SCVA Newsletter (on-line version) – November 2007


Submitted by Scott Hedgecock, President, CMEA Southern Section

In January of 2006, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed one of the largest ever Arts and Music initiatives to support Standards-aligned Arts and Music instruction.  This became the Arts and Music Block Grant (AB 1811) and the Arts, Music, and Physical Education Block Grant (AB 1802 and SB 1131).  Both were passed and became law.  Districts are now in their second year of receiving these funds.  With appropriate implementation, these actions can result in many years of increased funding for Music and Art in our schools.

The next phase of this ongoing project involves communication.  It is necessary to know how these funds are being spent.  What are districts and school sites doing with these funds?  How were the spending decisions made?  What types of long-range plans are in place?   To what extent have all stakeholders in the arts been included in the process?

Please share your Arts Block Grant stories!  If you have a wonderful success story from beginning to current implementation you can be a model for other districts.  If you are on track, but have had a rough start or encountered other problems along the way, then you need to know that you aren’t alone; hearing of your journey in this process might help others.  If you are frustrated, concerned, or have questions that you or your school site administration or district need answers to, please communicate that as well.

The State Board of Directors for the California Association for Music Education wants to know what is happening to you, the Music Educators, with regard to these Block Grants.  Please send me an email, or mail a letter if you wish, and share your stories.  If you are in need of any assistance with implementation or in communication within your district, we want to know and we will offer advice and help.

CMEA is planning to share some success stories about the Block Grants in an upcoming issue of the CMEA Magazine, but these will only be a few examples.  We know that there are many more situations that could use our help, and in turn could become quality learning examples for others in this ongoing process.

This is an historic time in our state with regards to Arts funding, and we as Arts Educators have a responsibility to work together, share our expertise and experience, and not be afraid to speak up with suggestions, comments, and/or concerns.

I encourage you to send your Arts Block Grant stories to me.  If you just want to share the experiences, that’s great.  If you need some feedback, please let me know so that I may respond appropriately.

PLEASE NOTE:  The only action that will be taken will be to contact you first if you ask for help or have any concerns or needs.  Administrators, coordinators, and/or district personnel will not be contacted without your permission.

Thank you for all of the hard work you do on a daily basis to bring singing into our world, and for keeping the Choral Art…. the First Art… alive in the classrooms and schools of California.

Please send your Arts Block Grant stories to:
Scott Hedgecock
CMEA Southern Section President
(Please put ARTS BLOCK GRANT STORIES in the subject area)

or mail to:

Scott Hedgecock
CMEA Southern Section President
P.O. Box 215
Placentia, CA 92871-0215

(Scott Hedgecock is a Past President and Life Member of SCVA, having served on the Executive Board for 12 years.  He currently serves on the State Board of Directors for CMEA as the Southern Section President.  Mr. Hedgecock will also be the Transportation Chairperson for the 2008 ACDA Western Division Convention in Anaheim).


The Regional Honor Choirs Are Just Around the Bend! - Rodger Guerrero, VP - High School Honor Choirs

The Highs and Lows of the Audition Results
The auditions have been completed and the Honor Choir lists have been posted.  Packets containing music to be performed, practice CD’s, instructions, directions, and congratulatory letters have been mailed out and received.  Directors, brimming with pride at the achievements of their singers, have perhaps publicized their students’ success via school newspaper articles, bulletin announcements and assemblies.  Singers are excitedly learning the music as fast as they can, bursting with anticipation of that first rehearsal on October 27th at Valencia High School in Placentia!

On the other side of the aisle, letters to those who did not audition successfully were also mailed out and have been received.  For these singers, the endless practice of scales, sight-reading, tonal memory, and Italian arias was only met with disappointment and “failure.”  These singers are perhaps sluggish to get back to work, seeking new goals and new sources of self-confidence.  Those who teach these singers must dig deeply into their bags of motivational tricks to help them cope, sometimes seeking miracles to aid them in this restorative process.  It is the part of the choral teaching job that no music school can ever prepare one for and for which no amount of money is sufficient repayment.

It’s Always about the Journey
John Jay once said, “Experience is a severe preceptor, but it teaches useful truths, and however harsh, is always honest.  Be calm and dispassionate, and listen to what it tells you.”  In time of disappointment, it is easy to complain or rationalize away negative results as being the fault of others.  It’s much harder to look failure in the face, compose oneself and calmly say “Alright, maybe I had a bad day.  Maybe I did not perform as well as I had hoped.  I can and will do better the next time.”  All successful journeys contain at least one breakdown along the way.  For as Robert Shaw once wrote, “There is no easy-on, easy-off button for Truth.  There is no landscaped approach to Beauty.”  Teachers can more effectively aid students in quickly returning to the path by daring to share with them failures they have personally experienced and recovered from.  Share with them obstacles that you have overcome.  Enable them to see that failure should never result in a fear of trying.  Help them to gain a healthy perspective about this experience by revealing to them personal examples which exemplified your ability to maintain balance when something in your life didn’t go as planned.   Be honest with them about your life, and they will respond in kind.

