Sheila V.A. DeWitt AKA | SHEILAVA!
Sheila was born in Santa Fe, NM and raised in San Antonio, TX. In 2006 she graduated in the top 5% of her class at William H. Taft High School, earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance at the University of Houston in 2012, and earned a Master's Degree in Flute Performance from University of New Mexico.
Her love for singing began with the Sesame Street Alphabet Song at age 5 (she had the entire cassette tape memorized). Her parents raised her on great artists such as Lynyrd Skynyrd and Whitney Houston. Her grandmother sparked a love for orchestral music after taking little Sheila to see the Nutcracker and soon thereafter taught her how to whistle "like they do in that old timey music." Sheila's first performance on stage was in elementary school when she was chosen to sing "Hopelessly Devoted To You" during the Grease-themed concert, but her ultimate love for performing came when she was given a flute to try out for the 6th grade band. She quickly advanced and held first chair in the A-1 band.
Throughout high school, Sheila further realized her love for all music after participating in choir, jazz, and marching band. During her junior year she became a Section Leader, Music Tech, and the Band Historian. She continued her passion when she was accepted into the Moores School of Music on a partial band scholarship. Whilst working odd n' end jobs throughout college, Sheila also found a love for composition, played flute and piccolo for the Wind Ensemble and Spirit of Houston Marching Band, sang Soprano and 1st Alto with the University Women's Choir, and marched cymbals with the Independent Percussion Theatre for an indoor drumline competition. Months before graduation, she auditioned for a scholarship with the University of New Mexico and was accepted into the Master's Program at the College of Fine Arts. She played piccolo and performed as principal flautist for both the UNM Symphony Orchestra and UNM Wind Symphony. For her Master's Recital, she spearheaded a colorful collaborative performance that included a string quartet, a jazz trio, and a 23 piece orchestra. After graduating in 2014, Sheila moved to Boston where she discovered the singer-songwriter within after collaborating with local guitarist Ben Langner. She currently resides in North Austin where she teaches flute, piano, and voices lessons to a studio of 27 students of all ages.
Outside of performing with Sheilava, she also enjoys working on various film projects, staying strong and healthy through weight training and running, and working on puzzles and going golfing with her husband.
Fun Facts - In 2012 Sheila competed in the "Naturally Fit" body building competition in Austin, TX. She is extremely competitive when it comes to board games and video games. Various jobs Sheila had throughout school include waitressing, bartending, managing a hotel bar, and working sales jobs for Bank of America and Ford. She still holds the corporate record at Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse for selling the most servings of Louis XIII cognac to a single table in one night (36 servings to a party of 17 at $200 a piece).
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