SCVA Newsletter (on-line version) - December 2000

President's Message
Kenneth Tuttle
Season's Greetings! Can you believe it's December, and we are all in the thick of it, up to our antlers in busy holiday preparations and performances?! It can all kind of sneak up on you before you realize it! I hope you are able to take time to enjoy the process of it all, in spite of the pace you may be taking. I know the singers are into the spirit of it, as long as they are not run into the ground through too many performances. We need to watch out for them with their vocal health, general health, and school health, and help keep them, well, healthy! My sincere warm wishes for a successful, fulfilling holiday season, and a well-deserved rest of body and spirit over the winter break for you and your students.

Once again, this newsletter is chock-full of information for you, and opportunities for your students! Share your music, and be a part of the larger Southern California choral music education community! What a great day we shared at the Fall In-Service! Bravo Mary! And the Honor Choir Concert was a sharing of music, respect, and love between choirs and conductors! Congratulations to Don, Dan, Sheri, and Grace!

The Solo Vocal Festival application is due by postmark December 15th. Call Desiree La Vertu for further information. The preliminary list of SCVA Choral Festivals appears in this newsletter, along with an application to attend one. (It's not too late to offer to host an SCVA Choral Festival this coming season!). The SCVA Show Choir Spectacular 2001 and the SCVA Jazz Festival 2001 applications are within, along with updated Men's Choral Clinic information. Please note the updated Calendar of Events. And there are several additions and corrections to the Executive Board Directory to note.

I especially want to encourage you to consider involving your men in the SPEBSQSA / SCVA sponsored Men's Honor Choir this year! Our friend Mark Freedkin is coordinating the event, and following the success of last year's first concert, this year's promises to be a tremendous evening of great singing and entertainment!

Kudos again to Mark for the professional work and ethic he brings to the maintenance of the SCVA Website, and keeping it updated with information pertinent to the working choral music educator! Have you visited our site recently? Check us out!


Show Choir Festival 2001
Ron Soderwall, Show Choir Vice President
With show choir director calls already plugging up my phone line at school, this years SCVA Show Choir Spectacular 2001 on Saturday, March 24th, is going to be the biggest and best ever!

Within this newsletter, you will find the application form that you will need to complete and return, along with your entry fee ($150.00 per choir, payable to SCVA), and send them to me at:

Attn: Ron Soderwall
Woodbridge High School
Vocal Music Department
2 Meadowbrook
Irvine, CA 92604

Please keep in mind that we will schedule the festival entrants on a first-come, first served basis, and no application will be accepted without the proper entry fee(s) attached.

Our three adjudicators for this year are outstanding personalities in the field of choral and show programming. To begin our introductions, we have Brent Pierce from Fullerton College. Brent is a nationally recognized composer, with many show and jazz choir charts to his credit. In fact, Brent was writing show choir music long before it caught on to the extent that we all enjoy today. He has directed and adjudicated widely throughout the United States, and is a regular clinician and judge for Disney Entertainment and its Magic Music Days. Dina Humble, of Riverside Community College fame, is fast gaining recognition for her work in the show and jazz choir field. As the director of the RCC Showcase Singers, her innovative style and cross-cultural vocal jazz idioms, has made many well-known and seasoned directors stand up and take notice. Dina has a deep understanding of what makes a show chart "cook", and she has the ability to cause it "to happen". You will enjoy her insightful comments, and may even wish to have her as a guest clinician on your own campus for your own ensemble. Dr. Lee Vail, from California State University, Long Beach, has for thirty years adjudicated hundreds of choirs of every genre. He is a recognized clinician and vocal expert. We are honored he has worked us into his schedule!

Remember, we can only accommodate 36-40 choirs in the one day and evening set aside for this year's festival. As always, a food court will be provided from 6:30am and remain open until the last choir sings in the evening. Northwood High School, our festival site, offers abundant bus and automobile parking, as well as any easy loading and unloading access for props at the rear of their state-of-the-art auditorium. Northwood HS is a brand new campus in the Irvine area enjoying its second year in existence.

As has become our custom, we will award trophies and plaques at the conclusion of each session throughout the day. Each session will handle no more than 6 to 8 choirs (of the same voicing or accompaniment) which will make it possible for individual choirs to exit the festival following their divisional awards ceremony (it necessary).