The Honor Choirs Journey Continues
The weekend of November 16th and 17th is quickly approaching.  Please consider volunteering to help Tammi and me with something during that weekend.  Consider that while we love being able to provide a phenomenal music experience for such a large group of singers (some 260!), it is extremely tough to manage that many teenagers when the singer to teacher ratio is somewhere between 50:1 and 100:1.  So many of you have already given so much by hosting or adjudicating during the auditions, and we are immensely thankful for this!  It must be noted that Megan Arthurton (Valencia H.S. in Placentia) and Jeffe Huls (Santa Monica H.S.) are going way beyond the call in hosting the rehearsal day and concert weekend.  THANKS TO BOTH OF YOU!!

If one or more of your students successfully auditioned for any of the choirs, you should really consider helping (it will be good practice for you should two or more of your singers make the All-State choirs where you will be expected to assist)!  You might volunteer to conduct a sectional, set up chairs, pick up food, take attendance, help with riser and seating deportment, act as “the ears” in on-stage rehearsals, run errands, act as an usher during the concert, clean up after the concert, help move equipment on and off of the stage, act as a personal assistant to one of the conductors, provide personal back-rubs and counseling to the honor choirs coordinators and MUCH, MUCH MORE!

Please contact Rodger Guerrero or Tammi Alderman ASAP and offer to help out! See you soon!


Show Choir Spectacular - Patty Breitag, VP – Show Choir

Greetings!   The show choirs of Southern California are alive and well and are gearing up for another season of great competitions.  Last spring, our SCVA Show Choir Spectacular took place at Rosemead High School and featured many outstanding performances.  Serving as hostesses for the day were the members of “Solitaire,” Diamond Bar High School’s advanced women’s show choir, as well as the DBHS Vocal Music Officers. A special thanks to our distinguished adjudicators Roger Duffer, Tom Kessler and John Wilson, who provided all choirs with helpful comments and scores.

 Following are the results of the 2007 SCVA Show Choir Spectacular by division:
            Middle School (Small):
                        1st place           Oak Grove “One Step Ahead”
                        2nd place         Sullivan “Show Choir II”
                        3rd place          Willow Glen “Applause”
                        4th place          Slauson “Treble Tones”
            Middle School (Large):
                        1st place           Jordan “Vocal Ensemble”
                        2nd place         Southpointe “Showtime”
                        3rd place          Oak Grove “High Voltage”
            High School Women’s Novice:
                        1st place           Madison “Women’s Jazz”
                        2nd place         Granada Hills “Showstoppers”
                        3rd place          Redlands  East Valley “Bella Voce”
                        4th place          Apple Valley “Vocal Motion”
                        5th place          Citrus Hill “Showstoppers”
            High School Women’s Intermediate:
                        1st place           Esperanza “Vivace”
                        2nd place         Glendora “Tartan Silhouettes”
                        3rd place          Jurupa Valley “Treble Choir”
            High School Women’s Advanced:
                        1st place           Temecula Valley “Company B”
                        2nd place         Arcadia “New Spirit”
                        3rd place          Redlands East Valley “Sweet Sensations”
                        4th place          Eastlake “Spotlight Ladies”
            High School Mixed Novice:
                        1st place           Sweetwater “International Affair”
                        2nd place         Orange Glen “Opus One”
                        3rd place          Cypress High “Sensation”
            High School Mixed Intermediate:
                        1st place           Vista “Show Cats”
                        2nd place         Madison “Rhapsody in Blue”
            High School Mixed Advanced:
                        1st place           Arcadia “Chanteurs”
                        2nd place         Glendora “Royal Stewarts”
                        3rd place          Apple Valley “Sunsations”
                        4th place          Eastlake “Center Stage”

The Arcadia “Chanteurs” won both the Musicianship, and Performance Skills plaques, having received the highest score in both categories out of all participants.

Last year’s event featured a full day and evening of choirs, and we expect another great response in 2008!  The beautiful auditorium at El Monte High School is the site for this year’s event which will take place on Saturday, May 3.   The online entry form will be available on the SCVA website beginning November 1.

Congratulations to the many exceptional choral directors in Southern California who spend many hours beyond their teaching schedules to give their students the rewarding opportunity of participating in show choir.  If you haven’t had the chance to enjoy this exciting facet of choral music, don’t miss this chance to enjoy and support these talented young musicians!

Good luck to everybody.  Let’s have a great year of music making!


