SCVA Newsletter (on-line version) - September 2012


Message from the President - John Hendricks
The Southern California Vocal Association is the only organization in our region that is solely dedicated to the advancement of vocal music at all grade levels in the schools of Southern California. As an indicator of the significant reach of your association, SCVA directly served nearly 15,000 student participants, representing approximately 400 member schools, through one or more of our events during the 2011-2012 school year. As we head back to school, let's think about this carefully—and certainly in terms of the powerful impact of choral programs and of all types of vocal music on our students and educators alike—in light of the current budget climate in our state. As we move forward in our 74th year as an organization, we must embrace innovation in order to best serve our membership, to strongly advocate for vocal music education in our schools, and above all, to provide our students with the highest levels of excellence in every aspect of their experiences at every SCVA event.
I strongly encourage you to renew your membership now (via our website at and to become actively involved throughout this school year with SCVA as a participant or volunteer. Our members have a vital voice in determining the future of this organization, and we hope that you will use this association as a significant resource for you and your students. Your official membership gives you the opportunity to register your singers for our events, and offers you, as an educator, a network of close ties to a diverse, highly engaged community of choral professionals, experts and enthusiasts who have a great depth of experience in vocal music.

In 2012-2013, SCVA will sponsor or co-sponsor eight categories of events that are open to our members. The first large-scale meeting is our Fall In-Service on October 19, which will feature the highly dynamic Dr. Christopher Peterson of California State University, Fullerton, as the headliner for our interest sessions. The High School Honor Choirs rehearsals and concert will follow in October and November. This year, I am particularly excited that we will welcome three exceptional conductors back to lead our SCVA Honor Choirs: the legendary Rodney Eichenberger (who has conducted over 80 U.S. All-State Choirs and in more than 85 countries during the course of his career) to conduct our Mixed Choir, Dr. Jonathan Talberg, Professor of Music and Director of Choral, Vocal, and Opera Studies at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach, to direct the Women's Choir, and Lori Marie Rios, Professor of Music from College of the Canyons, to the helm of the Men's Choir. Additional details about the upcoming Honor Choir auditions and participation can be found in this newsletter and on our website.

Events in 2013 include the Vocal Solo Competition, The Young Men's Harmony Festival (featuring the eight-time International Chorus Champions barbershop men's ensemble, Masters of Harmony), the Diva Day Young Women's Harmony Festival, a Vocal Jazz Festival, our Show Choir Festival, and the Junior High School Honor Choir. And, as the "mainstay" of our offerings, we will host approximately seventy adjudicated choral festivals, focused on a variety of ensemble types and ability levels, through the course of the school year.

Finally, I'd like to direct our members toward a rapidly growing, official new union of California music education-related associations that SCVA has joined, the Stand Up 4 Music coalition ( This organization is co-sponsored by CMEA, The California Arts Project, ACDA, and prominent instrumental groups in an effort to advocate, at a legislative level, for music programs in our schools. SCVA is deeply committed to the success of Stand Up 4 Music, and you will be hearing much more in the coming months about our efforts to ensure that music education will thrive in California schools in the future.

As I begin my term as your president, I'd like to acknowledge the inspired, tireless leadership and service to SCVA by my predecessor, Rodger Guerrero, who remains on our board as Past President (with his particularly wise counsel) in leading the Fall In-Service. Thank you also to Sheri Nelson, our outgoing Past President, and to the countless professionals who have so selflessly given of their time and expertise to our organization in creating such a rich history and legacy over the decades. They have set up what I believe will be a particularly strong and highly dynamic future for SCVA.

Please visit our website regularly at, for our latest news, and don't hesitate to contact me—or any of your board members-- if we can be of assistance, or if you are interested in volunteering to assist with one or more of our events. I can be reached at The Buckley School at, and I really look forward to hearing from you. I hope to see you at our Fall In-Service on October 19.


We Want YOU to Host an SCVA Choral Festival!
Nancy Ludwig, VP of High School Festivals and Melva Morrison, VP of Junior High & Middle School Festivals

Welcome to the beginning of an exciting new school year! We would like to introduce ourselves to you as your 2012-2013 VPs of festivals, and to invite you to host an SCVA Choral Festival this year.

For those of you who have hosted festivals in the past, we hope you will again consider hosting a festival this year. Please submit your online application as soon as possible. To those who have considered but have concerns, or maybe haven't thought about hosting a festival, there are many great reasons to host an SCVA Choral Festival:

This is an excellent opportunity to meet and network with other directors and adjudicators. But most importantly you are helping to provide an opportunity for choirs in your area to perform for one another, hear quality repertoire, and receive feedback from qualified adjudicators which is an important part of their growth as young choral musicians.

