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.

Choreographers

 

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

 

 

Accompanists

 

 

JOHN STEELE RITTER – 1965, 1966, 1969

 

RICHARD KELLEY – 1968

 

VIRGINIA HARUTUNIAN TERBEEK – 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974

 

MARGARET EMMONS – 1975, 1976

 

JAMES KELTNER – 1978

 

                                                                           

 

Assistant Directors

 

LOIS M. WELLS – 1968, 1969, 1970

 

ROBERT WOOD – 1971

 

FRANK ALLEN - 1973

 

 

Instrumental Directors

 

JOHN JACOBS – 1972, 1973, 1974

 

ROBERT HUTTLE – 1975, 1976

 

BRAD POWELL - 1978

Leadership