SCVA Newsletter (on-line version) – December 2005


Message from the President – Grace Sheldon-Williams, President
Seasons Greetings from SCVA!  Can you name these tunes?

1. Delight for the third planet.
2. Embellish the corridors.
3. My sole desire for the Yuletide season is receipt of a pair of central incisors.
4. The autocratic troika originating near the ascent of Apollo.
5. Are you detecting the same aural sensations I am?
6. Thrice enable the precipitation of crystalline ice structures.
7. Who’s the mystery kid?
8. Perambulating through awe-inspiring terrain from Dec. 21 to March 21.
9. May a jovial, petite Yuletide be experienced by you personally.
10. Father Christmas is en route to the borough.
11. I apprehended my maternal parent osculating with a corpulent unshaven male in crimson disguise.
12. Valentino, the wapiti with cerise proboscis.
13. Endocarps oxidizing on an unenclosed conflagration.
14. Clappered, inverted cups, amalgamated.
15. In a distant bovine diner.
16. The bantam percussionist lad.
17. At the zenith of the domicile.
18. The dozen festive earthly rotations of Yuletide.
19. Personal hallucinations of an alabaster Dec. 25
20. During the vigilant nocturnal observance of pastoral woolies by herdsmen.

Answers:  1. Joy to the World   2. Deck the Halls   3. All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth   4. We Three Kings of Orient Are   5. Do You Hear What I Hear?   6. Let It Snow!  Let It Snow!  Let It Snow!   7. What Child Is This?  8. (Walking in a) Winter Wonderland   9. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas   10. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town   11. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus   12. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer   13. Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire   14. Silver Bells   15. Away in a Manger  16. The Little Drummer Boy   17. Up on the Housetop   18. The Twelve Days of Christmas   19.  (I’m Dreaming of a) White Christmas   20. While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night.


JUNIOR HIGH HONOR CHOIR – Tony Azeltine, VP Jr. High Honor Choir
It’s time to prepare your best singers and musicians to auditions for the Junior High Honor Choir!  We are honored to have Lori Marie Rios as our guest conductor this year.  If you have seen Lori work with youth, you know what a treat your students will be in for.

The Honor Choir is open to all 7, 8, and 9th graders, as well as 6th graders IF they are in a middle school choral program.  High school BOYS in 9th grade are especially encouraged to audition, so we may have a solid bass/baritone section.  Boys with unchanged voices are also encouraged to audition.  There is a $5 audition fee and a $45 participation fee for students accepted into the choir.  Singers will again have a rehearsal CD to help them learn and memorize their music.

The Audition Process
Teach your students the following for a few minutes every day between now and January.  They will become more confident musicians and will do well at the audition.  They must be able to sing the following:

 - “America” (“My Country ‘Tis of Thee”) a cappella
 - Major scale (using solfege, numbers, or any vowel, with accuracy)
 - Major and minor triads
 - Tonal Memory Patterns
 - Rhythmic sight reading (clap, tap, ta-ti, the correct rhythms)
 - Melodic sight reading (solfege or any syllable)

It is extremely important that directors understand that your signature on a student’s application indicates your confidence that the student will be a responsible and dedicated member of the Honor Choir.  Rehearsal dates are MANDATORY and are NOT negotiable.  Students who have a conflict with any of the dates on the applications should NOT apply or audition!  (Directors with school conflicts must contact me right away.)  If a student drops out or is dismissed from an SCVA  Honor Choir, the student’s school may not be allowed to participate in Honor Choir the following school year.  Please understand that these rules were made with the good of the choir in mind.  Someone who misses 25% or more of the scheduled rehearsals cannot be considered a valuable member if they are not present.  This is an HONOR CHOIR, and the students selected to be in it must be honorable and responsible.

Rehearsal Dates (Location TBA):  March 18, April 29, May 6, and Performance May 7, 2006

There are a myriad of details in creating a successful Honor Choir experience for all.  I cannot do this without the assistance of you, the membership.  Please, step forward to adjudicate, host a rehearsal, run a sectional, check-in students, assist with crowd control, tickets, etc. etc.  ANY assistance you can lend, however small, will be greatly appreciated.