Now you know everything about the SCVA Show Choir Spectacular 2001 except the nitty-gritty details that you will receive in the mail once I have processed your completed application and entry fee. So don't wait, fill out the application now, and send it with the entry fee to me as soon as possible!


Jazz Choir Festival
Erin Crowe, Jazz Choir Vice President
I am happy to give you an update on the Vocal Jazz Festival! The date is Friday, March 2, 2001 at the Don Walsh Auditorium at Garden Grove High School. Michele Weir, Graeme Langager, and Glen Carlos will adjudicate the festival. The festival will start at 9:00am and conclude at 5:00pm. Each group will have 30 minutes to set-up, perform, and receive a clinic from one of the adjudicators. There are three divisions: beginning, intermediate, and advanced. The award ceremonies will take place after each division has completed the competition. All groups are welcome to stay and watch the other divisions perform! Please find the Jazz/Show Choir entry form in this month's newsletter and send it in today!!! If you have any questions you can e-mail me at or call (714) 663-6060.


Junior High / Middle School Festivals
Taryn Koch, Jr. High / Middle School Festivals Vice-President
The following pages include a list of SCVA festivals for spring 2001 and a festival application form. The application form must be returned by March 2, 2001, along with a check or money order for $75.00. Do not send applications without the festival entry fee. Please note that the festivals are assigned in the order in which the applications are received. Every effort is made to place groups in their first or second choice. However, some festivals fill faster than others. If all of your choices are already full, I will notify you be telephone. As you make your festival selections, please remember to check your district's testing schedule.

Please put your e-mail address on the application. When you application is filed into a festival, I will confirm via e-mail, if possible. Confirmations will be mailed to all directors after March 2.

As you review the list of festivals, please not any special components or requirements in bold print. The sight-singing workshop is a new component being piloted by SCVA this year. At the junior high / middle school level, the sight-singing workshop will involve all festival participants simultaneously and will not be considered a part of any choir's individual adjudication. The sight-singing workshop is an excellent way to reinforce the sight-singing skills being taught in your classroom or to introduce your students to important sight-singing concepts and tools.

I look forward to working with each of you. Please feel free to e-mail any questions you may have to

Best wishes for a successful festival season!

Junior High Festival list
SCVA Festival Application


Senior High Festivals
Lori Marie Rios, Sr. High Festivals Vice President
I hope your fall concerts went well and by the time you receive this some of you have already had successful Holiday concerts. As for me, I have two more weeks of rehearsal; it's funny how the holidays are upon us so quickly.

Over the past few months I have met so many of my colleagues who value the festival experience. SCVA has 17 high schools and colleges that have volunteered their recital halls and auditoriums. For some, the idea of taking their kids to a festival is intimidating; however, I challenge you to look at the festival experience as a growing and learning tool. We all have those groups that never seem to find the pitches and frequently create their own melodies. We have several festivals that meet the needs of those groups and also have festivals for women's choirs and advanced ensembles. We even have one festival that will incorporate a sight-reading element. (We're still waiting for confirmation as to time and place of that one.)

I invite all of you to find a festival that will meet the needs of your singers. I look forward to hearing from you. Please do not wait to the last minute -- I always assume I have plenty of time as well, and as you know, deadlines approach and pass us before we know it.

Senior High Festival list
SCVA Festival Application


Men's Choral Clinic
Jason Harney, Men's Choral Clinic Vice-President
This year's Men's Choral Clinic will be held on February 15, 2001 at California State University, Long Beach. Jonathan Talberg, Director of Vocal and Choral Studies at CSULB will be this year's guest clinician. The schedule is as follows:

- Junior High / Middle School Session (7th - 8th grades): 9:30am-11:30am
- Senior High School Session (9th - 12th grades) 12:00pm - 2:00pm

The fee for each participant is $2.00. Mr. Talberg has chosen the following repertoire for each session:

Junior High/Middle School
1. Homeward Bound - Carl Strommen
TTB, Pepper Catalog #1770189
2. Cindy - arr. Kirby Shaw
2-part, Pepper Catalog #3085966

  Senior High School
1. Viva Tutti - arr. Ralph Hunter
TTB, Pepper Catalog #4597183
2. What Shall We Do With A
Drunken Sailor? G Schirmer 7422
3. Shenandoah - arr. Paul Basler
Plymouth TJMS300

Watch for our special mailer in January 2001!! Enclosed will be an application for this event, as well as biographical information about this year's guest clinician. Plan to participate NOW!!


