SCVA Newsletter (on-line version) - February 2009


Message from the President - Sheri Nelson
Have you ever had a student who showed their greatest moment of creativity during an exam?  While grading my beginning choirs’ recent final exams I was surprised to see that a student identified the 4th line of the treble clef as the letter “L”.  I have seen “H” as the answer when the previous note was a “G” but never has someone gone so far into the English alphabet. I take consolation in knowing that other teachers have had some FUN answers on their exams.  The following are actual test answers accumulated by music teachers in the State of Missouri in 1989:

My favorite composer is Opus.

Refrain means don't do it. A refrain in music is the part you better not try to sing.

John Sebastian Bach died from 1750 to the present.

Handel was half German, half Italian and half English. He was rather large.

Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf that he wrote loud music.

Aaron Copeland is one of your most famous contemporary composers. It is unusual to be contemporary. Most composers do not live until they are dead.

Music sung by two people at the same time is called a duel.

An opera is a song of bigly size.

I know what a sextet is but I'd rather not say.

My very best liked piece of music is the Bronze Lullaby.


Vocal Jazz - Christine Enns, VP/Jazz Choir

SCVA Vocal Jazz Festival Tuesday March 10th, 2009 with Christine Helferich-Guter  and Kerry Marsh
Hurry, only 5 spots left! Application Deadline is February 17th, 2009
Last call to include your students in an incredible day of learning and growth in Jazz!

The SCVA Vocal Jazz Festival with Adjudicators Kerry Marsh from Cal State Sacramento and Christine Guter from Cal State Long Beach will take place on Tuesday March 10th. 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 as 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.

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 per group plus an additional $5 per student for the concert.

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)
     18 microphones
        Piano, Bass Amp (drum set may be provided if requested)
  $150 per group
Evening Concert - Cal State Long Beach’s Pacific Standard Time   $5/Person
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: Christine Enns” on the envelope.

Vocal Jazz Festival Application


California All State Jazz Choir 2009
Please congratulate the following students and their schools throughout California who were accepted to sing in the CMEA All State Jazz Choir 2009! The All State Jazz Choir will perform Sat. March 14th, 11:15am at the CMEA Convention in Ontario, Ca.

            Jenny Swoish - Orange Lutheran HS
            Katy Sullivan - Valley Christian HS
            Giuliana Pietrolungo - Valencia HS
            Graciela Sprout - Long Beach Poly HS
            Shaina Levin - Valencia HS
            Kirsten Alario - Orange Lutheran HS
            Clara Kang - Valencia HS
            Megan Charlton - Valencia HS
            Zach Zumbek - Orange Lutheran HS
            Jordan Goodsell - Orange Lutheran HS
            Andrew Heath - Valencia HS
            Steven Schmidt - Valencia HS
            Ben Chodosh - Stevenson HS
            Jef Derderian - Kingsburg HS
            Steven Michael Richardson - Fullerton Union HS
            Riley Wilson - Long Beach Poly HS

Vocal Jazz Festivals in California
January 23rd and 24th – Folsom Jazz Festival, Folsom, CA
March 7-8th – Columbia College Vocal Jazz Festival, Sonora, CA
March 10th, SCVA VOCAL JAZZ FESTIVAL/CLINIC with Cal State Long Beach Pacific Standard Time! or email
March 21st - Irvine High School Vocal Jazz Festival  Email:
March 27-28th  – Oceanside Jazz Festival (Mira Costa College), Oceanside, CA
March 27 – 28th - Santa Cruz Jazz Festival
April 3rd – 4th - Fullerton College Jazz Festival, Fullerton, CA
April 3rd – 5th -  Monterey, Ca.


Colleen Kennedy, VP - Vocal Solo Competition
On January 10, over 100 middle and high school singers participated in the first round of this year’s vocal solo competition at seven different sites. It was a wonderful day of music-making and learning for everyone involved. I would like to acknowledge and offer my heartfelt thanks to all of the site hosts and adjudicators for contributing their time and expertise to the event, without whom it would not be possible.

