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Headshot photo of Valerie (Kehembe) Eichelberger

Valerie (Kehembe) Eichelberger

Associate Professor – Classical and Jazz Voice, Coordinator of Music with Elective Studies in Business

  • Department of Music
  • College of Fine Arts


Classical and Jazz Voice, Seminar of Music Business, Voice for Instrumentalists, Internship, (Grad) Pedagogy of Improvisation; Coordinator of Music with Elective Studies in Business

Childers Hall, Room 3024
(202) 806-7095


Kehembe V. Eichelberger, Mezzo Soprano – Native of Chicago, Illinois, completed Bachelor and Master of Music at Howard University. Vocal studies with LeRoy Dorsey, Frederick Wilkerson, McLean Bosfield, Hilda Harris, Grady Tate, and coached with Sylvia Olden Lee; performs as soloist, ensemble, studio vocalist on all Kennedy Center stages, Wolf Trap Farm Park;  opera companies include Washington Opera, Metropolitan Opera, and Victoria Opera - Australia; appeared on radio, television, recordings, European Classical, Jazz, Spirituals, including Folkways “Wade in the Water” series, NATION:  Afrikan Liberation Art Ensembles’ “Rise Vision Comin,” Medase” and “Hold On” recorded by the group PAUL.  Roles in opera, oratorio, or musicals include Carmen, Carmen Jones, Harlem Nocturne, Jelly’s Last Jam, Verdi’s Requiem Mass, Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and B Minor Mass.  Other performances where she is a featured soloist include the United States Supreme Court before the Justices,  a concert marking the works of artist/composer Shelton Becton, a Choral Arts Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall, “A Storied Trilogy” at the Rachel Schlesinger Concert Hall, The Hines-Lee Opera Ensemble Gala and is a member of performing group “Tre Mezzi.”  Ms.Eichelberger was seen on the PBS show “History Detectives” , depicting an example of slave songs.  Additional performances include “The Ellington Sacred Works” at Strathmore Hall and performances in Russia, China and Jamaica.  Kehembe provided vocal tributes to “Madiba” Nelson Mandela singing “I Don’ Done” and in celebration of the Hundredth Anniversary of Howard University's Department of Music, performing the Brahms “Zwei Gesange.”   Recent performances include Poulencs “Dialouges of the Carmelites,” the critical work by Phillp Glass “Appomattox,” Verdi’s “Aida,” Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking,” and Gounod’s “Faust,” and a new work, "Written In Stone" with Washington National Opera.  A highlight was performing in several concerts dedicated to the opening of the new National Museum of African American History & Culture.  As faculty, she is coordinator of the Music with Electives in Business area, teaches Voice for Musical Theatre, Jazz Studies, and European Western Classical Voice.  A focus in her work is the “Interpretation of the Spiritual.”  Kehembe is a founder of NationHouse Positive Center:  Watoto School.

Education & Expertise


Voice (Classical/Jazz)

B.Mus, M.M.
Howard University



Voice Major/Minor; Voice for Instrumental and Music Therapy Majors; Music Business Seminar