Southern California School of Music Teaches 150

by Helen Ridgewell –

With a capacity crowd of more than 150 students, the 1998 Southern California School of Music began on a high note, with 25 music conservatory students, already setting superior standards for the newcomers.

Assisted by Divisional Youth Leaders Captains George and Jeannie Baker and a competent staff of local music leaders, Divisional Music Director Chris Mallett and Assistant Fay Mallett organized nine days of intensive instruction in brass, vocal, percussion and timbrel technique.

Guest students this year represented three other U.S. divisions: PENDEL, Northern New England and Sierra Del Mar, as well as the country of Lithuania. Medeina Cijauskaite, 10, whose sister was the first Lithuanian Salvation Army soldier enrolled, made the longest journey to Camp Mt. Crags. Medeina won the Junior Soloist vocal award, singing, in perfect English, Penny Babb’s arrangement of “Keep on Believing.”

In fact, both the junior and senior soloists’ nights showed evidence of substantial preparation, with high standards by all the participants, especially in the area of piano performance. The final program, chaired by divisional leaders Lt. Colonels Alfred R. and Sherryl Van Cleef, featured all campers participating in their areas of individual instruction, including four bands, five timbrel groups, five choruses, and a percussion ensemble. The Mt. Crags Band, playing Kevin Norbury’s unpublished arrangement, “Gaudete,” and the Mt. Crags Chorus, singing “Every Time I Feel the Spirit,” achieved such high standards of performance that Captain George Baker commented, “I feel really privileged to be part of a division where the caliber of youth music is so wonderful.”

Lt. Colonel Alfred R. Van Cleef presented the top theory award to Debbie Silvers (Long Beach) and trophies in the Junior and Senior Honor Camper divisions to Katherine Phrasavath (Whittier Laotian), and Kristen Davis (Pasadena Tabernacle). Senior and Junior Outstanding Musicians were Sarah Stillson (Pasadena Tabernacle) and Ashley Harper (Tustin Ranch).

Van Cleef remarked that every year the school of music gets better. By their applause, the 350 strong “standing room only” crowd gave unanimous approval!

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