Mephiboset (Mephi) Herrera, a singer and conductor, was born in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico, one of five children of Celerino and Hebet Herrera. He started piano lessons as a child and then continued his music study as a singer in the choir and a male quartet while a student at Linda Vista Academy (now University) in Chiapas.
After his graduation in 1984, he enrolled at the University of Montemorelos as an accounting student. His professional path took a different turn, however, when he joined the school choir and a select choir, the Coro de Camara. Mephi loved this music involvement and wondered how his fellow singers could sightread so easily. Upon inquiring, he discovered that their secret was the music classes they were taking.
This knowledge sparked in him a real desire to study music. To the disappointment of his family and friends, although he already had a technical degree in Accounting, Mephi decided to pursue music studies instead. When he graduated from UM with a B.Mus.Ed. with a voice major in 1990, he received the presidential medal as a member of Los Mejores Estudiantes de Mexico (The Best Students of Mexico).
In the four years following his graduation, Herrera worked in various positions: as assistant conductor for the State Choir; as a teacher of theory, counterpoint and sight-reading at the Nuevo Leon State University Music Department; and as audio assistant for Jose Antonio ‘Potro’ Farias in the Chipinque Recording Studios in Monterrey, Mexico. He also served as a volunteer music minister for the Spring Branch Spanish Church in Houston, Texas.
In 1995 Herrera began a five-year stint in Adventist Volunteer Service. For four of those years he taught music and computer classes in Palau, Micronesia, where he met and married Gladden Tumangday, a missionary medical doctor and pianist, in 1997.
He then worked for one year setting up the computer department at the Adventist International Institute for Advanced Studies (AIIAS) in the Philippines. In 1998 he created an e-groups mailing list of alumni, teachers, and friends of the music school at the University of Montemorelos known as EXAMUSM. This e-group became part of Yahoo Groups in 2001.
Herrera earned an M.Mus. in conducting at California Baptist University, where he studied under Gary Bonner. He has also had training in CISCO Computer Networks (CCNA).
His music leadership experience includes serving as minister of music in two Filipino Seventh-day Adventist churches in Glendale and Loma Linda, California, and as assistant conductor for the Riverside Lyric Opera. He has also served as a clinician/ conductor in several small projects for schools and churches. He stays current as an active member of the National Association of Church Musicians, has taken classes in worship and attended several conferences in Music and Worship at Andrews University.
Since 2007 Herrera has trained and served as a volunteer for computer graphics, audio, camera, and directing productions at Loma Linda Broadcasting Network. He aspires to be a contemporary maestro di capella for a Seventh-day Adventist church. He believes that his training and experience in audio and video recording, computer technology, MIDI applications, orchestration and arranging, and his experience as a conductor and singer will help him serve effectively in such a position.
The Herreras and their two daughters (labeled by their father as MuK, Musician’s Kids) now reside in Redlands, California.
Source: Information provided by Mephi Herrera, September 2011.