Clinician Bios

KASC Workshop Clinician Bios from the 2018-2019 season

Workshop #1: Saturday, September 22, 2018 – 9:30-3:00pm
Hook, Line and Sinker: Catching the Attention of Older Learners in the Music Room
Catching and maintaining the attention of upper elementary students can be a challenging and daunting task. But if you “bait your hook” just right you’ll soon have them eating out of your hand! In this session, we’ll focus on instructional strategies, pedagogical materials, and ways to build student rapport in order to gain and maintain the engagement rate of your upper elementary students. Song material, singing games, reading activities, pacing ideas, lesson structure and delivery, and building trust and relationships with your students are among many of the topics that will be addressed as ways to increase student participation, ownership, and joy in the music classroom.
Amy Abbott is in her 21 st year of teaching elementary music with the past 18 years having been in the St. Vrain Valley School district. She received her undergraduate degree in music education from the University of Colorado at Boulder and obtained her masters in music education with a Kodály emphasis from Colorado State University. She has Kodály certifications from Portland State University, where she studied with Jill Trinka, Susan Brumfield, Vicki Loebell & Sean Dëibler and from Colorado State University, where she studied with Sue Litehold-Bowcock and Ann Eisen. She has presented sessions at OAKE conferences, the Colorado Music Educators State Conference, Oregon Arts Alliance State Conference, various OAKE chapters including KET, SWOKE, KMEK, MTAKE, OKE, KEGA, PKSOR, CAKE NPKC, as well as professional development of Amarillo ISD, Bakersfield MEA and St. Vrain Valley School Districts. She is also the level 2 pedagogy, folksong and analysis Kodály teacher at Colorado State University. Additionally, she has served on the ROCKE board for over 7 years as President, Secretary and Member-at-Large. In addition to teaching general music at Red Hawk elementary in Erie she also teaches a 4/5 choir, tone-chime choirs and a drum ensemble. In the spring of 2013 she was honored with a Jared Polis Foundation Teacher Award. When not teaching she loves spending time with her husband, son and daughter, gardening, blogging ( and creating for her TpT store: Amy Abbott at Music a la Abbott.
WORKSHOP #2 Choral Nuts and Bolts – Putting the Pieces Together” (How to break and down and teach choral literature sequentially using Kodaly techniques)  Diane Geller & Kelly Adams, Clinician
Saturday, November 3, 2018 – 9:30-1:30pm  Location: St. Paul’s Lutheran School, North Hollywood
Do you struggle with part-singing in your choir(s)? In this workshop you will become comfortable with a proven sequence for developing part-singing through selected repertoire using Kodály strategies. We’ll show you how to go from simple part-singing to more complex varieties, starting with ostinatos, then canons, and eventually 2-part and beyond. Join us for a morning of unlocking the musicianship and magic of your choir!

 Kelly Adams is a twice-over graduate of the University of Southern California; she received a Bachelor of Music in Music Industry, and a Master of Arts in Music Education. In 2013, she fell in love with Kodály’s revolutionary methods and ideology, and received her certification under Dr. Kathy Hickey and Kurt Cereske. She continues to build Kodály-based curricula for the Santa Monica-Malibu School District, National Children’s Chorus and Orange County School of the Arts. When she’s not teaching, Kelly performs, writes and records with the band Karmina, and sings in feature films (Pan, The Lorax, The Hive).  

Diane Geller, M.M.E.:  Ms. Geller has devoted the better part of her forty years in music education to teaching and promoting the Kodaly Approach from the Pre-Primary through graduate levels. She has served as a music specialist, K-6 in the Los Angeles, Vista, Fallbrook,and Capistrano Unified School Districts as well as several school districts in Oklahoma. She returned to California after serving for four years on the faculty of Silver Lake College, Manitowoc, WI, where she taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Music Education. She holds a Master of Music Ed. degree with a Kodály Emphasis from the University of Oklahoma, a Kodály Music Certificate from Silver Lake College, and a B.A. from California State University at Northridge.She has had extensive experience teaching children in both public and private schools in the Kodály concept of music education. For the past 32 years, Miss Geller has taught Folk Song Research, Methodology, and Solfege courses for Kodály certification at CSU Northridge, CSU LA, USC, CSU Fresno, University of Oklahoma, Azusa Pacific University, University of San Diego, and Palomar College, where she also co-directed the Palomar Youth Chorale for thirteen years. In 2006, she received the OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR AWARD from the Organization of American Kodaly Educators. She is currently serving as the director of the Brio Chorus, one of the ensembles comprising the Children’s Center Chorus, part of the Choral Arts program based at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, founded by Joe and Dana Stanford.
WORKSHOP #3 Fun with Folk – Learn to play the dulcimer and folks dance the Kodály way
Robbin Marcus, Clinician
  Saturday, February 2, 2019 – 9:o0-3:00pm
Location: St. Paul’s Lutheran School, North Hollywood
Robbin Marcus, Kodály program director/materials teacher at George Mason University, has conducted numerous workshops for OAKE national conferences and local chapters. Working in Atlanta, Robbin is an ATI-certified Alexander Technique teacher and piano teacher for students of all ages. Robbin spent twenty-five years as the lower school music specialist for St. Paul’s School in Baltimore. She served on faculties of the Webster University Kodály Course, the American Kodály Institute and the Children’s Chorus of Maryland. A well-known traditional dance leader, Robbin is an advocate for accurate performance styles in the music classroom.

