Dr. Herbert V.R.P. Jones


  • Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Mississippi

Dr. Herbert V.R.P. Jones is one of the nation's foremost figures in choral conducting and pedagogy and an expert in the intersection between theology and musical expression. Dr. Jones is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, and a class of 1967 graduate of Brinkley High School (now Brinkley Middle School).

Dr. Jones is the founder and director of The Heritage Gospel Chorale of Pittsburgh, a multi-ethnic and multi-generational ensemble that specializes in the performance of African-American sacred music. A Southern transplant to Pennsylvania, Dr. Jones has cultivated a broad-based, multifaceted career as a choral conductor, educator, operatic and oratorio bass, liturgical dancer, orator, and pastor, teaching and performing across the United States and Europe.

Dr. Jones is considered a leading authority on the music of Moses George Hogan. His doctoral dissertation, “The African-American Spiritual and Gospel Song: The Musical Contributions of Moses George Hogan, Composer and Arranger”, is the only definitive work on the life, music, and compositional style of Moses Hogan.

Dr. Jones has performed in operas, musicals, theater, and on the dance stages of America and abroad. In the dance world, he has studied and performed classical ballet, modern dance, liturgical (sacred dance), and mime. He is a former student of the Graham Technique, a dance technique of the Late Martha Graham. While in high school, Dr. Jones was a member of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater of Harlem Apprenticeship Program. He has choreographed for ballet companies and dance programs across the United States, the most recent being The North Dakota Ballet Company. Dr. Jones choreographed a tribute to Alvin Ailey via the signature dance work called “revelation.” He is also the founder of the PWS Dance Alloy of The Piney Woods School in Mississippi.

Continuing, Dr. Jones has taught at The Piney Woods School in Mississippi, The Neighborhood Academy in Pittsburgh, in grades 6-12 in Mississippi’s public schools, and colleges/universities in North Dakota, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi.

Dr. Jones holds numerous degrees:

  • S.in music
  • S.in counseling psychology
  • Mus., choral conducting/music education
  • Divinity(M.Div.), sacred music, dance, and drama
  • M.A., music, choral conducting, performance pedagogy and choral music education
  • D.Studies, Ethnomusicology

An ordained minister of music, Dr. Jones is executive assistant to the academic dean in the Academic Division of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, Inc. (GMWA) and is a board member of the Afro-American Music Institute (AAMI), Professionals for Christ, Inc., the Pentecostal Temple Development Corporation, and RAISE Academy.

Dr. Jones is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Music Educators National Conference, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Tau Beta Sigma, and the National Guild of Sacred Dancers. He has published articles in the Mississippi ACDA/Mississippi Music Teachers Journal, the Academic Division of GMWA, the Milestone Christian Bookstore Newsletter, and the Black Research Journal, to name a few.

Currently, Dr. Jones serves as the minister of music at Bethany Baptist Church of Pittsburgh, the assistant pastor of worship and music arts for Ebenezer Baptist Church of Pittsburgh, and interim assistant executive director for the Center for Urban Biblical Ministry at Geneva College in Beaver Fall, PA. He continues to maintain an active schedule conducting seminars and workshops, guest conducting, and adjudicating choral festivals and competitions.