SCVA Newsletter (on-line version) – September 2007


Message from the President – Mark Henson

Welcome to another exciting season of music-making!  Last year’s events were very successful and touched the lives of many young singers. What a wonderful opportunity we have as choral directors!  I wonder if my music directors ever imagined that the musical experiences we shared in junior high and high school would continue to be meaningful and relevant in my life so many years later?  Perhaps you will be inspiring the next Paul Salamunovich, Eric Whitacre, or Lynn Bielefelt in your choir this year.

If you are not yet a member of SCVA, this newsletter contains many of the reasons you should join us.  As you will see, we have a wonderful slate of events planned for the year.  If you are already a member, this is your chance to share our wonderful organization with your colleagues.  Invite them to join so that they and their singers can take advantage of all the choral community has to offer. 

The SCVA website is available to all.  On the site you’ll find details regarding upcoming events, registration materials, applications, contact information, etc.  Last spring’s Show Choir Spectacular was our organization’s first “paperless” event and proved to be a great success.  This year we will be processing more events through the website, so please check out this valuable resource. 

Fall In-Service and the High School Honor Choirs are just around the corner.  Details pertaining to these exciting events are inside this newsletter as well as on the website.  If you’ve not participated in the past, what have you been waiting for?  I urge you to complete a membership application today to begin or renew your membership. 

Your Executive Board is anticipating a wonderful year.  We are here to support YOU, so please let us know how we can help.  Best wishes for a wonderful year.


SCVA High School Honor Choir – Rodger Guerrero, Vice President, HS Honor Choir

Please Read Carefully…
All deadlines are firm and WILL NOT be extended and the guidelines CANNOT be altered.  Keeping strict deadlines allows your students and our staff the greatest amount of time to prepare for the Honor Choir rehearsals and performance.

Regional Honor Choir
After more than 600 students from all over Southern California audition, 260 will be selected to sing in one of three groups: Women’s, Men’s or Mixed Honor Choir.  They will receive a packet of music, meet for one rehearsal (October 27th) before the Honor Choir weekend, and then (with music memorized) come together on Friday and Saturday, November 16 & 17 for two days of intense rehearsal and a Saturday evening concert with some of the most distinguished conductors in our field. 

All-State Honor Choir
Students interested in being considered for the California All-State Honor Choir need only mark the appropriate box on their SCVA application.  There is no additional audition or fee. They may be asked at their auditions to reconfirm their interest in All-State. The All-State Honor Choir will be March 13-15 in Sacramento, CA.

Please Note:
Check your availability for all dates BEFORE auditioning.  Being accepted into a choir and then not participating will exempt your school from participation in the Honor Choirs for one year.  Please see: Honor Choir Guidelines and Policies.

All students auditioning for Regional and State Honor Choirs must be members in good standing with their school choral program and their conductors must be paid members of SCVA.  Teachers may pay their dues by contacting Sheri Nelson at

All students in Southern California should use the on-line application at the bottom of this article.  DO NOT use the ACDA application.

Regional Honor Choir Conductors
We are proud to announce this year’s conductors for the Regional Honor Choirs.  Dr. Sharon Paul, from the University of Oregon, will conduct the Mixed Choir; Shawna Cross-Stewart, from Biola University, will conduct the Women’s Choir; and John Byun, from Riverside Community College will lead the Men’s Choir.

Important Dates:
On-Line Application Registration Deadline:
            Friday, September 14, 2007
Audition Dates:
            Saturday, September 29, 2007
            Saturday, October 6, 2007
First Rehearsal:
            Saturday, October 27, 2007   9:30am – 4pm
            Valencia High School, Placentia
Honor Choir Weekend:
            Friday & Saturday, November 16 & 17
            Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica
Concert:  November 17   7:30pm
California All-State Honor Choir:
            March 13-15, 2008, Sacramento, CA

$$$     Pay with PAYPAL!!!      $$$
SCVA has been using PayPal now for the past three years to great success.  It’s the convenient way to pay audition fees, SCVA dues, Honor Choir fees, Festival fees, etc.  And coupled with the NEW ON LINE REGISTRATION, it’s even easier!  You may use any major credit card for a $1.00 processing fee.  Print out a confirmation sheet and either send it in the mail or email with your application.  REMEMBER: All monies must be paid by PayPal, a school check, a booster check or money order.  NO PERSONAL CHECKS from directors, students or parents will be accepted.

