Meet the Professor

Luther L. Henderson, III

Luther L. Henderson, III

Luther L. Henderson, III, son of the celebrated Broadway musical arranger, orchestrator, and pianist, Luther Henderson and Tealene Henderson, was born in New York City.  After graduation from Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, he entered the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.  He earned the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees with a major in music education.  At Eastman he studied piano with Eugene List and Maria Faini.  He also studied saxophone with William Osseck and conducting with Donald Hunsberger and Jonathan Sternberg.  He completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting at The University of Texas at Austin.   His conducting teachers were A. Clyde Roller and Cornelius Eberhardt.

At the invitation of UCLA Jazz Program Director Kenny Burrell, Dr. Henderson appeared as one of the guest conductors for the UCLA Philharmonia Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble during UCLA’s Duke Ellington Centennial Celebration on April 30, 1999 at Royce Hall.  The UCLA program featured artists Herbie Hancock, Lalo Schifrin, Milt Jackson, Billy Childs, Ray Brown, and Herman Riley among others. Dr. Henderson recently appeared as the orchestra conductor on the popular Dr. Dre music video "Been There, Done That."  He conducted the Detroit Symphony Orchestra accompanying internationally renowned flutist Hubert Laws at the Hollywood Bowl. He appeared as guest conductor with THE MILWAUKEE MUSIC UNDER THE STARS ORCHESTRA.  The program included works by Ellington, Copland, Bernstein, and Rodgers and Hammerstein. He has appeared as guest conductor and pianist with the (LOS ANGELES) SOUTHEAST SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA on several occasions.  He conducted the orchestra in a "Salute to Black Composers" presenting works by Samuel Coleridge?Taylor and William Dawson with special guest artist Miss Nancy Wilson at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. During his tenure as Music Director and Conductor with the SOUTHEAST SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA he conducted the orchestra in its gala fortieth anniversary concert at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with special Sony/CBS Records recording artists Grover Washington, Jr., Hubert Laws, Kent and Marlon Jordan.  He was the orchestra conductor for the Los Angeles Production of Duke Ellington's SOPHISTICATED LADIES, starring Gregory Hines, Paula Kelly and Dee Dee Bridgewater, at The Shubert Theater.  He has also guest conducted the GRAMMY AWARDS Television Show (CBS), THE TONIGHT SHOW starring Johnny Carson (NBC), THE MERV GRIFFIN SHOW, and THE  EASTER SEAL TELETHON with Pat Boone.  He has served as a guest conductor for the DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM's performances at the London Coliseum, London Gala Orchestra, London, England; the Los Angeles Olympic Arts Festival in Pasadena, California; Brooklyn College with members of The Brooklyn (NY) Philharmonic Orchestra; and San Diego, California.  He has also worked as an orchestrator and arranger on the GRAMMY AWARDS Television Show, and the EMMY AWARDS Television Show.  Dr. Henderson was the associate conductor/director of educational activities for The Foundation for New American Music.    He implemented the STUDIO WORKSHOP INSTITUTE, which provided training and experience to qualified professional level minority musicians who were actively pursuing careers in the motion picture, television, and recording industries in Los Angeles.

He was requested to participate as a judge on a distinguished panel of entertainment professionals (judges included among others pianist George Duke, entertainer Nancy Wilson, actor Louis Gossett, Jr.) by Sony Corporation of America for its Sony Innovators Awards Program, a national competition that encourages talented African- Americans to enter their best work in the music or film/video categories.

Dr. Henderson currently holds the academic rank of Professor of Music and Humanities at Los Angeles City College and is the conductor of the LACC Orchestra.  He has served for thirteen years as the elected Treasurer of the Los Angeles Community College District Academic Senate which represents over 3,200 faculty members.  Dr. Henderson has taught at Pasadena City College; Los Angeles Mission College; Beverly Hills (CA) High School; and Mount Vernon Junior High School in Los Angeles.

Dr. Henderson has also been active as a free lance pianist, arranger, and conductor in the Los Angeles area.  He has performed professionally as conductor and pianist for recording artist Freda Payne.  He has also performed as music director, pianist, and arranger for the Bi-Lingual Foundation of the Arts production Wanted: Experienced Operators staged at the Los Angeles Inner-City Cultural Center. While attending The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Henderson was invited to participate as pianist in three "Monster Concerts" in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Louis Moreau Gottschalk.  These concerts were staged at New York City's Carnegie Hall; UCLA's Royce Hall, and The White House.