SCVA Newsletter (on-line version) - October 2001

President's Message - Kenneth Tuttle
I can't really begin this newsletter without a brief comment on the tragic events of September 11th in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. We mourn the tragic loss of innocent lives, and the loss of innocence in us all. For me, I have found an ability to begin to move on through being with loved ones, and that includes the students I teach at Redlands HS. Through talking and singing together, we have been able to express our feelings in positive ways. One song in particular, Dennis DeYoung's Show Me The Way, we found particularly poignant and meaningful, and we sang it at Redlands' city-wide memorial service. It speaks of a loss of faith, a cry for guidance, and of hope for the future. The piece is set for SATB or SSA voicings. If you're looking for a piece to help in teh healing process, I recommend this one.

Our reality within SCVA continues to be the desire to serve the greater choral music education community wiht outstanding events and opportunities for personal and professional growth. The 2001 edition of our Fall In-Service fits the bill perfectly! Mary has once again organized a great day of music, learning, and community! Read her informative article, and get you application in today! Michael has a great Jazz Festival/Clinic planned, and you won't want to miss it! And we know Grace and Randi are working hard to bring this year's Honor Choirs to fruition and success! Our men's clinic is not too far ahead. Have you been thinking about festival season next semester, and if you would be able to host a festival? Please consider this opportunity!


Fall In-Service - Mary Purdy, Past President
Given the shocking events of September 11th, are you ready for a day off? Do you already feel the stress of producing an even bigger and better group of concerts than last year? Are you ready for that shot-in-the-arm that only a day away from school can provide? Is your mental health in need of some time with other adults who understand what you do? Well, the Fall In-Service could be just the "picker upper" that you need. It promises to be another practical day of learning new things, renewing long-forgotten techniques, renewing friendships, meeting colleagues, networking, and adding new language to your teaching repertoire. All of this will happen on October 26th at Pasadena City College.

As was my goal last year, this in-service is going to be an exciting day led by dynamic professionals. Who isn't acquainted and impressed by Dr. Donald Brinegar's work at Pasadena City College, with the Donald Brinegar Singers, and with the 2000-2001 Southern California Honor Choir? In last year's evaluations, many people requested that Karen Garrett return and present the sequel to her sight-reading techniques presentation. Joining her will be Mark Freedkin who will show us how we can use barbershop quartet singing as a tool to recruit boys to your choral program. In addition, a representative from the Roland Corporation will demonstrate the latest in technology.

For our middle school teachers, we have some great things for you. Two choirs will provide an interesting twist to the usual performance fare that we incorporate in the Fall In-Service. Our SATB choir will be the Concert Choir from Lincoln Middle School directed by Jeffery Huls. If you didn't hear them perform at last year's CMEA conference in Ontario, you really missed a fabulous young choir. I'm sure you will be as impressed as I was. After this performance, Jeffery will lead some of his chosen repertoire for us to sight-read. Another choir I heard at the CMEA conference was the Advanced Women's Ensemble from Redlands East Valley High School under the direction of Joseph Modica. They will present our treble choir performance. Then Joseph Modica will lead us in a reading session of treble choir music. This is going to be a great day!



Dr. Donald Brinegar
Donald Brinegar is Professor of Music and Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Pasadena City College. He is also co-director of the Masters of Choral Music program at California State University, Los Angeles and instructor of voice at Pomona College located in Claremont, California. For over thirty years, he has had an active career as a tenor soloist, performing throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, and numerous other countries. His choirs have received invitations to sing at major choral conferences, such as the American Choral Directors Association, the Southern California Vocal Association, the California Association for Music Education, and significant choral festivals from New York to Hawaii and from London to Sidney.

He is widely published, with a soon-to-be released primer on choral intonation and vocal technique. Santa Barbara Music Press publishes his choral series, featuring the music of outstanding young composers. His semi-professional ensemble, the Donald Brinegar Singers, has recorded seven highly acclaimed compact discs which include the premier recording of the organ version of Morten Lauridsen's Lux Aeterna, and, with the Santa Barbara Symphony, the world premier of Villa Lobos' 10th Symphony, Amerindia. This fall, they will record a new compact disc, featuring the music of Morten Lauridsen and Eric Whitacre. In the spring, they will record Emma Lou Diemer's new work, Mass.

Brinegar lectures throughout the university and college community on historical intonation practices, vocal pedagogy and performance, conducting, and the art of teaching. He has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Southern California, Southern Oregon University, and the University of Nevada, Reno. Added to that, he was the director of the SCVA Honor Choir in November of 2000.