Past KASC Workshops from the 2017-2018 season

Workshop #1: Saturday, September 23, 2017 – 9:30-3:00pm
Plant the Seeds that Grow  Ginger Littleton, Clinician
Location: Fairmont Private School, Anaheim Hills
Ginger Littleton recently retired from teaching after a lifetime career in music education in Berkeley and the Colorado Springs area. She received her Bachelor of Music from Lawrence University in Wisconsin and her Master of Music with Kodály emphasis from Holy Names College. She also studied at the Kodály Summer Institute in Hungary in 2007. Ginger has given workshops and seminars for CMEA, ACDA, various Colorado school districts and OAKE. She is the co-founder and past president of Regional Organization of Colorado Kodály Educators (ROCKE) and has served as OAKE Western Division President.
Workshop #2: Saturday, January 27, 2018 – 9:30-1:30pm
Singing is fun! (And learning is sneaky!): Using Kodály-inpired teaching strategies in the choral rehearsal to infuse musical learning while instilling joy and love of music making. Melissa Hedrick, Clinician
Location: St. Paul’s Lutheran School, North Hollywood
Melissa Headrick is a choral and general music educator working in the suburbs of Seattle, WA. She completed her Kodály Certification from the Seattle Kodály Levels Program and has a BA in Music Education from Ithaca College in upstate NY with an emphasis in voice. Melissa is currently using her summers to study choral conducting in the MAME program at the University St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN.     Melissa has been teaching in public schools for 11 years. In those 11 years she has taught in both New York State and Washington State with experience at every grade level K-12. 2017-2018 will be her 8th year in her current K-5 music specialist position at Wilder Elementary School in the Lake Washington School District.     After the regular school day, Melissa works with for the Bellevue Youth Choirs. She directed the Intermediate Girlchoir for the past two seasons and is directing the Training BoyChoir in the 2017-2018 season.  She also directs the Pro Deo adult choir at Holy Family Catholic Church in Kirkland, WA.    Melissa is passionate about children, diverse cultures, music, pedagogical practices, choir and all-around great music education. She is an active member of ACDA, OAKE and president of Northwest Kodály Educators. She often spends her free time seeking out and preparing for professional development for music educators.      When she is not teaching or conducting, Melissa loves to workout, run, spend time with neighbors and friends and is busy running a household and “mommy-ing”. She has wonderfully supportive husband, a 5-year old son, Jasper, a 3-year old daughter, Nora.
Workshop #3: Saturday, March 10, 2018 – 9:30-3:00pm
Kodály in the Instrumental Classroom Shelly Suminski Mahpar & Asuncion Ojeda, Clinicians 
Location: St. Paul’s Lutheran School, North Hollywood
   Shelly Suminski received a Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance from the University of Southern California as the 2007 recipient of the Robert Marsteller Outstanding Brass Musician Award. In 2009, she earned her Master's Degree at the California Institute of the Arts, studying under James Miller, Associate Principal Trombone of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. As an active freelance musician in Southern California, Suminski has performed with many local orchestras and musical theatre companies in the region and with the Macao Orchestra in China. In addition to classical performance, Shelly also performs and tours with local rock and big bands and has recorded for film, television and other media projects. Her career has led her to play in major venues across the United States, Middle East and Asia. She has shared the stage with renowned musicians and entertainers such as John Williams, Yo-Yo Ma, Izhtak Perlman, Emanuel Ax, Will Ferrell, and the band One Direction.Devoted to music education, Suminski has been involved with non-profit organizations in the Los Angeles area since 2005. She has worked with music organizations such as the Young Musicians Foundation, USC’s JazzReach program, the LA Philharmonic’s YOLA at EXPO in Los Angeles, and the award-winning Harmony Project in Hollywood, CA. In addition to teaching full-time at Fairmont Private Schools in Anaheim, she serves on the faculty at Colburn for the Community School of Performing Arts. Presently, Shelly is serving as the Vice-President of the Board for the Kodály Association of Southern California.   
   Teacher and musician Asuncion Ojeda attended LAUSD schools, where her formal music studies began, and holds degrees in music from three in-state colleges—California State University Northridge, the California Institute of the Arts, and the University of Southern California. As a flutist, Asuncion has performed with various southern California ensembles, including the Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra and the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra. Asuncion began her LAUSD teaching career as an elementary classroom teacher through the District Internship program. Upon deciding to work in her field of expertise, she pursued graduate studies in Music Education at the University of Southern California and began to work with the district’s Arts Education Branch in 2001 as a traveling music teacher. She continues to teach instrumental music at LAUSD elementary schools, and is an active member of the Kodály Association of Southern California. Her student ensembles have performed at school district festivals and at LA Little Kids Rock JamFest. She feels very privileged to be among the ranks of the LAUSD Arts Education Branch’s dedicated and passionate visual and performing arts teachers.   