Solo Vocal Festival 2001
Desiree La Vertu, Solo Vocal Festival Vice-President
Hi, everyone! Just a friendly and timely reminder to send in your application for the Solo Vocal Festival. The application postmark deadline has been extended to Friday, December 15th. Please don't delay!

Many kudos and thanks to the following sites hosting this year's preliminary events! We appreciate you willingness to help so our students may have this opportunity!

Capistrano Valley HS, Stan Nickel
Fallbrook HS, Kelley Bell
Fullerton Academy of the Arts, Scott Hedgecock
Harvard-Westlake School, Jayne Campbell
Hawthorne HS, Colleen Kennedy
La Canada HS, Lori Marie Rios


Fall In-Service
Mary Purdy, Past President
Greetings!  I hope that this newsletter finds you busily preparing for holiday concerts and activities in good health!  I’d like to take a few minutes out of this busy time to reflect on the Fall In-Service. Wasn’t it great!!??

As far as I’m concerned the day was a big success!  Each of the presenters had something unique to offer.  Dr. Ron Kean gave us some very insightful tips on tone quality and how it affects our choirs.  I particularly liked his “Eh” exercise and have already used it with my students.  In addition, I’ve been trying to make better use of my ears over my piano.  Karen Garrett had many helpful techniques for teaching sight-singing.  If you haven’t been using them, why not start now?  Her ideas can only help our students become stronger musicians.  It really only takes 5 minutes a day.  Dr. Dan Hosken had some very helpful information on technology and its use in our classrooms.  Just the chart that he made will help me!!  Finally, Mary Schliff’s students’ presentation of the Back Pack Opera was a delight.  As I watched it, I was mindful of how my students could teach others the different aspects of opera, without the heavy operatic themes, and while incorporating something that young children can comprehend.

The performances at the In-Service were outstanding.  Many thanks to Brenda Mohr and Cecile Blanchard for bringing their choirs to perform for the adjudicators workshop.  Each of these choirs was fabulous!!!  I was amazed to hear how advanced they were so early in the year.  The Northridge Singers of CSUN, under the direction of Paul Smith, were excellent—as always!  The variety of music they perform, and all at a superior level, is very different than many collegiate choirs.  The duet preview from The Marriage of Figaro, under the direction of David Aks, was very well performed.  My barbershop quartet, “Nothing But Treble”, provided yet another stylistic performance.  I was very proud—I felt like their mom!!  What a day!!

If you didn’t get to come to this year’s Fall In-Service, you really missed a great day!  Hold the date of October 26th next year as a possible date for the in-service.  You will be renewed and invigorated as I was this year.  Don’t miss the opportunity for expanding your breadth of teaching skills and renewing relationships with your colleagues.  It’s great to learn how you can further improve your techniques.

I’d like to thank the people in the music department at my alma mater, California State University, Northridge for all of their help with the Fall In-Service.  Dr. Jerry Luedders couldn’t have been more helpful!  He made sure that I had everything that I needed to make the In-Service go smoothly.  Pat Kuhn, the music department secretary was invaluable.  She reserved rooms and helped with set up and anything else that I needed.  Mary Reale, Dr. Dan Hosken and Mary Schliff also helped make things go so well. I can’t thank all of them enough!

I hope you all have a very happy holiday season and much needed rest at the end of it!  Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays.


Honor Choir
Sheri Nelson, Honor Choir Vice-President
The performance of both the Mixed and Women's Honor Choirs on November 18th were wonderful. On behalf of all the students involved I would like to thank our two guest conductors, Don Brinegar and Dan Jackson. The students had a wonderful time during the two days of rehearsals and had a great educational & musical experience.

This event is one of SCVA's largest and Grace Sheldon-Williams and I could not coordinate this event without the help of numerous others. We owe a huge THANKS to all of the following individuals who so graciously gave of their time for this wonderful event.

