SCVA Newsletter (on-line version) – October 2005


Message from the President – Grace Sheldon-Williams, President
Musical Offerings II:  Easy SATB

Last year we started the “Musical Offerings” series, which allows SCVA members to share their recommended pieces in various voicings with all of us.  This month’s featured voicing is easy SATB. Thank you to those who submitted their ideas.  Next time we’ll focus on men’s choir music – please send me your favorite men’s choir pieces in any voicing.  Don’t forget to include Title, Composer/Arranger, Publisher, Octavo number, Voicing.  Comments are welcome also.

All My Trials  Swenson; Galaxy #1.2824.1
All Ye Who Music Love  Donato/Meredith; Kjos #8745
Away in a Manger  Kirkpatrick/Wilberg; Hinshaw #HMC-925.  This is the lovely, less-used tune
The Bells  Ahrold; Belwin #9729-6.  Edgar Allan Poe poem
Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair” American Folk Song/Schram; Belwin #SVM04015
City Called Heaven” arr. Poelinitz; Plymouth #HL-105.  Extended solo(s).
Consecrate the Place and Day  Pfautsch; LG #51420.
The Cuckoo  American Folk Song/Heninger; SBMP #11
Elijah Rock” arr. Hairston; Schumann # S-1017. SSATB
Fum, Fum, Fum  arr. Wilberg; Hinshaw #HMC-928
Gaudete  arr. Kingsbury; OCP Publ. #10396
Hanerot Halalu  Cohon/Chass; MF #677.  Hanukkah
He’ll Make a Way  Smith; Onyx #BJS0001.  Solo.
Je le vous dirai! Certon/Leavitt; HL#08596707.
Jubilate Deo  Althouse; Shawnee #A-1835
Locus iste  Bruckner; Peters  #6314
Music, Most Wondrous Lovely Art  Jeep/Leavitt; HL #08552517. German or English text.
My Gentle Harp  Irish Folk Song/Parker; LG #51409.
Praise His Holy Name  Hampton; earthsongs
The Storm Is Passing Over  Tindley/Baker; B&H #OCTB6936
S’vivon  Traditional Hebrew/Bertaux; B&H #OCTB6840
There Shall a Star from Jacob Shine  English Folksong/Patterson; Kjos#C8213.  Advent/Christmas.
Three Madrigals  Diemer; B&H #5417
When I Fall in Love  Young/Shaw; HL 08665912

B&H = Boosey & Hawkes
HL = Hal Leonard
MF = Mark Foster
LG = Lawson Gould
SBMP = Santa Barbara Music Publishing


Fall In-Service – Mark Henson, Past President
Greetings all!  I'm excited to tell you about the upcoming Fall In-Service, and I hope that many of you are planning to attend.  This year's event includes a variety of presentations which will be interesting and beneficial to all.

Tim Lutz of Arlington High School will present a choral reading session featuring quality pieces for “developing” choirs.  You will leave this session with a packet of pieces which can be successfully performed by beginning and intermediate choirs.  Tim will also discuss techniques for inspiring your younger singers and keeping them motivated.

Zach Halop will conduct the ninety-member Woodbridge High School “Bass Clef Choir” and share the techniques that led to his success in building a large men's choral group as well as creating a strong choral interest throughout the school. Those of us who have directed all-male choirs know what a rewarding experience it can be, and what an asset a men's choir can be to your choral program.

Certified Alexander Instructor Debby Jay returns to present a continuation in Alexander Technique which deals with body awareness, alignment, and relaxation for singers, instrumentalists, and conductors.  This was a very popular subject at last year’s in-service and is back by popular demand!  You will come away with several techniques which you can begin using immediately to create a more relaxed rehearsal and performance environment for you and your students, and to decrease the tension and strain which often accompanies a full day of choral teaching.

Also featured will be a presentation dealing with the teaching of musicianship skills during the choral rehearsal.

The Inservice officially begins at 9 a.m., but you'll want to arrive early for check-in and coffee-juice-pastry social time.  There will be a lunch break of slightly more than an hour, and we expect to conclude by 3:30 p.m.  The venue for the day will be Placentia Presbyterian Church located at 849 N. Bradford Avenue in Placentia.