Submit your festival host registration at SCVACHORAL.ORG - deadline is November 1, 2012.

If you are interested in hosting an ELEMENTARY FESTIVAL, or if you have questions about elementary festivals, please email Melva Morrison.

Please contact us with questions!


SCVA High School Honor Choir - Tina Glander Peterson, Vice President, High School Honor Choirs

We are pleased to announce this year's conductors for the SCVA High School Honor Choirs:

Mixed Choir: Mr. Rodney Eichenberger, Florida State University, Professor Emeritus
Women's Choir: Dr. Jonathan Talberg, California State University, Long Beach
Men's Choir: Ms. Lori Marie Rios, College of the Canyons

Students who have participated in SCVA Honor Choirs in the past have regularly cited the experience of singing in our honor choirs as musically highly satisfying, deeply inspiring, and even life-changing. Participants will have the unique opportunity of working with some of the most distinguished conductors in our field, and preparing a concert with the most accomplished choral students from Southern California. We strongly encourage our eligible high school students in the region to apply to audition for what promises to be an exceptional choral experience.

Approximately 260 students will be selected by audition 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) at Irvine High School and then (with music memorized) come together on Friday and Saturday, November 16th & 17th at Santa Monica High School for two full days of intense rehearsals and a Saturday evening concert.

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

All students auditioning for SCVA Regional and California All-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 online or by contacting Lisa Lopez at

All students in Southern California should use the online application on the website. (Do not use the ACDA application from the California ACDA website, as the regional honor choirs in Southern California are solely administered by SCVA.)

Students who are interested in being considered being considered for the California All-State Honor Choirs need only mark the appropriate box on their SCVA participation form that they will receive upon acceptance into the SCVA (Regional) Honor Choirs. They will be asked to confirm their selection during the SCVA Honor Choir rehearsals. Please refer to the participation policy on the California ACDA webpage for important details about eligibility, as a student's school is subject to a one year suspension from participation in All-State Honor Choirs if they elect to be considered for All-State and then do not attend if accepted.

All deadlines are firm and will not be extended.


ONLINE AUDITION APPLICATIONS OPEN                             August 30, 2012

ONLINE AUDITION APPLICATION DEADLINE                     September 17, 2012

Due date for audition fees paid via official check                           September 17, 2012
(No personal checks will be accepted.)

Audition times posted on SCVA Website                                        September 20, 2012

REGIONAL AUDITIONS                                                               September 29 or October 6, 2012

AUDITION RESULTS POSTED                                                    October 10, 2012

REQUIRED REHEARSALS                                                           October 27, 2012, 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Irvine High School
                                                                                                            (Registration opens at 7:30 AM and Part Checks begin at 8:00 AM.)
                                                                                                            November 16, 2012, 9:00 AM - 9:30 PM, Santa Monica High School
                                                                                                            November 17, 2012, 9:00 AM - 7:30 PM, Santa Monica High School

SCVA HONOR CHOIRS PERFORMANCE                                 November 17, 2012, 7:30 PM, Santa Monica H.S.

The performance is open to the public. General admission tickets may be purchased using the presale order form, on-line at, at the rehearsal on Oct. 27, or at the venue on November 16 and 17. Tickets usually sell out, so get your tickets early!!

Deadline for a student to confirm their All-State application                   November 17, 2012
Notification of acceptance to an All-State Choir                                    December 9, 2012
Postmark deadline for signed forms and appropriate fees                       January 31, 2013
Rehearsals at San Jose State University Campus                                   March 21 - March 23, 2013
Performance at California Theater                                                         March 23, 2013


Pay with PAYPAL
SCVA has been using PayPal for the past six years with great success. It's the convenient way to pay audition fees, SCVA dues, Honor Choir fees, Festival fees, etc. And coupled with the required ON- LINE REGISTRATION, it's even easier! You may use any major credit card for a $0.65 processing fee. 

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. 
 - AUDITION TIMES WILL NOT BE CONFIRMED UNTIL A STUDENT'S AUDITION FEE HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY SCVA, and booster/ school checks must be received at the address listed below (in the "FEES" section) by September 17.
 - Refunds will not be issued if a student signs up for an audition time and later withdraws.
FEES (non-refundable)
  SCVA Honor Choirs Audition Fee..................................................................$10.00
Audition fees cover adjudicators, audition materials, and audition site costs.

