Our Director

Song of Sonoma Chorus under the direction of Sharon Carlson

Sharon Carlson, the chartering director of a Sonoma County four- part a cappella chorus that performs in barbershop-style-harmony, brings over 35 years of performing expertise to her repertoire. She excels in interpretive dance and group dynamics and has a passion for the American art form of barbershop singing. Her ability to hone talent in others has been proven by award winning quartets and international competitions, but more importantly, by the joy she inspires within the hearts of the chorus members.

Sharon also shares her vocal/performing skills as a member of Region 12’s teaching and coaching Faculty, as a mentor, arranger, and coach for directors and quartets across the country. Her background also includes regional championship quartets, Certified Music Judge, and Master Director status.

With passion and joy in her art, Sharon inspires, motivates, and directs chorus members in vocal, choral, theater, music, and showmanship, as well as show-scripting skills during demanding weekly rehearsals. Her passion for teaching is reflected in the chorus members’ talents as they become refined as a unit to achieve performance excellence. Sharon calls chorus members “professional learners” and takes “utter joy in making music together!” She’s genuinely humbled that so many savvy, exciting women come to “sing their hearts out and allow me to direct them”

Sharon compares the SOS choral group to “a beautiful butterfly, always emerging with striking colors” and “flying in formation [to] create strength for the flock,” and where “each and every voice and personality adds so much in every way.”

Indeed, the talented SOS chorus has been strengthened by hosting public events, competing, and growing from 8 to over 80 members since 2010. Under Sharon’s enthusiasm as a coach, Song of Sonoma Chorus won its first regional competition in 2015 and competed at the international competition in 2016.  She’s heading us toward new exciting goals and an endless future of creative possibilities.

My vision for SOS remains the same as that first rehearsal in my living room: find every woman who loves to sing in Sonoma County; bring out the singing diva in each singer; promote self confidence in both the group and the individual. Seeing the ‘lights go on’ each week fills me with joy. I see no boundaries or limits to the size of the chorus nor the scope of music it can perform. To reach a contemporary world with our music we need to take risks and see the music through contemporary eyes. SOS has all that, and more!
​By Sharon Carlson

How our SOS Sisters describe our director:

Sharon exudes joy and enthusiasm that is contagious. She inspires us to excellence and expects us to give nothing less.

Honest, Fun, Incredibly Talented, Wise, Fun, Loyal, Knowledgeable, Creative,  Beautiful, Funny, Brilliant, and did I say – Fun?!!

Sharon is an inspirational leader and a genuinely kind and loving soul who leads with humor, a sharp eye, and sensitive ear…and she’s ours!

PASSIONATE about barbershop! Sees joy in every aspect of our craft.

She is everything you could ask for in a director in all the right amounts!

Medium height, short blond hair….. oh you mean personality/director?!?!?!?
Passionate is the best word for Sharon!

Energetic

Sharon is both the kite and the string.  She soars and yet is grounded. There is so much to know about music, but that may be the easier part.  Inspiring each unique member to reach farther than she thought possible is the real skill.  And, she makes it fun!

Passionate. Demanding. Hilarious.

Sharon is a very good singing instructor…. but much more! She has the ability to share her vision, not only of the music, but also of the chorus. she has a dream for us, and she is making her dream come true!

Fantastic, fabulous, fun, caring, relentless.

Incredible!!  A whole lot of fun and knowledge and intuition.

Sharon is an incredibly special woman; talented, driven and funny.  What a great combination!  Without her tenacity, leadership and amazing insight we would be any chorus.  Not us – we are Song of Sonoma – a joyful, happy, passionate chorus who perform incredible music.

She knows what she want and she goes for it. We are so lucky to have her!

She is a very talented, wise, gracious and loving person. And she has the wisdom and strength to stand firm when enforcing boundaries. Very important to keep 20 or 50+ WOMEN on track to reach all the amazing goals in our vision! No easy task!

Knowledgeable and inspiring.

A very amazing Director… I appreciate how she directs teaches Us ….Her expressions while directing us helps me to stay focus and its also very addicting.

Talented, experienced, enthusiastic and loving what she’s doing!!!

Extremely competent and fair. Wants us to improve and teaches and cajoles us in a great way.

Sharon is passionate about Barbershop music and her chorus, Song of Sonoma. She is aware, intuitive, caring, fun and loving. She does an amazing job directing and leading as she inspires positive, direct and immediate results.

Passionate, dedicated, intelligent, kind.

Sharon is amazing, apart from being a talented and brilliant director she is also so kind and encouraging. I might have been too intimidated to come back after week 1 if it was not for her kind words and reassurance.

Awesome!

Very involved and wonderful.  Inspires me to perform better and continue to develop my singing skills.
A dear friend who is a gifted musician.

A passion for the art and a drive for excellence – she is delightful, warm, funny (and if you’re not prepared, slightly scary) 🙂

Sharon is such a breath of fresh air. Every Tuesday she brings 100% energy and dedication to SOS and I am so grateful to be under her direction.

Sharon is very talented, musical, passionate, smart, funny and truly devoted to SOS, Sweet Adelines and the barbershop craft.

Vibrant, diverse, energetic, amazing

Sharon is a great teacher, a lover of music who relates that love to everyone. She brings out the best in us. She is patient, kind and tender heartened. She treats everyone as an equal, never above any of us.

Passionate!

Describe Sharon?  Hmm – Really cool hairstyle and wonderful smile!  Outstanding devotion to SOS.  Her enthusiasm never wavers as she teaches, coaches, pushes each of us to seek and fins the best singer and performer in ourselves.