Audition Site Hosts:
Kerry Burtis, Tony Azeltine, Susan Winckler, Kathy Cobb-Woll, Nancy Shirley, Mary Purdy, Lisa Lopez, Mark Henson, Dr. Vance Wolverton, Randi Carp, Kenneth Tuttle, and Lisa Friedrichs.

Audition Judges:
Rich Brunner, Mary Purdy, Lori Marie Rios, Desiree LaVertu, Colleen Kennedy, Jennifer Rowe, Chris Rhodes, Scott Hedgecock, Ron Perry, Carolyn Kelley, Lisa Lopez, Melva Morrison, Scott Walker, Richard Steffan, Leslie Benjamin, Ted Reid, Merryl Nelson, Louise Carmon, Nancy Gray, Janis Madden, Debora Wait, Jim Wilbur, Shirley Nute, Kerry Burtis, David Montoya, Tim Lutz, Joseph Schubert, Karen Garrett, Bonnie Pumphrey, Megan MacKenzie, Rich Messenger, Jayne Campbell, Nancy Schwartz, Sheridan Ball, Jason Harney, Erin Crowe, Laura Jadrich, Lisa Lyons, Jackie Doyle, Tamara Craver, Brenda Kenyon, Jim Tompkins-MacLaine, Tony Atienza and Keith Pedersen.

Rehearsal Conductors and Accompanists:
Mary Esther Blakely, Scott Hedgecock and Randi Carp

An additional thank you is owed to John Tebay at Fullerton College who has been so gracious enough to allow SCVA to use his facilities for the past two years during the honor choir weekend. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

I encourage all of you to continue to help SCVA with this event in the future. Grace and I thank all of you who call to help volunteer and who are always willing to help in any way needed. I personally thank Grace for her assistance this year. She brought forth some new, fresh ideas (and has started planning for next year) and I know that she willo do a fabulous job coordinating this event for all of you next year.


Barbershop News
Mark Freedkin, SPEBSQSA Representative
Over the past two years, I have met so many dedicated and talented people through my association with SCVA. My fellow “barbershoppers” and I really appreciate the work that all of you do in the classroom every day, helping to share the gift of music with young people. The members of the Barbershop Harmony Society are also dedicated to sharing that gift.

To that end, we have organized two different honor chorus events for young male singers. The first event took place in June 1999 at the International Barbershop Harmony Convention in Anaheim, in which 65 young men from 18 schools put on an absolutely stellar performance and received a standing ovation on every song from more than 3000 “barbershoppers” and their families. It was a peak musical experience for every one of those young men. Several of them have formed their own barbershop quartets, and they've gone on to compete in our High School Quartet Contests.

The second event in May 2000 was not quite as successful, due to a variety of scheduling conflicts. Nevertheless, we still had 21 young men who did a very commendable job in front of two very enthusiastic audiences, and everyone had a wonderful time anyway.

For this coming school year, we are taking an exciting new approach. On Saturday, March 3, 2001, we will be hosting an all-day clinic and festival for up to 120 young men at Mission Viejo High School in south Orange County. The guest clinician will be Mr. Bill Rashleigh, Music Specialist from our headquarters office in Kenosha Wisconsin. The day will culminate with a public performance by the young men, several of our top adult quartets, and the 120-member “Masters of Harmony”, four-time international chorus champions (with whom I sing). We will provide sheet music and voice-dominant practice tapes in advance, and then we will come together for final polishing in the morning and afternoon of the event.

The Barbershop Harmony clinic/festival will be open to young men from senior and junior high schools throughout Southern California. An application and audition kit will be mailed to all high school choral music teachers within the next few weeks. The application will also be included in the December newsletter. We would also welcome any junior high school young men who are recommended by their choral directors. All choral directors are also welcome to observe the clinic and rehearsal, and will be treated to lunch and dinner at our expense. Please encourage your young male singers to audition for this unique musical experience.

For more information, please contact:

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

Other Items:
2000-2001 Calendar
SCVA Executive Board 2000-2002
Vocal Solo Competition Application
2000-2001 Festival Host Application
Show/Jazz Choir Application
SCVA Festival Application
SCVA Membership Renewal Application
Barbershop Harmony Festival Application