SCVA Newsletter (on-line version) – December 2004


Message from the President – Grace Sheldon-Williams, President

Season’s Greetings from SCVA!
SCVA is off to a great start this year with an inspiring Fall In-Service, a revitalized Vocal Jazz Festival and a phenomenal High School Honor Choir concert.  Many thanks to coordinators Mark, Matt, Kathy, and Rich along with their helpers (to be named in a future issue).

Application deadlines are coming up for the Junior High Honor Choir (December 10) and the Young Men’s Harmony Festival (December 20) so do not delay! Also in this issue is the first listing of the 2005 SCVA High School and Junior High  Festivals. Get your applications in early as these events fill up fast! And it’s not too late to send in a few of your favorite Unison, 2-part, and SA/SSA pieces for the first installment of “Musical Offerings...” maybe something from your fall or winter concerts.

I wish you all a very safe and happy holiday season!


PayPal Update – Mark Freedkin, SCVA Webmaster
Since we introduced the new PayPal interface on the SCVA website at the beginning of this school year, more than 100 electronic payments have been made by SCVA members.  Based on feedback we have received from our members, the PayPal interface has been updated to allow payment for multiple participants in an SCVA activity through a single PayPal transaction. Although the default quantity is still 1, you can enter any number larger than one, and PayPal will automatically multiply the payment amount and processing fee by that new quantity. When paying for any SCVA activity through the PayPal interface, please remember to print out the confirmation e-mail message and send it along with your application(s).  Please contact Mark Freedkin ( if you have any questions or problems using the PayPal interface.


Young Men’s Harmony Festival – Mark Freedkin, Barbershop Harmony Society (SPEBSQSA)
We are pleased to announce another unique opportunity for your young male singers which we hope will provide a positive boost for choral music at your school and throughout Southern California.  To build on our successful choral programs during the past six years, the local chapters of the Barbershop Harmony Society (SPEBSQSA) and the Southern California Vocal Association (SCVA) are organizing a Young Men’s Harmony Festival starting at 10:00am on Saturday, February 19, 2005 at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa.  The daylong event will consist of a morning and afternoon clinic and rehearsal, followed by a public performance in the evening with the Masters of Harmony, five-time International Barbershop Chorus Champions.  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 voice-dominant practice tapes 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, practice tapes, 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 also 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, 2004.  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 request that you select your better singers to represent your school.  We can accommodate a maximum of 200 singers, so don’t delay!

The Barbershop Harmony Society is dedicated to preserving and encouraging vocal music of all kinds in our schools and our communities, through financial support and by being strong advocates for the arts.  In partnership with the Music Educators National Conference (MENC), the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and other organizations, the Society is actively involved in the effort to help revitalize music education and to “Get America Singing...Again”.  Support from local Barbershop harmony programs has earned the enthusiastic endorsement of the SCVA.

We look forward to receiving your applications.  Please contact me if you have any questions about the Young Men’s Harmony Festival or any of our Young Men In Harmony programs.

Mark Freedkin
Southern California Young Men In Harmony Coordinator
3 Muir, Irvine, CA  92620-3374
Home: (949) 559-9821   Work: (949) 856-7794

Harmony Festival Application & Parental Permission Form


Just Do It Attend a Choral Festival This Year
Jennifer Stanley, VP of High School Festivals
Laurie Hancock, VP of Junior High Festivals, and
Patti Macleod, VP of Elementary Festivals

As music educators, we are in a very unique position for assessment because of festivals.  No other discipline allows teachers to have their students assessed by experts in their field and receive instant feedback.  Choral directors who attend festivals have positive experiences with adjudicators who understand their teaching situations, and the adjudicators actively work to reinforce their teaching.  Attending festivals is an excellent way to expose your students to great choral literature, and for them to see other students working on the same choral concepts you are teaching.  Since it is a positive experience for everyone involved, make sure that you ATTEND A CHORAL FESTIVAL THIS YEAR.

Thank you to all the directors who are hosting festivals!  With our festival hosts, we have been able to schedule festivals in many different locations throughout March, April and May.  We are working to make the festival process easier for everyone.  The festival application follows this article.  Applying early will increase your chances of being accepted to you first choice festival.  As a courtesy to others, please do not bring more than two choirs to one festival.  The application deadline is March 1, 2005.  Please check your school’s testing schedule and spring break when scheduling your festival.  Please be aware of the location of your festival so you can begin planning for transportation.

