Attendees at this year’s Shaker Heights High School vocal music festival will enjoy the sounds of international rock a cappella group, The House Jacks. The concert, which is open to the public, features the group’s critically acclaimed performances of original recordings and versions of popular songs. The concert is a celebration of the Shaker Heights City Schools' commitment to performing arts education and part of a two-day artist residency to coach vocal music students.
The fine and performing arts are vital components of the Shaker experience,” said Shaker Heights Superintendent of Schools Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr., Ed.D. “The House Jacks concert is a fun way for all of Greater Cleveland to experience different ways of expression, creativity and innovative thinking.”
The House Jacks, which include Shaker Heights High School alumnus Austin Willacy, are known for using their voices to imitate a range of instruments, including percussion, trumpet and guitar. Weeks away from an international tour, the House Jacks are widely viewed in the music world as pioneers in the recent renaissance of a cappella close harmony. Their music has been heard on Monday Night Football and the hit TV shows Pitch Perfect and The Sing-Off.
Along with Willacy, members Deke Sharon, Elliott Robinson, John Pointer and Nick Girard create recordings heard around the globe in movies and on television and radio. The group also has appeared at Carnegie Hall, in Rolling Stone magazine and on CNN. In live performance with Ray Charles, James Brown, Train, The Temptations, the Neville Brothers, Crosby Stills & Nash, the Pointer Sisters, The Four Tops and LL Cool J, The House Jacks have demonstrated a wide repertoire of rock, jazz, blues and funk. Get acquainted with The House Jacks via their promotional video.
The House Jacks also will be artists-in-residence Oct. 7-8 at Shaker Heights High School, hosting private workshops for the school’s choir students. The group will train students on vocal percussion, a cappella and improvisation. Their residency is part of the Shaker schools’ longtime focus on performing arts education, award-winning musical programs and commitment to an environment where students receive a well-rounded education.
“A cappella singing has grown rapidly in popularity with its challenging dynamic, rhythmic style and close vocal harmony,” said Robert Schneider, chair of the music department and director of choirs at Shaker Heights High School. “I'm excited to bring the House Jacks as artists in residence to help students increase their study of music theory, ear training and understanding of solo and ensemble singing.”
The House Jacks’ Oct. 7 performance begins at 7 p.m. in the Shaker Heights High School large auditorium. Tickets are $25 general admission, $15 for Shaker staff and senior adults, and $10 for students with ID. Purchase tickets online.
The Shaker Schools Foundation is partnering with Shaker Heights High School to sponsor the House Jacks’ residency. The Foundation is grateful to the Madeline and Dennis Block Fund and the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation for their support. All proceeds from the House Jacks concert on Oct. 7 will support vocal music education at Shaker.
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