SCVA Newsletter (on-line version) – January 2005


Message from the President – Grace Sheldon-Williams, President

Musical Offerings I:  Unison/SA/SSA
Since I haven’t been to any staff development days lately, I’m fresh out of witty cynicisms to share with you.  Therefore, this will be the first installment of “Musical Offerings,” featuring some of your favorite pieces.  Difficulty level is subject to interpretation, of course. 

Next:  Musical Offerings II:  SATB easy/medium!  Please e-mail me with your favorites.
Many thanks to all who assisted with this list (whether they knew it or not):  Heidi Cissel, John Elg, Lyn Krinsky, Iris Levine, Sharon Paul, Kathryn Smith, Charlotte Smurthwaite, Polly Vasche, Hanan Yaqub.

“Ae Fond Kiss”  Arr. Kesselman;  2-part treble; Boosey & Hawkes #OCTB6793; Easy.
“Al Shlosha D’Varim”  Naplan; 2-part treble; Boosey &Hawkes #OCTB6783; Easy.
“All the Pretty Little Horses” Arr. Wagner; SSA div. Somerset #SP752; Easy-Medium.
“Ave Maria”  Childs; SSA w/ flute; Santa Barbara #SBMP 222; Easy.
“Christmas Carol, A” Ives; Unison; Merion #342-40116; Easy.  Also available in SATB.
“Come, Let Us Sing”  Aloyse; SSA; Shawnee #B 0305.  Medium.
“Et exultavit (from Magnificat)” Bach/Whittaker; Unison; Oxford #45.276; Medium.
“Farewell, Lad”  Arr. O’Neill; SSA; Alfred #5766; Easy.
“Gems of Gregorian Chant” Ed. Rutter; Unison; Collegium #CCS 208; Easy-Medium.
“How Can I Keep from Singing” Lowry/Hugh; SSA, solo; B&H #OCTB6859; Medium.
“How Do I Love Thee?” Christensen; SSAA; Treble Clef; Difficult!
“Huron Indian Carol” Arr. Jones; Unison/2-part; Shawnee #EA0180; Easy.
“Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier”  Arr. Moore; SSA; Somerset #SP810; Easy.
“Kyrie Gregorianus” Arr. Scott; Unison; Brilee #BL262; Easy.
“Las Amarillas”  Hatfield; SSA; Boosey & Hawkes; Difficult.
“Light the Legend”  Isaacson; SSA; Transcontinental #992049.
“Lullaby (from Hodie)” Vaughan Williams; SA, solo; Oxford #44.603; Easy.
“Magnificat”  Kendrick; SSA; Santa Barbara.
“Night of Silence” Kantor; Unison w/ str, ob, fl; GIA.
“O Salutaris”  Caplet; SSA; Durand; Medium.
“Oh Shenandoah” Arr. Schram; SSA w/ flute; Brilee #BL 424.
“Past Three O’Clock” Arr. Culloton; SSA w/ flute; Mark Foster; MF0931; Easy.
“Petit Enfant”  Shaw & Thompsen; SA w/ flute; Santa Barbara #SBMP 199; Easy.
“Sing on This Festive Day” Arcadelt/Liebergen; SSA; Brilee #BL284; Easy.
“There Is No Rose”  Stroope; SSA div.; Alliance #AMP 0392; Difficult.
“Three Hebrew Psalms” Braz; 3-part treble; CPP Belwin #2284; Easy-Medium.
“Two Catalan Carols” Arr. O’Neill; 2-part treble; Alfred #4788; Easy.
“Wiegenleid”  Mozart; SSA, solo; Kjos; Mod. Difficult.
“Yonder Come Day” Arr. Tucker; 3-part; World Music, VTS #10; Easy (limited ranges).


SCVA Honor Choir Weekend -- Rich Brunner – VP High School Honor Choir

We shouldn’t be, but we always seem surprised when young men and women are willing to carve out an entire weekend to sing in a choir.  And not just willing…enthusiastically willing!  Their level of commitment makes us step back and take notice: of their sense of joy at singing something difficult or challenging; of their ability to be flexible and cooperative in a tense, hard-working environment; of their amazement at singing through an entire piece and getting all the notes right; of their pride at hearing the other choirs and cheering them on.

It’s humbling.  How often do we forget all these beautiful aspects in our own teaching?  And, yes, there is a performance at the end of all the work and struggle, but the work and the struggle…the process…that’s where the magic lies.  If you get a great performance, too, that’s just gravy, baby!

And on November 20th, we got gravy!   This years’ Regional Honor Choirs sang with enthusiasm, energy, heart, soul...they gave everything that was asked of them, and more, by our three terrific guest conductors: Peter Rutenberg for the Men’s Choir, Dr. Iris Levine with the Women’s Choir and Dr. Jocelyn Jensen for the Mixed Choir.  The music-making was of a very high caliber, the instruction was inspiring and the friendships…the new friendships made the work easy.  Well, not easy, but easier.  One parent was overheard saying after the concert that “this experience could be the one, singular experience that could change these kids lives forever.” There was definitely that sense, that there was learning going on and that everyone would walk away changed!

Nothing occurs in a vacuum and this event was no exception.  There are so many people to thank: Wendy Kornbeck, director at Venice High School and her staff of over a dozen of her choir members and parent boosters who volunteered their time for two days, tirelessly doing everything from moving chairs to barbequing hamburgers; Rich Brunner, Lori Marie Rios and Karen Bluel for being ‘go-fors ‘ for our directors; Cecile Blanchard , director at John Adams Middle School for supplying the risers for the concert; Mary Purdy, Rich Brunner and Lori Marie Rios for directing the first Saturday rehearsal; Sandra Robinson, Nancy Gray, Lisa Brunner, Barbara Fletcher, Robert Engle, and Mike Short who assisted with the weekend; all of the site hosts and adjudicators whose time and dedication make an event of this magnitude even possible; Fullerton College for supplying some outstanding instrumentalists; and our fabulous accompanists: Pro Mojica, Joe Schubert & Melva Morrison.  

One final word: if you didn’t have your kids audition this year, do it next year.  They aren’t going to get better at mastering the audition process unless they put themselves in it.  That means that the teachers (that’s us) have to make the time and effort to shepherd them through it.  And if your kids did audition and didn’t make it in this year, encourage them to try it again!  Don’t complain about the audition process to them, just tell them it’s worthwhile and move on.  If you think changes should be made in the audition process, don’t sit in the corner and complain to the walls…talk to the board!  This Honor Choir can only improve and grow with your input, so put in!  Thanks for caring so much about your students, and for being such a valuable asset to SCVA.


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


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