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Obituary: Denise L. Sherman, Greenwood

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Denise L. Sherman

Denise L. Sherman, 45, of Greenwood, passed away Saturday, July 26, 2014.

She was born Feb. 5, 1969, in Franklin to Orval J. and M. Renee (Grider) Sherman.

She was a 1987 graduate of Center Grove High School, where she was a four-year member of Sound System, was selected to choreograph for Debtones and was a member of the Drama Club.

After spending a year at Ball State, she attended Millikin University on a vocal scholarship and received her bachelor’s degree in music education with a concentration in vocal performance. During her time at Millikin, she earned a place in the highly esteemed university choir and vocal jazz ensembles; she also played roles in operas.

Since her 1992 graduation with a degree in music education from the Conservatory of Music at Millikin University, Denise Sherman had been expressing her talents as an educator, serving as an in-demand voice teacher and performance coach, as well as performing throughout the country. As a director and composer, her pieces are performed nationally by soloists and ensembles.

After graduation, she began teaching private voice lessons at her beloved CGHS and had continued that affiliation ever since.

Denise also worked with special needs students in Indianapolis Catholic Schools including St. Mary’s, St. Patrick’s and St. Anthony’s, until the end of the 1999-2000 school year. She then taught a special education classroom in the IPS district for the 2000-2001 school year.

In fall of 2001, Denise began teaching music to students in Grades K-6 at IPS School No. 27. She continued in this position until the fall of 2003, when she began teaching voice at Performers’ Edge Dance Theatre in Carmel. She remained at Performers’ Edge until March 2013, when she opened her own studio, GetVoiceLessons.com Studio, located in the Carmel Arts & Design District.

Throughout the years, her tremendous ability to bridge genres of music has created national exposure for her singing, songwriting and performing. Her experiences span the spectrum from singing classically at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., to being a voice in UpStart, a powerful a capella women’s quartet.

UpStart’s songs encouraged women and children, inviting them to “Take Back the Night,” as part of the national campaign to support and empower victims of abuse. They also held concerts and workshops at many university campuses and performed on the main stage of the National Women’s Music Festival.

She was a member of various bands in Bloomington, including jam band Joint Session, and she took the stage as “Crazy Woman” in Kid Kazooey & The Ballroom Roustabouts. She also frequently sat in with Bloomington band The Fancy Lizards and Indianapolis band Governor Davis & The Blues Ambassadors. She performed in many cabaret shows in Indianapolis and starred as Cimmaron Sue in a production by the same name.

Denise Sherman was a Social Change Artist whose inspirational New Thought Music empowers people to recognize the highest good in themselves and those around them. She accompanied herself on piano and keyboard and played crystal bowls and Native American flute to facilitate meditation, which she also led.

Also a skilled percussionist, she specialized in world beat percussion utilizing djembe and congas, among other instruments. She has recorded and released three CDs of original music, two of which were recorded and produced by her companies Sure’Man Productions and Spirit Through Music Productions LLC.

Beginning in the mid-1990s, Denise served the Unity Church of Indianapolis for 14 years, first as choir director and then as music minister and director. During this time she produced, directed and arranged all of the music for regular Sunday celebration services and most special events such as a Metaphysics of OZ production. She directed and was a member of Unity’s Praise Band, Spirit of Praise.

During her tenure at Unity, she had the great joy and privilege of working with extraordinary musicians from Indianapolis, bringing in nationally recognized musical talent from all over the country, and sharing her own Spirit Through Music ministry with congregations across the country.

From November 2010 through December 2011, she served as director of music at Spiritual Science Indianapolis. Her band The Beat Angels frequently accompanied her as she shared her musical gifts with the congregation.

Subsequently, Denise continued to expand her Spirit Through Music ministry, touring both as a solo artist and as the leader of Denise Sherman & the Beat Angels. Members of the band are dedicated to continuing this ministry.

She will be remembered for her smile, her kindness, her deep spirituality and ability to lead a group in impromptu prayer, and, of course, that voice!

Survivors include her parents, Orval J. and M. Renee (Grider) Sherman of Bargersville; partner, Lia Treffman of Indianapolis; thousands of students and former students, and a beloved family of musicians.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents, William W. and Viola Grider and Orval K. and Bernice Sherman.

The Rev. Darren Chittick of The Church Within in Fountain Square will conduct a service at 10 a.m. Friday at Swartz Family Community Mortuary and Memorial Center, 300 S. Morton St. (U.S. 31 South) in Franklin. Friends may call from 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the mortuary. Burial will be at Bluff Creek Cemetery in Greenwood.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Center Grove Education Foundation in Memory of Denise L. Sherman, 2911 S. Morgantown Road, Greenwood, IN 46143.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.swartzmortuary.com.

Information: 738-0202

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