Del'Shawn is an internationally award-winning baritone and composer, pianist, educator, author, and arts equity advocate. He has had solo debuts with symphonies and ensembles on national and international stages. Known for his vocal prowess, Del'Shawn has won awards such as the Chicago Musical Theatre Award, the American Prize in Voice, and the Metropolitan International Music Festival. Del’Shawn has performed an array of genres from gospel to opera. He was a top 6 finalist in the Michiana's Rising Star on WNIT in 2014, a third place prize winner in the International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales for the International Voice of Musical Theatre Competition, a finalist with the Sofia Session Orchestra’s Musical Theatre Competition in Bulgaria in 2017, and a finalist in the 2018 NATS Musical Theatre Competition held in NYC. In 2019, he had his Lincoln Center recital debut. He has performed with orchestras ranging from the South Bend Symphony to the National Accordion Symphony Orchestra. This past January he sang the role of George in the world premiere of Tim Henson-Hinck's and Kendra Preston Leonard's opera Water Rising with Arts Capacity and the Chattanooga Opera.
As composer, he has premiered new works within and outside of the U.S. premiered with numerous organizations and ensembles like the Julius Quartet, the Cincinnati Song Initiative, Really Spicy Opera, Thompson Street Opera Company, and White Snake Projects to name a few. Currently, DelʼShawn is the composer for the musical adaptation for the award-winning book "Stars in the Sky," based on the stories of the first African American flight attendants. It will be work-shopped in New York City in 2022. This past summer, he had four new art songs premiered at the Operation Opera Festival at Gonzaga University and a new art song premiered (in addition to his setting of Dunbar’s “We Wear the Mask) apart of the Source Song Festival under the tutelage of Grammy award winning composer Libby Larsen and award-winning composer David Evan Thomas. His setting of Dunbar’s “We Wear the Mask,” was the 2nd place prize winner in the 2021 George Shirley Composition Competition and Calliope’s Calls 2021 Call for Scores. It was recently announced by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis that Del'Shawn alongside librettist, Samiya Bashir are one of three creative times being commissioned by the opera company for a new opera as apart of their New Works Collective. The opera will premiere in March 2023. Recently, Del'Shawn was commissioned to compose a new opera by Experiments in Opera with libretto by Joanie Brittingham set to premiere in 2024.
Del'Shawn is an arts equity advocate who is passionate about bridging the gaps between classical music organizations and marginalized communities and to ensure that children regardless of socio-economic background have access to the transformative power of the arts. Del’Shawn serves on the DEI Board Committee of the South Bend Symphony and the DEI Board Committee of the Thompson Street Opera Company and the board (program, finance, and strategic planning committee) of Art Song Colorado. He will also be joining the board of Inside the Orchestra in 2023. Del’Shawn is the founder of Variations, a middle school music program that bridges the gap between the world of classical music and inner-city youth through a classical and hip-hop integrated curriculum. Turning their own stories to lyrics, the students work with symphony musicians, opera singers, and community composers to create a concert of new music that ends with a recording session He is also the youngest recipient of the South Bend Hometown Hero Award for his work in this space.
In addition to teaching music at the K-12 level and for non-profits, Del'Shawn has also created music programs for the Boys & Girls Club. He has served as the music director for Sacred Heart Parish, Zoar United Church of Christ, Hillcrest United Methodist, and guest directed at several other churches. Currently, he is the Worship Leader at Faith Presbyterian Church in Aurora, Colorado. He served as the musical director for Musical Mission Tour for 6 years and served as a Board Member. He has served as the musical director for several musical productions such as Caroline or Change, Annie, the Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Shrek Jr., Into the Woods Jr. and many more.
In 2021, Del’Shawn released his children’s book “Do You Know What Makes a Man,” that was written to equip young boys with the knowledge they need to be socially and emotionally successful as men. He will be launching a virtual/in-person book in 2023 with libraries around the country. Additionally, Del'Shawn is in the process of completing his next children's book that will be announced in the fall 2023.
When not immersed in the world of music, Del’Shawn works at Guild Education. He holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology with pre-medicine coursework and a Spanish minor from Indiana University and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Southern Indiana. He holds additional certifications in DEI, executive leadership, change management, and project management.
He is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, the National Association for Music Education, the National Black MBA Association, and Americans for the Arts.