Past KASC Workshops from the 2016-2017 season

Saturday, September 24, 2016
Performance at Play: Curriculum Based Performance 
Diane Geller, Clinician 
Fairmont Private School, Anaheim Hills


Diane Geller holds both a Masters in Music Ed, and a Kodály Music Certificate and has had extensive experience teaching children in both public and private schools in the Kodály concept of music education. For the past 25 years, Miss Geller has taught courses for Kodály certification at Universities in both California and Oklahoma, including Palomar College, where she also co-directed the Palomar Youth Chorale for thirteen years. In 2006, she received the “Outstanding Music Educator” award from the Organization of American Kodaly Educators.

Saturday, November 5, 2016 – 9:30-3:00pm
Folk Songs From Around The World Various Clinicians 
Location: St. Paul’s Lutheran School, North Hollywood
Anaïs De La Morandais  – Breton Folk Music from France
The class will involve demonstrations and interaction with the participants. This course will include a lot of singing and dancing with the voice as the only support. Handouts for take-home materials outlining the workshop will be given with all the songs and activities so participants can focus on the experience rather than taking notes. I purposely chose a repertoire far from famous songs like Frère Jacques, Sur le pont d’Avignon and Le Coq Est Mort. The goal is to share with you a more original and unconventional repertoire. Songs you can’t find in books!
French-born, Anaïs is an accomplished musician and educator. She holds both a Master of Arts in choral conducting from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria and a Maîtrise of Musicology from the Université de Haute-Bretagne in Rennes, France. She studied with Gildas PUNGIER – musical Director of opéra de Rouen and of the professional vocal ensemble Mélisme(s), Régine THÉODORESCO – musical Director of the professional ensemble Calliopes, Johannes PRINZ – Musical director of the Wiener Singverein in Vienna, Dr. Wolfgang DÖRNER – Orchestra conductor and Dr. Paulo LOURENÇO – Head of the Choral Music Department at the Lisbon’s Superior School of Music. Through her studies, Anaïs has been exposed t
o a variety of musical styles and influences and brings a very international and diverse repertoire to her classes: everything from French baroque to traditional Portuguese songs to contemporary choral music.Anaïs has taught men, women and children of all ages and backgrounds. In France, she was choir conductor at the choir school of Saint-Vincent in Rennes leading youth choirs from first grade to eighth grade every day during school hours. At Institut Français de Graz in Austria, she created and led two choirs composed of young children, teaching them the basics of rhythm, singing, and musical terms while adapting her teaching techniques to work with French-speaking minority children. She also simultaneously directed three other choirs: a women’s choir at the French Institut from Graz and two mixed gender adult choirs; one at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz and another one in Sankt-Ruprecht-an-der-Raab, a local community choir. During her years of conducting, she has also led some specific workshops for choirs and conservatories, including an intensive workshop on physical body training in support of the voice and a year-long seminar on modern and baroque French pronunciation for singers and choir conductors at the Johannes-Fux Konservatorium of Graz, Austria.

When she arrived in U.S.A, Anaïs created and directed the Choir Program Director of Santa Monica Youth Choir, teaching voice, music theory, and ear training while combining various methods in vocal technique, percussion, art, and memorizat
ion. Santa Monica Youth Orchestra belongs to Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica whose mission is to inspire and enable young people to reach their full potential as caring, responsible, productive citizens. She also worked for the City of Santa Monica as artist in residency at Virginia Avenue Park providing music class for youth. Today, Anaïs teaches music for different organizations like Atelier Musical Inc., French conservatory of music, P.S.Arts, Chadwick School and France Exchange.


Marilyn Miller -Music of Africa and African Diaspora
Her session will introduce music and classroom activities from Africa and the Diaspora. The African slave trade strongly influenced the music of the United States, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Mexico and other countries. She’ll share some of that with us.
With a B.A. and M.A. in Music Performance and a zillion classes in Computers and Technology, Marilyn’s Bio has a lot of territory to cover, to say the least. She’s taught General Music to students from kindergart
en to 8th grade in Chicago and to middle school students in Los Angeles. She’s directed Church and Community Choirs. She’s sung opera, folksongs and standards in the States and in Japan. She’s created a one-woman show with her trusty computer, Mac, and performed for Science Fiction audiences from CA to Canada. She’s sung with choirs large and small. In her small home studio, she’s created backing tracks for singers and choirs, and music for small TV and multimedia projects since 1985. In classes, workshops and conferences, she has shared the Magic of computers and technology with many teachers as well as middle school, high school and National University students.Yep, she’s Black and she’s Proud! Her session will introduce music and classroom activities from Africa and the Diaspora. The African slave trade strongly influenced the music of the United States, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Mexico and other countries. She’ll share some of that with us.
Emma Joleen – Australian & New Zealand Folk Songs

 Discover the very best songs of the Australian wildlife from a native Aussie. Besides laughing like a kookaburra and bouncing like a kangaroo, this session will include songful storytelling and edible delights such as Toffee Apple and Wombat Stew! If you want to learn some fun Aussie songs, this session is for you!

