SCVA Newsletter (on-line version) - October 2010


Message from the President - Rodger Guerrero
In his chapter contribution to the Decker-Herford edition of Choral Conducting Symposium, Daniel Moe writes, "The conductor must be utterly convinced about the worth of a work before he (or she) embarks on the long, arduous journey toward ultimate musical disclosure in performance” (Decker-Herford, 1988). So the details of the beginning of school are past and our years have finally begun, right? Our choir membership is stable so we know who we have and pretty much what they can do. We’ve begun our usual voice building, musicianship, sight reading and aural skills exercises, and maybe, just maybe, our singers have conquered an octavo or two. Everything we’re working on with our singers places them at the center because we are wholly about facilitating their learning and thinking. We want to produce good musical experiences, of course, but we are most concerned about helping our singers in a lifelong musical learning process. We want to develop in them a passion for further musical experiences. We do so by providing them with a base of concepts that will further thinking and appreciation for the choral art. But if we are all about our singers, does the music we choose for them actually reflect that philosophy?

Research on collegiate teaching indicates the major influence upon what students learn is not the methodology of teaching but the specific course textbooks. No matter how demonstrative, dynamic, and well-prepared a professor might be, studies clearly indicate that students learn more from reading and studying the textbook than they do from the teacher (I don’t know about you, but my ego just took a major hit!). While the studies are not inclusive of performance-based classes, could one infer that singers too just might be learning more from the actual music they perform than from the conductors who teach it to them? Don’t get me wrong: effective, student-based teaching should be at the core of our belief systems. However, what music we choose and how singers relate to and are interested in it might just have more impact upon their learning than how we present it to them.

The question is, "How does a conductor decide upon 'the worth of a work?'". In his 1998 book, Conducting Choral Music, Robert Garretson highlights eight considerations conductors should make when choosing music (pp. 248-249). While this information is surely familiar to many of us, I thought that I would list them here in light of their incredible importance to the education of our singers:

1. Is the text worthwhile? Does it contain a message of sufficient value?
2. Is the music artistically conceived, and does it reflect the mood of the text?
3. Does the selection fit the needs and interests of a particular age group for which it is being selected? Does the music have emotional appeal for the singers?
4. Does the music fit the physical limitations of the singers? Is the tessitura of the parts too high or too low? Are there extreme, awkward jumps in the voice parts that might prove difficult to execute?
5. Are the voice parts handled in such a manner as to make each part sufficiently interesting?
6. If the selection is an arrangement, is it done in an authentic musical style? Is the authenticity of the music sacrificed for clever musical effects?
7. Does the music justify the rehearsal time necessary to prepare it?
8. Are all the various types and styles of choral music being represented in your selections, so that the singers may have the broadest educational experience possible??

You might take note that #8 has been emboldened and underlined. In last year’s ACDA Western Regional Convention, choirs performed 20th and 21st music at a ratio of about nine to one in comparison with music from all other historical eras. If students learn more from the music then they do from us, then perhaps their frame of historical reference is unbelievably microscopic. I cannot imagine a U.S. or World History teacher spending 90% of instructional time covering only current events. Can you? Luckily for SCVA members, our phenomenal website (thank you Mark Freedkin!) contains a comprehensive Recommended Festival Music List. While I haven’t counted the total number of octavos, rest assured that there are hundreds and hundreds of them from all of the musical eras. Each listing includes the title, composer, publisher, and publisher number. Most importantly, the difficulty level of each piece is labeled Easy (E), Medium (M), Difficult (D), or some combination of two of the three. Thanks to the efforts of Past President Sheri Nelson, Festivals VP Jennifer Stanley, and many others, these lists have recently been updated and expanded. Check them out today (but update your membership first!).

Whatever we choose, we must remember to place our singers’ educational welfare at the center of our search. We should choose music that will be meaningful and relevant now and in the future. We must educate them in order to kindle their musical fires forever.


