Professor Silvester Carl Henderson
Presented with the 2020 "Educational Leadership Award", from the African American Network and Development Institute, Silvester Carl Henderson is a nationally recognized professor, educator, musician, and conductor of the Gospel Song. Professor Henderson was recently re-elected to the Executive Committee for the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC). As the Emeritus Chair of the Equity Diversity & Action Committee and the Part-Time Committee, he advocates for faculty diversity, foster youth, inmate education and academic access for African American Males. Professor Henderson previously served as Academic Senate President for Los Medanos College and as President of the Faculty Senate Coordinating Council for the Contra Costa Community College District.
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 of Piano and Music Theory. Presently he serves as the full-time
Professor of Choral/Vocal Activities for the Music Department at Los Medanos College
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. Professor Henderson is an Emeritus Professor of African
American Studies and Music at the University of California, Berkeley, where he served
as the original director of the internationally acclaimed, Young Inspiration Gospel
Choir from 1985 – 2005, and is currently appointed as Professor and Lecturer of Choral/Vocal
Activities for the College of Alameda’s Department of Music.
Professor Henderson's groups and community concerts have hosted and performed with countless internationally acclaimed and celebrity gospel, classical opera, Broadway, R&B, and jazz musicians, and he serves as the Minister of Music at the Bay Area’s prominent Palma Ceia Baptist Church, in Hayward, CA. In 2019, he and the Los Medanos Gospel Choir celebrated the 25th anniversary of their annual "Gospel Celebration Concert", the largest educationally sponsored multicultural music festival in Contra Costa County.
Over the course of forty years, Professor Henderson has received recognition for achievements in music, education, and in his community:
- Winner of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, Inc.'s , National Piano Competition.
- Nominated by the Bay Area’s Gospel Academy Awards as the Outstanding Pianist of the Year from 1992-1996.
- Named as “Most Influential African American Educator” by the Intel Corporation and City Flight News magazine, 2001.
- Recipient of the 2004 NAACP Educational Integrity Award.
- Recipient of Educational Commendation from the University of California, Berkeley, for twenty years of highly valued service to the campus community, 2005.
- Honored by the 35th Academy of Gospel Music Awards in the area of Sacred Choral Music, 2006.
- Recognized by the 2006-07 Cambridge Who’s Who Registry of Executives and Professionals, and by Remington’s Registry of Professionals in 2011.
- Recipient of the “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Award” from Dow Chemical, 2012.
- Named 2012-13 Los Medanos College Academic Senate Professor of the Year.
- Quarterfinalist for the 2014 International Grammy Association's Music Educator Award.
- Awarded the 2014 “Community Service Award” from the East County Branch of the NAACP.
- Presented with the 2014 “Art Recognition Award” from the Contra Costa County Arts and Culture Commission.
- Inducted in 2017 to the Pittsburg Entertainment and Arts Hall of Fame.
- Recipient of the 2019 Albert Nelson Marquis “Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award”.
- City Proclamations by Pittsburg and Martinez naming the first Saturday in May, “Gospel Celebration Day”.
- Congressional Honors from the Offices of Emeritus Congressman Pete Starks, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, Congressman John Garamendi, and Congressman Eric Swalwell.
- Certificates of Commendation from California state, county, and city legislatures.
Professor Henderson’s ultimate educational objective is to ensure an academic home for African American Music. He resides in Pleasanton, California. He married Cecile Dupree during his early twenties and he is the father of three daughters named Carlena, Celisse, and Charde.