This is a hands-on session for elementary music teachers, choral conductors
and music educators. Through active participation, you will discover how to implement a playful approach for teaching and learning repertoire. Participants will experience some fun Aussie songs to pull out at any time. Not only will the land from down under repertoire enrich your program, but it will also increase student awareness and development in the area of global citizenship and identity.

Emma Joleen is an active board member of the Kodaly Association of California and oversees all things publicity wise. Emma enjoys a vast singing and teaching experience that spans the globe. Currently, Emma works as a teacher and singer across the non-profit, public and private sectors. Her daytime activities consist of teaching music education with Public School Arts (P.S. ARTS) in the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD). As part of the music curriculum at SMMUSD, Emma prepares all students from TK, K, 1st and 2nd grades for Holiday performances singing, dancing and playing Orff instruments. After school teaching includes the prestigious Los Angeles Children’s Chorus where Emma teaches musicianship to apprentice, intermediate and concert choirs, as well as assessing sight singing skills. Additionally, Emma is a self starter and initiates many projects. One of her proudest accomplishments has been creating the very first elementary aged Honor Choir with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Youth Orchestra at the Heart Of Los Angeles

. This YOLA at HOLA Honor Choir performed at the 2015 KASC Honor Chorus Festival with twenty five strong singers. As part of her YOLA at HOLA teaching Emma has prepared choirs to sing at the Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall under the direction of esteemed conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel, Juan Felipe Molano, Vince Mendoza, and performing with special guest artists Craig Robinson, Gladys Knight, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Charlie Wilson, and Philip Bailey, Verdine White, and Ralph Johnson of Earth Wind and Fire. Alongside teaching Emma is a talented singer, songwriter and musician who has received national and international accolades for her work, for instance, “Australian Songwriter of the Year” in 2006 amongst many others. Emma is passionate about singing and has been involved in choirs since childhood and sang professionally with Opera Queensland in Australia, as well as toured as a solo artist. Her vocal students have been cast to sing in feature films with local composers such as Christopher Young. Emma has also sung with the Metropolitan Master Chorale and has recently become a singer with the “Donald Brinegar Singers.” When as

ked about the highlight of her career to date, Emma states that it was being the Music Director for the Australian delegation invited by the Jordanian Queen Rania to tour Jordan participating and singing as part of the international summit for the UAE Children’s Peace Conference, Jordan. With her vast array of experience, Emma brings a vibrantly optimistic quality to her students that inspires confidence and instills the importance of music education in social development. Emma encourages the philosophy that music builds bridges, crosses borders and transforms communities. For Emma, music is exciting and thrilling, it is the language everyone speaks. In her spare time, Emma enjoys expressing her soul through dance and promoting the Kodaly Association of California.


Saturday, January 21, 2017 – 9:30-3:00pm
Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
in Music Classrooms and Ensembles 
Alice Hammel, Clinician 
Location: St. Paul’s Lutheran School, North Hollywood


This workshop is specifically designed to increase music teacher competency in the area of teaching students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Tangentially, all students with special needs will be referenced as well as students who are learning English and those who are considered intellectually gifted.

Dr. Alice M. Hammel is a widely known music educator, author, and clinician whose experience in music is extraordinarily diverse. She is currently affiliated with James Madison and Virginia Commonwealth Universities and has a large private studio in Richmond, VA. She is a co-author of several resources available through Oxford University Press including: Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs: A Label-Free Approach, Teaching Music to Students with Autism, and Winding it Back: Creating Individualized Instruction in Music Classrooms and Ensembles. She is Chair of the National Association for Music Education Task Force on Students with Special Needs. Her primary goal is to become a better teacher with each passing day.



Past KASC Workshops from the 2015-2016 season


Saturday, September 26, 2015
Kodály in Action: Music in K-8 Setting 
Gemma Arguelles, Clinician

Gemma Arguelles is Music Specialist at Convent of the Sacred Heart Elementary School in San Francisco where she also directs three choirs of students in grades 2-3, 4-6 and 7-8. She is an adjunct lecturer at Holy Names University in Oakland and a regular faculty member of its Kodály Summer Institute since 1997.

