Sharon Lee Radashaw, BME, MM, is a lifelong educator and entertainer specializing in vocal music and musical theater, acting, and dance. Precociously talented, she began tap dancing at the age of four and continued to develop her performance skills with the support of her family. She earned a Bachelor of Music in music education at Eastern Michigan University in 1959 and a Master of Music at Michigan State University in 1962, and holds teaching credentials in both California and Michigan. Dedicated to perfecting her craft, Ms. Radashaw continued to pursue postgraduate coursework at the University of California and the University of San Diego until the late 1990s.
She began teaching music in Mason Public Schools and Waverly Schools near Lansing, Michigan, before relocating to southern California in 1962. After spending the 1962-1963 academic year as a music teacher for Garden Grove Unified School District, Ms. Radashaw worked as a music consultant for Ventura County and Valley Oak School District. In 1969, she taught creative arts at California Lutheran University, a role she would reprise several times through the 1980s.
In 1978, Ms. Radashaw accepted a music consulting position with Conejo Unified School District, remaining with the district until 1980, when she found her home as an educator in the Los Angeles Unified School District. For the next 27 years, she taught music, drama, and mathematics classes to hundreds of Los Angeles public school students while continuing to consult, spending nearly a decade as a music specialist for the California Arts Project in the 1990s and working part-time with California State University as a master teacher. Ms. Radashaw retired from teaching in 2007.
Ms. Radashaw cultivated a flourishing career in performance alongside her work as an educator, performing consistently as a singer and extra in film and television productions since moving to Los Angeles in the early 1960s. Between 1965 and 1970, she was a member of the Ventura County Master Chorale, and she was selected to perform in the 1998 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as well as the 1998 Carnegie Hall Cyber Chorus production of Handel’s “Messiah,” both career highlights. She has been a member and former executive producer of the Conejo Players Theatre since 1970, and has directed more than a dozen productions, including “The Sound of Music,” “Peter Pan,” and “The King and I,” in addition to acting in “Fiddler on the Roof,” “A Little Night Music,” and many others.
A valued member of the southern California arts community for decades, Ms. Radashaw is the former arts commissioner and hostess for the Thousand Oaks Arts Commission, where she has donated her talents as an art show judge since 1985. In recognition of her tireless work, she was presented with a 1992 Bravo Award from the Los Angeles Music Center and a 2001 Commendation for Multicultural Contribution to Youth from the Los Angeles mayor and city council. Ms. Radashaw is a three-time Fulbright-Hays scholar, winning a 1997 grant to travel to Bulgaria and Romania, a 2002 award to study in Turkey, and a 2003 endowment that allowed her to visit Japan. She describes the experiences as life-changing and retains her passion for world travel, with more than 60 countries in her passport already and plans to take a cruise in Norway in the coming years.
Ms. Radashaw has been previously recognized as a Marquis Who’s Who Top Professional and presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of her outstanding accomplishments in several fields. She attributes her success to her tenacity, good upbringing, and her strong Baptist faith. In her leisure time, Ms. Radashaw enjoys hosting exchange students, gourmet cooking, and genealogy.