SCVA Newsletter (on-line version) - January 2010


Message from the President - Sheri Nelson
As we begin 2010 I need to ask you, our SCVA membership, for assistance.  As you finalize your festival literature for the spring please share with us some of your favorites.  What pieces do you frequently return to?  Which pieces would you recommend to a new teacher as ‘tried and true’?  What new gems have you recently discovered?

If you teach middle school, junior high school, high school, men’s, women’s or mixed voices we need your experience and knowledge.  I ask that each member please take a few minutes and input at least 5 pieces that you would like to see SCVA add to our suggested festival repertoire list.  You will find the submission form at   The publisher and stock number are helpful but not required when you submit your music suggestions.


Junior High Honor Choir - Debbie Montpas, VP, Junior High Honor Choir

Dear Colleagues, Students, and Parents,

The Southern California Vocal Association (SCVA) has been hosting the Junior Honor Choir for a number of years.  Membership in this prestigious choir is open to students who are enrolled in their school choir and are currently in 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th grade.   High school BOYS in 9th grade are especially needed for a solid bass/baritone section.  As its name implies, this is an HONOR CHOIR and we are looking for the best and brightest singers in Southern California who are responsible and dedicated.

I am pleased to announce that the director for this year’s Junior High Honor Choir is Dr. Christopher Peterson, Associate Professor of Music at California State University, Fullerton.  Dr. Peterson directs the Men’s Chorus and teaches classes in choral music education.  This is going to be an exceptional experience for your students and I hope that you’ll encourage ALL of your best singers to audition for this year’s Honor Choir.

Membership in the Junior High Honor Choir is based on a successful audition.  Singers must be able to demonstrate that they can perform the following:
1. Sing a major scale up and down (a cappella)
2. Sing a major triad and a minor triad (a cappella)
3. Sing an octave (a cappella)
4. Sight read a brief melody (a cappella on “do”, numbers or letters)
5. Sight read rhythms  (ta, ti-ti or clapping)
6. Sing tonal memory patterns
7. Sing “America” / “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” (a cappella)

You will need to go onto the website to register for an audition day and time.  There is a $5 audition fee.

JANUARY 30                                     FEBRUARY 6
Arlington HS, Riverside                        Lincoln MS, Santa Monica
Manhattan Beach Ms                            Mesa Robles MS, Hacienda Heights
Mark Keppel HS, Alhambra                 Bernardo Yorba MS, Yorba Linda
                                                            McFadden Int., Santa Ana

Students will be notified by FEBRUARY 26 if they have been accepted into the Honor Choir.  THERE IS A $40 PARTICIPATION FEE to help pay for your music, the conductor, accompanist, and other expenses.

PARENTS:  We have made every attempt to make the Honor Choir rehearsals as “driver friendly” as possible.  This year there will be only TWO rehearsals and one of them will be as close to your area as possible.  We depend on your commitment to this event so that we are able to have a successful performance.


REGIONAL REHEARSAL  (attend ONE near you)
 - March 13 @ Arlington HS from 9:00 a.m. to NOON (2951 Jackson Street, Riverside, 92503)
 - March 13 @ John Adams MS from 1:00 – 4:00 PM (2425 16th St., Santa Monica 90405)
 - March 20 @ Mesa Robles MS from 9:00 AM to NOON (16060 Mesa Robles Dr., Hacienda Heights 91745)

You MUST also attend the All-day rehearsal on MAY 1ST.  The sessions will be from 9:00 – Noon and from 2:00 – 5:00 pm.  The Honor Choir CONCERT is that evening.  (The performance site has not been confirmed.) Students will be asked to bring a SACK LUNCH from home that day.  SCVA will host a pizza DINNER and snacks for the singers.

STUDENTS:  If chosen for the SCVA Junior High Honor Choir , I agree to:
1. Attend and be on time for ONE Regional Rehearsal
2. Attend and be on time for the May 1st Rehearsal with Dr. Peterson
3. Be fully prepared with my music MEMORIZED for the May 1st rehearsal
4. Be polite and respectful toward everyone associated with the Honor Choir

I look forward to having a WONDERFUL choral experience and hope many of you singers will take this opportunity to become a part of this year’s Junior High Honor Choir.

