but there's a lot of talent in that little group.

Anything you'd like the CASA readership to know about your area?

No. ;)  Actually, yeah - keep an eye out, there's some really good stuff here that's not on the national radar...yet. :)