Master Class Workshop – September 10, 2016

Date(s) – Sep 10, 2016 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Location – Wells Fargo Pavilion
Ages: 15 to adult
Fee: $50.00 Participant, $25.00 Observer
*Limited number of Participant positions available.


What makes a song work? What’s the difference between a song with a chorus and verses, and a song with verses and a bridge? How do songs move stories forward? If I’m an actor, does any of this matter to me?

Of course it does.

Song form is at the bottom of everything we do with songs, whether we write them, or perform them — or both.  Understanding the structure of a song can help us shape, strengthen and deepen a performance of a song.

Come take a Master Class workshop with Steven Lutvak, composer and co-lyricist of 2014 Tony Winner for Best Musical, A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER. Steven will focus on song form, and how it affects the choices we make as performers, as songwriters, as communicators and story tellers.

Actors should bring in three songs, from which Steven will choose one. Songwriters are asked to bring in at least two of their own songs. Everyone will need to bring in sheet music.  And because this is a songwriting workshop, and not an audition class, be expected to sing an entire song!

Steven Lutvak - GEGSTEVEN LUTVAK is an award-winning composer and lyricist who has worked as a vocal coach to many Oscar and Tony winning actors on Broadway and on film for over 30 years. He has also taught songwriting, and is currently on faculty at NYU, having previously taught at Yale, and Columbia.


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Help Ponderosa Vocal Music Program win a grant!


Each day from now until September 9, 2016 we need you, Bruin Choir and parents, to follow this link and vote for Ponderosa High School (Shingle Springs, CA). It takes 2 minutes and you are helping boost our chance at being awarded.

Chegg’s Music 101 program will award the winning school a $10,000 music grant. They will also award two $5,000 scholarships to students who are passionate about music every year.

For extra entries you can download a song, watch an anti-smoking ad, and get valuable tools for SAT/ACT test prep! So really, it’s a win/win/win!

You can enter once a day and every vote counts! Would you take a moment and vote for Ponderosa High School (Shingle Springs, CA)?


Central Region Honor Choirs

Click Here for to Register for an Audition

Auditions will be held on September 24th and October 1st.

Saturday, September 24 – AUDITIONS
Sacramento City College, Daniel Paulson
CSU Fresno, Fresno, Cari Eanhart
CSU Chico, Chico, David Scholz
Saturday, October 1 – AUDITIONS
Bakersfield High School, Bakersfield, Christopher Borges
College of the Sequoias, Visalia, John Sorber
CSU Stanislaus, Turlock, Daniel Afonso
Enterprise High School, Redding, Deborah Divine

RegionalHonorChoirRehearsals: November 17-19 – Central United Methodist Church, Stockton

Concert: Saturday, November 19, 3 pm – Central United Methodist Church, Stockton


  • Dr. Angel Vásquez Ramos, CSU Bakersfield – Mixed Choir
  • Ms. Desiree La Vertue, Occidental College– Women’s Choir
  • Dr. Christopher Peterson, CSU Fullerton – Men’s Choir

Central Region Honor Choir Chairperson

Jennifer Perier
Peter Johansen High School
641 Noresman Drive
Modesto, CA 95357


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Help Wanted

helpwantedHelp wanted for two soon to be 9 year old twins with piano and studies.

Looking for a PHS CHOIR STUDENT with good grades and piano skills to help the twins roughly every other Saturday for 4 hour stretches. The twins will keep up their daily piano practices during the week, but on Saturdays the student they hire will spend time 2 hours on piano and 2 hours on reading/babysitting. The potential for more lessons around Christmas is greater because they will need to practice their next “Christmas oriented piano routine”. Summer employment also possible.

The pay will be $15/hr with a $5 bonus at the year end if the student stays through the whole school year.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please email the Heather Neff (Booster President) and she will get you connected with the family.

Graphic Design Volunteers Needed

The Bruin Choir is looking for graphic designers who want to use his/her talents creating posters, programs, and other media for our choir events!

See some samples of what we will need:

If this looks like something you’d like to volunteer with, please contact Heather Neff and she will get you started on your first project: INSTRUMENTS OF PEACE our Fall Collage Concert.

Support comes in many forms

Many of you may not realize how important it is to have not only volunteer support but monetary support for our vocal music program. We appreciate our school administration’s support of our choir program, but even with their unequivocal support, we recognize that the funds available through the high school are limited and can only be stretched so far.  Costs associated with the purchase of sheet music, supplies, and participation in special events increase every year. Our booster club will continue to provide the much needed support and we would appreciate your help in this endeavor.

Did you know there are more ways to support the vocal music program?

Do you shop at Amazon?

Giving back on Amazon is easy as a smile. Or at least typing the word smile.