Debbie Montpas,


Jennifer Stanley, VP of High School Festivals and Maria Fritts, VP of Middle School/Junior High Festivals

No paper application follows this article!  Online registration will improve the registration process in several ways:
 - A festival will have availability if it says “Register.”
 - As soon as a festival is full, it will be closed on the website.
 - You don’t need a second choice festival since you can only register if there is availability.

YOUR FESTIVAL REGISTRATION WILL NOT BE COMPLETED UNTIL PAYMENT IS RECEIVED. When you apply online, you will receive an email confirming your initial registration.  This email will include the amount due ($75 for MS/JHS and HS choirs) and you can use this email as an invoice to request a school check.  A faster way to pay and guarantee your registration is to pay on the SCVA website through PayPal.  IF PAYMENT IS NOT RECEIVED WITHIN 30 DAYS OF YOUR INITIAL REGISTRATION, YOUR REGISTRATION WILL BE CANCELLED.

APPLY EARLY FOR MOST FESTIVAL AVAILABILITY.  As a courtesy to others, please do not bring more than two choirs to one festival.  Each choir is limited to one festival per season.  The registration deadline is March 1, 2010, and late registrations will not be accepted.  Please check your school’s testing schedule and spring break when scheduling your festival.  Please note the location of your festival so you can begin planning for transportation.  We can’t process your registration unless you are a current member of SCVA; if your membership is not current, please purchase it online or add $35 to your check amount.

WHY ATTEND A CHORAL FESTIVAL?  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!  Many thanks to our volunteer festival hosts for hosting 50 SCVA festivals in 2010!!

 - Festival Schedule
 - Online Festival Registration Form
 - PayPal system for online payment of festival fees and membership dues
 - Festival Adjudication Form
 - Adjudication Scoring Scale
 - Festival Code of Conduct
 - Festival Listening Guide
 - Festival Host Guide
 - List of Recommended Choral Literature
 - Festival Music Suggestion Form (for additions to List of Recommended Choral Literature)

For more information or questions, contact Maria Fritts at or (951) 926-6776; contact Jennifer Stanley at or (626) 258-5292.

Festival Listings and On-Line Registration


SCVA Vocal Jazz Festival - Christine Enns, VP - Jazz Choir
Last call to include your students in an incredible day of learning and growth in jazz!

 The SCVA Vocal Jazz Festival with Adjudicators Cindy Bourquin from Santa Monica City College and Christine Guter from Cal State Long Beach will take place on Tuesday March 9th. My students have worked with these two adjudicators before and they are not only endearing but comedians in their own right. I think your students will love learning from them since my students couldn’t stop talking about both of these wonderful adjudicators!

You may choose to have your performance scored (Superior, Excellent, Good). Note: This festival is not a ranked/placement festival. It is on the same basis as all SCVA festivals.

Once again, at 7pm, Cal State Long Beach will close the evening with a performance by their wonderful jazz group, Pacific Standard Time! This will be a great gathering of vocal jazz students and teachers throughout Southern California.  For those participating in competitions later in the school semester, students will also get great exposure and coaching from our very experienced clinicians. Applications are being accepted now. Space is limited so do not delay! If you have any questions please email me at  Please put this date on your calendar!!!  The festival is open to all levels, novice through advanced.  The fee is only $150.

Location:  Valencia High School, 27801 N.  Dickason Dr. Valencia, Ca. 91355
  1:30pm – 6:30pm with concert beginning at 7pm (may change slightly based on the number of groups attending).
  16 microphones
  Piano, Bass Amp (drum set may be provided if requested)
  $150 per group
Evening Concert featuring Cal State Long Beach Pacific Standard Time - $5

Please note: No cash or personal checks accepted.  Payment may be made by school or booster club check, money order, or PayPal.  If using PayPal, please include your confirmation slip with your application.

Please send the check to the location listed above and put attention to Christine Enns on the envelope.

Jazz Festival Application Form


Other Important Information
On-Line SCVA Membership Application