Pizazz Music Camp

Pizazz Teachers - 2020 & 2021 (canceled)

(This information will be updated in early 2022)


Live Scan done on all classroom teachers.

Singing: Gloria Hilliard has a rich background in teaching music to students of all ages. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, and a Master of Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Gloria directs the Village Voices Chorale, teaches piano privately and is the Director of Music at the United Methodist Church Westlake Village where she coordinates eight choirs and directs three of them. She is a member of the Music Teachers’ Association of California and the American Choral Directors Association.



Handbells & Choir Chimes: Susanna Judd-Newkirk is a veteran music educator, director and performer in choral music, dance, drama, and handbells. She has a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Los Angeles, with a major in recreation education and music, and a minor in physical education-dance. Susanna has been a school teacher for more than 40 years, and is a former director of the handbell program at the United Methodist Church Westlake Village, where she now rings handbells and sings in the Chancel Choir. She teaches choral music and music education at schools in the Conejo and San Fernando Valleys.



Handbells & Choir Chimes: Nick Newkirk is the director of the handbell program and the 7th-12th grade vocal choir at the United Methodist Church Westlake Village. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education from California State University, Northridge. He has studied under notable directors and has diverse stage experience performing in more than a dozen musical performances. Nick has more than 10 years of experience instructing children in various activities including voice, handbells, general music, and acting. He directs two handbell choirs (one for youth and one for adults) and one vocal choir (for grades 7 - 12) at the United Methodist Church Westlake Village. Nick also is a member of three professional music education organizations.



Choreographed Movement: Julia Felker is a professional dance teacher, performer and choreographer with more than 45 years of training and experience in concerts, musicals and workshops. She performed for 10 years with the L.A. based Donna Sternberg and Dancers and was a member for 28 years of The Alleluia Dance Theater.  Julia teaches at California Lutheran University, Pam Rossi's Dance Ten, and the Conejo & Dos Vientos Community Centers. She has directed the dance program at the University of Redlands, taught at Idyllwild School of Music & the Arts, and has been a guest at schools, retreat centers and with professional companies in various U.S. cities.



Enrichment: Donna Young studied Music Education at the University of Maryland and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Pepperdine University, where she studied under and was a student assistant for its Distinguished Professor of Choral Music, Dr. Roger Wagner. She became Roger Wagner's Assistant for the last decade of his life. Donna is best known locally as the Founding Director of the Los Robles Children’s Choir, which she developed into a four-choir, multi-level organization over 15 years. Donna has served as a clinician for children’s choir festivals and has directed children’s choirs and choruses in school and church settings. She directs the Melody Makers choir for students in grades 2 - 6 at the United Methodist Church Westlake Village, where she and her husband are members. For several summers, she taught music for the Creative Arts Summer Program in Ventura.



Christine DeKlotz received her Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Southern California.  She plays with chamber music ensembles and accompanies soloists in recitals throughout Southern California. Christine derives much joy from accompanying the Los Robles Children's Choir and the Village Voices Chorale.  She is the minister of music at her church in Moorpark and teaches piano and recorder.




Leadership Team

Carol Ames, director, has been actively involved in the music program of the United Methodist Church Westlake Village for more than 40 years; she co-chairs the music committee, sings in two choirs, rings handbells and has been the administrative director of the Pizazz Music Camp since its inception.  Carol also chairs the Communications Committee for the church and is responsible for coordinating publicity and advertising. She graduated from the San Jose Hospital School of Nursing, and has retired as a registered nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center and at Buena Vista Hospice Care.





Lynn Dokken has been an assistant director of Pizazz during many of its 27 summers. She has been a member of the United Methodist Church Westlake Village for more than 30 years, involved in the music program as a singer, bell ringer and children’s choir director. Lynn has a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Diego State, a Master’s degree in education from Cal State San Bernardino and teaching credentials from California Lutheran University. She has retired as a special education teacher in the Conejo Valley Unified School District and continues to provide consultation and trainings on autism, crisis intervention and inclusion of students with special needs.


Due to the continued need for physical distancing and wearing masks related to the coronavirus pandemic, the difficult decision to cancel Pizazz 2021 has been made. 

Probable dates for next year: JULY 25 - 29, 2022


Participants will have the opportunity in 2022 to try playing a variety of instruments from the New West Symphony's Music Van, if its use is available.

Daily Schedule: Monday through Thursday: 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. – Students bring a lunch and stay to rehearse the performance.

Friday 7 p.m. - Celebration Performance for family & friends

Questions? Call (805) 497-7884 or email pizazz@umcwv.org

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