in 1961 by Madame Alice Ehlers of the University of Southern California, the
Southern California Junior Bach Festival was founded to stimulate interest in
and appreciation for the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Through master classes, workshops and
seminars by well-known Bach scholars, and with the annual presentation of
students in SCJBF programs, the organization promotes high standards in the
performance and interpretation of the music of J. S. Bach.
Baroque scholars and music teachers Evelyn Hood, Andrew Clemmons, Yvonne Gordon
and Mary Evelyn Golz provided visionary leadership during the critical early
years of SCJBF. Mary Evelyn Golz, Andrew
Clemmons and Evelyn Hood, a student of Madame Ehlers, all served as General
Chairmen. Their dedication provided
inspiration and support for the growth of the fledgling organization. The highly-regarded Complete Works Audition,
which provides opportunities for the most accomplished students to challenge
themselves, was initiated by Yvonne Gordon and Andrew Clemmons in 1977.
his nine-year tenure as General Chair, Carl Matthes led the Festival’s effort
to incorporate and also to expand its offerings for string, wind and voice
musicians. Under his leadership, the
organization broadened a formal collaboration begun by Evelyn Hood with the
distinguished Los Angeles Bach Festival.
twelve years as General Chair, Sue Scofield encouraged the expansion of the
organ program. Her strong stewardship
established a firm financial foundation for the organization’s continued
2006, Dr. Mark Sullivan took over the leadership and served for 12 years as
General Chair. He presided over the
design and implementation of the SCJBF web site which now includes more
efficient on-line student registration for all branch and regional
Worcester is the current General Chair serving since 2018. She has worked
tirelessly to lead the organization through the recent ups and downs brought on
by the pandemic. She hopes to bring new insights to enhance the organization’s
the Southern California Junior Bach Festival involves approximately 2500 students
from 34 branches of The Music Teachers’ Association of California.