Karen Garrett
Karen Garrett holds a B.A. in Vocal Performance from California State University at Hayward and is a graduate of the California State University Fullerton's music educator credential program. Mrs. Garrett is beginning her fourth year as Director of the Vocal Department of Santiago High School in Corona. At Santiago, she conducts four choirs and teaches Music Theory. The Madrigal choir under her direction has consistently earned superior performance ratings, as well as winning 1st place in sight singing at the Riverside Choral Fest in 1998. In the spring of 1999, both her Madrigal and Treble Ensemble participated in the Festival of Gold Invitational held in the Kennedy Center of Washington, D.C. In the Spring of 2000, the Madrigal choir earned a superior rating in performance and sight singing at the Pacific Chorale Festival at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.

Mark Freedkin
A member of the Barbershop Harmony Society for over 24 years, Mark serves as the regional coordinator for the Society's "Young Men In Harmony" program for Southern California. Mark has directed several men's barbershop choruses in the area, and currently sings Baritone with the 120-man "Masters of Harmony", four-time international barbershop chorus champions. He also serves as the chairman of a coalition of barbershop groups in Orange County that has raised and distributed over $37,000 to support choral music education programs in Orange County high schools.

Mark has coordinated and directed several young men's honor choirs and festivals over the past two years. He is also the designer and web-master of the SCVA web-site. In recognition of his work, Mark has been granted an honorary life membership in SCVA.


From anywhere in Southern California get to the 210 freeway toward Pasadena. Get off at Hill Street. Go South to Colorado Blvd. Drive across Colorado and turn into the first parking lot on the left. You must pay $1.00 for the day. The machines take dollar bills as well as quarters. Remember to pay for the parking. The parking lots are patrolled regularly and citations will be issued for unmarked cars! Parking is challenging at PCC, so we encourage car- pooling!

Please arrive early so that we can begin on time. We have a lot of sessions and you won't want to miss a minute! Bring a new teacher in your district. Bring someone who needs that shot-in-the-arm. REMEMBER-YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER. NO ON-SITE REGISTRATIONS CAN BE ACCEPTED!!

8:15 -9:00 A.M.-Continental breakfast, registration and packet acquisition
9:00-9:10 A.M.-Welcome, Introductions, and directions
9:10-10:00 A.M.-Make Your Choir an Honor Choir-Dr. Donald Brinegar
10:00-10:45 A.M.-Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal-Karen Garrett
11:00-11:45 A.M.-New technology demonstration-Roland Corporation
11:45 A.M.-12:30 P.M.-How to Attract Boys to the Choral Program-Mark Freedkin
12:30-1:30 P.M.-LUNCH
1:30-2:15 P.M.-Lincoln Middle School Performance and SATB sight-reading
2:15-3:00 P.M.-Redlands East Valley High School and SSA sight-reading

Click here for a registration form


Junior High/Middle School Festivals - Taryn Koch, Jr. High/Middle School Festival Coordinator
I hope you have all had a successful start to the year. Now that the opening whirlwind is over, I encourage you to consider hosting a spring SCVA festival at your school.

If you have ever attended a festival, you know it is a worthwhile endeavor that every choral student should be entitled to! In order to provide as many students as possible with a festival experience during our 2001-2002 season, we are now looking for directors who are willing to host a festival. Why not consider hosting a SCVA choral festival at your school this year? The benefits are many:

  1. You will provide schools in your surrounding area with a quality performance opportunity.
  2. You receive one free entry for your choir(s)
  3. No transportation costs
  4. You and your students will get to see other choirs, hear their music and observe different directors
  5. Your choirs will be adjudicated in a "user-friendly" environment
  6. Your students will enjoy hosting the festival -- they feel important!

If this sounds interesting to you, please fill out the form in this newsletter. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at home, school or by e-mail.

Let's have the best Jr. High/Middle School festival season ever!

Festival Host Application


SCVA Men's Clinic 2002 - Jason Harney

This year's SCVA Young Men's Clinic promises to be a great day of music and male camaraderie. It is always great to be able to make music, and this event will give your students (who may rarely get the opportunity) a chance to spend some time singing in a large male ensemble. This year's clinician has yet to be determined, but be confident that he will be an exciting and engaging director from whom your singers will learn a great deal.

Your studentws will get a chance to sing in sectionals with other singers of their voice type, rehearse in a full male choir setting, and perform the selected repertoire at the end of the session. The final performance will be recorded and you will be sent a CD which you can then reproduce for your students. They will also hear a quality high school male ensemble, an excellent adult quartet, and receive training and insight from an established conductor.

