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The Harvey K. Smith Artistic Director

Phoenix Boys Choir

"As an alumnus of the choir under the direction of Mr. Stangelberger’s predecessor, Dr. Harvey K. Smith, it is an absolute honor to lead an organization that is synonymous with legacy and provides a fun and diverse music education. The Phoenix Boys Choir was an integral part of my upbringing. Beyond the introduction to the incredible choral music of the world, this uniquely male environment challenged me to be disciplined, committed, professional and a beacon of light in both words and action. These important characteristics instilled by Dr. Smith, along with Tom Jones and Georg Stangelberger, are continuously showcased in my adulthood as not only a music educator, but more importantly as a husband and father.”  

- Herbert Washington

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Herbert Washington began his tenure as the Harvey K. Smith Artistic Director of the Phoenix Boys Choir in 2019. Mr. Washington is an alumnus of the choir, with culture and roots deeply grounded in and molded by Arizona choral pedagogy. He is a frequent choral clinician, conductor, lecturer, and adjudicator for regional festivals, workshops, and conferences around the country, and is widely recognized for his dynamic teaching style and his ability to instill a love for the choral arts.

While working toward his undergraduate degree at St. Olaf College in Minesota, he was a tenor, counter-tenor, and soloist in the renowned St. Olaf Choir, conducted by Dr. Anton Armstrong, and he directed “Voices of Praise,” the St. Olaf Gospel Choir. After graduating from St. Olaf College with a dual B.A. in Music and Fine Arts, Mr. Washington continued his studies at the University of Arizona, under the mentorship of Dr. Elizabeth Schauer and Dr. Bruce Chamberlain. He founded U of A’s award-winning male ensemble Meow or Never A Cappella (formerly known as Cat Call) and graduated in 2009 with a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting.

Beyond the scope of choral music education, Mr. Washington is a champion and an advocate for diverse styles of music. He has ongoing efforts in producing, composing, and arranging radio and commercial music. Mr. Washington has collaborated with leaders in the music industry, including Grammy Award-winning Tori Kelly, Jordin Sparks, Bret Michaels, and Jason Derulo.

Mr. Washington has served as Church Music Director at Oro Valley United Church of Christ, instructed at Teleos Preparatory Academy, and directed for the Phoenix Boys Choir and the Phoenix Children’s Chorus.  He also served as the Director of Middle and High School Choral Activities at Gilbert Christian Schools. He is the current Choir Director at Christ Church Anglican in Phoenix.

Mr. Washington is a proud member of the Arizona Music Educators Association (AMEA), former ACDA Western Division board member (WDACDA), and currently serves as the Repertoire and Resource Chair for Children’s Choirs & Community Youth for the Arizona American Choral Directors Association (AzACDA). Herbert resides in Phoenix with his beloved wife, Yadira, and their sons Elian and PBC chorister Yadian.

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