Does this sound great?  YES!  Come to be inspired and motivated!  The registration form follows.  I plan to send final confirmation, schedule, directions, etc. via email, so be sure to include this information.  Please complete and return the form by October 12.  Copy the form and pass it on to a friend so you can introduce your colleagues to our organization - the only one dedicated to supporting choral music education in Southern California for over 60 years!  I look forward to seeing you on October 21.

In-Service Registration Form


Hosting a Festival is a Great Experience!
Jennifer Stanley, VP of High School Festivals
Linda Nason, VP of Junior High 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 this summer 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 us!

Please contact us with any questions you may have!

Festival Host Application Form


Vocal Jazz Festival – Matt Falker, VP Jazz Choir


Roger Estrada has graciously offered to host this year’s SCVA Vocal Jazz Festival at Upland H.S. on Friday, October 28 from 9:30am – 2:00pm. Please put this date in your calendar, as we will be joined by the incredible vocal ensemble m-pact! (visit them at The USC Vocal Jazz Ensemble (creSCendo) will also perform. A registration form is included in this newsletter. Online information will also soon be available on my site and also on the SCVA web site.

Jazz Festival Application


A comprehensive list of all vocal jazz festivals (local and regional) that I am aware of is available on my web site, including links to festival web sites. If you hear of any others, please let me know! Here’s a summary:

Friday, October 28th

SCVA Jazz Festival

Upland H.S.

Saturday, November 5th

Cuesta College Vocal Jazz Workshop

San Luis Obispo, CA

Thursday, February 22nd

Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival

Moscow, ID

March 3-4

Columbia College Vocal Jazz Festival

Sonora, CA

Friday, March 24th

Val Verde Jazz Festival

Rancho Verde H.S.

Friday, April 7th

Fullerton Jazz Festival

Fullerton, CA

Thursday, April 20th

Univ. of Northern Colorado Festival

Greeley, CO

April 21-23

Monterey Jazz Festival

Monterey, CA

April 28-29

Reno Jazz Festival (UNR)

Reno, NV


Many college vocal jazz ensembles are looking for off-campus performance opportunities, and would love to come and work with your students. Well, I can’t speak for other directors, but I can say that both the USC and Cal State Northridge vocal jazz ensembles are definitely interested in coming to your school! A common format is to hold an after school exchange/clinic, have some dinner, and do a joint evening concert. I know the school calendar gets packed so quickly, but these experiences are wonderful for everyone involved.

IAJE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE – January 11-14, 2006, New York, NY

The best way to continue to grow as a vocal jazz director is to see this music performed live and to collaborate with other educators. Consider looking into whether or not your school will subsidize your attendance. This conference is jam packed with incredible performances and clinics – check out for more conference details!


We are all very excited that  is once again organizing the effort for the All-State Jazz Choir. The ensemble will perform at the annual CMEA convention in Sacramento on March 9, 2006.


VOCAL SOLO COMPETITION - Rodger Guerrero, VP Vocal Solo Competition
I am excited and honored to have been appointed the new SCVA Vocal Solo VP!  I cannot express how meaningful, educational, and even life-altering the          competition has been for my students at Harvard-Westlake.  In preparing for this   year’s event, I have gained great respect for Colleen Kennedy, whose excellent organizational and communication skills helped to solidify the competition during her tenure as Vocal Solo VP.  I only hope that I can endeavor to coordinate it as well as she did.  Luckily my accompanist, Mark Hilt, will be helping me out!

