SONG OF THE OPEN ROAD: The Story of the Southern California Youth Chorale
Founder and Director
K. GENE SIMMONDS - 1965-1978
In 1965, K. Gene Simmonds began a program of summer musical experiences for students designed to take the International language of music around the world. Talented young people from all over Southern California were invited to participate. In the succeeding years the Musical Americans has become a successful, enthusiastic good will ambassador to countries around the world.
Mr. Simmonds studied voice, piano, and percussion at the Arthur Jordon Conservatory of Music in Indianapolis, and upon graduation, from high school, was awarded a scholarship to Indiana State College. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California, and a master's degree from California State University at Los Angeles, and he has studied as several major universities outside the United States.
He served as chairman of the Music Department at Arroyo High School in El Monte, where his music groups won recognition for outstanding performances. He was professor of music at Rio Hondo College in Whittier.
Mr. Simmonds has been active in music circles as President of the Southern California Vocal Association, Vice President of the California Music Educator's Association, a charter-life member and Western States Divisional President and member of the National Board of Directors of the American Choral Directors Association. Before retirement, he served as an adjudicator, clinician, and director of numerous music festivals and workshops throughout the country. In 1976, he was invited to South America to conduct a series of workshops and music clinics.
JOE BENNETT – 1970 – Japan and World Expo
PAUL SHIPTON – 1971-1974 – Europe, Scandinavia, Asia and Russia
TOM CALLAS – 1975-1976 – South America, Japan and South Korea
MARILYN MAGNESS – 1978 – Japan and South Korea
JOHN STEELE RITTER – 1965, 1966, 1969
RICHARD KELLEY – 1968
VIRGINIA HARUTUNIAN TERBEEK – 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974
MARGARET EMMONS – 1975, 1976
JAMES KELTNER – 1978
LOIS M. WELLS – 1968, 1969, 1970
ROBERT WOOD – 1971
FRANK ALLEN - 1973
JOHN JACOBS – 1972, 1973, 1974
ROBERT HUTTLE – 1975, 1976
BRAD POWELL - 1978