Vocal Jazz – Jamie Shew, VP, Jazz Choir

The fall semester is a great time to share your “works in progress” with each other in a non-competitive atmosphere with professional clinicians working with your students and providing workshops on a variety of topics.  This year, the SCVA Fall Vocal Jazz Festival will be held in the Wilshire Auditorium at Fullerton College on December 1st.  This all-day event will end with a very special concert featuring Fullerton College’s premiere Vocal Jazz Ensemble, “J Train,” “VJ2”, and a variety of aspiring jazz vocalists from the Advanced Vocal Styling class.  Please put this date on your calendar!!!  The festival is open to all levels, novice through advanced.  The fee is a minimal $150 and festival participants will enjoy FREE admission to the evening concert as well as daytime improvisation and vocal styling workshops with our outstanding vocal jazz clinicians Matt Falker and Jennifer Barnes.  Online information and festival registration forms are available on the SCVA website.

If you have any question regarding the festival and concert, have some parenting advise (I’m a new mom as of July 25th!), or you just want to chat, please contact me.

A Case of the Mondays            Dave Barduhn              3+        Swing                           Sound Music
Detour Ahead                           Paris Rutherford           2+        Ballad                           Hal Leonard
Do Nothin’ Till You Hear         Darmon Meader           2+        Medium Swing             Alfred
How Deep Is The Ocean          Rosanna Eckert            2          Ballad                           Hal Leonard
Let Your Love Rain                  Michele Weir                3          Gospel Swing               Mich Music
Our Love Is Here To Stay        Darmon Meader           3          Medium Swing             Alfred
Stolen Moments                       Paris Rutherford           3          Medium Swing             Hal Leonard
Sway (Quien Sera)                   Kirby Shaw                  2          Latin                             Hal Leonard
Tea For Two                            Dave Barduhn              2+        Slow Swing                  Sound Music
That Old Black Magic              Kerry Marsh                3+        Afro-Cuban                  UNC
Walk the Toad                         Vijay Singh                   2          Slow Swing                  Sound Music
With Every Breath I Take         Dave Barduhn              3          Ballad                           Sound Music
You’re Makin’ Me Crazy         Michele Weir                2+        New Orleans Street Beat          Mich Music

Rhythm Section Workshop for Jazz Directors                Alfred
Jazz Singer’s Handbook by Michele Weir                     Alfred
Vocal Improvisation by Michele Weir                           Advance Music

November 1: Fullerton HS Vocal Jazz Festival, Fullerton, CA
November 2-3: Cuesta College Vocal Jazz Workshop, San Luis Obispo, CA
December 1: SVCA Vocal Jazz Festival at Fullerton College, Fullerton, CA
January 26: Folsom Jazz Festival, Folsom, CA
March 7: Mt. San Antonio College Vocal Jazz Festival, Walnut, CA
March 7-8: Columbia College Vocal Jazz Festival, Sonora, CA
March 14-15: Oceanside Jazz Festival (Mira Costa College), Oceanside, CA
March 28: Val Verde Jazz Festival at Rancho Verde H.S., Riverside, CA
April 4-5: Fullerton College Jazz Festival, Fullerton, CA
(Sorry for my shameless plug!!!  We are continuing the College/University component to the festival this year.  This is a great opportunity for your students to hear a variety of colleges and universities and possibly visit with the directors!)
April 19: Royal HS Vocal Jazz Festival

Vocal Jazz Festival Application


Vocal Solo Competition - Colleen Kennedy, VP, Vocal Solo Competition

After a two-year absence, I’m pleased to be back on the SCVA Board organizing this year’s Vocal Solo Competition. My thanks to Rodger Guerrero and Robbie Riddle for stepping up and running the competition during that time.

I believe very strongly in the benefits of solo performance. I have found that in my ensembles, solo singing by individual chorus members improves the sound of my whole group. Singers who prepare solos become more independent as musicians. They also become more aware of their own tone quality and the effort required to maintain consistently beautiful tone. And last, but not least, successful solo singing builds confidence.

Let me tell you about Julian Hicks (with his parents’ permission). Julian was a high school senior who had never really sung before. A teacher heard him sing and suggested that he apply for the SCVA Vocal Solo Competition, so on a lark, he prepared a song and was selected to continue on to the final round. He performed so well at the finals that he was ultimately selected as one of the 2006-07 high-school finalists. Now he’s thinking about studying voice in college, all because of our competition! And Julian isn’t the only one. I’ve heard from other directors over the years about singers who have blossomed as a result of their solo competition experiences. I’ve seen it with my own students.