Gemma has presented at OAKE National Conferences and CMEA State Conferences and has led workshops for various OAKE chapters. She served on OAKE’s National Children’s Choirs Committee for many years and as past president and board member of the Northern California Association of Kodály Educators (NCAKE). She was on faculty with the Piedmon

t East Bay Children’s Choirs from 1995-2009 as conductor of Boys’ Beginning, Girls’ Intermediate, and later on, Girls’ Advanced. Gemma holds a Master of Music Education degree with Kodály emphasis from Holy Names University. She completed her Orff Schulwerk Levels 1 & 2 from Mills College. She grew up in the Philippines where she earned her Bachelor’s degrees in Music Education and Choral Conducting from the University of the Philippines.

Saturday, November 7, 2015
Demystifying and “Kodály-fying” the Common Core Standards
Juanda Marshall, Clinician

Juanda Marshall, our presenter, is currently an elementary music teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District. She believes in helping students to know the joy of making music and in helping students to understand how music can be a powerful and exciting part of their lives. Juanda strongly believes in the Kodály philosophy as a way of achieving this mission.

Juanda was born in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. She fell in love with singing at an early age. Juanda later got her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Portland in Oregon with a major in Voice and Music Education.  She also holds an MA degree in Elementary Education from the University of San Francisco. Juanda began her career working for the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District teaching middle school and elementary school vocal music. Six years later, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked in the entertainment industry as a singer, actress, vocal coach, music director, and as a member of several vocal groups including the world renowned Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers of Los Angeles and the Grammy nominated Los Angeles Jazz Choir.

Juanda began working for the Los Angeles Unified School District in 2001. During the time she has worked for this district, she has served as a peer coach for four years and has written curriculum contributing to the current Arts Instructional Guide as well as to published online integrated lessons. Ms. Marshall has served on the KASC board as the Publicity Chair and as the Kodály Honor Festival Chair. Her passion for music education has led her to develop and present many music workshops for teachers, administrators, parents and students. She has designed and presented music education workshops for the following organizations: The Kodály Association of Southern California, The Los Angeles Unified School District, The Los Angeles Philharmonic and The Council of Black Administrators.

Saturday, January 23, 2016
Choral Conducting, Diction, and Vocal Techniques
Niké St. Clair, Clinician

NIKÉ ST. CLAIR, DMA, a native of Hungary, received her musical training at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary where she earned her B. M. and M. M.  degrees in Aural Skills‐Music Theory, Choral Conducting, and Music Education. She  has since completed her doctoral of musical arts degree in Choral Conducting at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. She is currently on the faculty of Azusa Pacific University and California State Polytechnique University in Pomona, CA where she teaches Musicianship, and conducts the Concert Choir and  Chamber Singers.  Dr. St. Clair is the director
of the Sanctuary Choir at the La Verne  Church of the Brethren.  Ms. St. Clair is an active professional ensemble singer in the  Los Angeles metro area: her regular ensemble and solo engagements include  performances for the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Chamber Singers, Los Angeles  Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Choir, and various film studios.


Past KASC Workshops from the 2014-2015 season


Saturday, September 13, 2014, 9-3:00pm ”Teaching in the Cracks: Trade Secrets for Music Educators”

Jerry L. Jaccard is an Associate Music Professor in the School of Music at Brigham Young University. As Coordinator of the Elementary Music Education Program and Director of the InterMuse Academy, Jaccard teaches undergraduate courses in music teaching, supervises elementary music specialist student teachers, and teaches graduate courses in musical pedagogy, curriculum development and the history of music education. Jaccard graduated from the University of Arizona with his bachelor’s degree in Music Education in 1965, after which he served in the Franco-Belgian Mission from 1965-1967. Subsequently, he received a master’s degree in Music Education from Holy Names University in 1976, after which he received his doctoral degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts in 1995. Over the course of his professional life, he has worked both in public school systems and at BYU. Jaccard has initiated elementary school music programs in the Navajo Reservation in Kayenta, Arizona, and in Provo School District. He is an active researcher and translator, Vice-President of the International Kodaly Society, and a board member of the Willems International Music Education Association. Jaccard received the Organization of American Kodaly Educators (OAKE) National Outstanding Educator Award in 2004 and the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications Teaching Excellence Award.


Saturday, January 24, 2015, 9-1:30pm ”Kodály for the Older Beginner”

Diane Geller holds both a Masters in Music Ed, and a Kodály Music Certificate and has had extensive experience teaching children in both public and private schools in the Kodály concept of music education. For the past 25 years, Miss Geller has taught courses for Kodály certification at Universities in both California and Oklahoma, including Palomar College, where she also co-directed the Palomar Youth Chorale for thirteen years. In 2006, she received the “Outstanding Music Educator” award from the Organization of American Kodaly Educators.