2010 High School Honor Choirs Are Here! Already? Tammi Alderman, VP - High School Honor Choirs

Off and Running...
We’ve reached the final days of our summer, and most of us are probably in the first week of classes while others are likely in the last stages of preparing for the first day.  Insane as it may be, plans for the 2010 SCVA High School Honor Choirs have been in the works since January!  Honestly, it takes months to set up all of the details in order to foster a phenomenal experience for the singers.  Thus, the following specifics are already certain:

1.      Please read the two pages to follow for details regarding most of the items listed below.

2.      Three conductors have been confirmed and I am very excited about the music they plan to make with our students.  Mixed Choir – Vijay Singh (Central Washington University); Women’s Choir – Kimberly Barclay Drusedum (Green Valley HS in Henderson, NV – you heard her last at the 2009 ACDA National Convention in Oklahoma City); Men’s Choir - Jeffery Seaward (College of the Sequoias).

3.      Santa Monica HS will again host the Honor Choirs weekend, and the dates will be November 19th-20th.

4.      Auditions will occur the last Saturday in September (25th) and the first Saturday of October (2nd) as they have for quite some time.

5.      Audition applications must be done online.  The application deadline is Wednesday, September 15th.  The web application will close itself automatically, so please have your students register early.  Audition assignments (locations and times) will be posted on the website ( on Saturday, September 18th.

6.      Audition sites are listed on the next page – please check them carefully.

7.      The First Rehearsal (October 30th) will be at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.  Please make your transportation arrangements early.

8.      A judge’s rubric for the solo singing portion of the audition was created for all three of the state region honor choirs this year.  It will be available on the SCVA website for you and your students.  Please familiarize yourself with that information.

9.      Due to the addition of a Men’s All-State Honor Choir, all male singers who are selected for this year’s SCVA honor choir will be placed randomly into either the Mixed or Men’s choir.  This is the same process that we use for the Women’s Honor Choir.

10.  All 2010 Honor Choirs members will be able to download mp3 files of their parts online.  The parts will be available individually and with piano and full-choir accompaniment.  Any student who cannot download files will still be able to request a rehearsal CD.

I am looking forward to working again this year as the VP of Honor Choirs on the SCVA Board.  Please check the SCVA website regularly for updates to audition information.


SCVA High School Honor Choir - Tammi Alderman, Vice President, High School Honor Choir

Please Read Carefully
All deadlines are firm and WILL NOT be extended and the guidelines CANNOT be altered.  Keeping strict deadlines allows your students and our staff the greatest amount of time to prepare for the Honor Choir rehearsals and performance.

Regional Honor Choir
After more than 600 students from all over Southern California audition, ~260 will be selected to sing in one of three groups: Women’s, Men’s or Mixed Honor Choir.  They will receive a packet of music, meet for one rehearsal (October 30th) before the Honor Choir weekend, and then (with music memorized) come together on Friday and Saturday, November 19th & 20th for two days of intense rehearsal and a Saturday evening concert with some of the most distinguished conductors in our field. 

All-State Honor Choir
Students interested in being considered for the California All-State Honor Choir need only mark the appropriate box on their SCVA application.  There is no additional audition or fee.  They may be asked at their auditions to reconfirm their interest in All-State.  The All-State Honor Choir will be March 31-April 2, 2011 in Sacramento, CA.

Please Note:
Check your availability for all dates BEFORE auditioning.  Being accepted into a choir and then not participating will exempt your school from participation in the Honor Choirs for one year (In fact, some schools are already exempt from participating this year).  Please see: Honor Choir Guidelines and Policies.

All students auditioning for Regional and State Honor Choirs must be members in good standing with their school choral program and their conductors must be paid members of SCVA.  Teachers may pay their dues online or by contacting Lisa Lopez at

All students in Southern California should use the online application.  DO NOT use the ACDA application from the California ACDA website!

Regional Honor Choir Conductors
We are proud to announce this year’s conductors for the Regional Honor Choirs: Mr. Vijay Singh, from Central Washington University, will conduct the Mixed Choir; Ms. Kimberly Barclay Drusedum, from Green Valley HS in Henderson, NV, will conduct the Women’s Choir (you heard her last at the ACDA National Convention in OK); and Mr. Jeffrey Seaward, from College of the Sequoias, will lead the Men’s Choir.