  Regional Honor Choir Participation Fee ........................................................$80.00
Regional fees cover music, rehearsal downloads, facilities, conductor, and accompanist.
  Singers are responsible for their own transportation, lodging, and meals.
  (Due after the student has been accepted and prior to the start of the October 27 rehearsal)

Payment Options for Audition Fees and Honor Choir Participation Fee
  1. PayPal – preferred method of payment
  2. School/Boosters/Community organization check
  3. Money order

Tina Glander Peterson
  Director of Choral Music
  Irvine High School
  4321 Walnut Ave.
  Irvine, CA 92604

Director Responsibilities
Directors who have two or more students participating in honor choirs are expected (and needed) to help with the logistics the day of the honor choir events.

Volunteers and Adjudicators
For questions about SCVA Honor Choirs or to volunteer to assist at the honor choir events, please contact Tina Glander Peterson at

To apply to be an adjudicator, please contact Karen Garrett, our SCVA Senior Honor Choirs VP II, at



THE AUDITION (100 points)
We recommend that you review each of these skills with your classes so that all your singers are prepared.

A student must be enrolled in his/her school's choral program in order to be eligible for participation in Honor Choir.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

Unacceptable reasons for dropping Honor Choir:

All singers will participate in a part check during the October 27th rehearsal. SCVA has adopted this procedure from the California All-State Honor Choirs, in order to ensure a high level of musical proficiency at all honor choir rehearsals. Starting at 8:00 AM, singers will be put into groups of 6-8, two singers on a part, and asked to sing a few sections of some of their honor choir songs. Individual students may also be asked to sing their part alone. If a student has not prepared their music and does not pass the part check, their spot in the honor choir may be in jeopardy.

NEW TO THE ON-LINE AUDITION APPLICATION PROCESS? This has changed slightly for 2012, so please read this carefully.
Our audition application process is a simple on-line entry form on the SCVA Website that your students can use to submit their audition application electronically by clicking on the following link:

  1. Each student who wishes to audition for Honor Choir will enter all of his/her information and his/her choice of audition sites into the on-line form. Once an audition site is full, it will no longer appear in the on-line registration form. Please register early for the best availability.
  2. The student must also enter his/her director's e-mail address - please enter this accurately.
  3. In addition, students should 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 Pay Pal to pay the audition fee using any major credit card.
  4. An automated e-mail message will be sent to the director for each student who applies. The e-mail message will include a link to a special web-page 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.
  5. 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 indicate, review, and/or change contact and school information. The director's information is then stored for each new applicant.


Saturday, September 29, 9:00am - 1:00pm

Alhambra, Mark Keppel High School
Alta Loma, Alta Loma High School
Canyon Country, Canyon High School
Irvine, Irvine High School
La Cañada, La Cañada High School
Ojai, Nordhoff High School
Redlands, Redlands High School
Riverside, Arlington High School
Sherman Oaks, The Buckley School
Saturday, October 6, 12:00 noon - 4:00pm

Downey, Warren High School
Fullerton, Cal State Fullerton
Poway, Poway High School
Santa Ana, Segerstrom Fundamental High School

On-Line Honor Choir Audition Application Form


Fall In-Service, Rodger Guerrero, Past President
Once again, please mark your calendars for SCVA's phenomenal, annual Fall In-Service! This year it will be held on Friday, October 19, 2012. As always, the Fall In-Service serves as a fantastic opportunity to hone conducting skills, increase musical knowledge, review vocal techniques, and strengthen teaching methods. It is also the perfect occasion to take a short teaching break and connect and network with colleagues.

The day's sessions are splendid and should address the needs of both the regular choral and combination instrumental/choral teacher. After a first rate presentation on Choral Warm-Ups: Modeling and Kinesthetic Sensation, Dr. Chris Peterson, from California State University at Fullerton, will again inspire us with his seminar addressing Rehearsal Methodology: Scaffolding Learning from the First Moment. This session will be an interactive exploration of methods and strategies that can be used to build singers' autonomy over their learning from the first rehearsal. It will help all of us to structure our teaching in a manner that will excite our singers and teach them how to learn so that they can become independent vocal musicians. It will conclude with an actual demonstration, as Dr. Peterson will rehearse two new pieces of literature with an SATB high school choral ensemble. Both veteran and new choral and combination choral/instrumental teachers will surely benefit from Dr. Peterson's experience and brilliant, vibrant approach to teaching!

