Ricky Sharp is originally from Birmingham, Alabama. As a young child of three it was evident to his parents that music was to be his destiny.
Beginning at the age of six he studied piano under Dorothy Smith, who at that time was high in the violin section of the Birmingham Symphony and a well-know violin and piano instructor in the city. She gave Ricky the foundation upon which to build.
Through high school at Little Creek Academy, just outside of Knoxville, Tennessee, he studied with Alice Straw, also a child prodigy and well-known keyboard artist.
Time rocked on and he attended Southern Missionary College in Collegedale, Tennessee, now Southern Adventist University. There he studied with Dr. Stanley Walker and Dr. Robert Sage, who coached him through a different and more concentrated level of study that brought forth the creative side of Ricky's ability to improvise and perform with clarity and excitement.
He also studied with John Robere, who graduated from Peabody College and shared with Ricky the more European style of classical music.
Ricky performs regularly for audiences who are spellbound by his interpretation of many different types of music. His idea is that music is the heartbeat of the soul; make it appealing, lively, and keep it moving.
Ricky is a former educator in the areas of music, English, and religion. Wherever he was teaching in the South found him also serving various denominations as music director, organist, pianist and choir director. His experience has also included performance and providing the piano accompaniment for the late Russell Davis, former tenor with the New York Opera Company for 15 years.
He also accompanied Marilyn Cotton, soprano soloist for It Is Written, for 13 years.
Ricky is the father of two wonderful children, Stephanie and Joel. Stephanie lives in Orlando, Florida, and works as a respiratory therapist; Joel is a First-Class Navy Diver for the United States Navy. He is extremely proud of them.
It was the “Accordion Center"
And it was a very popular place for young people to meet and to study the accordion. The accordion band was very popular for many years, and Bernadine Seay had one of the most well-noted bands in the country. She inspired Ricky by offering him the opportunity to play in the band, a band of sixty-plus students.
He studied with her until he entered college at Southern Missionary College, Collegedale, Tennessee, now Southern Adventist University. It is there that he met Bill Hughes, co-author of the Palmer-Hughes Accordion method used worldwide.
The accordion you now see in the picture belonged to Bill Hughes just prior to his death in May of 1978. He wanted Ricky to have this accordion.