Important Dates:
On-Line Application Registration Deadline:
            Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Audition Dates:
            Saturday, September 25, 2010
            Saturday, October 2, 2010
First Rehearsal:
            Saturday, October 30, 2010   9am – 4pm
            Cal Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks
Honor Choir Weekend:
            Friday & Saturday, November 19-20, 2010
            Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica
Concert:  November 20, 7:30pm
California All-State Honor Choir:
            March 31-April 2, 2011, Sacramento, CA

$$$    Pay with PAYPAL!!!   $$$
SCVA has been using PayPal for the past five years with great success.  It’s the convenient way to pay audition fees, SCVA dues, Honor Choir fees, Festival fees, etc.  And coupled with the required ON- LINE REGISTRATION, it’s even easier!  You may use any major credit card for a $0.50 processing fee.  REMEMBER: All monies must be paid by PayPal, a school check, a booster check or money order.  NO PERSONAL CHECKS from directors, students or parents will be accepted.

For questions about SCVA Honor Choir, to volunteer, or to act as an adjudicator, please take the time to contact Tammi Alderman at or John Hendricks at

REMINDERS About Auditions
Remember that the scoring amounts are weighted such that the performance is worth 40% and the theory portion worth 60% of the total score.

Solo: all auditionees will prepare and sing a solo from the “Twenty-four Italian Songs and Arias" (G. Schirmer) or equivalent art song book.  The solo MUST be memorized, sung in Italian and accompanied by tape, CD or an accompanist supplied by the auditionee.  Adjudicators will be listening for tone quality, diction, pronunciation, musical sensitivity and appropriate vocal range.
Range: all auditionees will demonstrate their vocal range through a short series of warm-up exercises.
Tonal Memory: all auditionees will demonstrate tonal memory skills by singing back a 4-5 note passage played by one of the adjudicators.  You may sing back on any neutral syllable.
Scales/Triads: all auditionees will prepare and sing a major and minor triad, a major scale and a chromatic scale on any neutral syllable.
Sight-Reading: all auditionees will demonstrate rhythmic and melodic sight-reading skills by singing a single, unaccompanied melodic line on any neutral syllable.
NOTE: Students must provide their own accompanist or an accompanying CD or tape IN THE PROPER KEY!

Acceptance Notice and Fees
Those accepted for the Mixed, Men’s or Women’s Honor Choir will be notified by their directors during the week of October 11th.  A $65.00 fee will be collected at the first rehearsal on October 30th.  The fee provides for music, accompanists, directors and facilities.  ONLY PayPal verification, a school check, booster check or money order will be accepted.  NO PERSONAL CHECKS WILL BE ACCEPTED from students, parents or teachers!!

Honor Choir Guidelines and Policies
A student must be enrolled in his/her school’s choral program in order to be eligible for participation in Honor Choir.  If a student drops out of the school program, he/she will be dropped from Honor Choir as well.  No sanctions will be imposed on the school in this case.

However, when a student drops out of an SCVA Honor Choir, the student’s school may not be allowed to participate in Honor Choir the following school year.  Given our time constraints, when a student drops out of Honor Choir it is impossible for us to fill their vacancy.  Therefore, when a student drops out, another deserving student misses out on this wonderful opportunity.

Students who must, out of extreme necessity, drop out of Honor Choir after being accepted are required to provide a signed, written note from their parents and from their school choral director stating the reasons for the drop out.  The note MUST be sent immediately to the Honor Choir coordinator by mail or hand-delivered by the student, parent or director as soon as possible.

Acceptable reasons for dropping Honor Choir:
Death in the family just before the concert
Serious medical problem
Other matters of an equally serious nature

Unacceptable reasons for dropping Honor Choir:
Schedule conflicts of any kind.
Student deciding he/she would rather not participate, doesn’t like the music, or doesn’t want to work with a particular conductor.