Other topics will include advice, planning, and strategies for the combination choral/instrumental teacher; building a statewide festival/contest system based upon state and national standards; and a reading session directed at all levels of high school SATB, SSA, and TTB choirs. Finally, the day will end with the traditional SCVA choral adjudication workshop, led by CMEA (The California Association for Music Education) Vice President Scott Hedgecock, and featuring performances by wonderful junior high and high school choirs.

The venue for the day will again be the Placentia Presbyterian Church located at 849 N. Bradford Ave. in Placentia. The In-Service will officially begin at 9am but you should arrive at least 30 minutes early to check-in and enjoy the coffee-juice-pastry social time. Please feel encouraged to invite a university music major, new teacher, or a colleague who has not attended SCVA events in the past to come and spend the day with us!

Register today at

$45 Early Registration (before October 5th)
$55 Late/Walk-on Registration (reading session packet cannot be guaranteed)
$10 Collegiate Membership Registration


Membership - Lisa Lopez, VP of Membership
It's an exciting time to be a part of SCVA! Last year, thanks in large part to the efforts of our outgoing president, Rodger Guerrero, we saw tremendous growth in our membership. If you attended an honor choir, a workshop, or any festival, I know you will agree that membership in SCVA is one of the best bargains around. Please continue to spread the word to your colleagues, student teachers, private voice teachers, etc, who are not yet members.

Thanks to our fabulous webmaster, Mark Freedkin, the online membership and registration process has brought our organization into the 21st century and made things so much quicker and more convenient for both members and officers. However, each year, there are still checks that get misdirected and some communication difficulties. We do our best, but, just like you, we are running full-time choral programs and do the SCVA volunteer work during our prep periods, weekends, etc. It helps tremendously when people abide by membership payment guidelines and fill in the information completely. In general, most membership "issues" revolve around a few things: late payments, no payments, no information sent with the payment, or sending membership payments to the wrong officers.

  1. Register and pay your dues on time or early. The best time to pay is at least a week before the September Honor Choir deadlines. This prevents any confusion at the first rehearsal and allows the event chairs to run the event without having to worry about tracking down directors for payment.
  2. Please fill in all registration or renewal information completely, including your password.
  3. If you register online and must pay by check, please include a hardcopy of the registration form with your check, or give one to your booster or school secretary. Each year, several checks are sent with no background information for the director or school.
  4. If you delay joining until the day of an event, such as honor choir, and are paying by check, it is better to pay online, as that is recorded instantly and can be easily checked. Otherwise, please write a separate check with "membership" written on it. This will help insure that the payment is forwarded to me in a timely manner if I am not at that event.

If you have any problems with the registration process, please contact me and thanks in advance for helping to make the registration process as smooth as possible!


Website Update - Mark Freedkin, Webmaster
It's hard to believe that we've had a website for over 12 years. Over the past several years, we have greatly expanded the ability to register or apply for SCVA activities and events using on-line forms through our website. This has helped us to significantly improve accuracy and response times, as well as reducing postage expenses.

New this year is an improvement to the on-line Audition Application for High School Honor Choir that automatically assigns singers to Audition Sites as they register. When an Audition Site becomes filled, it no longer appears in the drop-down list of available Audition Sites. The on-line Audition Application no longer requires a first and second choice for Audition Sites. Therefore, singers are encouraged to submit their on-line registration as quickly as possible, so they can get their desired Audition Site. In addition, Audition Site hosts will now be able to enter the audition scores on-line for the singers at their site, which will streamline the process of determining which singers will be accepted into one of the Honor Choirs.

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.

For many of the on-line application forms, you can make the PayPal payment immediately after you submit the application form, and most of the information will be filled-in automatically. Otherwise, you can 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 keep as proof of purchase. When you receive your monthly credit card statement, the transaction will appear as: "PAYPAL*SCVACHORAL". A modest processing fee will be added to each purchase to cover our costs for using this on-line 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 or the on-line application forms 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.

E-mail Broadcast Messages
A number of automated e-mail confirmation and broadcast messages are routinely sent from our website to choral directors for various events. Please ensure that your e-mail system can accept incoming messages from "" so you can receive all of those messages. In some cases, you may need to contact your school district's network administrators to prevent those messages from being rejected as suspected SPAM (unsolicited e-mail).

Please also be aware that if you simply reply to any of those automated broadcast messages, your response will be sent to me (as webmaster), and I must then forward your message the originator. For more efficient communication, please do not reply directly to any of those messages. Instead, please send your response to the sender's e-mail address.