Junior High Honor Choir Application Form


2006 Vocal Solo Competition Information –Rodger Guerrero, VP Vocal Solo Competition
Remember that the postmark deadline for submitting applications for the 2006 SCVA Vocal Solo Competition is Saturday, December 10, 2005.  Participation is open to both junior high/middle school and high school students, although the two levels do not compete against each other.  The following marvelous people have already agreed to serve as site hosts:

 - Tammi Alderman (Crescenta Valley HS-San Gabriel/Santa Clarita Valleys)
 - Melanie Alpert (Alta Loma School District-Inland Empire)
 - Sandra Cupp (Niguel Hills Middle School-Orange County Coastal)
 - Heather Gold (Manhattan Beach Middle School-South Bay)
 - Rodger Guerrero (Harvard-Westlake School-San Fernando Valley)
 - Scott Hedgecock (Fullerton HS-Orange County)
 - Irene Messaloras (Malibu HS-Ventura County Coastal)
 - Bill Wagner (Nordoff HS-Simi/Conejo Valleys)

This is a great opportunity for your students to experience something new, something potentially life-altering!  They will surely grow by participating, and if they benefit from it, then your choral programs will profit as well!  It’s easy to apply, as all the information and application forms are available at or in the October and November newsletters. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at (818) 487-6513.  Lastly, apply early and avoid the last minute rush!

Dates to Remember
 - Applications postmarked no later than Sat, December 10, 2005
 - Preliminary rounds (at above sites): 9am-1:30pm, Sat, January 14, 2006
 - Semi-final round (Santa Monica 1st Presbyterian): 9am-2:30pm, Sat, February 25, 2006
 - Final performances/scholarship awards (Junior High Honor Choir Concert, May 7, 2006 – Site and Time TBA)

Mail application packets to:
Rodger Guerrero
SCVA Vocal Solo Competition
3700 Coldwater Canyon
North Hollywood, CA  91604

Vocal Solo Application Form


Young Men’s Barbershop Harmony Festival – Mark Freedkin, Barbershop Harmony Society (SPEBSQSA)
This is a reminder that the early application deadline is December 20.  After that date and through January 13, we will still accept applications, but the registration fee will be increased to $25.  We will have several new songs this year, and we will have some of our finest adult quartets serving as coaches and role models.  Please also keep in mind that this event fills up quickly, and we may not be able to accommodate all of the applications that are submitted after December 20.  We would also appreciate your timely response, since we have an enormous amount of behind-the-scenes preparation to do for this event.

For more information, please contact:
  Mark Freedkin
  Home: (949) 559-9621
  Work: (949) 470-3117

Young Men’s Barbershop Harmony Festival Application -- please be sure to print both pages (application and parental/medical form).


Jennifer Stanley, VP- High School Festivals and Linda Nason, VP- Junior High Festivals

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!

Thank you to all the directors who are hosting festivals! With our festival hosts, we have been able to schedule festivals in many different locations throughout March, April, and May. We are working to make the festival process easier for everyone.  The festival application follows this article.  Applying early will increase your chances of being accepted to your first choice festival.  As a courtesy to others, please do not bring more than two choirs to one festival.  The postmark application deadline is March 1, 2006, and late applications will not be accepted.  Please check your school’s testing schedule and spring break when scheduling your festival.  Please be aware of the location of your festival so you can begin planning for transportation.

The SCVA website has information to assist you and your students in your festival preparation.  The schedule of festivals, festival application form, PayPal payment system, festival adjudication form, adjudication scoring scale, festival code of conduct, festival listening guide, list of recommended choral literature, festival FAQs and other festival information is there for your use.  If there is other information you would find helpful, please let us know and we will post it for you.

Festival Application Form


Vocal Jazz Fall Festival - Matt Falker, VP Jazz  Choir
This year’s Fall Vocal Jazz Festival was a definite success! Roger Estrada and Upland H.S. were wonderful hosts as the day featured eleven high school vocal jazz ensembles from the area. Guest performances were also given by the USC Vocal Jazz Ensemble and professional vocal ensemble m-pact. Trist Curless of m‑pact and SCVA Chair Matt Falker served as clinicians for the day, and m-pact also provided a clinic and mini-performance in preparation for their evening concert at Upland Christian H.S.

