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Silvester Carl Henderson is a nationally recognized Professor, educator, musician, artist, and conductor of the Gospel Song. Professor Henderson earned his Bachelor of Music in Music Education and his Master of Arts Degrees from San Francisco State University and taught there from 1985 to 1994 as a Professor and Lecturer of Piano and Music Theory. Presently he serves as the full-time Professor of Choral Activities and Chair of the Music Department at the Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, CA where he directs the College Chorus, Chamber Chorale, and the Gospel Choir. In addition to those responsibilities, he also teaches voice classes, music theory, class piano, musicianship and gospel piano. On top of his Los Medanos College commitments, Mr. Henderson is a Emeritus Professor/Lecturer of African American Studies and Music at the University of California, Berkeley, where he serves as the original director of the internationally acclaimed, Young Inspiration Gospel Choir from 1985 – 2005. In addition to this, Professor Henderson, travels extensively, with his professional ensemble, “SCH & Friends’, performing for various social, religious and political events.
Mr. Henderson groups has hosted and performed with celebrity gospel and jazz musicians such as Richard Smallwood, Reverend Daryl Coley, the late Walter Hawkins and the Love Center Choir, Qunicey Fielding, V. Michael McKay,Helen Stephens and the Lighthouse Singers of Marin, Micah Stampley, Jon Gibson, the artist who paired with Stevie Wonder for the remake of “Have a Talk with God, Billy Porter,Vesta, and Howard Hewett,Kenny Lattimore, Gerald Albright, and most recently LaToya London. ” Mr. Henderson is the Minister of Music at the Bay Area’s prominent Palma Ceia Baptist Church, which is a mega church located in Hayward, CA. Over the course of twenty years, Mr. Henderson has been the recipient of many prestigious educational religious and community awards. He won the National Piano Competition from the Gospel Music Workshop of America, Inc., which was founded by the late gospel legend Reverend James Cleveland. During the Fall of 2000, Professor Henderson developed a Gospel Piano Curriculum, which is the only course of its type in the United States. He was also fittingly nominated by the Bay Area’s Gospel Academy Awards as the Outstanding Pianist of the Year from 1992-1996.
Professor Henderson was named as the “Most Influential African American Educator” by the Intel Corporation and the City Flight Newsmagazine, 2001. The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. awarded him the "Outstanding Community Leader Award. Professor Henderson’s Los Medanos Gospel Choir has for the last eleven years hosted and sponsored the largest educationally sponsored multicultural music festival for Contra Costa County. This event is funded and sponsored by “Mr. Gospel Productions”, also known as “The Music Services”. Because of this, Professor Henderson was honored with two City Proclamations by the California cities of Pittsburg and Martinez. These honors were awarded for his continuing efforts in using Gospel Music as a tool for encouraging “communities to come together.” Both cities has named the first Saturday in May, as “Gospel Celebration Day”. The Office of Congressman Pete Starks has bestowed upon Professor Henderson, three “Congressional Honors” for his advances in bringing academic recognition to the gospel song as an African American Art Form. California Assembly Members Ellen Corbett , Senator Liz Figueroa and the Honorable Johan Klehs, has presented Professor Henderson with many California Legislature Resolutions and Certificates of Recognitions, for his extraordinary musical achievements as a music educator and artist. The professor was also awarded the 2004 “NAACP Educational Integrity Award”. On April 25, 2005, the University of California, at Berkeley, College of Letters and Science, presented Professor Henderson with an “Educational Commendation”, for his twenty years of highly valued service to the campus community. Registered in the “International Star Registry”, was an honor bestowed upon Professor Henderson on May 7, 2005. Additionally Professor Henderson was selected for inclusion in the eighth and ninth editions of Who's Who Among America's Teachers directory. This is the only publication dedicated exclusively to the recognition of our country's premier teachers. Professor Henderson was honored as a successful “Professional”, and included in 2006-2007 “Cambridge Who’s Who Registry” of Executive and Professionals. Professor Henderson was honored on April 29, 2006 by the 35th Academy of Gospel Music Awards” in the area of “Sacred Choral Music”. Additionally, Professor Henderson, was presented with a “Certificate of Commendation”, by Mayor Michael Sweeney and the City of Hayward, California , in recognition of his efforts to bring the African American and Hispanic communities together for a concert of “Unity”, using Gospel Music as the tool for unification. Marquis, Whos,Who honored the Professor’s contribution to education in the year, 2009. Most recently, Professor Henderson’s Biography was selected and included in the 2011 Edition of Remington’s Registry Professionals. This organization only recognizes one thousand, of the most noted “Successful Executives and Professionals”, in the United States. Published only once a decade, this publication is part of the Library of Congress, the research library for the United States Congress. On July 28, 2011, AOL’s “Patch On Line” Newspaper , featured a story that “Celebrates” his many achievements. On January 12, 2012, he was presented with the “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Community Award”, from Dow Chemical located in Pittsburg, Ca. This award was given to him because of his highly successful efforts in promoting education and diversity through the usage of Gospel Music. Additionally, Congressman John Garamendi, Senator Mark DeSaulnier and Assembly member Honorable Susan Bonilla recognized him for his exceptional service and leadership to the people of Contra Costa County. Moreover, the Professor was the winner of the “Professor of the Year” award, for the 2012-2013 academic year, sponsored by the Los Medanos College Academic Senate. Professor Henderson’s, educational objective is to ensure an academic home for African American Music. The San Francisco Chronicle honored the Professor with a featured story on August 7, 2012. Entitled, “Mr. Gospel lifted by Music, Investments”, this article was an international publication of his success and undaunting perseverance.Most recently he was selected as a "Quarterfinalist" for the Grammy Association's, Music Educator Award, 2014. He resides in Pleasanton, California with his wife Cecile and is the father of three daughters named Carlena, Celisse and Charde.