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avatar for Lisa Forkish

Lisa Forkish

Women's A Cappella Association
Executive Director & Co-Founder
Oakland, CA
Lisa Forkish is an artist and educator who teaches by celebrating the unique voice in each of us. Her teaching style is infused with grace, patience and warmth, while maintaining a strong standard of excellence for the work at hand. Known as “Ms. Forkish” to the hundreds of young singers she has taught over the course of her seven-year-career at Oakland School for the Arts, Lisa is highly regarded as a teacher who inspires and empowers. She loves, supports and holds space for all who find themselves in her classroom. All are welcome and accepted. Lisa leaves her own ego out of her teaching, focusing solely on the music and it’s power to transform. She spends time cultivating connection: with the music, the audience, and especially with each other. Lisa brings humor and vulnerability to her teaching regardless of the setting; whether it be in a university lecture hall with hundreds of participants, a small classroom with 12 singers, or in a one-on-one coaching session, Lisa breathes humanity into the music and the teaching. Her infectious joy, compassion and energy lights up wherever she teaches.

Over the course of the past 15 years, Lisa has led FIVE different a cappella groups (including five-time national champions Vocal Rush) to place in various competitions (Varsity Vocals, AEA, Harmony Sweeps). She has been a guest instructor at numerous festivals, conferences and universities across the country, teaching workshops, directing choirs and leading group masterclasses. Since 2011, Lisa has been Vocal faculty at Oakland School for the Arts where she teaches middle and high school students. She has also worked with numerous adult ensembles, including her current role as director of Diablo Women’s Chorale. In 2014, Lisa was the recipient of the Mason McDuffie Education Foundation Award for “Outstanding Educator.” She is the co-founder, Executive Di