SCVA Newsletter (on-line version) - June 2001

President's Message - Kenneth Tuttle
June is busting out all over, and I, for one, am glad! I always enjoy the end of the year activities that are a part of our teaching cycle. The spring concerts, awards evenings, auditions for next year, baccalaureates and graduations, and those final days with those kids (mostly seniors) who will soon pass out of your life and move on to begin creating their own lives and futures. It's a time to assess the year just concluding, with the completed projects and successes, as well as those things we just didn't quite get done. And I hope you can all come to the same conclusions I have come to: while not completely satisfied with everything, I am overall pleased and content with what accomplishments I have been able to achieve. I thank those who made it possible for me to achieve what I was able: great students I've worked with, wonderful parents who've lent a helping hand, and colleagues I admire and respect who include me in this great community of choral directors which we are all a part of here in Southern California.

I thank my colleagues on the SCVA Executive Board for their efforts in making SCVA and its activities successful this year. From a great Fall In-Service, to wonderful Honor Choirs, to a successful Men's Choral Clinic, to a rewarding Solo Vocal Festival, to a eclectic slate of choral festivals and show choir competition, my cohorts-in-crime have worked tirelessly to organize and provide opportunities for all our students. While at times these events may have had some difficulties in execution, all were done with sincere efforts for us and our kids to have quality musical experiences. And you know what - I think they all succeeded magnificently!! Thank you to these volunteers extraordinaire!!!

Desiree LaVertu is leaving our board this year. Thank you for your quality work as Solo Vocal Vice-President. Mr. Energy and Enthusiasm, Ron Soderwall, also leaves the board this spring. Our Show-Choir Competition has never been more successful. Linda Blackwell has resigned as our treasurer. Thanks to Sheri Nelson for taking over this critical office. I hope some of you will consider volunteering for the openings on the board. We need spirited, motivated people like you to carry on the mission of SCVA.

Next year promises to be an exciting year for SCVA and your involvement in our activities. Our newsletter will begin e-mail service to those who request it. The Honor Choirs look to be awesome. Another great Fall In-Service is in the works. With YOUR help, we will again offer a full slate of choral festivals and clinics. Remember, our organization is as strong as those who volunteer and participate. Thank you for your support!


Executive Vice President's Message - Brenda Mohr
As this article goes to press, we are in the heart of our busy spring festival season. I want to thank several groups of people who have helped make this year's SCVA festival season a success. First off, I thank all the directors who graciously consented to host festivals. I know the effort and time in organizing and producing a festival, with facilities and correspondence, and I want you to know how much all of us appreciate your willingness to do this so our kids can have a positive festival experience. Secondly, I thank all the clinicians and adjudicators who have shared their expertise, time, and talents in providing a positive experience with the choirs and directors they have adjudicated. You have helped all of us learn and grow this year. Next, I thank two important people whose time and dedication made this festival season possible - Hilary Nordal and John Byun. Thank you for the hours on the phone you spent arranging festival locations, and the work involved in assigning the choirs to each site, and the paperwork and plaques involved for each site. So many details and so little time...

I am interested in receiving feedback on this year's season. How was the festival you attended? On time, organized, friendly? How were the judges? Positive, helpful, insightful? Do you have any suggestions for next year? Please let me (or John or Hilary) know how we can improve our system of festivals. We want to continue to evolve so our students have great festival experiences!

It's been my pleasure to serve out this year as executive vice-president of SCVA. Thank you to all who have helped me with advice and support! I look forward to continuing to work for SCVA and choral music!


Past President's Message - Mary Purdy
Ah, June! It's finally here! I don't know about you, but I am ready to have some time to myself. I'm ready to sleep in and relax. I'm ready to be revitalized. I'm ready to have no responsibilities, except to prepare for next year. I'm ready to see no one, but friends and family. I'm ready to have a break from music.