If a student drops for any reason, a panel of members from the SCVA Board will consider the reason given and decide whether it is an unacceptable or acceptable reason.  THIS HAS ALREADY OCCURRED FOR A FEW SCHOOLS THIS YEAR!

Choral directors are responsible for remaining informed about their students’ continued participation in the Honor Choir. 

New to the Audition Application Process?
SCVA’s Automagical Application Process!  Our audition application process is a simple on-line entry form on the SCVA Website that your students can use to submit their audition application electronically.  The on-line form is available by clicking on the Honor Choir Auditions link on the Home Page of our website at

Each student who wishes to audition for Honor Choir will enter all of his/her information (including name, address, phone number, voice part, age, etc.) and his/her first & second choice audition sites into the on-line form.  The student must also enter his/her director's e-mail address.  In addition, students can indicate if their audition should be considered for the All-State Honor Choir.  After clicking on the "Submit Application" button, the student can optionally use Pay Pal to pay the $5.00 audition fee using any major credit card (MasterCard, Visa, Discover, Am Ex).

An automated e-mail message will be sent to the director for each student who applies.  The e-mail message will include a link to a special web-page that allows the director to see a list all of his/her students who have applied, and allows a selection of "Approve" or "Reject" for each student.  The first time the director approves or rejects a student’s application for the current Honor Choir cycle, an additional form allows the director to indicate, review, and/or change contact and school information.  The director’s information is then stored for each new applicant (Information from directors whose students participated last year was previously stored).

The on-line audition application process was designed to reduce the amount of logistics and paperwork for everyone involved.  Directors need to have an e-mail address (please use only one!) and a computer system with Internet access.  This process has eliminated a tremendous amount of paperwork and manual data entry by the Honor Choir coordinators.   It has also drastically improved the accuracy of our information, making the entire Honor Choir experience more positive for everyone.

On-Line Honor Choir Audition Application


CALL FOR ADJUDICATORS! - Tammi Alderman, Vice President, SCVA Honor Choirs
Dear Colleagues: below is the list of Regional Honor Choir audition sites that I am trying to fill with Adjudicators.  I hope that you will check out the list of possibilities below and want to help out.  Please contact John Hendricks at or Tammi Alderman at and let us know what date and location works best for you to adjudicate.  I really appreciate all you do for your kids and what you have done in the past for kids in all of Southern California.

Tammi Alderman
Vice President
SCVA Honor Choirs

Saturday, September 25th  9am-1pm            Saturday, October 2nd  12pm-4pm
Arlington HS, Riverside                                    Cal State Fullerton, Fullerton
Canyon HS, Canyon Country                           Los Alamitos HS, Los Alamitos
Crescenta Valley HS, La Crescenta                  Oakwood School, North Hollywood
Irvine HS, Irvine                                               Poway HS, Poway
Mark Keppel HS, Alhambra                             Upland HS, Upland
Nordhoff HS, Ojai                                            Warren HS, Downey
Redlands HS, Redlands                                                           


Fall In-Service – Sheri Nelson, Past President
Mark your calendars, our annual Fall In-Service is being held on Friday October 22, 2010.  It will be a great opportunity to learn new teaching techniques, listen to some outstanding ensembles, find new music, become inspired and network with colleagues.

This year’s headliner will be Dr. Andrew Crane, Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at California State University, San Bernardino.  He will lead a session on “The Choir Director as Voice Teacher” and “First Things First: What Matters MOST in the Choral Profession" which will focus on such topics as: 

- the relationship between literature selection and the students' musical education
- our challenge to be true music educators, not merely "song leaders"
- choral techniques that matter most:  TONE, vowels, shaping
- "self-maintenance" in our jobs as choral directors, how to avoid burnout and frustration

Other sessions will include a reading session of new pieces being added to the SCVA Suggested Festival Repertoire Lists (both Junior High and High School), a session led by Chritine Tavares on Vocal Jazz Ensembles, and our Adjudicators Certification Clinic.