For questions about SCVA Honor Choir, to volunteer, or to act as an adjudicator, contact Rodger Guerrero at, Dr. Rich Brunner at or Tammi Alderman at

CHANGES in Audition Procedures!!
Starting this year, the scoring amounts will change: the performance will only be worth 40pts and the theory portion increased to 60pts.  In addition, the theory portion will include more emphasis on tonal memory and the chromatic scale.  For complete information, see the website.

Solo: all auditionees will prepare and sing a solo from the “Twenty-four Italian Songs and Arias” (G. Schirmer) or equivalent art song book.  The solo MUST be memorized, sung in Italian and accompanied by tape, cd or an accompanist supplied by the auditionee.  Adjudicators will be listening for tone quality, diction, pronunciation, musical sensitivity and appropriate vocal range.

Range: all auditionees will demonstrate their vocal range through a short series of warm-up exercises.

Tonal Memory: all auditionees will demonstrate tonal memory skills by singing back several 4-5 note passages played by one of the adjudicators.  You may sing back on any neutral syllable.

Scales/Triads: all auditionees will prepare and sing a major and minor triad, a major scale and a chromatic scale on any neutral syllable.

Sight-Reading: all auditionees will demonstrate rhythmic and melodic sight-reading skills by singing a single, unaccompanied melodic line on any neutral syllable.

NOTE: Students must provide their own accompanist or an accompanying CD or tape IN THE PROPER KEY!

Acceptance Notice and Fees
Those accepted for the Mixed, Men’s or Women’s Honor Choir will be notified by their directors during the week of October 8th.  A $65.00 fee will be collected at the first rehearsal on October 27th.  The fee provides for music, accompanists, directors and facilities.  ONLY PayPal verification, a school check, booster check or money order will be accepted.  NO PERSONAL CHECKS WILL BE ACCEPTED from students, parents or teachers!!

Honor Choir Guidelines and Policies
A student must be enrolled in his/her school’s choral program in order to be eligible for participation in Honor Choir.  If a student drops out of the school program, he/she will be dropped from Honor Choir as well.  No sanctions will be imposed on the school in this case.

However, when a student drops out of an SCVA Honor Choir, the student’s school may not be allowed to participate in Honor Choir the following school year.  Given our time constraints, when a student drops out of Honor Choir it is impossible for us to fill their vacancy.  Therefore, when a student drops out, another deserving student misses out on this wonderful opportunity.

Students who must, out of extreme necessity, drop out of Honor Choir after being accepted are required to provide a signed, written note from their parents and from their school choral director stating the reasons for the drop out.  The note MUST be sent immediately to the Honor Choir coordinator by mail or hand-delivered by the student, parent or director as soon as possible.

Acceptable reasons for dropping Honor Choir:
Death in the family just before the concert
Serious medical problem
Other matters of an equally serious nature

Unacceptable reasons for dropping Honor Choir:
Schedule conflicts of any kind.
Student deciding he/she would rather not participate, doesn’t like the music, or doesn’t want to work with a particular conductor.

If a student drops for any reason, a panel of members from the SCVA Board will consider the reason given and decide whether it is an unacceptable or acceptable reason.  Choral directors are responsible for remaining informed about their students’ continued participation in the Honor Choir. 

New On-Line Audition Application Process!
No More Paper Applications!  We’re streamlining and simplifying the audition application process for this year.  Mark Freedkin has prepared a simple on-line entry form on the SCVA Website that your students can use to submit their audition application electronically.  The new on-line form is now available by clicking on the link below.

Each student who wishes to audition for Honor Choir will enter all of his/her information (including name, address, phone number, voice part, age, etc.) and his/her first and second choice audition sites into the on-line form.  The student must also enter his/her director's e-mail address.  In addition, the student can indicate if their audition should be considered for the All-State Honor Choir.  After clicking on the "Submit Application" button, the student can optionally use PayPal to pay the $10.00 audition fee using any major credit card (MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express).

An automated e-mail message will be sent to the director for each student that applies.  The body of the e-mail message will include a link to a special webpage that allows the director to see a list all of his/her students who have applied, and allows a selection of "Approve" or "Reject" for each student.  The first time the director approves or rejects a student’s application for the current Honor Choir cycle, an additional form allows the director to enter his/her contact and school information.  The director’s information is then stored for each new applicant.

