Julie Herndon SFCM TAC


  • Production Techniques with Logic Pro X, TAC 120


  • Herndon/Ivers duo
  • fff
  • Dirt and Copper

What is your hometown?

Sunderland, Maryland

What is your favorite recording?

Ooh, that's a hard question. I might have to say Dark Bird is Home by Tallest Man on Earth just because somehow you can read into it whatever you're feeling at the moment.

What are you passionate about outside of music?

Hiking, camping, animal welfare, gardening, jogging, and unhurried bike rides.

Who were your major teachers?

Brian Ganz (piano), Mark Applebaum & Patricia Alessandrini (composition)

What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?

There's no such thing as a dumb question—ask them all!

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

Deciding to be a musician has been more of an incremental decision for me. The road has had many surprises, and being a musician has looked different at different times in my life. But over time, I realized that music is something I need to be doing to feel truly alive, and I fully committed to doing it.

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

Something between a dog walker and a therapist.

What is your daily practice routine?

I wake up and go immediately into composing. I try to start with the most difficult creative decisions of the day and give them my fresh energy. I also make sure I improvise at the keyboard everyday, even if it is for just a few minutes. It sometimes leads to material for a piece, but mostly it's a kind of meditation that clears the channel between musical intent and action.

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Bach for the chorales and counterpoint, Brahms for the harmonies and expansive hand feel, and Chopin for the melodies.

What is your unrealized project?

I'd like to write a 45+ minute piece for keyboard instruments and electronics.

What are your most important collaborations?

JACK Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, Decoder Ensemble





Julie Herndon is a composer, performer, and sound artist based in Oakland, California. Her work explores the body’s relationship to the self, to performance, and to tools like musical instruments and personal technologies. Her electroacoustic work has been described as “blended to inhabit a surprisingly expressive space” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Her work has been performed by JACK Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, Line Upon Line Percussion, Ensemble Proton Bern, TAK Ensemble, and Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. Recently, her compositions and installations have been programmed at the National Sawdust Digital Discovery Festival, MATA in New York, Artistry Space in Singapore, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca (MACO) in Mexico, Kalv Festival in Sweden, and by Forest Collective in Australia.
Julie holds a BA in Music from St. Mary's College of Maryland, an MA in Music Composition from Mills College, and is currently completing her dissertation as a Hume fellow at Stanford University. She is also the 2019 Bay Area Resident Composer through the American Composers Forum. Julie plays extended keyboard instruments and is a curator at the Center for New Music in San Francisco.

Degrees and Programs - TAC - Faculty