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History of KASC

Kodály & Katinka, 1961

In 1970 Mrs. Dániel began teaching classes in Los Angeles which led to KASC’s formal certification program, established in 1980 and endorsed by OAKE. Since then Southern California has produced many influential and accomplished music educators; five of KASC’s members have been honored by the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE). OAKE presented the Outstanding Educator Award to Katinka Dániel (‘92); the late David Falconer (‘95, awarded posthumously), co-producer with Mrs. Dániel of the video Kodály Concept in America; Pamela Wade (‘97), a specialist in early childhood music; Martha Rosacker (‘99), who established the Oklahoma Kodály Educators; Diane Geller (‘06), folk song research specialist, who together with Rosacker formed the San Diego county arm of KASC; and most recently Dr. Kathy Hickey (2018). Katinka Dániel also received the prestigious OAKE Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.

Some KASC members have also served on the OAKE board in addition to offering many hours of service in our local chapter. Pamela Wade served as OAKE President; Kathy Hickey as OAKE President and former Western Division President; Gloria Black, Marjorie Lowe, Pamela Wade, Marilyn Sousa, Kurt Cereske and Kelly Callirgos as Western 1 Regional Representatives; and Shelly Suminski Mahpar as OAKE's Instrumental Advisor.  KASC has hosted several significant Kodály events in past years, one of which was a concert in celebration of Kodály’s Centennial in January of 1983, combining world class artists with classroom demonstrations to showcase the breadth of the Kodály program. In 1987 and 2016, KASC hosted the annual National OAKE Conference, which showcased children’s musical achievements from early childhood through the sixth grade.


Today, KASC board members continue the tradition of contributing to their musical communities. Each Spring, KASC holds an annual choral festival inspired by Helen Kemp’s 1986 workshop, in which Kodály-trained children from throughout the Southern California area came together to perform choral works. A Kodály-trained guest conductor leads the young choristers, some of whom have been accepted into the National Children’s Chorus.  

Southern California music programs have benefited from the rich heritage of education that KASC members offer as music teachers, instrumentalists, choral directors, session singers and church organists. In the words of Zoltan Kodály:  “We must look forward to the time that all people in all lands are brought together through singing . . .and when there is a universal harmony."

The Kodály Association of Southern California (KASC) was established by Katinka Scipiades Dániel in 1980. Mrs. Dániel, a charter member of the International Kodály Society, developed, adapted and refined the curriculum of the Kodály Method for American children over a period of fourteen years at San Roque School in Santa Barbara. Jenö Ádám (who initially developed The Kodály Concept) and later Zoltan Kodály, both visited San Roque School in the ‘60s and personally approved Mrs. Dániel’s American curriculum.

During her years teaching in North America, Mrs. Dániel authored many books, produced videos and received several awards, including the Golden Cross of Merit of the Republic of Hungary in 1993. Many of her former students have achieved positions of national prominence as well: Sr. Lorna Zemke, Lois Choksy, Dr. John Feierabend, Dr. Joy Nelson and Dr. Katherine Hickey are all well-respected names in music education.

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