History of KASC

The Kodály Association of Southern California (KASC) was established by Katinka Scipiades Daniel in 1980 in Santa Barbara. Mrs. Daniel, a charter member of the International Kodály Society, developed, adapted and refined the curriculum of the Kodály Method for American children over a period of fourteen years at San Roque School in Santa Barbara. Jenö Ádám, who actually developed The Kodály Concept, and later, Zoltan Kodály, both visited San Roque School in the ‘60s and gave their personal approval to her American curriculum.

In her years of teaching in North America, Mrs. Daniel authored many books, produced videos and was the recipient of many awards. Many of her former students have achieved positions of prominence throughout the country: Sr. LornaZemke, Lois Choksy, Dr. John Feierabend, Dr. Joy Nelson andDr. Katherine Hickey are among these leaders.

Our local organization has seen five of its members honored by the national Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE). The Outstanding Educator Award has been presented to Katinka Daniel (‘92), the late David Falconer (‘95, awarded posthumously), co-producer with Mrs. Daniel of the video Kodály Concept in America, Pamela Wade (‘97), a specialist in early childhood music, Martha Rosacker (‘99), who established the Oklahoma Kodály Educators, and Diane Geller (‘06), folk song research specialist, who together with Martha formed the San Diego County arm of KASC.Katinka Daniel was also the recipient of the prestigious OAKE Lifetime Achievement Award (‘01).

In addition to offering many hours of service to our local chapter, KASC members have also served on the board of OAKE. Pamela Wade served as OAKE President, Kathy Hickey, OAKE President and former Western Division President, and Gloria Blacka, Marjorie Lowe, Pamela Wade, Marilyn Sousa and Kurt Cereske have functioned as Regional Representatives.  Among the highlights of events in the past twenty years, KASC organized an outstanding concert in celebration of Kodály’s Centennial in January of 1983. The program combined world class artists with classroom demonstrations, effectively showing the breadth of musical development. In 1987, KASC hosted the annual National OAKE Conference, setting new standards of excellence in the showcasing of children’s achievements from early childhood through the sixth grade.  All the demonstration teachers received their training from Mrs. Daniel. More recently, KASC hosted the 2016 OAKE National Conference in Long Beach, “CALIFORNIA GOLD: Roots from the past, Vision for the future.” KASC board members continue to be active in their musical communities and teacher trainings.

Inspired by a workshop in 1986 given by Helen Kemp, where Kodály-trained children from throughout the SouthernCalifornia area came together to perform choral works, KASC established an annual choral festival that is held each spring.  The guest conductor is drawn from the many fine teachers in our area. Some of these choristers have been accepted to the National Kodály Children’s Chorus, which is held annually at the national conference.  In 1970 Mrs. Daniel began teaching classes in Los Angeles which led to KASC’s formal certification program established in 1980 and endorsed by OAKE.

All of Southern California can be justly proud of the rich heritage of teaching which the KASC members bring to their roles as classroom teachers, music teachers, instrumentalists, choral directors and church organists. We are all mindful of Kodály’s words when he stated:  “We must look forward to the time that all people in all lands are brought together through singing . . .and when there is a universal harmony.”