Herbert Jones

Herbert JonesDr. Herbert V.R.P. Jones is one of the nation's foremost figures in choral conducting and pedagogy and an expert in the intersection between theology and musical expression. A Southern transplant to Pennsylvania, Dr. Jones has cultivated a broad-based, multifaceted career as a choral conductor, educator, operatic and oratorio bass, liturgical dancer, orator and pastor, teaching and performing across the United States and Europe.

Dr. Jones holds numerous degrees: 

  • B.S. in Music, Summa cum laude
  • M.S. in Counseling Psychology, (with DISTINCTION)
  • M.Mus., Choral Conducting/Music Education, (with HONORS)
  • M. Divinity (M.Div.), Sacred Music, Dance & Drama, and Theology (with HONORS)
  • D.M.A., (with DISTINCTION) Music, Choral Conducting, Performance Pedagogy & Choral Music Education
  • Ph.D. Studies, Ethnomusicology 

Dr. Jones has taught in the Public Schools of Mississippi (grades 6-12), the Private High School sector (The Piney Woods School, Mississippi, The Neighborhood Academy-Pittsburgh) and colleges in universities in North Dakota, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi, respectively. 

Dr. Jones is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Music Educators National Conference, Music Teachers Association of America, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Tau Beta Sigma, Madam Mary Cardwell Dawson Branch, National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. (NANM), and the National Guild of Sacred Dancers. He has published articles in the Mississippi ACDA/Mississippi Music Teachers Journal, the Academic Division of GMWA, the Milestone Christian Bookstore Newsletter, and Black Research Journal to name a few.

Dr. Jones is listed in: Who's Who Among American Teachers (dual listing); Who’s Who Global”(2014); “Distinguished Church Musicians In America, Outstanding Personalities of the America, Marquise International Who's Who, Residential Scholars, Choral Scholar, (University of Mississippi);Outstanding African-American Choral Directors in America”; “50 Men of Excellence” (2011, selected by the New Pittsburgh Courier), one of 5 men selected as “Men of Distinction”  (2013) recognized by the Rachel Randall Education Ministry of the Pentecostal Temple Church of God In Christ, Pittsburgh, PA., 2015, received the Urban Heroes Award” given by the Center For Urban Ministries & Geneva College, Pittsburgh, PA., and several others. 

Dr. Jones is considered a leading specialist on the music of Moses George Hogan. His Doctoral Dissertation, “THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN SPIRITUAL AND GOSPEL SONG: THE MUSICAL CONTRIBUTIONS OF MOSES GEORGE HOGAN, COMPOSER AND ARRANGER”, is a definitive work on the life, music, compositional style of the composer. Dr. Samuel Edwards (National Negro Spirituals Foundation) and PBS Network are currently filming, interviewing and producing a documentary on the Life of Moses George Hogan, using Dr. Jones’ dissertation as a resource for the documentary. In July 2015, Dr. Jones and the National Thurston G. Frazier Memorial Chorale performed a Tribute Concert in New Orleans, Louisiana, which was filmed by PBS and The National Negro Spirituals Foundation (Los Angeles, CA) for inclusion in the documentary.

Dr. Jones has performed in Operas, Musicals, Theater, and on the Dance stages of America and abroad. In the dance world, he has studied and performed Classical Ballet, modern dance, Liturgical (Sacred Dance) and Mime. He is a former student of the “Graham Technique” (dance technique of the Late Martha Graham), and while in high school, a member of the “Alvin Ailey Dance Theater of Harlem” Apprenticeship Program. He has choreographed for Ballet Companies and Dance Programs across the United States; the most recent being The North Dakota Ballet Company. Dr. Jones choreographed a Tribute to Alvin Ailey via the signature dance work, ‘Revelation.” He is the Founder of the PWS Dance Alloy of The Piney Woods School, Mississippi. 

Dr. Jones served as Director of Choral Activities and Coordinator of Voice at Alcorn State University and was Interim Director of the Heinz Chapel Choir while a doctoral student at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a past director of the Oxford Civic Chorus, the United Voices, and served as an assistant conductor of the Ole Miss Concert Singers and Men’s Glee. Dr. Jones continues to serve as a Mentor for Choral Music Educators and Choral Directors across the United States.

While serving as Director of the Ole Miss Gospel Choir (University of Mississippi), in 2002 the choir made great musical and historical strides. The Ole Miss Gospel Choir became the first College/University Gospel Choir in the history of the Grammy Awards to ever be nominated for a Grammy, for their fundraising CD, “Lift Him Up!”. 

An Ordained Minister of Music, Dr. Jones is Executive Assistant to the Academic Dean, Academic Division, and Coordinator of Certificate Programs of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, Inc. (GMWA). He sits on the Boards of Hymns For Him, Inc. (Chairman of the Board), (Professionals for Christ, Inc. (Birmingham, AL), RAISE Academy (Columbus, OH), The Center For Urban Biblical Ministry (CUBM) Pittsburgh, PA., and Holcolm Academy (Atlanta, GA).

Dr. Jones is Minister of Music of the Bethany Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, PA., Executive Assistant to the Dean, Academic Division, Gospel Music Workshop of America, Inc. (GMWA), Executive Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director of the Center For Urban Biblical Ministry, Geneva College (CUBM), where he is Adjunct Professor of Music, Humanities/Fine Arts Area Head, and is a Retired Adjunct Faculty of the Department of Music - Community College of Allegheny County(CCAC), Allegheny Campus, Pittsburgh, PA.  Dr. Jones continues to maintain an active schedule conducting seminars and workshops, guest conducting, and adjudicating choral festivals and competitions, regionally, nationally, and internationally.