SCVA Newsletter (on-line version) - December 2006


In Memoriam - Jane Skinner Hardester, October 3, 1922 - October 23, 2006
Submitted by Ginger Covert Colla

Jane Skinner Hardester, an extraordinary choral conductor, teacher, and founding member of the American Choral Directors Association, passed away on October 23, 2006. She loved choral music with a deep and abiding passion, and through it illumined the soul and gave a distinctive voice to her singers.

Dr. Hardester earned her Bachelor of Arts at College of the Pacific and Master of Arts and Doctor of Musical Arts in choral music from the University of Southern California.  From 1962-1998 she served on the faculty at El Camino College in Torrance where she developed an outstanding choral program.  Throughout her career, choral organizations under her direction (including the El Camino College Chorale and Lyric Singers and her semi-professional chorale, The Jane Hardester Singers) performed for regional and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association.  Jane served as Director of Music at United Methodist Church of El Segundo from 1995-2000, and co-founded the South Bay Children’s Choir, sponsored by El Camino College, in 1996. 

Jane served on the boards of the California Music Educators Association, the Southern California Vocal Association, and the American Choral Directors Association, serving as ACDA Western Division President 1971-1975. She has been recognized for her contribution to choral music by the city of Torrance as well as the Music Educators National Conference and the Southern California Vocal Association.  She was named an Honorary Life Member of SCVA in 1973.  In 1993 she was the recipient of the Howard Swan Award presented by the California Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.  She was honored again for her dedication to the choral art at the Western Division convention of ACDA in 1989.

Jane served as a conduit for the choral art, transmitting her artistic vision to her choristers and to her audiences.  She saw to it that all singers who came within her choral compass would be deftly guided into experiencing what it meant to sing from the heart and the soul - a communion of the ages through song.  Her favorite quote was from Oliver Wendell Holms, Sr.:  “Alas for those who never sing, but die with all their music in them.” Jane passed from this earthly life having devoted herself to the task of insuring that all who met her through the choral art would have experienced the joy of singing and expressing all of the music within them.

A memorial concert to celebrate Jane Hardester’s life will be presented at First United Methodist Church (134 N. Kenwood Street, Glendale) at 3:00 p.m. on December 30.  For information about singing in the memorial chorus, please contact Megan Eddy.  (

Memorial gifts in Jane’s name should go to the South Bay Children’s Choir (Fine Arts Division, El Camino College, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd.  Torrance, CA 90250; or to the California Music Educator’s Association Eunice Skinner Memorial Award for Excellence in Choral Music Education.  (PO Box 2380 Portola, CA  96122  -


Honor Choirs - Rich Brunner, VP - Hign School Choirs

The big smiles on these three directors' faces speaks volumes about the success of the Regional Honor Choir Concert at Santa Monica High School on November 18th.

Professor David Weiller from UNLV led the "best ever" Men's Choir as they sung their hearts out and touched the soul of their director, as well as us.  Professor Weiller said in a recent email that he is still reeling from the superb experience with those 60 dedicated young men!

Dr. Anna Hamre from CalState Fresno had the always wonderful Women's Choir singing at an ecstatically phenomenal level.  Dr. Hamre said it was a momentous event that she will remember for the rest of her life!

And Dr. Jonathan Talberg from CalState Long Beach had the Mixed Choir giving us shivers one moment and pure elation the next.  He was proud to have worked with such a talented and pliable group of young musicians!

All three directors were impressed with the level of commitment and preparation these students exhibited.  That goes a long way in our book!  All you dedicated directors from the 84 schools represented on November 18th should be extremely proud of the work you did with your students, the consistency and perseverance your students demonstrated and the incredible levels to which they aspired, achieved and exceeded!

Thank you, again, to all those who ran auditions, ran to adjudicate, ran rehearsals, ran for coffee, ran for lunch, ran directors to their hotels, ran the check-in tables, ran the box office and, frankly, ran themselves ragged!  This whole process wouldn't have been so exceptional without your help.  I am deeply indebted.

If you weren't there to hear the concert, too bad.  You missed one.  Make a vow this moment to support, encourage, and cajole your students to participate next year.  Be unrelenting.  You must know how much you change their lives every time you step in front of them to teach.  Here is another splendid opportunity!  En avant!


SCVA Vocal Solo Competition 2006-2007

Application Information
Junior high/middle school and high school students are encouraged to participate.  The application fee remains at $20.  This fee is non-refundable.  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.  Please, no purchase orders, personal checks or cash.  Each applicant should include a self-addressed envelope with their application for notification.  Participants must be active members in a choral ensemble.  Church, temple and community groups meet this requirement.  The application must be signed by the choral director.  If the choral director is not a member of SCVA, then the application must be signed by both the choral director and the private voice teacher.  Directors and/or voice teachers must be current members of SCVA, having paid their 2006-07 dues, in order for their students to participate. 

Performance Info
Each participant will sing one classical selection (art song or aria).  Selections should be appropriate to the singer’s level of experience.  Participants will be given a total of 8 minutes to perform and work with the adjudicator.  Keep in mind that a longer song means less time to work with the adjudicator.  Singers must provide their own skilled accompanists for the preliminary and semi-final rounds.  (Keep costs down by sharing an accompanist.)  An accompanist will only be provided for the final concert performance.  The preliminary and semi-final rounds are in master-class format, lasting approximately 3-4 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.  Also, please help our participants by not scheduling a gig for your choir on the same day that any of your students is scheduled to sing in the competition, or excuse those students from the gig.  Singers arriving and leaving during the class can be distracting.