Site hosts                                                        Adjudicators
Stan Nickel, Chapparel High School                 Rhonda Sias
Scott Hedgecock, Fullerton Union High School Karen McBride
Rodger Guerrero, Harvard-Westlake School    Michelle Bourque
Tony Azeltine, Mark Keppel High School         Bonnie Snell
Don Orser, Matilija Jr. High School                  Vail Keck
Heidi Cissell, Oak Park High School                 Rhonda Dillon
Mark Henson, Segerstrom High School            Dr. Jayne Campbell

All of the singers should be very proud of themselves for having undertaken the challenge of preparing and performing a piece for adjudication. That’s no small feat! Congratulations to this year’s finalists and most promising singers.

Javell Ainsworth           12th Grade
Emily Altschul               12th Grade
Kat Arenella                 11th Grade
Bethany Bagg               11th Grade
Rachel Blair                  12th Grade
Jared Brown                 11th Grade
Alexandra Corley         11th Grade
Melissa Costa               11th Grade
Christian Frandsen        12th Grade
Alana Grossman           11th Grade
Mackenzie Hunt           12th Grade
Oriana Inferrera            10th Grade
Annalise Lamothe         8th Grade
Elyssa Lata                   11th Grade
Rebecca Lendvai          12th Grade
Brandon Levin              12th Grade
Kathleen Moriarty        7th Grade
Aidan Munoz-Wentt     11th Grade
Kelsie Munroe              11th Grade
Savvy Pletcher              11th Grade
Alex Rosen                   11th Grade
Molly Siskin                 11th Grade
Noel Starr                    7th Grade
Melody Stolpp             11th Grade
Isabel Stub                   8th Grade
Troy Tucker                 11th Grade
Jasmin White                10th Grade

Most Promising:
David Amberg              9th Grade
Laura Miller                  11th Grade
Tala Khalaf                   10th Grade
Jeff Kodel                    10th Grade
Austin Lee                    9th Grade
Megan Sanborn            9th Grade
Geoffrey Hahn              10th Grade
Jana McIntyre              11th Grade

 Here’s what people had to say about the preliminary round….

“I’d say the most memorable moment was the number of students who thanked me for my coaching suggestions---after the final results were announced. And many of these were not passed on to the next round. This truly speaks to the positive learning atmosphere that [SCVA has] created for this competition. Kudos!”
- Dr. Jayne Campbell, adjudicator

“…the adjudicator was wonderful! She gave constructive comments, but not only that, she gave all of the students a little ‘mini’ lesson on what to improve on. She did not belittle anyone or make anyone feel bad or embarrassed about their performance. In fact, what she did with each of the students actually helped decrease the tension of the competition.”
- Erin Millage, 7th Grade

“…the masterclass style is a great teaching/learning opportunity.”
- Sara Maloney, Alhambra High School

“My decision to participate in the solo vocal competition was influenced by a painful degree of stage fright when performing solo pieces competitively.… The process could have been much worse for me if the atmosphere had not been so welcoming and accepting…. Even the short workshop after each performance was low-stress and geared more towards improving than criticizing.”
Katy Pedelty, 12th Grade

“Having each student receive vital feedback while they are in ‘in the moment’ is one of the best aspects of this competition.”
- Scott Hedgecock, Fullerton Union High School

“My most memorable moment of that day was when I was asked to press my jaw in a certain way to open it up for a fuller sound. I looked and sounded very strange, but I had fun and it helped me so much!”
- Isabel Stub, 8th Grade

“The group was warm and welcoming and the atmosphere was relaxed and fun for the kids. My daughter truly enjoyed the masterclass … what an excellent experience!”
- Sandy Grossman, parent

“This experience truly helped me especially with performing in front of an audience, which I know will assist me in my future, not only for performances and auditions, but with my confidence and social skills in front of people.”
- Kelsie Munroe, 11th Grade

“I really enjoyed watching the clinician do her physical exercises along with the singers. She was trying to get them to relax so she had them jog in place and do squats, but she did them right along with the kids. It really set a nice relaxed tone for the day!”
- Kristina Keener, private instructor

“I do love and enjoy this experience of adjudication. We need to encourage and support young singers and musicians as much as possible, not only for their own success but in order to continue the art form and to engage [our] audience for the future…. What I find memorable is the ‘wow’ response on the faces of the listeners when a young singer has a real moment of ‘connection’ to his/her instrument and the voice soars! Nothing quite so exhilarating!!!!”
- Karen McBride, adjudicator

Dates to remember:
Saturday, March 14, 2009: Final round
Sunday, May 3, 2009: Final performances, Jr. High/9th Grade Honor Choir concert


Other Important Information
On-Line SCVA Membership Application
Festival Application