The emphasis of the solo competition is on learning. The adjudicators focus on the master-class aspect of the competition, working with each singer individually and offering helpful, encouraging feedback. The atmosphere is relaxed, friendly and supportive. All ability levels are welcome. If your students need a more tangible reason to participate, SCVA awards scholarships to the six high school finalists and the junior high/middle school winner.

Participation in this competition can be a life-altering experience for these singers. Please encourage your students to participate. Don’t let them miss out on this incredible event.

Application Info
Participation is open to students in both junior high/middle school (grades 6 – 8) and high school (grades 9 – 12), although the two levels do not compete against each other. The non-refundable application fee remains $20. Applications must be accompanied by a school check or money order payable to SCVA. You can also pay online by visiting and selecting e-Payments. Include the e-Payment receipt with your application. Please, no purchase orders, personal checks or cash. Each applicant should also include a self-addressed envelope with the application for notification.

Participants must be active members of a choral group. Religious and community choruses meet this requirement. The application must be signed by the choral director to confirm chorus membership. If the choral director is not a member of SCVA, then both the choral director and an SCVA member/sponsor must sign the application. Directors or sponsors must be current members of SCVA, having paid their 2007-08 dues, in order for their students to participate. If your membership isn’t current, complete the membership application included in this SCVA newsletter, or complete the online membership application at

New This Year
- Applicants can choose from among twelve preliminary round sites throughout Southern California.
- NOTE: There may be an additional site in south Orange County – to be confirmed

Performance Info
Each participant will sing one classical piece (art song or aria). Selections should be appropriate to the singer’s experience level. Participants will have a total of 8 minutes to perform and work with the adjudicator. Singers must provide their own skilled accompanists for the preliminary and final rounds. (Keep costs down by sharing an accompanist.)

The preliminary and final rounds are in master-class format, lasting approximately 3 to 4 hours, including breaks. Participants are expected to check in before the master class starts and remain until the end to receive their certificates and adjudication forms. Please remind participants to make sure that they are available for all dates and times before completing the application. Singers arriving and leaving throughout the class can be extremely disruptive.

Up to five finalists may be selected from each preliminary site at the high school level, along with one jr. high/middle school finalist. Singers selected to continue to the final round may either perform the same selection from the preliminary round or prepare another. At the final round, the judges will select six high school finalists and one junior high/middle school finalist. The high school finalists will consist of the two best female singers, the two best male singers and the next two best singers at the judges’ discretion. Scholarships will be awarded, and final placement of the high school finalists will be announced, at the Junior High/Middle School Honor Choir concert.

Dates to Remember:
- Applications submitted/postmarked no later than Saturday December 8, 2007
- Preliminary rounds (various sites, see application): 9am - 1:00pm, Saturday January 12, 2008
- Final round (site TBD): 9am - 2:00pm, Saturday March 8, 2008
- Finalists perform at the Jr. High/Middle School Honor Choir concert Sunday May 4, 2008

On-Line Vocal Solo Competition Application


Young Women’s and Young Men’s Harmony Festivals
Mark Freedkin, SPEBSQSA

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 3rd annual “Diva Day” Young Women in Harmony Festival, sponsored by the Harborlites Chorus will be held on Saturday, February 2, 2008, and the 8th annual “Young Men’s Harmony Festival” will be held on Saturday, February 23, 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 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 cost to attend is only $20 per singer for early registration. 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 t-shirt. We will also provide lunch and dinner for the singers, choral directors and any parent chaperones accompanying the singers.

To qualify for the early registration, please copy and distribute the appropriate forms to each student. Please complete and return the applications and forms, along with payment by cash, check or money order payable to Harborlites (for the Young Women’s Festival) or Masters of Harmony (for the Young Men’s Festival) POSTMARKED NO LATER THAN NOVEMBER 16, 2007.  Both events 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 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
Email:                                                     Email:

Application Forms (require Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Diva Day - Student Application Form
Diva Day - Parental Consent/Medical Form
Diva Day – Music Educator Application Form

Young Men's Festival – Student Application & Parental Consent/Medical Form


Junior High Honor Choir – Tony Azeltine, VP - JR/MS Honor Choir

Mark your calendars with the Junior High Honor Choir events:
January 19 and 26, Saturdays:  Honor Choir Auditions
April 12, 26 and May 3:           Honor Choir Rehearsals
May 4:                                     Honor Choir Concert
                                                3:30 PM at Alhambra High School

We are pleased to announce that this year’s conductor will be Dr. Ricardo Soto of Orange Coast College!

Please encourage your 9th graders to audition for the Junior High Honor Choir 2008. Their presence makes the difference!

If you would you consider hosting or adjudicating for the Junior High Honor Choir auditions, please email or call me. We could sure use the help!


Website Update - Mark Freedkin, SCVA Webmaster

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 larger than one 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.


Other Important Information
On-Line SCVA Membership Application