Fulbright scholar Dr. Derrell Acon is a dynamic performer/teacher/activist who has appeared in venues across the nation, Africa, and Europe. As an award-winning bass-baritone, Derrell Acon understands the level of passion and understanding that music can instill.

He is a uniquely accomplished performer whose repertoire ranges from the comic to the tragic and even the sensual. Mr. Acon has proven himself a persuasive advocate for American opera of the 20th and 21st centuries. His accomplishments in music have established Mr. Acon as a leader among the discussions that surround music across the world.

Dr. Acon is a 2013-2014 Fulbright scholar to Italy, where he researched the operas of Giuseppe Verdi and lectured on the Black American experience. He is also an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grantee for his work in Verdian scholarship and performance and a frequent presenter throughout the U.S. at such venues as conferences for the National Association for Ethnic Studies and National Association of Negro Musicians, and internationally at venues in Europe and Africa. He has also been seen as an opera lecturer at The Chautauqua Institution, Portland Opera, Long Beach Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, and Des Moines Metro Opera.

Dr. Acon’s most recent scholarship on Blacktivism and the power of performative education continues to be presented throughout the country. Drawing from literature, advocacy, story, and song to engage and energize audiences, Dr. Acon uses the power and immediacy of performance to educate and empower audiences.

An award-winning bass-baritone, well-known for his appearances with The Glimmerglass Festival, the LA Master Chorale and for his groundbreaking work as an activist on the subject matter of race and equity, Dr. Acon has reached the minds of audiences around the world and in his local community.


Fortify the mind that your intellect informs your soul.

It was once said that real power is knowledge. Knowledge is truly power. I use the untouchable intensity of my intellect to navigate an otherwise marginalized position. As a Fulbright scholar in Italy, I had the great opportunity to research and understand the minds behind world-renowned operas. Having explored the works of Giuseppe Verdi and his connection to his own society and people, and speaking on the Black American experience here and worldwide, I’ve cultivated a keen understanding of the world of race, justice, and equality – three concepts that need to be explored and discussed often.  

If we seek to expand our minds, we must draw from literature, become advocates for that in which we believe, share our story and the stories of others, and use those stories and songs to engage and energize audiences—therein demonstrating the power and immediacy of performance to educate and empower.


Tend to your body that your fitness and nutrition discipline your mind.

Maintaining a body that is healthy, strong, and well-nourished is a learned discipline that can work its way into all aspects of one’s life. Our bodies must be well-nourished before we can truly unlock our potential. Sound nutrition equates to a clarity of thought and allows us to be fully attuned to our soul.  

Once we lose grasp of such clarity and discernment, we quickly pace away from discipline and progress. Understanding and acknowledging that we can at times lose touch makes it simpler for us to remain disciplined.

The key to a fitness and nutrition program that is effective and sustainable is rooted in a holistic understanding of how the mind, body, and soul are intimately linked. Currently Dr. Acon is welcomes scholarly engagements, presentations, and partnerships that address and analyze identity disparities — e.g., based on race, gender, and/or sexual orientation — in the health and fitness industry. Inquiries should be sent to info@derrellacon.com. Dr. Acon is not currently accepting private personal training or fitness nutrition clients at this time.


Express from deep within your soul that your truth becomes manifest throughout your whole body and personhood.

The soul must be deep and expressive. Music has deep connections with our brains. It is intrinsically meaningful not only to humanity as a whole, but to each of us as individuals. We thrive on music. Music is a driver behind our actions and emotions. The overall influence music has on our brains can create a sense of unity and equality between seemingly disparate and drastically different people.