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MUSIC MAKES ME! 


Beverly Smith Herrington has experienced a successful and varied musical career.  In the beginning there was ....

  • Piano

    • Beverly began private piano lessons with an incredible teacher, Mrs. Frank Miller of Jacksonville, Florida at the age of 6.  At the age of 8 she played for Junior Church at Swain Memorial Methodist Church, and played Chopinís Minute Waltz in a minute flat in the 4th grade at the age of 9!  At the age of 11, Mrs. Miller recommended that Beverly study with a retired concert pianist, and she began her studies with him playing some of the Sonatas of Beethoven.  However, those lessons were concluded within 2 months when the family was moved to Albany, Georgia.  A comparable teacher was not found, and a delighted Beverly was allowed to quit her lessons ... she had always much preferred the outdoors to the indoor confines of piano practice.

    • A couple of people were instrumental in Beverly continuing her music, for she had vowed she would never again touch the piano!  Her mother, Morrisette (Morry) Morton Smith, enticed her to keep playing with a promise she would buy 2 pieces of sheet music (50 cents per piece at the time!) for every piece Beverly purchased.  Classical music was put on the back burner for a while and Beverly developed a love of playing the pops!  Also Lois Ford, Church Hostess at Albany Methodist Church heard her play and suggested she learn one hymn a day.  Beverly developed a love of playing hymns.  This kept her playing ... constantly! 

  • Accompanist

    • Beverly possessed a natural talent for accompanying and was selected as accompanist for both the Albany Junior and High School Glee Clubs.  She was also in demand at her church to play for adult and youth soloists.

  • Director

    • As a Junior in high school, Beverly formed The Troubadours, a mixed ensemble.  This popular group had a full schedule of performing engagements in area churches, service clubs and local shows.  In addition, the ensemble earned top honors at the annual State Music Festival.  

  •   Vocalist

    • Beverly sang her first solo at an evening service of Albany First Methodist on a dare from her close friend, Mary Dale Vansant. Shortly thereafter another friend, Jo Wright, who worked as an intern at the local TV station, called and asked her to sing on the local, "At Home with the Hulicks".  Having dreamed of a career as a song stylist, the answer was, "Yes", and she chose an old favorite, "You'll Never Know" and a favorite of the day, Nat King Cole's, "Answer Me, O My Love".  She called her neighbor Ray Ragsdale to accompany her.  On the way to the TV station, she stopped at Ray's home to rehearse.  Ray was 2 years younger and a very talented musician/composer.  From the success of this initial performance, Beverly often performed on local TV, for various service clubs, dances and for the servicemen at Turner Air Force Base and other functions.  Since then, she has performed for many programs and church services, but she did not make a career out of singing; however, her accompanist went on to be the ever popular, ever successful Ray (Ragsdale) Stevens!

  • Organist

    • Beverly took about 6 organ lessons from John Paul Jones in Albany, Georgia at the Conservatory of Music the summer she was 16.  She was asked to play the tiny Hammond (one octave pedaled) organ at Avalon Methodist Church.   Good experience ... no pay!  She was yet to become a real organist!!!  Her development as an organist came from observing Frances Keefer Atkinson, organist at Park Hill United Methodist Church in Denver, Colorado (see "A Tribute" in the Pipe Organ section), listening intently to recordings of E. Power Biggs, and from the encouragement of Mel Graner, Director of Music at St. Paul's Methodist Church.

  • Actress

    • Beverly performed the role of Guenevere in the production of CAMELOT at the Springer Opera House (State Theatre of Georgia) in Columbus, Georgia. The production was directed by well-known director, Byron Grant, now Chair of Musical Theatre at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.

  • In the ensuing years, Beverly has ...

    • served as Director of Music and Organist in various Methodist churches in Colorado and Georgia;

    • worked with adults, youth and children; 

    • been extremely fortunate to be connected with churches that housed very fine pipe organs;

    • given instruction in voice, piano and organ; 

    • presented organ and piano concerts with talented sister, Tina Smith Cowan (now deceased) and additionally with Sherri Barrett;

    • presented themed vocal musical programs; and

    • sung with the Atlanta Symphony Chorus under the direction of the late Robert Shaw.

For more information please email me at:

BMABZ@aol.com

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