  • First, while logged into your amazon account, follow this link: If it doesn’t automatically link you with us, you will need to search for Ponderosa Vocal Music Program.
  • Now shop like normal. You’ll see the little banner at the top has changed. It should now say: Supporting: Ponderosa Choir Vocal Music Booster Club. And when you check out, it will automatically send us a donation.
  • If you don’t see our name in the top banner, you can always get to it again my changing the www in the address bar to smile.
    • For example, then becomes It’s really that easy to give!

Do you shop at Fork Lift, Raley’s, or Savemart?

Both Fork Lift and Raley’s have a scrip program that donates a percentage or your receipt total back to non-profits like ours. All you have to do is sign up and show your card at check out and Ponderosa Choir will receive a donation in your name! Registration takes literally 30 seconds and you’ll be helping to support our program through your everyday grocery purchases.

First step, complete this form and have your student turn it in at the office ASAP. If this form is not turned in, the money for your purchase does not go to Vocal Music Program but to the general athletic fund.

  • For Fork Lift: You’ll need to obtain a scrip card from one of the boosters first (or ask next time you’re at Fork Lift and they’ll be happy to get you one). When you have your card, log on to the website at: and click on the link “Sign up now” inside the white box. Once inside, agree with their terms of service, then fill out their short registration form. When you pick the beneficiaries, type in Ponderosa Vocal Music Program Booster Club. That’s it! Now every time you show your card, a percentage of your purchase goes back to the Choir Program.
  • For Raley’s: If you don’t have a card, signing up is easy. Go to and click on START HERE to the right.  It takes two minutes and then you are done.
    • If you are already a “Something Extra” user or you’ve just completed your sign up, log into and click on “Extra Credit” or follow this link: Once there you will search in the first box for Ponderosa Vocal Music Program and select. Now you choose how much of the “Extra Credit” will go to our program.  And that’s it!
  • For Savemart: All cards you receive from a Booster member are registered to our high school so you do not have to do anything except for scan the card when you shop.

With these small steps, you can help the Ponderosa Vocal Music Program in mighty ways! Thank you for your support!

Youth Harmony Camp

September 16-18, 2016

Sponsored by the Barbershop Harmony Society, Youth Harmony Camp in Pollock Pines, CA, is a magical weekend for high school age boys. The cost is $95 which covers music, registration, room, and board.  If you have a student who wants to go but lacks financial resources, we are able to assist. Registration forms can be found on the camp web site  along with answers to questions you may have.  Feel free to contact me (camp director Richard Lund) directly at  Should you wish, I am able to visit your class(es) and provide additional information.

Our 2016 teaching quartets are 2016 International Gold Medalist Forefront from the Indianapolis area and 2013 International Collegiate Champions Newfangled Four from Southern California.  In addition to the quartets, we bring four top clinicians from around the country to provide instruction for the boys.

The skills honed at Youth Harmony Camp are useful to all singers, not just barbershoppers.

This is open to MALE STUDENTS only.

For more information, visit the website at :

Add our calendar!

Did you know if you use google calendar to track your own schedule, you can add Ponderosa’s calendar to your own and never miss an important event again?

Add our calendar to your Google calendar list

  1. Open Google Calendar.
  2. On the left side, find “Other calendars” and click the down arrow Down arrow.
  3. Select Add by URL 
  4. Enter the calendar’s address in the field provided. Address is:
  5. Click Add calendar. The calendar will appear on the left side under “Other calendars.”

Note: It might take up to 12 hours for changes to show in your Google Calendar.

Hide our calendar

  1. Open Google Calendar.
  2. On the left side, find the Other calendars section.
  3. Click the our calendar name (Ponderosa HS Choir)to hide it. You can tell if the calendar is hidden if the square next to it is an outline Hidden calendar.
  4. To re-show our calendar, click the our calendar name (Ponderosa HS Choir). The box should have color again.

How to unsubscribe

  1. Open Google Calendar.
  2. In the top right, click the Settings icon Settings > Settings.
  3. At the top of the page, click the Calendars tab.
  4. Find the calendar you no longer want access to, and click the Unsubscribe link on the right. Now you no longer have access to the calendar or its events.

Back to School Night

BacktoSchoolFloatsBack to School night is on August 18, 2016, 6:15 – 8:30 p.m. And while Ponderosa High School would like you parents to start in the Large Gym, the Choir Boosters would like you to arrive at 5:30 and meet us in M2 (the Choir Room) for a root beer float social!

We hope to see you there!

Welcome back, Bruins!

Welcome back to school, 2016-17 Bruins! I hope you had an AMAZING summer. I am so excited for this school year and what lies ahead for us as musicians. Our choir theme for this year is I’MPOWERED! Are you feeling powered and ready to sing? Step outside of your comfort zone and challenge yourself! This is going to be a wonderful year. (Don’t forget to check us out on other social media by searching Ponderosa Choir!)