If you have never attended this event before I strongly urge you to do so this February. I have brought my male singers four of the last five years (twice as a Jr. High director and twice as a High School director) and have found it to be a greatly rewarding experience each time. You may be thinking, "I don't even have a Men's Choir, why should I go?", but that is precisely the reason why you should go! Young male singers rarely get teh chance to sing with just other men (while you would have difficulty finding many high school females who have never sung in a female-only ensemble). It is a a great experience for guys to sing together, and besides, you'll be amazed at what your guys are willing to do when there are no girls around watching!


Elementary Festivals - Betsy Hanger
Greetings from your Elementary Festivals Vice President! I teach in Pasadena, at Westridge School, where I direct five treble choirs and teach general music. In addition, I am on the musicianship staff at the Los Angeles Children's Chorus, and just completed my Artist-Teacher certificat with Dr. Doreen Rao of the University of Toronto. This year, I'm celebrating my twentieth year of conducting treble voices. I'm delighted to be taking this position wih SCVA, and look forward to meeting you at our Fall In-Service at Pasadena City College on October 26th. Please introduce yourself that day, or feel free to e-mail me ( with your questions and comments. Over the next two months, I will be contacting every member of SCVA who directs children's choirs, in order to get suggestions for the best spring festival/clinic venues, clinicians, dates, and possible joint repertoire. Please help me build some wonderful opportunities for Southern California young choirs!


Vocal Jazz Festival - Michael D'Spain
Howdy!  I hope everyone had a relaxing summer.  I hope you're ready for a great year. I would like to take the time to introduce myself.  My name is Michael D'Spain and I teach at Long Beach Polytechnic High School.  I have been at my current position going on three years and came to Long Beach from Baylor University in Waco, Texas with a degree in Music Education (vocal emphasis).

I know in past years it has been hard to schedule a festival in the second semester due the amount of festivals offered (in addition to scheduling conflicts).  I think that our best bet would be a non-competitive festival during the first semester! Therefore, SCVA's first Fall Vocal Jazz Festival will be Tuesday, November 6th at 9:00am. There will be written and recorded comments from the three adjudicators. Because cost is always a factor, this first festival will only cost $50.00 per group (and $25.00 for each additional group from the same school). I want to keep the cost down so as many schools can participate as possible.  This festival is open to all levels; novice through advanced.

LOCATION: Long Beach Polytechnic High School Auditorium
   1600 Atlantic Ave.
   Long Beach, CA 90813

Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2001  9:00 AM

COST:  $50.00 First Choir
    $25.00 Additional Choir  

 October 6, 2001
 Please send application and check to:
 ATTN:  Michael DıSpain
 1600 Atlantic Ave.
 Long Beach, CA 90813

Equipment provided:  18 Shure SM58 microphones
     Drumset and cymbals
     Bass amp

Jazz Festival Application


Barbershop News - Mark Freedkin, SPEBSQSA Representative
We are pleased to announce that we will be repeating our Young Men's Harmony Festival on Saturday, February 9th, 2002 at Northwood High School in Irvine. Last year, we have over 185 young men from high schools and middle schools from San Diego to Lancaster participated. The event was enormously successful, and the young men put on an incredible show. Then the Masters of Harmony (four-time International Chorus Champions) joined them young men for a double-chorus finale that blew out the back wall of the auditorium. Have you ever seen nearly 300 men on 11 sets of risers? Please be watching for a mailing to your school with an application, as well as this newsletter for more information.

Mark Freedkin
Home: (949) 559-9621
Work: (949) 856-7794

Barbershop Festival Application


New Automated E-Mail List - Mark Freedkin, SCVA WebMaster
All organizations can benefit from timely communication, and SCVA is pleased to provide an automated e-mail service that will allow any of its members to communicate to all other members quickly and easily (and at absolutely no cost). Participation in the e-mail list is completely voluntary, although highly recommended. Once you are a subscriber, you can send an e-mail message to a special e-mail address, and it will be distributed automatically to all other subscribers. You can choose to receive each message as it is posted, or a singly message containing a daily summary ("digest") of all the messages posted during that day. You can also suspend your messages at any time, and of course, you can unsubscribe at any time. To join the "SCVA-net" mailing list, you can send a blank e-mail message to, or simply click on the link below. You can also visit

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Other Important Information
SCVA Membership Application
Fall In-Service Application Form
Honor Choir Application Form
Festival Host Application Form