This new on-line audition application process is designed to reduce the amount of logistics and paperwork for you, the choral director.  You just need to have an e-mail address and a computer system with Internet access.  This new process will also eliminate a tremendous amount of paperwork and manual data entry by the Honor Choir coordinators, and improve the accuracy of our information, making the entire Honor Choir experience more positive for everyone.

On-Line Honor Choir Audition Application


CALL FOR HONOR CHOIR ADJUDICATORS! - Rodger Guerrero, VP- High School Honor Choir
Dear Colleagues: below is the list of Regional Honor Choir audition sites that I am trying to fill with Adjudicators.  I hope that you will check out the list of possibilities below and want to help out.  Please contact me at and let me know what date and location works best for you to adjudicate.  I really appreciate all you do for your kids and what you have done in the past for kids in all of Southern California.

Saturday, September 29th  9am-1pm

Saturday, October 6th  12pm-4pm

Canyon HS, Canyon Country

Cal State Fullerton, Fullerton

Irvine HS, Irvine

Rancho Cucamonga HS, Rancho Cucamonga

Mark Keppel HS, Alhambra

Crescenta Valley HS, La Crescenta

Rancho Verde HS, Moreno Valley

Oakwood School, North Hollywood

Temecula Valley HS, Temecula

Poway HS, Poway

Redlands HS, Redlands

Los Alamitos HS, Los Alamitos

Westview HS, San Diego

Nordhoff HS, Ojai


2007 Fall In-Service – Grace Sheldon-Williams, Past President

Join us for the annual SCVA Fall In-Service Workshop at Placentia Presbyterian Church on Friday, October 26, beginning at 9 a.m.  This year’s workshop will feature several valuable sessions, including another Adjudicator Certification Workshop.  The workshop will include a clinic led by an experienced adjudicator who will walk prospective adjudicators through the process before they are asked to adjudicate a choir on their own.   Once again, if you are interested in becoming an SCVA festival adjudicator, this workshop is the first step in that process.

Also, you won’t want to miss our headliner:  Dr. Joshua Haberman from San Francisco State University!  Josh is a wonderful conductor and clinician (and awesome person!) who will offer us insights into teaching choral music along with a selection of usable literature.

Other interest sessions will include:
 - Elementary Music and Materials
 - Intro to Jazz Choir
 - Reading Session of quality literature for developing choirs

You can look forward to being inspired by our outstanding clinicians.  The In-Service is also a great networking opportunity -- Invite your colleagues!!  Please use the registration form below.  We look forward to seeing you there!

On-Line Fall In-Service Application


Vocal Jazz – Jamie Shew, VP, Jazz Choir

I am thrilled to continue being the Vocal Jazz Rep for SCVA!  In case you don’t know me, I am the Director of Vocal Jazz Studies at Fullerton College and perform regularly around the greater Los Angeles area.  I have a Bachelor’s in Music Education from Washington State University and a Master’s of Music in Jazz Voice Performance from Western Michigan University.  As Vocal Jazz Rep, I look forward to meeting directors and to offer any assistance and resources, especially for those just starting their choir or wanting to start one.  I am also very excited to once again host the SCVA Fall Vocal Jazz Festival at Fullerton College.

The fall semester is a great time to share your “works in progress” with each other in a non-competitive atmosphere with professional clinicians working with your students and providing workshops on a variety of topics.  This year, the SCVA Fall Vocal Jazz Festival will be held in the Wilshire Auditorium at Fullerton College on December 1st.  This all-day event will end with a very special concert featuring Fullerton College’s premiere Vocal Jazz Ensemble, “J Train,” “VJ2”, and a variety of aspiring jazz vocalists from the Advanced Vocal Styling class.  Please put this date on your calendar!!!  The festival is open to all levels, novice through advanced.  The fee is a minimal $150 and festival participants will enjoy FREE admission to the evening concert as well as daytime improvisation and vocal styling workshops with our outstanding vocal jazz clinicians.  Online information and festival registration forms will soon be available on the SCVA website.