There is new information posted on the website to assist you and your students in festival preparation:

        The Festivals General Information page has been updated to include the Code of Conduct

        The Festival Adjudication Form (in PDF format) and Festival Scoring Scale are now posted on the website

        The Schedule of Festivals on the website has been updated

There have been several people who have expressed an interest in hosting an elementary festival but so far no one pas committed to do so.  There is a need for elementary festivals, so if you are interested, please contact Patti MacLeod at

Festival Application Form


Junior High Honor Choir – Debbie Montpas, VP Junior High Honor Choir
It’s time to prepare your best singers and musicians to audition for the Junior High Honor Choir!  We are honored to have DR. CHARLENE ARCHIBEQUE, Director of Choral Activities at San Jose State University, as our guest conductor this year.  Dr. Archibeque is a fabulous clinician and your students (and you!) will learn so much about the choral art from her.  This is going to be an exceptional experience for your students and I hope that you’ll encourage them to audition. Honor Choir weekend is May 14-15.

The Honor Choir is open to all 7, 8, and 9th graders as well as 6th graders if they are in a middle school choral program.  High school BOYS in 9th grade are especially encouraged to audition so we have a solid bass/baritone section.  Boys with unchanged voices are also encouraged to audition.  There is a $45 participation fee for students accepted into the choir.  Singers will again have a rehearsal CD to help them learn and memorize their music.

Teach your students the following for a few minutes every day between now and January.  They will become more confident musicians and will do well at the audition.  They must be able to sing the following:

            “America” (“My  Country ‘Tis of Thee”) a cappella
            Major scale  (solfege or “ah” with accuracy)
            Major  and minor triad
            Tonal memory patterns
            Rhythmic sight reading (clap, tap, or ta-ti  the correct rhythms)
            Melodic sightreading (solfege or any syllable)

It is extremely important that directors understand that your signature on a student’s application indicates your confidence that the student will be a responsible and dedicated member of the Honor Choir.  Rehearsal dates are MANDATORY and are NOT negotiable.  Students who have a conflict with any of the dates on the application should NOT apply or audition!  (Directors with school conflicts must contact me right away.)  Students who quit or who are dismissed from the Honor Choir will be ineligible to participate in ANY SCVA Honor Choir for one year.  Please understand that these rules were made with the good of the choir in mind.  Someone who misses 25% or more of the scheduled rehearsals can’t be considered a valuable member if they’re not there.  This is an HONOR Choir and the students selected to be in it must be honorable and responsible.

There are a lot of details in making a successful Honor Choir experience.  I am in need of ADJUDICATORS FOR THE AUDITIONS, REHEARSAL ASSISTANTS, PEOPLE TO CHECK-IN THE STUDENTS AT REHEARSALS, etc.  Please contact me if you can help out with this year’s Honor Choir.  Your help will be GREATLY appreciated!

Junior High Honor Choir Application Form


2005 Show Choir Spectacular – Erin Terreri, VP Show Choir
As you know by now, the date for the show choir competition is Saturday, April 23rd at Long Beach Poly High School.  In this newsletter you will find the guidelines for the event and the application.  Please fill out the application completely and do not send it without the entry fee.  One check may be written for all of your groups.  Passes for your entourage will be sold at the door for $5.00.  However, if you have more than 40 participants, including students, band, crew, director and choreographer then you must include $5.00 for each additional person (think about your chaperones).  The students of Pacifica High School will be hosting the event.  We are veterans of this competition and are looking forward to watching all of the groups from behind the scenes.  The deadline for the application is March 31st, however, the sooner I get your applications, then the sooner I can let you know when your times will be!  Please check your calendars before sending in your applications.  There have been problems in the past with groups just deciding not to show up.  We expect commitment from our students, so please be the example by checking all other conflicts before sending in your application.  I hope you’re having a great year and Happy Holidays.

SCVA Guidelines
1. Each group will be allowed a maximum of 20 minutes including set up and tear down. Groups exceeding this limit will take a 10 point penalty per minute.
2. Taped accompaniment is allowed for this competition
3. We will provide a drum set and piano. PLEASE DO NOT BRING THESE ITEMS.
4. Directors who wish to conduct may do so from a designated area of the house.
5. Any special effects must be cleared in advance of the competition.
6. Five (5) microphones on stands will be provided for each performance.  We will also provide general stage lighting. No spot will be provided.  No group will be permitted to use their own sound/lighting equipment.
7. Note to directors of women’s choirs: There may be no male participants on stage even if they are    used essentially as a “prop.”
8. Each group will have a designated area for placement of props, etc. Take all props, etc. to busses or cars immediately following your performance.
9. Choirs are to be seated in the theater at the start of their session and will be escorted to a warm-up area while the group immediately prior to yours moves to the stage.
10. Directors need not provide scores for adjudicators.
11. Missed performance times will not be rescheduled.

SCORING: 240 POINTS POSSIBLE (30 points per category)
Tone Quality     Dynamics
Intonation         Interpretation
Blend/Balance  Visual Effect
Diction             Overall Presentation

Show Choir Application Form


Other Important Information
SCVA Membership Application
Festival Host Application Form