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Jeraldine Saunders Herbison

Female | Composers


JERALD1NE ELIZABETH SAUNDERS HERBISON (JANUARY 9, 1941) a native of Richmond, and a Hampton, Virginia resident since 1970, Herbison graduated with distinction from Virginia State College in Petersburg in 1963 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education with a major in Violin and double minors in voice and piano.

        During undergraduate and graduate school, Herbison's composition instructors included Dean of African American women composers, Undine Smith-Moore, Buckner Gamby at Virginia State (College) University, Tom Clark of Texas Southern University, and Clare Boge of Hart College, summers at the University of Michigan division at Interlochen, and James Herbison of Hampton University.

       Jeraldine’s pieces range from the symphony to solo concertos and from instrumental sonatas and suites to vocal works. Her compositions have been performed by professional soloists, chamber musicians and orchestras throughout the U.S and England.  Five of her string orchestra pieces published by Velke Publishing Co and transferred to Lucks Publishing Company are Suite No. 1 in C, Suite No. 2 in F, Three Pieces for Winter, Theme and Variations for String Orchestra, and Marching Through Pierot's Door.  Two of her 15 art songs are featured on a CD by Sebronette Barnes entitled You Can Tell The World.  A photo, biography and listing of her music is found in the books From Spirituals to Symphonies, and Black Women Composers by Helen Walker-Hill. Her piano and chamber works with piano are listed in  The String Students Library of Music by Black Composers by Rachel Elizabeth Barton Foundation, Black American Music Past and Present by Hildred Roach, A New Anthology of Art Songs by African American Composers by Margaret Simmons & Wagner,  Composer Lists by Dominique-Rene De Lerma,  Brass Music of Black Composers by Aaron Horne and International Encyclopedia of Women Composers by Aaron Cohen. 

        In 1993, Herbison's Cello Concerto was commissioned by the Afro-American Chamber Music Society Orchestra and premiered by Cellist, Dawn Foster Dodson, conducted by Professor Janise White in California.  In 2013, Herbison's Viola Concertino was performed in 2013 by Violist, Stefan Smith and the Afro- American Chamber Music Society, conducted by Professor Janise White in California. York River Symphony Orchestra performed her Canon and Fanfare from Symphony no.1 in 2016. Her more recent compositions have been on solo and chamber duets.  In 2012 Soundscapes for Solo Flute and piano, performed at Christopher Newport University at the SCI convention. In January, 2014 her Eight Duos for Flute and Violin premiered at the NACUSA concert at Chowan College in North Carolina, and her Reflections duos for Flute and Cello were premiered at Hampton University in 2015.

         Retired from Newport News Public Schools in 1998, Jeraldine taught string classes and directed orchestra music for 34 years in the public schools of Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia. She also taught (two or less years, sometimes concurrently, sometimes via substitute teaching and private lessons), general music, band, and chorus.

 She is a member of the National Association of Composers USA, Society of Composers International, and plays 1st violin with the York River Symphony Orchestra. 

       Jeraldine is a widow of  the renowned cellist, Dr. James P. Herbison Music Faculty Professor at Hampton University and  cellist with the Virginia Symphony who often premiered her cello works.





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