If you have any question regarding the festival and concert, have some parenting advise (I’m a new mom as of July 25th!), or you just want to chat, please contact Jamie at

More California 2007-2008 Vocal Jazz Festivals/Workshops to consider……….
* November 1, 2007 – Fullerton HS Vocal Jazz Festival, Fullerton, CA
* November 2-3—Cuesta College Vocal Jazz Workshop, San Luis Obispo, CA
* December 1—SVCA Vocal Jazz Festival at Fullerton College, Fullerton, CA
* January 26 – Folsom Jazz Festival, Folsom, CA
* March 7-8 – Columbia College Vocal Jazz Festival, Sonora, CA
* March 14-15 – Oceanside Jazz Festival (Mira Costa College), Oceanside, CA
* March 28—Val Verde Jazz Festival at Rancho Verde H.S., Riverside, CA
* April 4-5—Fullerton College Jazz Festival, Fullerton, CA

(Sorry for my shameless plug!!!  We are continuing the College/University component to the festival this year.  This is a great opportunity for your students to hear a variety of colleges and universities and possibly visit with the directors!)

Don’t forget about the CMEA/IAJE All-State Jazz Honor Choir Auditions – log onto and click on honor groups.  Deadline is October 31, 2007!!!!!!

Vocal Jazz Festival Application


Hosting a Festival is a Great Experience
Jennifer Stanley, VP of High School Festivals
Maria Fritts, VP of Junior High/Middle School Festivals

Hosting a festival is so easy, I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner!
            Joel Whisler, El Monte HS Choral Director

It is never too early to start planning for festival season!  We have been working to make the festival process easier for everyone, especially festival hosts.  Whether you are the director of an elementary, middle school or high school choir, there are many reasons to consider hosting a festival:
  - The registration form is easy.
  - You get free festival registration for one of your choirs at each festival you host.
  - You don’t have to get a bus to go to festival.
  - You provide schools in your area a quality performance opportunity.
  - You and your students get to see other choirs and hear quality literature.
  - Your students have the comfort and familiarity of performing in their regular auditorium (home court advantage!).
  - Students enjoy the responsibility of assisting in the running of the festival.
  - You get excellent networking opportunities with other directors in the festival, and with the adjudicators.

SCVA will provide for each festival host
  - A list of participating choirs with contact information for each director
  - Plaques delivered to your school for each participating ensemble
  - Certified adjudicators scheduled for each festival by SCVA

A regular festival has eight participating choirs and two adjudicators. One adjudicator tapes his/her comments, and the other writes comments on the score sheet.  Both adjudicators’ scores are averaged to determine the rating (if desired by each director).  If you would like to host a clinic festival, please indicate that on your form; a clinic festival has a maximum of six participating choirs and one adjudicator.  After each choir performs, the adjudicator works with the ensemble onstage.  SCVA may convert a regular festival to a clinic festival if there is low enrollment.

If you are interested in hosting an ELEMENTARY FESTIVAL, or if you have questions about elementary festivals, please email Jennifer Stanley!

On-Line Festival Host Application (under construction)


Vocal Solo Competition – Colleen Kennedy, VP - Vocal Solo Competition

As some of you already know, I have resumed my post as VP for the vocal solo competition. A major change that I am initiating is to secure sites for the preliminary round ahead of time and list them on the application, similar to the honor choir auditions. I think that knowing the preliminary round sites in advance will go a long way towards encouraging our students to participate.

So far, we have confirmed the following sites for the preliminary rounds:
  -  Crescenta Valley High School, La Crescenta
  -  Fullerton Union High School, Fullerton (closed)
  -  Harvard-Westlake School, North Hollywood (closed)

We may also have additional sites in Alhambra, North Hollywood and Santa Ana. We could still use more sites so that we can make this valuable opportunity available to as many students as possible. All you need is a room with decent acoustics, a tuned piano, and seating for maybe 40 - 50 people. The average choir room is just fine. It doesn’t require much time on your part, outside of competition day. Everything you need will be sent to you in a packet. If I remember correctly (it’s been a couple of years), the only prep work is filling in the names of singers on their certificates. On competition day, you simply collect the paperwork in a postage-paid envelope and drop it in the nearest mailbox. It really is that easy. This is a perfect entry-level event for anyone who is interested in becoming more involved in SCVA.

If you are able to provide a site for the preliminary round, please contact me as soon as possible at or (310) 721-5884 (email is preferable).