Saturday, March 28, 2015, 9-1:30pm ”Singing Games and Dances”

Kurt Cereske is a passionate music educator who truly believes and promotes the philosophy of Hungarian composer, educator, author, and philosopher, Zoltán Kodály. Originally from Michigan, Kurt received his Bachelor of Arts degree in science of education from Martin Luther College in 1990, and a Master of Music degree in music education in 1992 from Michigan State University. After teaching for five years in Wisconsin, Kurt accepted the position of music director and teacher at St. Paul’s First Lutheran Church and School in North Hollywood, California. Under his leadership, Kurt’s Kodály-based program at St. Paul’s grew to three children’s choirs, three hand bell choirs, a tone chime choir, and a concert band, as well as offering instrumental and voice lessons. He also served as the head organist and adult choir director for the church. Before coming to the National Children’s Chorus, Kurt taught Kodály-based musicianship and sight singing courses for the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus. While receiving his Kodály training from the Kodály Association of Southern California (KASC), an affiliate chapter of the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE), he served on the board of KASC as Vice-President, President, Past President, and as the Certification Coordinator for KASC’s Music Education Institute. He also further promotes the Kodály philosophy by teaching pedagogy courses for both KASC’s Music Education Institute at Azusa Pacific University, and also for the West Texas Kodály Initiative in Lubbock, Texas. Kurt has given professional presentations at both regional and national conferences, and also for music educator workshops in California, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington. Additionally, he has proudly served on the OAKE Board, promoting, guiding, and representing Kodály educators on the national level. Kurt is currently working on his Ph.D. degree in fine arts music education at Texas Tech University. While managing a full curriculum of classes, he also teaches undergraduate music education courses for both elementary and choral classroom settings.



Past KASC Workshops from the 2013-2014 season

Creating Artistry through Visualization, Gesture and Movement“ 

Saturday, September 21, 2013 [9:30-3:00 -Lunch included]

Henry Leck, Clinician

Course Description: Course will involve a variety of teaching methods including, but not limited to: demonstration with children’s chorus, interactive lecture with fellow music educators, handouts for take-home materials outlining and supporting the workshop, and practice opportunities for reinforcing course objectives. Course will also include: conducting gestures, vocal techniques, visualization tools, rehearsal efficiency, repertoire, Laban techniques, Dalcroze eurhythmics, expression and more.


Clinician Bio: An internationally recognized choral director, Henry Leck is an associate professor and director of choral activities at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1986 he became founder and Mr. Leck founded the Indiana All-State Children’s Honor Choir and the Indiana Middle/Junior High School Honor Choir, and has conducted Mixed, Men’s, Women’s, Junior High and Children’s All-State choirs and festival choirs in nearly every state. He is a frequent conductor of regional and national honor choirs, including the ACDA Southern, Southwest, North Central, Central, and Northwest Honors Choirs. In 2014 he will be conducting the Western Division Children’s Honor Choir. In the spring of 2003, he conducted the ACDA National Junior High/Middle School Honor Choir in New York City and on three occasions has conducted National Honor Choirs for OAKE. In 2011 Mr. Leck conducted the ACDA National Children’s Honor Choir. Also in 2011 Mr. Leck conducted the premiere performance of a seven movement oratorio entitled “Melancholy Beauty” written by Bulgarian composer Georgi Andreev in Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center with adult choruses, children’s, choir Bulgarian women’s choir, Bulgarian folk instruments and the National Philharmonic Orchestra. For ten years Mr. Leck was the Artistic Director of the Pacific Rim Festival in Hawaii. For twenty-one years, he has conducted the National Youth Choral Festival in Carnegie Hall. Mr. Leck has conducted many international festivals including the Musica Mundi Tuscany Children’s Choir Festival in Montecatini, Florence and Rome, Italy, the Central European International Children’s Choral Festival, the International Children’s Choir Festival in Beijing, China and the Vienna Children’s & Boys Choir Festival with the Vienna Sangerknaben. He has conducted many times in Brazil, including the Curso Internacional de Regencia Coral in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil where he founded the ARCI Sao Paulo Children’s Honor Choir that he conducts every other year. He recently conducted the Tokyo International HS Honor Choir in Japan. Mr. Leck has served as a clinician for the Australian National Choral Association and the Royal School of Church Music. For more than twenty years he has conducted a festival with David Flood at Canterbury Cathedral. Mr. Leck recently was selected as the US Jurist for the 1st Xinghai Prize International Choir Championships and was an international lecturer for the International Symposium on children and youth choral music in Guangzhou, China.d artistic director of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, one of the largest children’s choir programs in the world. The touring choirs of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir have performed regularly for national ACDA, MENC, OAKE and AOSA Conferences. Additionally, the ICC tours internationally every year and has sung in prestigious concert sites throughout Great Britain, Greece, Spain, Scandinavia, Central Europe, South America, Latin America, North America, Australia, New Zealand and China. In 2004, the touring choir performed in the Czech Republic and Russia, recording live with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Leck recently arranged and conducted the national anthem for Kelly Clarkson and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir at the Super Bowl XLVI.