Does that sound like heresy? I'll bet, in your heart of hearts, you feel exactly the same way. My energy is zapped! I have no great ideas left for this year! It's been a fabulous year and I've enjoyed almost every minute of it, but I'm exhausted. I'm looking forward to my vacation!

Now, doesn't that sound uplifting, like every good newsletter article should?

However, it really is uplifting. Isn't it the best to feel tired after you've worked hard? Don't we all feel this way? That doesn't mean that we've reached burn-out or that we hate our job. In fact, I still love what I do and can hardly wail to start over…… after I've had some time off! I hope you all have a good summer. If you are teaching year-round, you have my condolences - unless you are happy with this situation!!

As you begin preparing for next year, I wanted to remind you to mark October 26th as a special day. It is the annual Fall In-Service. This year we are going back to Pasadena City College, because Dr. Donald Brinegar will be one of our presenters. Among other sessions, Karen Garrett is coming back for an additional sight-reading session. I think it is going to be a great day! I hope many of you can come and be involved in this great SCVA activity!

Speaking of being involved in SCVA….. there are a couple of openings on the SCVA Board. We are in need of some eager and hard-working volunteers! DID I SAY VOLUNTEERS??? I know. After starting this article with my desire for vacation, I am now asking someone to step forward and take on something additional. It's really a great thing to do. You would enjoy the people on the board and those you meet, because of your position. We need a new Junior High/Middle School Honor Choir representative, because Mark Henson is taking over Ron Soderwall's Show Choir position. Ron has done a fabulous job sa Show Choir Vice President. However, he has served his two-year term. Mark has stepped in to fill the junior high position because the position was open, so Mark helped us out for this year. Mark is awesome, but he can't do both positions. Added to the Junior High/Middle School Honor Choir position, we need someone to fill the Vocal Solo Festival Vice Presidency. Desiree LaVertu needs to step down, because she has a small child who needs his mommy! She did a great job this year, and we really appreciate all her hard work!! If you are willing to fill either of these positions or would like more information about either position, please call or e-mail me (I'll be home most of the summer!). My phone number and e-mail address are found on the back of this newsletter. Please let me know by the end of June.

I hope you have a great time of rest and/or revitalization. Have a great summer. I look forward to seeing you at the Fall In-Service.


Solo Vocal Festival 2001
Desiree La Vertu, Solo Vocal Festival Vice-President
The semi-final round of the Solo Vocal Festival was held at CSU Northridge on Saturday, February 17th. Seven high school finalists (one position was a tie!) and one junior high finalist were selected:

Andrea Dodson
Katie Feld
Jennifer Lehmer (junior high)
Eric Rowland
Jeffrey Sheets
Kenny Stavert
Elisa Singer
Tawny Triska

Honorable mentions were given to:

Jonathan Lee
Lindsey Scott

The finalists then performed at the SCVA Junior High/Middle School Honor Choir Concert on May 6th at the Brea-Olinda High School Performing Arts Theater. The final ranking placements and awards given were:

Elisa Singer 1st Place $400 Fullerton Union HS
Andrea Dodson 2nd Place $300 Fullerton Union HS
Katie Feld 3rd Place $200 OCHS Arts
Eric Rowland 4th Place $100 Valencia HS
Tawny Triska 5th Place $75 Capistrano Valley HS
Jeffrey Sheets/ 6th Place $50 La Canada HS
Kenny Stavert 6th Place $50 Fullerton Union HS


I would like to thank Kelley Bell, Jayne Campbell, Scott Hedgecock, Colleen Kennedy, Stan Nickel, and Lori Marie Rios for being site hosts for this year's competitions. Thank you to Al Brightbill, Don Brinegar, Lynn Cole-Adcock, Rhonda Dillon, Mark Goodrich, Suzanne Harmon, Mary Beth Ludden, David Sannerud, and Francis Young for being outstanding adjudicators for this year's festival!