The venue for the day will again be the Placentia Presbyterian Church located at 849 N. Bradford Ave. in Placentia.  The In-Service will officially begin at 9am but you’ll want to arrive early to check-in and enjoy the coffee-juice-pastry social time.  This is a great time to invite a new teacher or a colleague who has not attend SCVA events in the past to come spend the day!

Register today at

Dr. Andrew Crane has served as Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at California State University, San Bernardino since 2005.  He was awarded the College of Arts and Letters Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching in 2008.  At CSUSB he conducts the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, and teaches applied voice.  The CSUSB Chamber Singers have performed by invitation at the 2009 CMEA Conference, in concerts with the San Bernardino Symphony, and have twice toured internationally.  Dr. Crane also served as Artistic Director of the Mountainside Master Chorale from 2006-2010.  Additionally, he appears regularly as a tenor soloist, having performed with such diverse groups as the Los Angeles Bach Festival, Lansing Symphony Orchestra (MI), and the Utah Valley Symphony.  He holds the BM and MM degrees from Brigham Young University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts from Michigan State University.


What Helps the Most? BE A FESTIVAL HOST!!
Jennifer Stanley, VP of High School Festivals
Maria Fritts, VP of Junior High & Middle School Festivals

“I think the SCVA festivals are some of the most effective that we attend.”
            – Craig Gruenberg, Granada Hills CHS Choral Director

10.  It’s easy to register a festival ONLINE at SCVACHORAL.ORG - register by November 1.
 9.  You get free festival registration for one of your choirs at each festival you host.
 8.  You get excellent networking opportunities with other directors and adjudicators.
 7.  Your students have the familiarity of performing in their regular venue (home court advantage!)
 6.  SCVA enrolls choirs in your festival and gives you contact information for each director.
 5.  SCVA provides all forms and plaques needed to run the festival.
 4.  SCVA schedules certified adjudicators for your festival.
 3.  You don’t have to get a bus to go to festival.
 2.  You can choose the date that works best for you, and set the date on your calendar NOW!
 1.  You provide an opportunity for many students to see other choirs and hear quality repertoire.

Submit your festival host registration at SCVACHORAL.ORG - deadline is November 1, 2010.

If you are interested in hosting an ELEMENTARY FESTIVAL, or if you have questions about elementary festivals, please email Maria Fritts.

Please contact us                      Jennifer Stanley                         Maria Fritts
with questions you have! 
                                                (626) 258-5292                       (951) 926-6776


Website Update - Mark Freedkin, SCVA Webmaster
Over the past several years, we have greatly expanded the ability to register or apply for SCVA activities and events using on﷓line forms through our website.  This has helped us to significantly improve accuracy and response times, as well as reducing postage expenses.

You can also use the PayPal interface on our website to pay for membership renewals, festival registrations and other SCVA fees using a major credit card (such as MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express) as an alternative to sending school checks, booster checks, cashier checks or money orders.  PayPal, which is owned and operated by e-Bay, is easy to use and ensures a timely and secure payment for those items.  And you don't need to have your own personal PayPal account in order to use this interface.

For many of the on-line application forms, you can make the PayPal payment immediately after you submit the application form, and most of the information will be filled-in automatically.  Otherwise, you can select the "e-Payments" item from the navigation menu of the SCVA website.  You will then see a list of items that you can purchase.  Fill-in the required information for the item you wish to purchase (such as "School Name" and "Choir Name"), and then click on the "Add to Cart" button for that item.  If you wish to purchase additional items in the same transaction, you can return to the e-Payments page to select those additional items and add them to your cart.  When you have made all of your selections and are ready to make your payment, you can click on the "Proceed to Checkout" button.  Then select the link next to the line that reads "Don't have a PayPal account?"  Then enter your name, email address, credit card account number and expiration date.  If you continue, your credit card will be billed and you will be returned to the SCVA website.  You will also receive a separate confirmation e-mail message, which you should print out and keep as proof of purchase.  When you receive your monthly credit card statement, the transaction will appear as: "PAYPAL*SCVACHORAL".  A modest processing fee is added to each purchase to cover our costs for using this on-line service.  Your private credit card account information is always protected and never divulged to anyone within the SCVA organization.