Mr. Leck is widely known as a specialist in choral techniques, the child’s voice, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Laban and the boy’s changing voice. He has produced four teaching videos titled Vocal Techniques for the Young SingerThe Boy’s Expanding Voice: Take the High Road and Creating Artistry through Movement, Dalcroze Eurhythmics and Creating Artistry with the Male Maturing Voice. He was a lead author for the choral textbook series published by McGraw Hill/Glencoe titled Experiencing Choral Music and is also the editor of two nationally known choral series published by Hal Leonard Corporation and Colla Voce, Inc./Plymouth. Each year he teaches his conductor’s workshop entitled Creating Artistry at Butler University. He has recently written a textbook titled, Creating Artistry through Choral Excellence.

In 2007, Mr. Leck received the prestigious Indiana Governor’s Art Award, the highest state honor that can be received in the arts. He was also awarded the Indiana Creative Arts Fellowship Renewal Grant that same year. He received the Cultural Vision Award from Nuvo magazine. He was named the “Outstanding University Music Educator of the Year” by the IMEA in 1992. Mr. Leck is certified as a Kodály instructor and is an active member of ACDA, OAKE, MENC, AOSA and Pi Kappa Lambda. Mr. Leck received his training from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, the University of Colorado and Indiana University.


American History Through Folk Song
Saturday, November 16 , 2012 (9:30 am – 1:30 pm)
Dr. Katherine Hickey & Marilyn Sousa

Course Description:

American folk music is unique in the fact that it follows our history.  From our earliest beginnings as a country in the Colonial period on to the present, folk songs have been created to describe and preserve significant events.  Additionally, each group of workers have their own folk songs – whalers, lumberjacks, cowboys, gold seekers, etc. Join us in singing through hundreds of years in a few short hours.

DR. KATHERINE HICKEY, OAKE-Past President, is an experienced music educator specializing in early childhood and elementary music education, Kodály pedagogy/solfege, and choral music. Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in piano performance were completed at California State Universities at Los Angeles and Long Beach, and included a year of intense music study at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, Hungary, 1970-71. She earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Music Education from the University of Southern California with honors as Outstanding Music Education Graduate. Dr. Hickey is currently Associate Professor of Music at University of Redlands School of Music. She is developing a sight-singing, ear training curriculum based on the movable do Hungarian solfege model. Dr. Hickey is President of the national Organization of American Kodály Educators. A frequent presenter at local, state and national conferences, her presentations include sessions and seminars on nurturing the young singer, vocal development and repertoire for the young singer, vocal abuse, singing games to musical literacy, art music listening in the classroom, brain research and music, and Kodály certification courses.

MARILYN SOUSA, a graduate of CSULA, has taught for over thirty-five years as a classroom teacher and a music teacher. She began her Kodály training with Katinka Daniel in 1984 and completed certification in 1992. She has served on the KASC Board in a variety of positions, including president. She also served on the OAKE Board. Since 1974, Marilyn has been nationally known for her multicultural workshops in music and dance, including presentations at five OAKE Conferences. Retired from full-time teaching in 1997, she continues to teach the Folk Song Research Levels I and II in our KASC Certification program, and to present multicultural workshops.


Tools for the Music Classroom – Technology
SaturdayFebruary 22, 2014 (9:30 am – 1:30 pm)

Robben Fenderson, Clinician


Recommended materials to bring to this workshop:

  • Any devices you plan to use (laptops, tablets, iPads, iPods)
  • A written list of other electronic devices and systems you plan to use (projector, TV monitor, wired/wireless speakers, etc.), and pictures of their inputs and outputs
  • Materials for personal note-taking
Course Description:
  • Exploring current technology, through hardware, software, and connectivity (lecture)
  • Showing various devices and how they interact (demonstration)
  • Group discussions regarding personal perceptions of technology, and identifying strategies to apply in the classroom
  • Hands-on experience working with various devices to gain familiarity with technological potential.
 Clinician Bio:

Robben Fenderson received his Bachelor’s of Music Degree from California State University, Northridge in Music Composition, with an emphasis in film and commercial music. Robben writes music for short films, public service announcements, promotional/industrial videos, mobile application,s, and other media, as well as sound design, editing and mixing. He also currently works as an assistant composer at Sonic Fuel Studios in El Segundo, teaches piano, cello, trumpet and trombone privately, coaches orchestra for a local K-8, and works part-time as a Specialist at the Apple Store in Pasadena, CA He has led numerous hands-on workshops for children and adult, both in a school setting and at Apple. Robben enjoys exploring the possibilities of technology and how they can make an impact in the classroom.

KASC Tech Workshop- Cables




Past KASC Workshops from the 2012-2013 season

” ‘Jazz Up’ Your Music Class: Catchy Ideas for the Younger Crowd and Jazz Ideas for the Older Crowd”

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sister Lorna Zemke, Clinician

This workshop consists of two parts, the first presentation will focus on the importance of music in early childhood for our youngest musicians, pre-school through kindergarten children with some motivators also applicable to early elementary levels.   Participants will be guided in musical age-appropriate activities. Teaching strategies, sharing of materials, manipulatives and other instructional aids are an integral part of this session.  The second session of the workshop will deal with practical and effective ideas and techniques for incorporating jazz elements in a middle/jr. high music curriculum.  Styles such as blues, boogie, rag and others will be presented in a dynamic, interactive framework immediately applicable to students in your classroom.

