Music Director Jack Herriman received his Master of Music degree from Northwestern University where he was assistant conductor with Thor Johnson. At the same time, he assisted John Weicher and the Chicago Civic Orchestra.
His conducting studies included score reading with Julius Herford, Stanley Chapple, Richard Lert, and class study at Tanglewood with Leonard Bernstein. Other studies included private opera study with Wilem Tausky at the Royal College, London, and conducting seminar with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
In 1951, Jack had the pleasure and honor of performing with Jack Benny for Harry S. Truman. He served as assistant of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Music Director of the Kansas City Ballet, conductor of the Kansas City Youth Symphony and Topeka Symphony, conductor under Hans Schweiger, and associate and acting music director of the Kansas City Philharmonic.
Mr. Herriman has guest conducted the Seville Philharmonic, Honolulu Symphony, BBC Symphony, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Iowa State Orchestra, Viola D'Amore Society of America and the National Youth Orchestra of Germany. He has also accompanied such soloists as Eugene Fordor, Nathaniel Rosen, Alexander Schneider, Toby Saks, Vinson Cole, Susan Starr, Glen Campbell, Nobuko Imai, Al Hirt and others.
Mr. Herriman has always been interested in enlightening students in serious music and its relation to the arts. To this end he created a summer haven in Colorado for talented college and adult musicians, creating an atmosphere of musical accomplishments and relating this to the other arts. They would come as musicians, but were encouraged to relate to the other arts as well by participating in arts programs. To the credit of those involved, the camp was in operation for 17 years.
Mr. Herriman has remained involved with youth symphonies and was instrumental in coordinating the musical curriculum of the Chandler and Gilbert School Districts into the concert schedule of the San Marcos Symphony for 1997-1998. Several local schools have brought students to the concerts to gain a further understanding and appreciation of classical music and history. Several partnerships are in development to bring this expert musical instruction closer to the schools, teaching a new generation of musical performers.
Presently, in addition to being the Music Director and Conductor of the Chandler Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Herriman performs with the Chandler Symphony String Quartet and is also Music Director and Conductor of the Arizona Chamber Symphony.
Born in China, Associate Conductor Alex (Xiaozhong) Zheng received his bachelor degree in Arts from Xi’an Conservatory of Music in 1982. In 1986 he came to the United States for his graduate study. He studied cello with Taki Atsumi and conducting with Henry Charles Smith and Frank Spinosa at Arizona State University. It was at ASU that he received his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in 1988 and 1993 respectively. While at ASU, he was the assistant conductor for the ASU Chamber Orchestra for two years. He has also played with and conducted the San Marcos Symphony in the past.
After graduation he taught cello as a faculty associate at the Yavapai College in Prescott, and at ASU. As a soloist, he has performed with the Yavapai College Orchestra, the Prescott Strings, and with the Arizona Youth Symphony. He has been the featured artist in the Twilight Concerts in Prescott, and plays with numerous symphonic groups in the Phoenix area. He has been active in giving cello solo recitals in Arizona and currently teaches orchestras in the Chandler School District. He served as the cello instructor at Mesa Community College for a number of years, where he also performed with the Concert String Quartet. Dr. Zheng has been active in giving cello solo recitals in Arizona and currently teaches orchestras in the Chandler School District.
Mr. Bob Fleury, a former chairman of the music department at Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California, wrote in the Green Valley News and Sun, “A rewarding surprise came in the conducting of the Brandenburg concerto in F major by J.S. Bach conducted by assistant conductor Xiaozhong ‘Alex’ Zheng . . this man shows tremendous musical aptitude in his grasp of a work which he communicates to the orchestra. He was helpful in giving cues, set realistic tempi for the orchestra, and provided the encouraging support in passages of difficulty. This was not a perfunctory performance, but one which rose above an expected level given its difficulty. Zheng had thoroughly prepared and memorized the score bringing a mature musical leadership to the podium” (February 19, 1992)