SCVA Newsletter (on-line version) - April 2002

Elections 2002 - Mary Purdy, Past President
It doesn't seem possible that my term of office is coming to a close. I've really enjoyed my time on the SCVA board, but like all good things, it must come to an end. It has been a pleasure to serve you. I hope that I have helped SCVA in some way.

We have great candidates for the board. Short bios are attached for each prospective candidate. Please take a few minutes and read through them. Then, put your X next to the candidate's name or write in your choice (after you have spoken to them, of course!!). Following that, please send your ballot to:

SCVA Elections
Mary Purdy
23705 Sarda Rd.
Valencia, CA. 91355

If you would prefer to vote electronically, please e-mail me with your choices at Please don't do both!! The deadline for your selections is May 15th.

Mark Henson ______
Write-In Candidate:
________________ ______
Executive Vice President
Grace Sheldon-Williams ______
Write-In Candidate:
__________________ ______
Karen Bluel ______
Write-In Candidate:
________________ ______
Sr. High Women's Honor Choir
Kathy Cobb-Woll ______
Write-In Candidate:
________________ ______
Sheri Nelson ______
Write-In Candidate:
________________ ______
Sr. High Festivals
Joe Modica ______
Write-In Candidate:
________________ ______
Jr. Hi/MS Honor Choir
Jeffery Huls ______
Write-In Candidate:
________________ ______
Jr. Hi/Middle School Festivals
Linda Nason ______
Write-In Candidate:
________________ ______
Vocal Solo Competition
Colleen Kennedy ______
Write-In Candidate:
________________ ______
Young Men's Festival
Steve Clausen ______
Write-In Candidate:
________________ ______
Shawn Taylor ______
Write-In Candidate:
________________ ______
Elementary Festivals
Betsy Hangar ______
Write-In Candidate:
________________ ______

Candidate Biographies
Mark Henson, Candidate for President
Mark Henson received his BA in Music Education from Cal Poly, Pomona. He has headed the choral groups at Brea Olinda High School for ten years and has also taught Choral Music and Musical Theatre at Mt. San Antonio College, Fullerton College, Canyon High School (Anaheim Hills), and Capistrano Valley High School. Groups under his direction continue to receive top ratings and awards in festivals and competitions. Mark recently received NBC's Crystal Apple Award, and has been named Brea Olinda Unified School District's Teacher of the Year. His show choir was chosen to perform at the CMEA conference in Sacramento. He has served on the SCVA Board since 1998 as coordinator of the Show Choir Festival, the Junior High Honor Choir, and currently as the Executive Vice President.

Grace Sheldon-Williams, Candidate for Exec. Vice President
Grace Sheldon-Williams holds music degrees from Occidental College and the University of Southern California. Since 1990, she has directed the four choirs and one handbell choir at Glendale High School. In 2001, she was the recipient of the prestigious BRAVO Award, presented by the Los Angeles Music Center in recognition of excellence in arts education. Grace was also a finalist for the BRAVO Award in 2000. Since 1992, she has served as Director of Music at Claremont Presbyterian Church. She is a life member of the American Choral Directors Association, and is also a member of the American Guild of Handbell Ringers, the California Alliance for Arts Education, National Association for Music Education, Pi Kappa Lambda, and the Presbyterian Association of Musicians. She has served three terms on the SCVA executive board: two terms as treasurer and one term as High School Honor Choir Vice President.

Karen Bluel, Candidate for Secretary
Karen Bluel has been teaching vocal music, musical theatre and drama at Santa Ana Valley High School since 1986. She holds a BS in biology and music from Oregon State University and an MA in Educational Technology from United States International University. Karen is currently the director of five choirs at Valley and also teaches a music theory course through the Rancho Santiago Community College District.

Sheri Nelson, Candidate for Treasurer
Sheri Nelson is completing her 9th year teaching choral music. She has taught the last four years at Alta Loma High School where she teaches five periods of choir. This year her Advanced Women's Ensemble appeared at the CMEA Conference in Sacramento. Sheri received her BA from Cal State University, Fullerton. She is an active member of ACDA and has been on the SCVA board for the past three years. Sheri has coordinated the SCVA Women's High School Honor Choir (2000) and the SCVA Mixed High School Honor Choir (2001) and has spent the last year as the appointed Treasurer.

Kathy Cobb-Woll, Candidate for HS Women's Honor Choir VP
Kathy Cobb-Woll has served on the SCVA Board as secretary for the past 4 years. She has been teaching vocal music for twenty-three years, including 10 years in Hemet, and 13 years in Santa Ana. In her third year at Santa Ana High School, Kathy has 5 choirs with 230 students. Past recognitions include Teacher-of-the-Year at Lathrop Intermediate School and Teacher-of-the- Year at Saddleback High School, where she was also selected Secondary Teacher-of-the Year for the Santa Ana District. Outside activities include singing in the Pacific Chorale, and serving on the Education committee for the chorale.

