Like many, Terry Herald remembers watching the Beatles’ famed Ed Sullivan Show performance.
Now a professor in the music, theater and dance, Herald fell in love with music after seeing that show at age 11.
“When I heard it, I thought to myself this is pretty cool and different,” Herald said. “So eventually I showed some interest in wanting to play guitar and started there.”
Music stuck, and at 16 years old, Herald built his first guitar, which became one of many. (After coming up with the idea of amplifying a classic guitar eventually turning into a long standing joint venture with Grammy award winning guitarist Earl Klugh. CLARIFY PLEASE?)
Herald majored in music theory at Wayne State, a decision he said helped him become more well rounded in the world of music.
“I wanted to expand my background in the field of music and only knowing classic guitar wasn’t going to give me the skills that I looked to obtain.” Herald said.
“I didn’t just want to know one thing,” Herald said. “There was no way I was going to be able to find a job without knowing more than just to play a instrument.”
While at Wayne State, Herald came under the guidance of Professor Al Yungton, whom he credits and labels as a mentor. After Yungton retired, he asked Herald to collaborate with him to compose music scores for theater and film.
Their first major project together was a PBS documentary special called Air Force One: The Planes and The Presidents.
Terry contributed some original themes to the project but it wasn’t until producer Elliott Sluhan decided to film a new, longer version of the documentary to include the Reagan era where Herald took the lead on a major project.
He composed 90 percent of the new material and conducted the 40-piece orchestra that recorded the new score. They laid down 43 separate pieces of music in four hours in the Duns Scotus Chapel in Southfield.
“That was a big stepping stone for because not only am I into history, but being able to create something of that magnitude with me being the head of it was a major responsibility,” Herald said.
Herald’s favorite project to date is the work he did for the film “Journey to Justice” in 2000, (which is about Nazi Germany as a Jewish refugee who fled Nazi Germany and returned as an interpreter working at the Nuremberg War Crime Trials. CLARIFY?)
“That one resonates so much because it was a real challenge for me being able to match the music with the emotions of the film which ran very deep,” Herald said. “Producers gave me free reign over what I wanted and I put everything I had behind it.”
Herald owns a publishing company called Radical Entertainment, which is one of two companies that supply music to CBS Sports and NBC Sports.
Aside from teaching at OU and heading a publishing company, Herald continues to explore his creative side as in his spare time he builds and designs microphones.
“Just like with the guitar, I wanted to make the perfect tool when it comes to music,” Herald said. “All of these ventures I consider a challenge to perfection.”