Again, Congratulations to all the students who participated in this year's festival competition. Everyone present at the various locations of the preliminary round as well as at the semi-final round commented on the extremely high level of skill and musicality displayed by the students! Also, congratulations to all of the choral and voice teachers who helped prepare these talented singers!

Encourage your students to participate in this event next year; SCVA sponsors this event to encourage our choral singers to explore solo repertoire and individual development of the voice. We are first and foremost committed to the art of choral singing as a team effort, but we acknowledge that the benefits of both ensemble and solo singing are mutually beneficial to the development of young voices.


Senior High Honor Choir - Grace Sheldon-Williams, Vice-President
Greetings! I look forward to serving you as next year's Mixed Honor Choir Chairperson. I also look forward to working with Randi Carp, who has rejoined the SCVA Board as the Women's Honor Choir Chairperson. Welcome back, Randi!

It's not too early to begin preparing your students for next fall's High School Honor Choir auditions. Why not teach them one of the 24 Italian Art Songs and Arias as an end-of-the-year activity? The application postmark deadline will be September 14th, and the auditions will be held in various Southern California locations on September 29th and October 6th. Honor Choir Weekend will be November 16th-17th. This year the Mixed Honor Choir will be conducted by Dr. Ron Kean, and the Women's Honor Choir will be conducted by Dr. Hanan Yaqub. What a wonderful opportunity for our students to experience great music making and literature with two outstanding leaders in the field of choral music! Plan now to participate as an audition site host, or audition judge, or helper at the rehearsals and concert!


Barbershop News - Mark Freedkin, SPEBSQSA Representative
The Young Men's Harmony Festival was held at Valley High School in Santa Ana on Saturday, March 3rd. The event was jointly sponsored by SPEBSQSA and SCVA, and over 185 young men from high schools and middle schools from San Diego to Lancaster participated. About 15 choral directors accompanied their singers to the event and stayed for the entire day. Another 10 directors joined us for the public performance in the evening, along with almost 400 parents, family members, and friends.

The day started at 10:00am with vocal and mental warm-ups, handled by a team of experienced Barbershop chorus directors, including Nick Papageorge (choral director at Sonora HS in La Habra). The morning session was devoted to running through the five songs to identify the rough spots. After lunch, we broke into sectional rehearsals, and then reconvened on stage for final polishing in the late afternoon. In the meantime, Nick took eight adult male choral directors to one of the practice rooms and turned them into a double barbershop quartet, by teaching them "My Gal Sal" and "Sweet Rosie O'Grady", which they then sang for the young men. We were also treated to several songs from two high school quartets, including "Sings With The Fishes" (from Canyon HS and Valencia HS), and "Papa's Boyz" (from Sonora HS - two of them being Nick's sons!). Throughout the entire day, the young singers worked hard and remained completely focused on the music. They also exhibited remarkably good behavior!

After dinner, the young men dressed for the performance, and we provided red and blue bow ties and cummerbunds. They then took the stage and the most glorious four-part harmony came out of them - they were even surprised at how good they sounded! After their set, the young men took seats in the auditorium to watch the rest of the show, consisting of performances by "L.A. Sound" (an excellent adult quartet) and "Papa's Boyz". After a brief intermission, the four-time International Chorus Champions "Masters of Harmony" performed. For the finale, the young men joined the Masters of Harmony on stage and sang a combined number. Have you ever tried to fit nearly 300 men on 11 sets of 4-step risers?

The young men who participated in this event had a peak musical experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives. They also discovered that there are lots of other young men who enjoy singing, and they learned that singing can be a life-long recreational activity.

Plans are now underway to repeat this event next year at the end of February or the beginning of March. More information will be forthcoming in this newsletter, and on our web site, so keep watching!

Finally, for those of you wishing to learn more about the Barbershop style, we will be presenting a workshop at the ACDA summer workshop at ECCO on Monday, August 6th. If you are a member of ACDA, please plan to join us for that workshop.

For more information, please contact:
Mark Freedkin
Home: (949) 559-9621
Work: (949) 856-7794