The first order of business is to congratulate last year’s Vocal Solo Competition winners, who performed at the Jr. High/Middle School Honor Choir concert on Sunday May 15, 2005:

Jr. High/M.S. Winner            Breeanna Jenkins, Sandburg Middle School
6th place         Amanda Corbet, Edison High School
5th place         Spencer Case, Harvard-Westlake School
4th place         Lindsey St. Onge, L.A.  County High  School for the Arts
3rd place         Scott Hurst, Los Angeles County High School for the Arts
2nd place        Amanda Workman, Los Osos High School
1st place         Kate Pynoos, Harvard-Westlake School

I have hosted a preliminary site each of the past four years.  While it requires some work, the rewards are innumerable!  Just ask any of last year’s other hosts: Melanie Alpert, Alta Loma School District; Linda Corwin, Corwin Vocal Studio; Sandra Cupp, Niguel Hills Middle School; Scott Hedgecock, Fullerton Union High School; and Mary Purdy, Canyon High School.  Special thanks go to Rick Soto at Orange Coast College for providing the semi-final round facilities. Finally, thank you to Debbie Montpas, VP for the Jr High/Middle School Honor Choir, for organizing the performance for the finalists on May 15 and La Habra Hills Presbyterian Church for hosting the event.

It is marvelous to observe the transformation of the singers at the hands of our superb adjudicators!  The education and experience they receive during the eight-minute vocal session are absolutely priceless.  Last year’s clinicians were especially outstanding: Al Brightbill, Rhonda Dillon, Karen McBride, Matt Scully, Bonnie Snell, and Diana Zaslove in the preliminary round; and Dr. Nicole Baker and Don Brinegar in the semi-final round.  Thanks to all of you!

Nearly 120 singers participated last year. While this is wonderful, I know that there are many more out there who could truly benefit from this experience.  Please, encourage your students to participate!  If you’re concerned that the sites are too far away, then host one yourself!  Only 20 singers are needed at each site in order to cover the cost of adjudicators, scholarships, and other operational expenses.  All you need to do is make your choir room available for a few hours on a Saturday morning, shuffle some papers, and the rest is done for you. It’s easy!

Sandra Cupp, Scott Hedgecock, and I are already planning to host sites this year.  Many more are needed, as last year’s six were simply not enough.  I would especially like to challenge directors/voice teachers in the far south, South Bay, and West LA regions to host and send students!  It’s wholly rewarding, looks great on a college résumé, and singers can earn scholarships.  Most importantly, become involved in the Vocal Solo competition because it’s the right thing to do for your students.  They deserve this opportunity to learn and become better singers and overall musicians.


2006 Vocal Solo Competition Information

Application Info
Participation is open to both junior high/middle school and high school students, though the two levels do not compete against each other. The application fee remains at $20. This fee is non-refundable. Applications must be accompanied by a school check or money order payable to SCVA. You can also pay online by visiting and selecting e-Payments. Please, no purchase orders, personal checks or cash. Each applicant should include a self-addressed envelope with their application for notification. Participants must be active members in a choral ensemble. Church, temple and community groups meet this requirement. The application must be signed by the choral director. If the choral director is not a member of SCVA, then the application must be signed by both the choral director and the private voice teacher. Directors and/or voice teachers must be current members of SCVA, having paid their 2005-06 dues, in order for their students to participate. If your membership isn’t current, please contact Shawn Taylor, complete the membership application included in the SCVA newsletter, or visit

Performance Info
Each participant will sing one selection of a classical nature (art song or aria). Selections should be appropriate to the singer’s level of experience. Participants will be given a total of 8 minutes to perform and work with the adjudicator. Keep in mind that a longer song means less time to work with the adjudicator. Singers must provide their own skilled accompanists for the preliminary and semi-final rounds. (Keep costs down by sharing an accompanist.) An accompanist will only be provided for the final concert performance. The preliminary and semi-final rounds are in master-class format, lasting approximately 3 to 4 hours, including breaks. Participants are expected to check in before the master class starts and remain until the end to receive their certificates and adjudication forms. Please remind participants to make sure that they are available for all dates and times before completing the application. Also, please help our participants by not scheduling a gig for your choir on the same day that any of your students is scheduled to sing in the competition, or excuse those students from the gig. Singers arriving and leaving throughout the class can be distracting.

Up to five semi-finalists may be selected from each preliminary site at the high school level, along with one junior high/middle school semi-finalist. Singers selected to continue to the semi-final round may either perform their selection from the preliminary round or prepare another. At the semi-final round, the judges will select six high school finalists and one junior high/middle school finalist. The high school finalists will consist of the two best female singers, the two best male singers and the next two best singers at the judges’ discretion. Final placement of the high school finalists will be announced at the Junior High/Middle School Honor Choir concert.