Extremely talented and enthusiastic as well as inspiring.

Amazingly talented and versatile! So thankful she is OUR director! I learn something new every week and I am so grateful that she has such high standards for all of us!

Sharon is a very gifted artist and we are lucky to have her as our director.

Sharon is a strong woman with such a passion for music. She listens to the intuitive message of music and doesn’t get in the way of what the music is supposed to sound like. She is a true talent.

Inspiring, full of life, and very loving.

She is a dreamer who gets things done. Many of us dream but do not take the initiative to accomplish our dreams. Probably would not follow her into Hell, but would get close enough to feel the heat if that is where she was heading. Trust her implicitly!!

Sharon is my idol!

She is a true leader in every sense. She has a wonderful sense of humor, is a fantastic musician, a wonderful problem solver and one of my best friends.

My best friend and favorite quartet bass!

Sharon is particularly gifted at explaining concepts in a way that “sticks” and is engaging.

I think she is amazing.

Sharon is awesome – very talented, knowledgeable and has an amazing ear. Does not let anything “off” to slice through. She is a tough teacher but will do corrections with a loving manner.

She is the most inspirational teacher I know. She is so passionate and dedicated to Barbershop. It is amazing!
Fabulous, bright, shining, hilarious, beautiful, caring, sparkly, and wonderful…


Amazing, knowledgeable and passionate.

With all due respect and affection: a benevolent tyrant. Every successful group I’ve ever belonged to was run by a someone who pleasantly ran things just so and insisted we give our best while having fun.

Energetic, driven to succeed, funny, caring, and can balance well on a broom 🙂

My friend and mentor, I’ve known Sharon for a long time and admire her tremendously for her caring of others, her driven personality and her FUN!

Driven.

My first rehearsal I stood before Sharon and thought, “I don’t care what we’re doing here, I want to be in front of this lady!” Sharon has this beautiful ability to tell a story to get the results she wants from the group. She’s an exceptional leader! Love her to death!

Hilarious, energetic, intuitive, demanding, kind and brilliant.

She is amazing, and all those words of fabulousness apply to her. I love her direction, the music she picks, and singing to her. She has had me laughing so hard I couldn’t sing. And I’ve been so touched by her words. She’s in my heart.

Infectious, caring, warm and ready to push you to heights you never knew you could reach!

Sharon’s enthusiasm was the draw for me to this chorus.  I was amazed at how much she enjoys seeing each of us achieve personal success.  She’s warm and inviting, and I’m so glad she’s ours!

It is an honor to work with such a talented and fun music Director on a weekly basis. We are blessed to have her!

Supportive, humorous, focused and tough. She is inspirational.. I was ready to give up after a few visits, but she encouraged and supported me and now I love being part of SOS.

Passionate, charismatic, direct, honest, helpful, talented, & dedicated.

Makes my heart smile 🙂

Awe-inspiring and a force to behold. I think I may have a wee lady-crush on her. I am honored to be in a group led by her, and beyond excited to learn what she has to teach me!

Dynamic, engaging, creative and caring.

Fun, confident and inspiring! She makes rehearsals enjoyable. I love having a director like Sharon!!!

Sharon is amazing. She sincerely cares about the women in her chorus and has a wonderful wicked sense of humor. Music is her life and she works diligently to make the individuals in the choir reach their potential. She does not tolerate anything less–which is a good thing. I look forward to getting to know her more as the months and years go by.

Enthusiastic, energetic, warm, welcoming, and fun.

Sharon is driven to get us to become our best and she makes the journey so much fun!

Dedicated, funny, and knowledgeable.

A perfectionist, an artist, a writer, an Angel and a tremendous inspiration for recognizing great music in each one of us.

Sharon has such a positive attitude and friendly personality that it showers out over the entire chorus.

“Bossy” in that chorus director sort of way, “sarcastic” well…in that sassy director sort of way, “incredulous” in that “Good God when are you going to practice on your own time” kind of way, fun, passionate, exciting, great sense of humor, pushy, easily pleased in lots of ways, if you’ll just do it right!!!

Inventive, original, upbeat, hard working, great sense of humor, musically talented and motivating, great expectations, loves life.

To the point and amaaazing!

I have known and admired Sharon for over 20 years. She is my mentor and best friend. I love that she cares about each and every member of SOS as she would a member of her family. No politics, just real honest love. She’s a classy lady.

Dynamic. She is so passionate about music and this group. She obviously loves doing this work. She seeks a certain level of sound for enjoyment and does not compromise on helping the group achieve that level. She is a pleasure to learn from!

Compassionate, insightful, energetic, well-spoken, dramatic, and visionary!

Sharon is intense and loving at the same time. She passionately communicates her vision for her chorus to achieve excellence for each member and as an ensemble.

Eerily reminiscent of my high school drama. That is, a delightful perfectionist who throws great faces and makes rehearsals a blast.

Sharon is both serious and fun-loving about her role as a director. She truly wants what is best for the entire chorus.

Outgoing, a born director, passionate, enthusiastic, and hardworking.

Sharon is a powerhouse. She pulls you in and demands that you have fun while you work hard. And you do!

Fun, Knowledgeable, Caring, Loves the Barbershop craft. She loves what she does.

Spontaneous, dependable, high expectations, fun.

Sharon is enthusiastic and dedicated, with a passion for excellence. She also possesses a desire to bring that love of excellence to as many people as possible through, participation, training and performance. I love that the timid are encouraged to try and may discover talents they never new they had.