Originally from Moncks Corner, South Carolina, Dallas J. Herndon (b. 1994) completed his undergraduate studies (summa cum laude) at Newberry College (Newberry, SC), majoring in Music Performance (clarinet) and Music Theory, with a minor in Jazz Studies. He completed his graduate studies (M.M.) in composition and music theory at East Carolina University, where he served as a music theory instructor, audio recording assistant, and as the graduate supervisor for the theory tutoring program. He previously worked as an Adjunct Instructor of Music at Pitt Community College (Winterville, NC), where he taught and assisted with courses in music theory, aural skills, music appreciation, and American Music. Dallas is currently pursuing his doctoral studies (PhD) in music composition at the University of Utah, where he teaches and assists with undergraduate courses in music theory, musicianship, and music technology. He has studied composition with Edward Jacobs, Travis Alford, Steve Roens, Elisabet Curbelo, Manuela Meier, and Miguel Chuaqui.
An advocate for new music, Dallas composed for and collaborated with many renowned guest artists as a part of the North Carolina New Music Initiative. His music has been played by Julia Den Boer, Sharon Harms & Steven Beck, the Meridian Arts Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente, Ben Melsky, Transient Canvas, the Red Clay Saxophone Quartet, as well as internationally renowned marimbist Ayano Kataoka. While at ECU, he was largely involved with UnCaged (an ECU new music ensemble focused on free improvisation) and the ECU Frequencies, a concert series devoted to promoting and performing modern music of the 20th and 21st centuries. He previously served as the Vice President of the University Composers Collective at the University of Utah, a student-led organization that engages students from a variety of backgrounds in creating yearly funded compositional events and opportunities, and as the administrative director of the University of Utah’s New Music Ensemble, which provides an engaging opportunity for music students to experience and participate in showcasing music of the modern era.
As a music theorist, Dallas’s research focuses on slavic and soviet composers of the twentieth century. He has written and presented several papers on the music on Dmitri Shostakovich, Alfred Schnittke, and Sofia Gubaidulina, and the rich, dark harmonic textures of these composers are often at the forefront of his compositional style. His master’s thesis An Analysis of Alfred Schnittke’s Polystylism in his Third String Quartet (1983) was published by East Carolina University in July, 2018, and it encapsulates Schnittke’s use of motivic gestures and music monograms as a catalyst for organic and structural unity throughout the work.
As a composer, Dallas seeks to create works that bridge the gap between the old and the new, often drawing upon a wide variety of musical influences within a single work. His creative interests explore concepts of relativism, perspectivism, and environmentalism in music, and experiment with how changes in our perceptive experience might affect our understanding of musical meaning and identity. Climate change remains at the heart of his recent work. His article on the dangers of noise pollution was published in the Fall 2021 edition of the Wasatch Magazine, and his work Asphyxiated By An Echo (2021) was written in collaboration with visual artist Reilly Jensen and poet Matty Lane Glasgow for the University of Utah’s Artivism4Earth event on Earth Day, 2021. He is presently working on his dissertation composition, entitled Valley: Three Corners of Our Room. An interdisciplinary collaboration with poets, videographers, and scientists, this multimedia work for chamber choir, solo instruments, and electronics seeks to tell a climate change story of three major environmental concerns native to the greater Salt Lake Valley area.
Dallas is affiliated with Society of Composers, Inc, ASCAP, and the College Music Society. He is also a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Ecoartspace.
Outside of music, he is an avid hiker, drone flyer, and enjoys studying philosophy, environmental issues, and foreign languages/cultures.