2018 SDSCF Youth Choral Academy

SDSCF Youth Choral Academy, August 2–4, 2018

The San Diego Summer Choral Festival Youth Choral Academy is a three-day event for rising 6th through 8th graders, set in sunny San Diego. The Youth Choral Academy is the perfect summertime opportunity for middle school students to make music in a positive and fun, team environment. Participants will engage with distinguished faculty to learn repertoire from different time periods and in different languages, and work on rhythm with boomwhackers and other musical instruments. The SDSCF Youth Choral Academy will perform on the Saturday Festival Finale concert, and join with the high school, college, and adult Festival Chorus for the closing number. Join the SDSCF Youth Choral Academy this summer to share experiences and make musical friends that will last a lifetime!

Register for the 2018 Youth Choral Academy


Thursday, August 2, 2018 (8PM): 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Friday, August 3, 2018 (8PM): 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Saturday, August 4, 2018 (8PM): 3–9 p.m. (8 p.m. Concert)


$225 per student


  • Music and other materials
  • Festival t-shirt
  • All rehearsals and sectionals
  • Interest Sessions
  • Faculty and Staff
  • Rehearsal and performance venues
  • Thursday Opening Social
  • Thursday & Friday lunch
  • Saturday closing reception

  • Black 3-ring binder
  • Pencil
  • Water
  • Snacks as needed


Melissa Rooklidge

Melissa Rooklidge enjoys teaching students of all ages, and strives to inspire youth and adults through the guiding power of music. She has taught choruses, music, and voice throughout Connecticut to students ages 5-18 in community choruses, public schools, and private schools since 2011, and appears as a guest clinician nationally and abroad. Currently serving as the assistant director to the Greater Middletown Chorale in Connecticut, Ms. Rooklidge also founded and served as the artistic director of the Waterbury Youth Chorus from 2011-2016. She additionally worked as the Yale Camerata chorus manager and concert production assistant at Yale University from 2012-2015. As a guest clinician, she taught in her second language of Italian as the visiting music instructor at Il Dovaldo Ridolfi elementary school in Tuscania, Italy, in 2010, and she is excited to appear as a choral clinician for the San Diego Youth Choral Festival in August 2018. Ms. Rooklidge also sings with Alchemy, a professional chamber chorus based in Connecticut, and she has had the honor of singing in choruses in prominent venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York. She studied conducting with Drs. André Thomas and Kevin Fenton, having earned a Master of Music Education degree from Florida State University, and she also holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree with a concentration in voice from Texas Tech University, mentored by acclaimed Kodàly expert Dr. Susan Brumfield.

Justine Hansen

Mrs. Hansen holds a B.F.A. in Choral Music Education from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Master of Choral Music Education degree from Kent State University, Ohio. She is a member of the American Choral Director’s Association, the National Association for Music Education, and holds a board position with the California Music Educator’s Association. She works as the Director of Music Ministries at First United Methodist Church, Chula Vista, directing the Sanctuary Choir as well as the Sisters In Song Women’s Ensemble. Additionally, she directs the Brioso Choir with North Coast Singers, in Encinitas, CA. Past work includes choral and general music at The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, CA and Assistant Artistic Director with San Diego Women’s Chorus. She has also taught K-12 choral music in the Milwaukee Public Schools. Mrs. Hansen sings professionally with the San Diego Pro Arte Voices and as a freelance soprano. Particularly interested in the vocal health and pedagogy of changing voices, Mrs. Hansen aims to help every student discover their singing potential.