Alfred Hero - Music Activities

I have two major musical poles of interest: vocal performance and jazz guitar.
My vocal performance activities can be traced to 1965 when I joined the Christ Church Boy Choir in Cambridge MA as a boy soprano. After the first rehearsal I was hooked, I had discovered a way to scream and wail that was appreciated by the grownups. My activities as chorister and soloist came to an abrupt and sorry end in 1969 when the hormones of adolescence stole my soprano voice. I naturally turned to performing folk and rock music (self accompanied on guitar) where a broken voice was actually considered an asset. It wasn't until 1985 that I again became interested in vocal performance of the classical repertoire and joined the St. Andrews Church Choir, Ann Arbor MI, as a tenor. While in France in 1990-1991 I sang with the "Ensemble Vocal d'Antony" and from 1991-1996 I sang with the University of Michigan Choral Union , under director Tom Hilbesh followed by director Thomas Sheets, which performs classical reportoire (Beethoven's 9th, Mahler's 6th, Handel's Messiah, ...) with major symphony orchestras. In 1993 we recorded a commercial CD (Tchaikovsky's Snow Maiden, Chandos) with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In addition to the St Andrews Choir, I continue to sing with other Ann Arbor groups including the Boy Choir of Ann Arbor (since 1989), the Third Millenium Chorus (since 2001), the Bach Chorale (since 1999) and the Vocal Arts Ensemble (since 1995) Vocal Arts Ensemble (VAE). I credit any positive qualities of my vocal technique to my voice teachers and coaches, especially Anne-Christine Heer, Rebecca Nye and Leslie Guinn, while my vocal bad habits are entirely of my own doing.

See sound bytes to hear some .mp3 samples of VAE's 1999 spring concert.

Here I am singing the tenor Aria and Recitative movements of Bach's Cantata BWV21 with the Ann Arbor Bach Chorale and Orchestra in 1999 under George Dentel, director.

  • Aria and Recitative.mp3 .

    I started singing in Jazz combos in 2006 - en entirely different experience from my classical vocal activities. Nothing recorded yet but stay tuned for some clips.

    Here are some pictures of me singing "Tenderly" and "There will never be another you" with Pierre Duhamel's jazz combo at the ICASSP banquet in Toulouse France in May 2006.

    My guitar activities date back to 1965 when I received my first guitar from my parents (a gut-string Goya that I now use as a "travel guitar"). A couple of years later I was given a Guild 12 steel string acoustic guitar followed shortly thereafter by an acoustic 6 string Gibson. In 1974 I purchased my first electric guitar, a Gibson SG. This propelled me into my garage band period which included sporadic performances in the Boston area in the mid 1970's. My collection of guitars grew and at one time included: a Martin D-42, an Ovation electric 12 string (with active electronics!), a Fender Stratocaster, a Fender Telecaster, a Gibson Les Paul Recording (20 pound gorilla), a Gibson "The Paul", an Ibanez hollowbody jazz electric, a sunburst Gibson ES-335, a red Ibanez copy of the ES-335 (every bit as good but a warmer sound), a Fender fretless bass, and several others which I can no longer remember. Most of my current playing is on my Gibson ES-335 and my Martin D-42.

    My brother David and I with our axes (Nov. 2000):

    Here are a couple of samples of the Thanksgiving 2000 jam session with my brother David (saxophone and flute).

  • Desafinado (Jobim).mp3 .

  • Blue Bossa .mp3 .

    Below are some .mp3 samples of my guitar work.

  • Someday my Prince Will Come (Churchill).mp3 . Here recorded on solo guitar.

  • These Foolish Things (J. Strackey).mp3 . Rythm guitar (R) and (overdub) jazz lead guitar (L).

  • Tenderly (Gros).mp3 . Drum machine (R+L), Rythm guitar (R), and (overdub) jazz lead guitar (L).

  • AH Blues (A. Hero).mp3 . Drum machine (R+L), Rythm guitar (R), and (overdub) rock lead guitar (L).

  • Slow Four .mp3 . Drum machine (R+L), Rythm guitar (R), and (overdub) rock lead guitar (L)

  • Kathy (H. Silver).mp3 . Drum machine (R+L), Rythm guitar (R), and (overdub) jazz lead guitar (L).

  • Angel Eyes (Dennis).mp3 . Drum machine (R+L), Rythm guitar (R), and (overdub) jazz lead guitar (L).

  • My Funny Valentine (Rogers&Hart).mp3 . Rythm guitar (R) and (overdub) jazz lead guitar (L).

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    Contact Information:

    Prof. Alfred O. Hero III
    Systems Division
    Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
    The University of Michigan
    1301 Beal Avenue
    Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2122
    Tel. (313) 763-0564
    FAX: (313) 763-8041