2007 Swan Award Winner: Dan Earl


EarlR. Daniel Earl retired from public school teaching after 39 years, the final 28 years at Santa Rosa High School.

While at Santa Rosa High, his choirs gained statewide and national honors, including invitations for six of his choirs to sing for divisional and one for the national American Choral Directors Association Conventions. Most recently his Chamber Singers performed at the 1999 National Convention of ACDA.

His choirs were also winners of several awards, including multiple winners at the Concord Pavilion and the Golden State Choral Competitions, with both his Concert Choir and his Chamber Singers having been First Place winners numerous times.

All of his choirs consistently earned unanimous Superiors at CMEA State Festivals. The choral program at Santa Rosa High School consisted of Men’s A Cappella, Women’s A Cappella, Men’s Ensemble, Women’s Ensemble, Las Choralistas, Concert Choir, and Chamber Singers. Mr. Earl has served as Repertoire & Standards (R&S) Chair for both.

Women’s and Men’s Choirs for California ACDA and most recently served as R&S for Men’s Choirs for the Western Division of ACDA. He has presented clinics for CMEA and Nor Cal, the Northern California Band Directors Association, and has attended all but three of the Summer Conferences at ECCO, where he has facilitated numerous conducting clinics.

Mr. Earl was selected Teacher of the Year for Santa Rosa City Schools and Sonoma County in 1982 and again in 1998. He was honored as Alumnus of the Year, by Chapman University’s School of Music in 1994. In a high school that recently celebrated its 130th year anniversary, Mr. Earl became only the seventeenth teacher to be chosen for the Santa Rosa High School’s Wall of Fame.

The Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce has honored Mr. Earl with the Spirit of Santa Rosa award, and in 2003 he was presented the Arts in Education Award for Sonoma County. Earl has directed numerous Honor Choirs, the most recent being the 2006-2007 Coastal Women’s Honor Choir. He has helped prepare choirs for maestros Corrick Brown, Jeffrey Kahane, Gabriel Sakakeeny, Asher Raboy, Nicolas Xenelis, and Dr. William Hall.

Most recently Mr. Earl has been the conductor of the Santa Rosa Symphonic Chorus, and its chamber ensemble, Voci di Canto (Singing Voices of Santa Rosa), which are community choirs supported by Santa Rosa Junior College. He has been the conductor of the Redwood Empire’s Sing- Along Messiah for the three decades, and has stepped in to fill long-term substitute teaching positions in recent years. With a teaching career that spans parts of five decades, more than 40 years in total, he was treated to a retirement gala which included a choir of 450 former students and an audience of 900.

A 1965 graduate of Chapman College/University, where he majored in music and studied with Dr. William Hall, he began his teaching career in southern California in the Tustin City Schools in 1966. He was selected as an Outstanding Young Educator by the Tustin Jaycee’s in 1975.

While teaching at Hewes Intermediate, he met his wife-to-be, Connie, who was teaching math at the same school. After teaching music and drama for eleven years at Hewes, in 1977, he and Connie moved to Santa Rosa to begin his teaching career at Santa Rosa High School. From 1978-1990 besides teaching choral music, he also taught the symphonic and marching bands, the orchestra, and the jazz band. Throughout his career he has directed several church and handbell choirs. In 1987 he was a graduate assistant with Dr. Charlene Archibeque at San Jose State University, where he assisted her with the Concert Choir and the Choraliers. His choirs have toured to Europe numerous times, completing his high school teaching career with a tour to Prague, in the Czech Republic; Wroclaw, Poland; and Vienna, Austria.