More than 500 singers and choir directors from schools across the North State will attend the California Music Educators Association Region III Choral Festival on March 27 at the First Lutheran and St. Dominic's churches in Orland.

Elementary school, middle school, and high school choirs are eligible to attend and participate in the festival.

Past school choirs have been from Chico, Paradise, Orland, Gridley, Quincy, Redding, Red Bluff and Grass Valley.

As the fesitval is an opportunity for musical growth of all students, each group will have the chance to be adjudicated, work with the judges and listen to other groups perform.

Jenise Coon, music director at CK Price Middle School, has run the CMEA Region III Festival for the past five years and will assist CK Price eighth grade students as they step up to the responsibility of festival hosts, greeting directors, guiding choirs to their warm-up and performance areas, assisting the festival judges and many other tasks.

Chico State Music Education students have also traditionally helped with the festival, which has been going on for about 30 years.

The festival is free and open to the public. A schedule of choir performance times will be available at the check-in table outside First Lutheran Church the day of the festival.

The esteemed adjudicators this year will be Daun Weiss, Michelle Coder, Liz Waterbury and Deborah Devine.

Weiss holds a B.S. in Music Education from Western Baptist College and an M.Mus. in vocal performance from the University of Oregon. She teaches singing lessons at Simpson University in Redding and at California State University, Chico. In the past she has taught on the faculties of Western Baptist College, Salem, Oregon and the University of Oregon in Eugene. She is currently the president of the Sierra North Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. A frequent regional soloist and a founding member of the Chico Early Music Ensemble, Weiss specializes in Baroque music. She is a featured soloist at Chico's Bach Festival each spring. She has performed with the North State Symphony, the Sacramento Early Music Consort and with the Sacramento Baroque Soloists.

Divine began her teaching career in 1972 during a summer arts camp when the director of the choir she was accompanying took a break and asked her to "take over." She has never looked back. Divine earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance as well as a Single Subject Music Credential from San Francisco State University and a Masters in Vocal Performance from Chico State University.

Divine's professional educational honors include Shasta County Teacher-Of-The-Year in 2002, the CMEA North Section Teacher-of-the Year in 2003, CMEA California Choral Director-Of-The-Year in 2007, Northern California Band and Choral Directors Association Teacher-Of-The-Year for 2008 and she was selected as a "Director Of Note" in the January 2008 issue of nationally published Choral Director magazine. As an accompanist, she worked in numerous capacities; on professional cabaret collaborations, musicals, for voice studios and as a private vocal coach for a wide variety of vocal styles and languages.

Coder has been an adjunct professor with the Sierra Community College Music Department in Rocklin for six years and music instructor, choral conductor and theater director at Music and More Arts Academy in Auburn for 25 years, providing instruction for hundreds of students. She is an adjudicator and teacher member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, California Music Teachers Association and The National Association for Music Education.

Coder also holds dual teaching credentials and a M.S. in special education and her continued post-graduate research focuses on the positive effects of music on behavior and learning. She maintains a private music studio in Auburn.

Waterbury was born in Verona, Italy, and began her musical studies on the piano. At age 16 she was admitted to San Jose State University where she earned her bachelor's degree in piano performance and started conducting with Dr. Charlene Archibeque. After earning her Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Waterbury lived in Europe for six years conducting opera, orchestras and choirs. In 1990, she prepared the San Francisco Boys Chorus for their participation in the Grammy-award winning recording (Best Choral Recording) of Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana."

Waterbury received her DMA in Choral Conducting at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she served as director of choral ensembles in 1994 through 1995. She was the founder and artistic director of the Santa Barbara Children's Chorus, with whom she toured Europe. In July, 1996, she participated in the International Choral Conductor's Symposium in Saintes, France, under the direction of Michel Marc Gervais. Since August 1999, she is the Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Shasta College.

For questions or more information, contact festival host Jenise Coon at

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