by George Hersh, OLLI member

How did you prepare for your first OLLI class?

I had a first OLLI experience as a guest, presenting on counter-tenors for Jason Serinus’s course. I liked the experience of a mature audience interested in music.

For my course this session, I planned in conjunction with the Berkeley Symphony and Cal Performances. Their schedules and availability set much of the program. Our first guest, composer John Adams, was familiar to me both through his music and his autobiography, Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life.


Tell us about your radio program, Voice Box.

Voice Box is a celebration of all aspects of vocal music. It is broadcast on KALW, 91.7 FM on Friday nights from 10 to 11. Recordings of past programs are posted on my web-log, lies like truth, (

I’m working with song and singing in a non-traditional way, interviewing local artists, composers, voice therapists and coaches, crossing boundaries, exploring the full range of genres and styles. I do my own fund raising for the show, so I am free to move from one aspect of vocal music to another as opportunities present.


What is the place of dance and of vocal and instrumental performance music in your personal life?

I play the oboe in a variety of Bay Area chamber music groups and orchestras. I sing with the 32-member International Orange vocal ensemble and the a cappella vocal quintet, Full Fathom Five. And I take regular dance classes and Vinyasa yoga sessions. Music isn’t all of my life, but it contributes to almost everything I do these days.