If you already have your own personal PayPal account, please always use the "e-Payments" page to select the items you wish to purchase and login to your account from the Checkout page, rather than creating your own independent e-check transfers. This will help us maintain accurate records of electronic payments that have been made.

How to Save Money When Using PayPal
When using PayPal to pay the application or participation fees for multiple students, you can minimize the processing fees by adding the desired item to your Shopping Cart only one time, and then specify a quantity for that one item.  You should not add the same item to your Shopping Cart multiple times (once for each student), since that will result in a larger processing fee added to you total transaction.

How to Consolidate Multiple Items into a Single Invoice
When using PayPal to pay the application or registration fee for multiple activities, you don’t need to check-out after submitting each item.  Instead, you can add each item to your current shopping cart, and then click on the Continue Shopping link to return to the SCVA website.  After you have completed all of the items you wish to purchase, you can then proceed to the checkout page and receive a single invoice that lists all of those items.

If you have any comments, questions or problems with any of the pages on our website, please contact Mark Freedkin at or (714) 357-1187.


Young Women’s and Young Men’s Harmony Festivals - Mark Freedkin, VP - Barbershop Harmony Festivals
We are pleased to invite you to this year’s Barbershop Harmony Festivals for Young Women and Young Men.  Both events will be held at the Robert B. Moore Theater on the campus of Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa.  The 6th annual “Diva Day” Young Women in Harmony Festival, sponsored by the Harborlites Chorus, will be held on Saturday, February 5, and the 11th annual “Young Men’s Harmony Festival” will be held on Saturday, February 19, sponsored by the Masters of Harmony. Both of these events will provide a unique musical opportunity for your singers and will provide a positive boost to your choral music program.

Each event will consist of morning and afternoon clinics and rehearsals, followed by a public performance in the evening with the respective adult choruses.  There will also be a clinic for music educators who would like to participate in a hands-on demonstration of how the barbershop style is taught and how it can be used to attract more young men and women into your program.

The early application fee is only $20 per singer for applications that are submitted by November 12. After November 12, the application fee is $25 per singer.  The sponsoring choruses will cover the remaining costs for all sheet music, practice CDs, rehearsal facilities, guest clinicians and performance costumes. Each singer will receive a commemorative tee shirt. We will also provide lunch and dinner for the singers, choral directors and any adult chaperones accompanying the singers.

Please download and print the appropriate application forms from the SCVA website. Complete and return the applications and forms, along with payment by cash, check, or money order payable to Harborlites (for “Diva Day”) or Masters of Harmony (for the Young Men’s Festival).  Each event will be limited to a maximum of 250 participants, so be sure to submit your applications early.  Note that these festivals are separate events, and you must send the appropriate forms and payments to the proper recipient.

Young Women’s Festival Only:
In order to accommodate more schools, we are limiting the number of singers per school to twelve (12). Ideally we suggest 1-2 tenors, 3-4 leads, 2-3 baritones, and 3-4 basses. This will allow you to perform the music as a group and use this group to help your other students learn the joy of singing four-part harmony, barbershop style. Send applications for all students you wish to participate, indicating those students beyond the initial 12 that you wish to put on the Waiting List. We will try to accommodate as many as we can.

Young Men’s Festival Only:
There is no limit to the number of singers from your school who wish to participate, but please submit your applications early to ensure that all of your singers can be accommodated. We also request that you select your better singers to help maximize the musical quality of the event.

We look forward to receiving your applications. Please contact us if you have any questions about our festivals.

“Diva Day” (Young Women’s Festival)       Young Men’s Harmony Festival
Karen Ridout                                                    Mark Freedkin
Harborlites Chorus                                           Masters of Harmony
Home: (714) 847-0787                                    Home: (949) 559-9621
Cell: (714) 319-2325                                       Cell: (714) 357-1187
E-mail:                           E-mail:


Reprint of the President’s 2010 Fall Article from CMEA Magazine
As you no doubt know, California public education has been devastated by the state budget meltdown of the past several years. This clearly won't be getting better anytime soon. Traveling to Washington DC this summer to the MENC National Assembly as your CMEA President, I have found that many of our fellow states and MEA organizations are experiencing similar financial issues as those in California. This is a national problem, not one that is localized in our state. Our problems just happen to be the most severe and very high profile in the news. There are many layers to the problems we are facing. Let’s focus on one in this article.

