1993 Swan Award Winner: Jane Hardester


Jane Skinner Hardester loved choral music with a deep and abiding passion, and through it illumined the soul and gave a distinctive voice to her singers.

Dr. Hardester earned her Bachelor of Arts at College of the Pacific and Master of Arts and Doctor of Musical Arts in choral music from the University of Southern California. From 1962-1998 she served on the faculty at El Camino College in Torrance where she developed an outstanding choral program. Throughout her career, choral organizations under her direction (including the El Camino College Chorale and Lyric Singers and her semi-professional chorale, The Jane Hardester Singers) performed for regional and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. Jane served as Director of Music at United Methodist Church of El Segundo from 1995-2000, and co-founded the South Bay Children’s Choir, sponsored by El Camino College, in 1996.

Jane served on the boards of the California Music Educators Association, the Southern California Vocal Association, and the American Choral Directors Association, serving as ACDA Western Division President 1971-1975. She has been recognized for her contribution to choral music by the city of Torrance as well as the Music Educators National Conference and the Southern California Vocal Association. She was named an Honorary Life Member of SCVA in 1973. In 1993 she was the recipient of the Howard Swan Award presented by the California Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. She was honored again for her dedication to the choral art at the Western Division convention of ACDA in 1989.

Jane served as a conduit for the choral art, transmitting her artistic vision to her choristers and to her audiences. She saw to it that all singers who came within her choral compass would be deftly guided into experiencing what it meant to sing from the heart and the soul – a communion of the ages through song. Her favorite quote was from Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.: “Alas for those who never sing, but die with all their music in them.” Jane passed from this earthly life on October 23, 2006, having devoted herself to the task of insuring that all who met her through the choral art would have experienced the joy of singing and expressing all of the music within them. She was an extraordinary choral conductor, teacher, and founding member of the American Choral Directors Association.