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 workshops and seminars by well-known Bach scholars and the
annual presentation of students in the Southern California Junior
Bach Festival, the organization maintains high performance standards
and interpretation of J.S. Bach's music.
Baroque scholars and music teachers Evelyn Hood, Andrew Clemmons
and Yvonne Gordon provided visionary leadership during the critical
early years of the Festival. Evelyn Hood, a student of Madame Ehlers,
and Andrew Clemmons both served as General Chairmen. Their dedication
provided inspiration and support for the growth of the fledgling
organization. The prestigious Complete Works Audition, which provides
opportunities for the most accomplished students to challenge themselves,
was initiated by Yvonne Gordon and Andrew Clemmons in 1977.
a memorial, the Festival established in 1981 the Yvonne Gordon Memorial
Medal awarded annually for distinguished performance in the Complete
Works Audition. This commemorative medal was designed by Mary Evelyn
Golz, a former General Chairman as well as longtime contributor
to the Festival's success.
his nine-year tenure as General Chairman, 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
continued and broadened a formal collaboration begun by Evelyn Hood
with the distinguished Los Angeles Bach Festival, a long-standing
forum for outstanding professional performance in California. The
Southern California Junior Bach Festival presents its medal winners
in recital and selects its most accomplished concerto soloists for
the Young People's Concert during the annual week-long Los Angeles
Bach Festival of the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles.
twelve years as General Chairman, Sue Scofield strengthened the
organization's relationship with the Los Angeles Bach Festival and
also encouraged the expansion of SCJBF's organ program. Her strong
leadership established a firm financial foundation for the organization's
2006, current General Chairman Dr. Mark Sullivan took the reins.
Since then, he has overseen the design and implementation of the
festival's web site, which now includes more efficient on-line student
registration for all the branch and regional festivals. Today, the
Southern California Junior Bach Festival involves approximately
2500 students from 34 branches of The Music Teachers' Association