Also, we have confirmed Dr. Mark Goodrich from Cal State Los Angeles as one of our adjudicators for the semi-final round. Thank you, Dr. Goodrich!

Dates to remember:
  -  Saturday, December 8, 2007: Application postmark deadline
  -  Saturday, January 12, 2008: Preliminary round
  -  Saturday, March 8, 2008: Semi-final round
  -  Sunday, May 4, 2008: Final performances at the Jr. High/Middle School Honor Choir concert

This year, I am working diligently to make this a worthwhile event that you won’t want your students to miss. More information will be available in the October newsletter and online at (click Events). Stay tuned!


Website Update - Mark Freedkin, SCVA Webmaster

Several improvements have been made over the past few months that will help improve the accuracy and efficiency of the registration process for many SCVA activities.  Most notable among those changes are the new On-Line forms for Membership Renewals, High School Honor Choir Audition Application and Show Choir Application.  Development of additional forms is now underway for Festival Host Applications, Fall In-Service Applications and Junior High Honor Choir Audition Applications.

You can also use the PayPal interface on our website to pay for membership renewals, festival registrations and other SCVA fees using a major credit card (such as MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express) as an alternative to sending school checks, booster checks, cashier checks or money orders.  PayPal, which is owned and operated by e-Bay, is easy to use and ensures a timely and secure payment for those items.  And you don't need to have your own personal PayPal account in order to use this interface.

To use this feature, select the "e-Payments" item from the navigation menu of the SCVA website.  You will then see a list of items that you can purchase.  Fill-in the required information for the item you wish to purchase (such as "School Name" and "Choir Name"), and then click on the "Add to Cart" button for that item.  If you wish to purchase additional items in the same transaction, you can return to the e-Payments page to select those additional items and add them to your cart.  When you have made all of your selections and are ready to make your payment, you can click on the "Proceed to Checkout" button.  Then select the link next to the line that reads "Don't have a PayPal account?"  Then enter your name, email address, credit card account number and expiration date.  If you continue, your credit card will be billed and you will be returned to the SCVA website.  You will also receive a separate confirmation e-mail message, which you should print out and submit with your application for the SCVA activity.  When you receive your monthly credit card statement, the transaction will appear as: "PAYPAL*SCVACHORAL".

A modest processing fee is added to each purchase to cover our costs for using this service.  Your private credit card account information is always protected and never divulged to anyone within the SCVA organization.

If you already have your own personal PayPal account, please always use the "e-Payments" page to select the items you wish to purchase and login to your account from the Checkout page, rather than creating your own independent e-check transfers. This will help us maintain accurate records of electronic payments that have been made.

If you have any comments, questions or problems with any of the pages on our website, please contact Mark Freedkin at


Men and Women Singers – Ron Soderwall, VP – Young Men's Clinic

It is never too early to plan for the Spring Young Men In Harmony and Young Women in Harmony workshop/festivals co-sponsored by SCVA and the Barbershop Harmony Society (SPEBSQSA) and Sweet Adelines International. Both festivals are scheduled for February in 2008 at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa.  Be sure to mark you calendar now with these dates:

  Young Women in Harmony "Diva Day" Festival - February 2, 2008
  Young Men's Harmony Festival - February 23, 2008

Each year the Masters of Harmony and the Harborlites use their many years of 4-part singing to train our young men and women singers in a full day of workshops, rehearsals, concerts and great eating. And, each year the number of junior high school, middle school and high school singers multiply and the excitement continues to grow. This event has spawned many quartets and men's choirs in schools where none existed prior to the workshops. All of the training is immediately transferable to your full repertoire for each of your choirs. In addition, the day is just plain "FUN" in a working atmosphere of music-making at its best!

Watch your mail for the advance publicity and student applications in the upcoming SCVA Newsletters so that your singers won't be left out while the rest of us are having the "time of our lives" learning and performing in a non-judgmental and fast-paced atmosphere. Literally hundreds of young men and women participate each year...why not have your singers join us?

Remember the dates are: Women's festival - Saturday, February 2, 2008 and the Men's festival - Saturday, February 23, 2008 -- all day! For additional information, please contact Karen Ridout ( for the Women's festival or Mark Freedkin ( for the Men's festival.


Other Important Information
On-Line SCVA Membership Application