Participating high schools were Rialto, Upland Christian, Rancho Verde (Riverside), Valencia (Placentia), Hamilton, Nogales, Fullerton Union, Downey, and Royal & Santa Susana (Simi Valley). The overall level of the ensembles was extremely high, especially considering the October date. If you didn’t bring your choir this year, we look forward to your participation next fall! (Anyone else interested in hosting, please contact me…)

Updated – Spring Vocal Jazz Festival Guide
March 3-4                    Columbia College VJ Festival               Sonora, CA
Saturday, March 18      Royal H.S. VJ Festival                          Simi Valley, CA
Friday, March 24         Val Verde Jazz Festival                         Rancho Verde H.S.
Friday, March 31         Fullerton Jazz Festival                           Fullerton, CA
Saturday, April 1          (two days)
Thursday, April 20        Univ. of Northern Colorado Festival     Greeley, CO
April 21-23                  Monterey Jazz Festival                          Monterey, CA
April 28-29                  Reno Jazz Festival (UNR)                     Reno, NV

Here are the contacts for the three Southern California festivals:
  Royal H.S. Festival – Bonnie Graeve    
  Val Verde Jazz Festival – Kelli Dower  
  Fullerton Jazz Festival – Jamie Shew     

This Month’s Tip: Finding Useful Texts For Your Ensemble or Soloists
A number of informative jazz texts exist that can be helpful to you or your students. Here’s a few recommendations:
  Running an ensemble / program: The Complete Guide To Teaching Jazz by Steve Zegree.
  Solo singing: The Jazz Singer’s Handbook by Michele Weir
  Improvisation (individual & ensemble): Vocal Improvisation by Michele Weir


Show Choir Spectacular - Tammi Alderman, VP Show Choir
The date and location for are set for the 2006 SCVA Show Choir Spectacular Competition.  Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 1st, 2006 at San Pasqual High School. I hope this works for all those who are interested in coming.  The format will be the same as it has been, starting with the Jr. High/Middle School groups in the morning. After the completion of the Jr. High/MS groups, the High School choirs will compete in three divisions: Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced respectively.  This competition is open to women’s, men’s, and mixed choirs. San Pasqual High School will be the host school as well as the location for this year’s competition.

In this newsletter you will find the guidelines for the event and the application.  Please fill out the application completely and do not send it without the entry fee.  One check may be written for all of your groups.  Passes for your entourage will be sold at the door for $5.00.  However, if you have more than 40 participants, including students, band, crew, director and choreographer, then you must include $5.00 for each additional person (think about your chaperones).

The deadline for the application is February 24th, however, the sooner I get your applications, the sooner I can let you know what your performance times will be!  Please check your calendars before sending in your applications.  There have been problems in the past with groups just deciding not to show up.  We expect commitment from our students, so please be the example by checking all other conflicts before sending in your application.  I hope you’re having a great year and happy holidays.

SCVA Show Choir Spectacular Guidelines
1. Each group will be allowed a maximum of 20 minutes including set up and tear down. Groups exceeding this limit will take a 10 point penalty per minute.
2. Taped accompaniment IS allowed for this competition
3. We will provide a drum set and piano. PLEASE DO NOT BRING THESE ITEMS.
4. Directors who wish to conduct may do so from a designated area of the house.
5. Any special effects must be cleared in advance of the competition.
6. General area micing as well as solo mics on stands will be provided for each performance.  We will also provide general stage lighting. No spot will be provided.  No group will be permitted to use their own sound/lighting equipment.
7. Note to directors of women’s choirs: There may be no male participants on stage even if they are used essentially as a “prop.”
8. Each group will have a designated area for placement of props, etc. Take all props, etc. to busses or cars immediately following your performance.
9. Choirs are to be seated in the theater at the start of their session and will be escorted to a warm-up area while the group immediately prior to yours moves to the stage.
10. Directors need not provide scores for adjudicators.
11. Missed performance times will not be rescheduled.

Scoring: 240 points possible
(30 points per category)
Tone Quality     Dynamics
Intonation         Interpretation
Blend/Balance  Visual Effect
Diction             Overall Presentation

Show Choir Application Form


Other Important Information
SCVA Membership Application