Dates to Remember
 - Applications postmarked no later than Saturday, December 10, 2005
 - Preliminary rounds (various sites): 9am - 1:30pm, Saturday, January 14, 2006
 - Semi-final round (site TBD): 9am - 2:30pm, Saturday, February 25, 2006
 - Scholarships awarded after final performances at the Junior High/Middle School Honor Choir Concert (date, site, & time TBD)

Mail application packets to:
  Rodger Guerrero
  SCVA Vocal Solo Competition
  3700 Coldwater Canyon
  North Hollywood, CA  91604

For more information please visit and select Events and/or Newsletter.

Vocal Solo Application Form


Men’s and Women’s Clinic/Workshop - Ron Soderwall, VP – Young Men’s Clinic
Now is the time to start planning to send both your men and women singers to one of the finest gender related choral events in Southern California.In addition to the annual Young Men’s Harmony Festival that is co-sponsored by SCVA and the Masters of Harmony (six-time International Chorus Champion of the Barbershop Harmony Society), the Harborlites (current Sweet Adelines International Chorus Champion) will be organizing a Young Women’s Harmony Festival so that the young women in our choirs can enjoy the same experience as the men.

The dates for these two all-day festivals will be:
   Young Women’s Harmony Festival: February 11, 2006 – Orange Coast College
   Young Men’s Harmony Festival: February 18, 2006 – Orange Coast College

Having sent men to the Young Men’s Harmony Festival each year, I have personally benefited from the training that they received from the Masters of Harmony.  And then, to top off a full day of workshops and two great meals (all provided), the evening concert with the combined 320 singers filling the OCC stage was unbelievable!  This year I am sending all the female and male singers in all of my choirs as a required attendance and I have included the modest registration fee in their yearly choir participation fee (negating one other event in their calendar).  Yes, this event is that important to my singers.  And I am expecting the same high quality training and performance from participation in the Young Women In Harmony Festival for the ladies.  Please see the following article, and be sure to visit the Events page on the SCVA website for applications and more information.


Young Men’s Barbershop Harmony Festival – Mark Freedkin, Barbershop Harmony Society (SPEBSQSA)
We are pleased to announce another unique opportunity for your young male singers that will provide a positive boost for choral music at your school.  Building on our successful choral programs during the past six years, the Masters of Harmony and SCVA will hold a Young Men’s Harmony Festival starting at 10:00am on Saturday, February 18, 2006 at Orange Coast College.  The day-long event will consist of a morning and afternoon clinic and rehearsal, followed by a public performance in the evening with the Masters of Harmony.  In addition to providing an outstanding musical experience for your singers, all of the proceeds from this event will go to support choral music education programs in our schools.

About four weeks prior to the event, we will provide sheet music and downloadable voice-dominant MP3 audio practice tracks for several songs arranged in the barbershop style.

The cost is only $20 per singer for early registration.  Local barbershop sponsors will cover the remaining costs for all sheet music, audio practice tracks, rehearsal facilities, guest clinicians, and performance costumes.  A commemorative T-shirt will be provided to each singer.  We will also provide lunch and dinner for the singers, as well as a catered dinner for any music educators who attend the rehearsal and clinic.  We request that you or a parent accompany your singers at the event to help maintain discipline during the long day.

To qualify for the early registration fee, complete the enclosed application and parental consent/medical form for each singer and send payment by cash, check or money order payable to “Masters of Harmony” to the address below NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 20, 2005.  Thereafter, the registration fee will be $25 per singer.  Any male student who is currently enrolled in a school choral music program is eligible to participate.  There is no limit to the number of students you can nominate from your choral program.  We can accommodate up to 200 singers, so don’t delay!

For more information, please contact:
  Mark Freedkin
  Home: (949) 559-9621
  Work: (949) 470-3117

Young Men’s Barbershop Harmony Festival Application


Other Important Information
SCVA Membership Application