Hints for Using PayPal and Saving Money
When using PayPal to pay the application or participation fees for multiple students, you can minimize the processing fees by adding the desired item to your Shopping Cart only one time, and then specify a quantity for that one item. You should not add the same item to your Shopping Cart multiple times (once for each student), since that will result in a larger processing fee added to you total transaction.

You can also use a single PayPal transaction to pay the application or registration fee for multiple activities at the same time, rather than checking out after submitting each item. Simply add each item to your current shopping cart, and then click on the Continue Shopping link to return to the SCVA website. After you have completed all of the items you wish to purchase, you can then proceed to the checkout page and receive a single invoice that lists all of those items.

If you have any comments, questions or problems with any of the pages on our website please contact Mark Freedkin at or (714) 357-1187


Vocal Solo Competition - Jeffe Huls, VP-Vocal Solo Competition

Change is a-comin'...

Over the course of the last few years, many conversations have occurred regarding the SCVA Vocal Solo Competition. Some of the questions with which we have struggled include: 

  1. How can we reach more students, more teachers, and more programs?
  2. Is a classical voice competition the only way to promote healthy solo singing?
  3. Are there models from other areas from which we could learn?
  4. How can we best serve teachers in the classroom in a way that supports much of the work they are already doing?
  5. Finally, how do we tackle reformative change while still honoring the long tradition of the vocal solo competition?

As you can see, these are some pretty daunting questions, but ones I feel we must address if we are to remain viable and continue to serve our SCVA mission statement. This year we are going to embark on a one year "pilot" of a vocal solo and small ensemble festival. While the traditional classical vocal solo competition will remain intact (though slightly modified), we will broaden our reach to include vocal education along new avenues. Some of these changes include:

Though many of these ideas are still to be fully realized, I encourage you to watch for future updates and articulation via newsletters and our incredible website. We will be borrowing our model from what other areas have done (including Michigan, Wisconsin, Washington, Northern California, etc.) and will then forge our own new path that directly serves the needs of choral/vocal educators in Southern California. Some food for thought: Take some time to consider whether you have experience with this type of festival. If you do, please email me and point me in a direction you'd like me to consider. Also, consider whether you would like to host a festival of this type and email me your thoughts on this as well. Finally, look back at last year's SCVA October newsletter and revisit an article I wrote about beginning the year with a classical voice solo. It's the beginning of the year, so why not?


SCVA Recommended Festival Music List - Rodger Guerrero, Past President

"I do the very best I know – the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the very end." – Abraham Lincoln

SCVA began in 1939 for the advancement of vocal music at all grade levels in the schools of Southern California. The founding members believed that non-competitive festivals were an essential component of this completely unique, trailblazing choral organization. They reasoned that junior high and high school choral singers should be able to perform for and listen to other ensembles in a wholly music education-based environment. Their efforts began a long tradition of SCVA Choral Festivals, one of this nations' oldest. While the Southern California Vocal Association has greatly expanded over the last 70 years to include three high school honor choirs, two middle school honor choirs, a vocal jazz festival, a show choir competition, a vocal solo competition, a directors in-service and Barbershop Harmony Festival, the 45-50 middle school and high school festivals held each year are still central to the philosophical and educational focus of our fine organization.

The first step in assuring the educational value of the festival experience is the wise, informed, and balanced selection of quality literature by the choral director. The music we select as choral educators becomes the collective "textbook" at the center of our curriculum. And no matter how experienced we are at choosing literature, we must always do the very best [we] know – the very best [we] can." We must commit to a constant review of our goals and objectives by selecting literature that:

While quality literature is now abundantly available on many internet sites, few are as organized and comprehensive as the SCVA Recommended Festival Music List. It is clearly posted in the "Members Only" section of our website. The list has evolved over the decades and includes well established "choral chestnuts" as well as more recent "tried and true" works. It derives from experienced choral directors who have found quality literature from all time periods, directors who always strive to do the best and who "mean to keep on doing so until the very end."

The recently UPDATED list was reviewed by a committee which looked at more than 250 newer choral octavos as suggested by the SCVA membership. The Executive Board approved it, based upon the committee's recommendations, and many new pieces were then added to the already formidable Recommended Repertoire Lists. Commit to excellence – check out the list at, but only after renewing your membership. All of our singers surely deserve to experience performing the highest quality of literature. Let SCVA help you to do your best today!    


Other Important Information
On-Line SCVA Membership Application (not required for students who are auditioning for Honor Choirs)
On-Line Festival Host Application
Calendar of Events