We are thrilled to announce that Mr. Christopher Herrera, a good friend and professional colleague of Ms. Harris, is joining our faculty next year!
Mr. Herrera earned bachelor's degrees in both English and Music from California State University and an M.M. in Vocal Performance from the University of Arizona. He is currently completing a doctoral degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Arizona.
In addition to private lessons, Mr. Herrera has taught at the Arizona Opera, Grand Canyon University, Arizona Christian University, Glendale Community College, Phoenix Community College, and Pima Community College. Overall, he brings 12 years of teaching experience to the choral performance program at our Academy.
Mr. Herrera is also an award-winning singer and featured soloist with the Phoenix Symphony, Catalina Chamber Orchestra, Phoenix Opera, and the Phoenix Chorale.
Our students prepared a few questions for Mr. Herrera:
How did you become interested in music?
In 7th grade, I was enrolled in choir against my will! I did everything to try and get out of it but was told no. Once in the class, I excelled. By the end of my second year, I was choir president, I had sung my first solo, and I had joined all of the extracurricular choirs available. My teacher
, Mrs. Anderson, was a
motivating force behind my discovery of my passion for music. She introduced me to so much wonderful repertoire by numerous composers, igniting an interest in classical music at a young age.
When did you decide to become a teacher and why?
In 2003, I was granted a graduate teaching assistantship by the University of Arizona which involved working in several first-grade classrooms. Along with a female singer and pianist, we taught children their reading and writing curriculum standards through music. I fell in love with teaching immediately! This led to an opportunity teach a group voice class at a local community college. I remember being extremely nervous and not too sure I would be good at teaching students older than seven, but it turned out to be an amazing experience and solidified my path as a music educator.
How do you best connect with students?
I have always been told I’m an excellent listener. As a former student, I remember how important it was for me that my thoughts and ideas were heard and considered. As an educator, I want my students to be the best critical thinkers and problem solvers they can be. It’s my job to provide them with an environment in which they feel free to speak their minds and create without judgment. A good sense of humor goes a long way, too!
What interests do you have that might support a club?
I’m an avid dog lover, rescue dogs in particular. I have two rescue pups at home—Dash & Simba. I would love to see a club which involves donating their time to a local no-kill animal shelter. Musically, I love holiday music! It would be great to form a wassailing group that goes out into the local neighborhoods in December and spreads holiday cheer through song!
Welcome to North Phoenix Prep, Mr. Herrera!