Dr. Zemke is Director of the Kodaly Programs and Director of Graduate Music Studies at Silver Lake College, Manitowoc, WI.  An experienced teacher at all levels, Dr. Zemke has taught graduate & undergraduate courses, presented workshops, clinics, demonstrations and lectures throughout the U.S. and abroad for many years. Sr. Lorna initiated a “Music for Tots” program at Silver Lake College, classes for children from birth through age five.  The Tots program enrolls approx. 200 children each semester.

In 1986, Dr. Zemke developed the well-known program “Lovenotes: Music for the Unborn” that teaches expectant parents how they can use music as a bonding language with their unborn babies.  The “Lovenotes”  program  was published in English and in Korean.   Sr. Lorna Zemke has received outstanding honors for her service and leadership in the field of music education.  She has published many articles and books on a variety of topics in music education.


Do You Hear What I Hear?  Meeting Standards for Music Listening
Saturday, November 3 , 2012 (9:30 am – 1:30 pm)
Dr. Katherine Hickey

Focused or active listening to music offers opportunities to combine the cognitive and analytical aspect of music learning with the emotional or affective aspect of music. Do your students hear the rhythms and feel the meter when they listen to a piece of music? Is it in major or minor mode? Do you hear the intervals and chords? Can you sing along in solfege or conduct the meter? Do you hear what I hear?

Listening to music interactively is an important step on the continuum of music literacy. “Listening to, analyzing and describing music” are included in National Standards for Arts and state and local school standards. Workshop will include materials and teaching strategies for listening in the K-12 classroom.

Experienced music educator, Katherine Hickey, specializes in elementary music and pedagogy for music literacy skills. Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in piano performance were completed at California State Universities at Los Angeles and Long Beach, including a year of study at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. She earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Music Education from University of Southern California, honored as Outstanding Music Education Graduate.

A frequent presenter at local, state, national and international conferences, Dr. Hickey’s presentations include choral music, literacy skills in music, art music listening, discovery learning, and Kodály certification courses. Her current research activity is centered on Jenö Ádám and his role in the development of the Kodaly approach. She is currently Associate Professor of Music at the University of Redlands in California and Past President of the Organization of America Kodaly Educators (2004-06).


Nested Hierarchy of the Developing Voice

Saturday, February 23, 2013  (9:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m.) 

Donald Brinegar, Clinician

Donald Brinegar is Professor of Music, Coordinator of the Music Department and Director of Choral Studies at Pasadena City College and adjunct Professor of Graduate Choral Conducting and Choral Voice at the University of Southern California.  He directs the Three Summer Masters in Choral Conducting at CSULA where over one hundred graduate conducting students from seven countries and twenty-one states have studied with Brinegar in the last ten years.  In the past he has been a lecturer in voice at Pomona College, lecturer in conducting and voice at California State University, Los Angeles and visiting lecturer at the University of Miami, Florida State University, University of Reno Nevada, Southern Oregon State University and the University of Missouri.   This year he will give master classes in voice, conducting and historical intonation practices throughout the United States.

He has a distinguished career as a tenor soloist, conductor, educator and clinician.  His ensemble, The Donald Brinegar Singers, have sung to critical acclaim internationally and have over ten compact discs to their credit.  They were nominated for seven Grammy first-ballot awards in their highly acclaimed performances of Morten Lauridsen’s Madrigali and Ubi caritas. There were the featured choir in the world premire recording of Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Symphony #10 Amerindia with the Santa Barbara Symphony. They have performed premieres of over forty choral works including composers such as Mark Brymer, Bruce Babcock, David Childs, David Conte, Emma Lou Diemer, James Hopkins, Morten Lauridsen, Luke Mayernik, Joshua Shank, Brad Steed, Heitor Villa-Lobos, John Rutter, Z. Randall Stroope, Eric Whitacre, and Aaron Zigman.   The Singers can be heard the in the Disney movie Bridge to Terabithia and in the animated feature Battle for Terra.  The ensemble has performed at four American Choral Directors Association Conferences giving world premieres of Lauridsen’s Nocturnes and Z. Randall Stroope’s We Beheld Once Again the Stars at the request of the association.

Most recently he has been a guest lecturer, master class clinician and recital soloist in Costa Rica having visited the country six times in the last three years.  Last spring Brinegar gave two recitals and one concert at Pasadena City College featuring the music of Morten Lauridsen.  He has prepared choruses for performances in the Hollywood Bowl, Disney Hall, Ambassador Auditorium, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the Pasadena Auditorium with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Pasadena Pops Orchestra and the California Philharmonic.  He has been tenor soloist for Robert Shaw, Roger Wagner, Helmuth Rilling, Gerard Schwarz and Murry Sidlin to name a few and has collaborated with Henry Mancini, Barry Manilow, the Chieftains and Marvin Hamlisch in local performances.