With the financial meltdown along with some other mitigating factors, the CMEA State Conference has not been drawing the number of music educators needed to make it a consistent event or to break even financially. With the present economic situation, the CMEA Executive Board felt the need to make some basic changes in the way we present conferences in California. With that in mind, the CMEA State Conferences (in the format we currently use) scheduled in Santa Clara for 2011 and Sacramento for 2012 have been cancelled. The CMEA Executive Board accepts responsibility for these actions taken in the best interests of the membership and organization. Does that mean that CMEA is out of the conference arena? The answer is no.

California is a vast and diverse state with many music education organizations including ACDA, ASTA, CAJ, CBDA, CODA, NCBA, NCBDA, SCSBOA, SCVA to name a few. Many of the fore mentioned groups have their own conferences and/or honor groups. We all share the same goal and speak the same language of providing quality music education to the students in California. With this in mind, wouldn’t it be politically and financially prudent to combine forces during these dark times and beyond?

There is a phrase that I heard this year from Michael Kumer of Duquesne University which stuck with me: “Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste!” We are currently hard at work negotiating and planning a blended conference with three of those organizations: CAJ, CBDA, and CODA. This blended conference in 2011 will be in conjunction with the CBDA All-State Convention in Fresno during February 17-20, 2011.  CMEA will offer a scaled down version of some areas not covered by these three affiliate organizations that will include Choral, General Music, and Advocacy. CMEA will also continue to have our Gala Awards Banquet to honor our award recipients.

This collaboration between CMEA and three of our four major music education professional organizations that are strong advocates in their specialty areas is unprecedented. As time goes on, CMEA hopes that additional organizations will join us in this new evolving educational endeavor that will clearly benefit everyone.

The dream of a single super-conference during one weekend in one location has been floated around for decades but has never come to fruition. This new conference union is unprecedented in California music education history, but we are treading in uncharted territory and there will no doubt be big and small bumps in the road. An endeavor like this requires vision, patience, flexibility, understanding, and cooperation. This will be the ultimate exercise in working for the common interests of all concerned in music. Music educators are among the most resilient, selfless, and giving people in the teaching profession. I have no doubt that with everyone's support, this dream and collaborative effort will become a reality soon and become an annual tradition. I strongly encourage you to join CMEA this year in Fresno.

Many different individuals have contacted me to share their concerns about CMEA and the future of music education in California. We are going through what are probably the most difficult fiscal times in our state and nation’s history. With that said, music education is once again under siege. The theme of the conference this year was “One Goal, One Voice.” Music Education is relevant in our school curriculum, and we must be heard as one strong voice. Can you imagine the political impact music educators would have statewide if we truly spoke as one united voice? This goalcan clearly be accomplished through cooperation, thoughtful discussion, compromise, careful negotiation, and flexibility on all our parts. This won't happen overnight, and it will take time and patience to reach the desired goal. There's an old adage from history, “United we stand, divided we fall.” This is the time to stand together for all our students in every music discipline. CMEA must be relevant, and we must be heard.

The history of CMEA and all the personalities that have been involved with it over the years is indeed well known, diverse, and colorful. It is to everyone’s benefit that CMEA be financially solvent, provide leadership to our members, provide and guide our members toward educational and advocacy resources, and represent music education at the forefront when curriculum issues are addressed at the state level. All past and present CMEA leaders and Executive Board members have one thing in common: a desire to work for the best interests of the membership and our profession. Thank you for your support and confidence in us as we move forward. Best wishes for an outstanding school year!

Norman Dea
CMEA State President


Other Important Information
On-Line SCVA Membership Application (not required for Honor Choir audition or participation)
On-Line Festival Host Application
Calendar of Events