ST. PAUL, MN – American Composers Forum (ACF) announced today that Oakland-based artist Julie Herndon has been awarded the organization’s first Bay Area Composer Residency award. Herndon will receive $10,000 to organize and lead Soundvoice, a collaboration with Center for New Music and Code Tenderloin, also based in the Bay Area. During the summer of 2020, Herndon will work with the homeless community in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood to workshop and create a multi-media concert featuring the stories of the participants. ACF’s President & CEO, Vanessa Rose, shared “this project was so compelling to our panel and us because it showed thoughtful engagement of an underserved community, meaningful interactions that value their individual voices, and a celebratory event for all. We are proud to support this Bay Area-specific artistic endeavor.”

Twenty-seven applicants proposed a collaborative project in the Bay Area with local partners of their choosing. Applications were reviewed by panelists Melissa Dunphy (Philadelphia, PA), Ryan Ingebritsen (Chicago, IL), and Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate (Oklahoma City, OK). They additionally recognized the following Bay Area composers for their strong applications: Jean Fineburg (Pinole), Emma Logan (San Francisco), Lisa Mezzacappa (Berkeley), Wendy Reid (Berkeley), and Mauricio Rodriguez (Palo Alto).

About Soundvoice

Soundvoice will be a summer 2020 workshop series for members of the homeless community to tell their story in sound. Each class will feature a different guest artist presenting compositional tools that participants can use to build audio-editing abilities, develop computer skills, and facilitate self-expression. Since launching in 2017, arts workshops like Soundvoice have a history of success in building a lasting relationship between the arts community and residents. What makes Soundvoice unique in 2020 is its experience-centered curriculum, the diversity of instructor expertise, and a partnership with Code Tenderloin, a workforce development nonprofit. They will locate and reach out to the target audience for this project—empowering women in the homeless community around the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. Herndon shares, “I’m so grateful to ACF for the opportunity to grow my community with sound!” The workshops will be led by Herndon, along with John Ivers, Barbara Nerness, Matt Robidoux, and Julie Zhu: artists and composers based in Stanford, San Francisco, and the East Bay who are committed to sharing their practice in order to build community and create a shared space. Classes will take place at the Center for New Music, which is located in the heart of the Tenderloin neighborhood. The culmination of this program will be a collaborative multimedia concert, free to the public, featuring the work of the participants supported by the workshop faculty. The Code Tenderloin team says, “We are excited to have Soundvoice join the Tenderloin community in empowering women in our homeless population. We look forward to being part of the impact this program will make in our community and seeing the lives that will be touched through their programs!” Stay up to date on Soundvoice activities by visiting

About Julie Herndon

Photo by John Ivers

Julie Herndon (Oakland, CA)
Julie Herndon is an Oakland-based composer and performer working with internal/external space through improvisation, text, graphics, and electronics. Her work explores the body’s relationship to the self, to performance, and to tools like musical instruments and personal technology. Recent electroacoustic work has been described as “blended to inhabit a surprisingly expressive space” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Her compositions have been performed by ensembles including JACK Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, Ensemble Proton Bern, Line Upon Line Percussion, TAK Ensemble, Retro Disco, and Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. Performances of her work include MATA Festival and MIS-EN_PLACE Bushwick in New York, Artistry Space in Singapore, Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon, Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire, and Hot Air Festival in San Francisco.

An active educator, Herndon has led classes at Mills College and assisted courses in Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Stanford, in subjects ranging from anime to transidiomatic art-making. As a collaborator, Herndon is co-founder of hi, a duo featuring harmonium, clarinet, and electronics, and fff, an interdisciplinary artist collective. She holds a B.A. in Music from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and an M.A. in Music Composition from Mills College, and is currently a Hume Fellow pursuing a doctorate at Stanford University.

About the American Composers Forum

The American Composers Forum (ACF) enriches lives by nurturing the creative spirit of composers and communities. Through commissions, grants, mentorships, performances, publications, residencies, and hosted gatherings, we provide innovative opportunities for composers and their music to flourish, and we link communities and composers through creation, connection, and engagement. ACF facilitates an ecosystem that reflects the diversity of our world, and we partner with a variety of creative musicians and organizations to develop the next generation of new music creators, performers, and advocates. Visit for more information.

Download the press release here.