We had the good fortune of connecting with Sherna Armstrong and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sherna: Vocalist, Actress, Lecturer, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Initially, I just wanted to help people through my talent by teaching them what they wanted to know about singing and making music. It was a natural progression from conducting choirs and teaching that it would organically turn into a business.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Sherna Armstrong has years of experience and has performed for everything from private parties, to weddings, to inaugural balls, to festivals. Although I was born and raised in Arkansas, I now live in Dallas, and so I represent southern soul. I am a woman from humble beginnings, yet I have headlined and shared the stage with some of the greatest artists in gospel, blues, r&b, opera; and jazz, including: Shirley Ceasar; Jr. Boy Jones; Earth, Wind, and Fire; Kathleen Battle; and Freddie Jones. It is said that “the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree,” and that’s true of me because my parents were soul-filled gospel singers, as a result, I learned, as a young girl, what gospel music is and what gospel music means. These lessons are at the core of my musical experience and my love of music. As a result, I incorporate the soulfulness I learned from singing gospel into every other genre I sing, including classical. For as long as I can remember, music was in my life and in every direction there was music. At times I sort of felt like I was music and music was me. I know music enthusiasts understand what I am saying. I am definitely a music enthusiast and have been for all of my life beginning when my siblings and I toured the mid-south with my mother’s gospel group, The Mid-South Singers; we siblings were called the Mid-South Juniors. We opened shows for the greatest gospel groups at the time. I grew up in a home of love, respect, religion and music and as a result my siblings and I all love gospel, but my brother had albums recorded by various artists and in genres other than gospel. I embraced them all, but of course he had to sneak the albums in because our mother was very religious and all music had to be what was called “church music”. He had albums by James Brown, The Platters, Diana Ross, Roberta Flack, some classical music and more. “Like so many artists, I started with gospel but it is not my foundation, my foundation is simply, music.” I have won several awards along the way and performed both nationally as well as internationally, and I am not done yet. I am currently the #1 Jazz Artist in Dallas, on ReverbNation and N1M. My extensive performance career requires that I sing opera, musical theater, gospel, R&B, blues, and jazz, and I have released some mixed-genre solo projects entitled, “My Soul Music I, II, & III”, which reflect a somewhat unique ability to perform a diverse palette of music equally well, and I feel that these projects are captivating and pure raw soul. Though the songs are not original tracks, I hope that hearing my renditions will be like the first time you have heard each and every song. I have also released an original single, “We Were Made for Each Other,” and I am looking forward to releasing a compilation of mostly original songs in an upcoming album. I am lucky to also get to do something that I have always wanted to do, teach. I have worked as a Professor of Voice, Humanities, and English, for area colleges. I hold degrees in Voice Performance and Music Education from Southern Methodist University and Humanities from University of Texas at Dallas. I am a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), and I am certified to teach K-12. Currently, I teach students one-on-one in core subjects, entrance exams, and college prep. In addition, I maintain a private voice and piano studio. Teaching means a lot to me, and surprisingly the transition to formal education in music fit like a hand in glove”, because even before the degrees I had been a choir director, music director, and private voice teacher to many aspiring students. The journey has not been easy because I have had to overcome the challenges of poverty, racism, and being a woman. I have learned along the way that while you can’t help who you were born as or the situation that you were born into, you can take steps to improve your situation as soon as you can, and make the best of who you are. One of my mentors once told me, “You are Black, smart, beautiful, and a woman…work it.” And, I do! For media inquiries and bookings, call (214) 924-1445. Like me on Facebook and Instagram at http://www.facebook.com/ShernaArmstrongBand; follow me on www.Twitter.com/shernaa; http://soundcloud.com/sherna-armstrong, and visit my website at www.ShernaArmstrong.com. For your listening enjoyment you can find my music on Amazon, iTunes, and other platforms, and you can add my music to your Spotify and Pandora playlists. You can also purchase a CD.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, I have done many things online, but I have not been to very many places in over a year. The most exciting place I have been is to my local grocery store and I am so excited when I find toilet paper and Lysol! However, I will be participating in a festival for Juneteenth, at The Warehouse in Fort Worth, TX. It will be a weekend long festival and The Sherna Armstrong Band will be performing from 6-7pm on June 19, 2021. It will be livestreamed and have limited seating at the event. Now this will be exciting and I highly recommend it!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to thank my principal teachers: Kathleen Terbeek; Kathryn Evans, UTD; Dr. Robert Xavier Rodriguez, UTD; Barbara Hill-Moore, SMU; Dr. Susan Wyatt, Brookhaven College; Martha Gerhart, SMU; Sally Ayers, Faithworld. I would also like to especially thank the following family members for providing inspiration, motivation, support, and for being my biggest fans: Christy Davis Nelson, Judith Miller Emmanuel, Venita Calloway, Versie Okafor, my sisters; Wade Tavorn, Cleophus Miller, Jr. and Carl Miller, my brothers; Michael Boykin and Kenneth Boykin, my nephews; and Tekina Woods, my niece. I would also like to thank my very first teacher, Aserlee Tavorn, my mother.