Jeffery Huls, Candidate for Jr. Hi/MS Honor Choir VP
Jeffe Huls is completing his 5th year as director of vocal music at Lincoln Middle School. During this time, the program has nearly doubled in enrollment. Today, the program consists of 7 performing groups and is one of the largest middle school choral programs in the state. Mr. Huls works throughout Southern California as a guest clinician and conductor specializing in the young adolescent voice. The Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers, under the direction of Mr. Huls have performed at CMEA conventions, for the California Arts Council and Mrs. Gray Davis, the Los Angeles County PTA as well as frequently throughout the Santa Monica area. His groups consistently receive superior ratings at festivals. Jeffery graduated cum laude from California State University, Long Beach with a BME, choral conducting and vocal music emphases. He has studied voice with Madame Arpine Pehlivanian, Jackie Doyle, Sharon Schockley, and tenor, Jonathan Mack. He studied conducting with Dr. Lynn Bielefelt and music education with Dr. Deborah Mitchell. He is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, as well as SCVA, ACDA, CMEA, and MENC.

Joseph Modica, Candidate for High School Festival VP
Joseph Modica is in his fifth year as Choral Music Director at Redlands East Valley High School where he conducts four choirs. He has worked with such well-respected conductors Dr. William Hall, Dr. Lynn Bielefelt, Dr. Jonathan Talberg and Rodney Eichenberger. Prior to teaching in Redlands, he taught at Woodbridge High School in Irvine and Monache High School in Porterville. He graduated from Chapman University with a Bachelor of Music in Conducting and is presently working toward his Masters of Music in Choral Conducting at Cal State University, Long Beach. He also conducts the University Women's Choir at Chapman University and is Director of Music at the First Presbyterian Church of Redlands. He has also worked on the faculty at the Summer Fine Arts Camp at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks for four years.

Linda Nason, Candidate for Jr. High/Mid. School Festival VP
Linda Nason, Vocal Music Director at Bernardo Yorba Middle School since 1999, is a graduate of Chapman University, where she received her BS in Music Education. She received her teaching credential and MA in Choral Conducting from Cal State University Long Beach. Her conducting experience includes liturgical and contemporary choirs at several churches in the Orange County area. She has also enjoyed many years as a church soloist and accompanist, and as a private voice and piano teacher. Linda and her husband, Bill, live in Westminster.

Colleen Kennedy, Candidate for Vocal Solo Competition VP
Colleen Kennedy has directed the choirs at Hawthorne High School since 1998. During this time, the choral program has expanded from approximately 80 students in two classes to over 170 students in four performing ensembles, with the addition of more in sight. Ms. Kennedy attended UCLA, where she graduated cum laude with a BA in Music (Music Education emphasis), and an MA in Education. While at UCLA, Ms. Kennedy received the Jacqueline Fischer Klein Scholarship for Excellence in Music Education. Colleen has been fortunate to sing under Linda Allen Anderson at Santa Monica High School, Paul Salamunovich at Loyola Marymount University, and Donald Neuen at UCLA. In addition to teaching at Hawthorne, Ms. Kennedy currently sings with the Angeles Chorale, under the direction of Donald Neuen, and Jouyssance Early Music Ensemble, directed by Dr. Nicole Baker. Her professional affiliations include LACMEA, SCVA, ACDA, CMEA, and MENC.

Steven Clausen, Candidate for Young Men's Festival VP
Steven Clausen received his BA in Music Education from Cal State University, Fullerton, where he studied under David Thorsen, Dr. Vance Wolverton, and John Alexander. He has performed with the Pacific Chorale and the John Alexander Singers. Steven has been teaching in the Long Beach Unified School District for the past five years and is currently the vocal director at Hughes Middle School. Mr. Clausen's class load includes four choirs and two general music classes. His choirs have consistently earned superior ratings at festivals and are in demand for community performances.

Shawn Taylor, Candidate for Membership VP
Shawn Taylor has been a teacher for 16 years. Most of those years have been at Rancho-Starbuck Middle School in Whittier. He has served on the SCVA board for the past 10 years; three years as Junior High/Middle School Honor Choir VP, and 7 years as Membership VP.

Betsy Hangar, Elementary Festival VP
Betsy studied music at Sarah Lawrence College, at the City Conservatory in Vienna, and the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA, before coming to UCLA for graduate degrees in musicology. Since 1981, she's worked in independent schools Marlborough School and Westridge School. At Westridge, she has directed treble choirs from fourth through twelfth grade, and taught musicianship and music theory. During her sabbatical last year, Betsy visited some of the finest treble choirs in the country to watch rehearsals and musicianship classes. Added to that, she completed her Artist-Teacher certificate with world-renowned conductor, Dr. Doreen Rao. Betsy enjoys playing the piano, reading the New Yorker, doing Tai Chi in the park, and several days a week can be found upside down on a yoga mat at Yoga House in South Pasadena. She is married to audio engineer, Peter Sutheim, and has two singing daughters, Anna and Rebecca.


Other Important Information
SCVA Membership Application
Show Choir Application Form