Up to five semi-finalists may be selected from each preliminary site at the high school level, along with one junior high/middle school semi-finalist.  Singers selected to continue to the semi-final round may either perform their selection from the preliminary round or prepare another.  At the semi-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 two best singers at the judges’ discretion.  Final placement of the high school finalists will be announced at the Junior High/ Middle School Honor Choir concert.

Dates to Remember
Applications postmarked no later than Saturday, December 9, 2006.
Preliminary rounds (various sites): 9am-1:30, Saturday, January 13, 2007
Semi-final round (site TBD): 9am-2:30, Saturday, February 24, 2007
Scholarships awarded after final performances at the Junior High/Middle School  Honor Choir Concert (date, site, & time TBD)

Vocal Solo Competition Application


Men's & Women's Barbershop Harmony Festivals - Mark Freedkin, Barbershop Harmony Society (SPEBSQSA)

This year's Men's and Women's Barbershop Harmony Festivals will be held on the following dates:

   "Diva Day" (Young Women's Harmony Festival): Saturday, February 3, 2007, Anaheim High School
   Young Men's Harmony Festival: Saturday, February 17, 2007, Cypress College

The seventh annual Young Men’s Harmony Festival will be held on Saturday, February 17, 2007 at Cypress College.  Starting at 10:00am, the day-long event will consist of a morning and afternoon clinic and rehearsal, followed by a public performance in the evening with the Masters of Harmony.  About four weeks prior to the event, we will provide sheet music and audio practice CD's for several songs arranged in the barbershop style.

The cost for the Young Men's Festival is only $20 per singer for early registration.  Local barbershop sponsors will cover the remaining costs for all sheet music, audio practice tracks, rehearsal facilities, guest clinicians, and performance costumes.  A commemorative T-shirt will be provided to each singer.  We will also provide lunch and dinner for the singers, as well as a catered dinner for any choral music educators who attend the rehearsal and clinic.  We request that you or a parent accompany your singers at the event to help maintain discipline during the long day.

To qualify for the early registration fee, complete the enclosed application and parental consent/medical form for each singer and send payment by cash, check or money order payable to “Masters of Harmony” to the address below NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 15, 2006.  Thereafter, the registration fee will be $25 per singer.  Any male student who is currently enrolled in a school choral music program is eligible to participate.  There is no limit to the number of students you can nominate from your choral program.  We can accommodate up to 200 singers, so don’t delay!

For the young women, the Harborlites Chorus (2005 Sweet Adelines International Chorus Champions) will host a similar event on Saturday, February 3 at the Cook Auditorium at Anaheim High School.  The cost for this event is also $20 for early registration by November 17 (or $25 thereafter).  All registration fees for the young women's event should be made payable to "Harborlites".

Applications and Parental Consent/Medical Release forms for both events are included in this newsletter.  Please be sure to use the proper forms for each event, and send them to the appropriate address.

For more information about these events, please contact:

Young Men's Harmony Festival                   Diva Day
Mark Freedkin                                                 Karen Ridout
Home: (949) 559-9621                                    Home: (714) 847-0787
Work: (949) 470-3117                                    Mobile: (714) 319-2325
Mobile: (714) 357-1187                                   e-mail:

Diva Day Application for Students
Diva Day Application for Music Educators
Diva Day Parental Consent/Medical Form

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


Diva Day -  Carol Krenek, Harborlites Chorus
Young Women's Harmony Festival: Saturday, February 3, 2007, Anaheim High School

The second annual “Diva Day Young Women in Harmony Festival” will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2007, at the Cook Auditorium of Anaheim High School.  Nearly 200 young women from Southern California High Schools participated in the highly successful 2006 event, and we will build on that success with the 2007 festival.  The day-long event will include morning and afternoon clinics and rehearsal time, as well as an evening performance with the Harborlites Chorus (2005 Sweet Adelines International Chorus Champions).  A special interactive session for music educators will be presented by Debbie Connelly, this year’s clinician.

Applications, cover letters, clinician bio, Parental Consent/Medical Release forms, show ticket order forms and further information can be found on the Harborlites chorus website at: or the SCVA website at

We are limiting attendance to 250 singers, so don’t delay.  Late registrations will be accepted (after November 17) and the fee will be $25 per singer. 

For more information about this exciting event, please contact:

Karen Ridout
Home: (714) 847-0787
Mobile: (714) 319-2325


Fall In-Service - Grace Sheldon-Williams, Past-President

The 2006 Fall In-Service was a great success!  On October 27 approximately 70 directors gathered in Monrovia for an inspiring and informative day, thanks to our wonderful clinicians:   Jonathan Talberg, Karen Garrett and Margie Brodeur, as well as our superb performing groups:  Wilson Middle School 8th Grade Treble Choir, Charlotte Smurthwaite, Director; and Glendale Adventist Academy Chorale, Brenda Mohr, Director.

Because of a high level of interest in the Adjudicators’ Workshop, we have decided to offer another one next year!  Stay tuned for more information.

Please let me know if you have ideas for next year’s workshop, including topics of interest to you and/or names of outstanding clinicians.  I wish all of you a fulfilling year and look forward to seeing you at many SCVA events!


Jennifer Stanley, VP - High School Festivals, and Maria Fritts, VP - Middle School/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 49 festivals in many different locations throughout March, April, and May. 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 application deadline is March 1, 2007, 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, festival host guide, and list of recommended choral literature are there for your use. Please let us know if we can post other useful information for you.  For more information or questions, please contact Maria Fritts at or (714) 854-9815; contact Jennifer Stanley at or (626) 258-5292.

Elementary Festivals
Junior High and Middle School Festivals
High School Festivals
Festival Application


Other Important Information
SCVA Membership Application