Second runner-up was Carol Hess from Long Beach, third runner-up was Mary Freeman of Long Beach, and fourth runner-up was Marcia Herrera from Buena Park. The 12 contestants who competed in the pageant came from various parts of California.
Throughout the three-hour competition, the contestants competed in four categories including: Personal Interview, Evening Gown, Philosophy of Life and Talent. Her walk across the stage to accept the crown marked her first steps on a journey that will take her from spotlight to spotlight representing the American woman 60 years of age and up who have reached the ‘age of elegance’.
Howard, a resident of Topanga sang Violetta’s aria, “Sempre Libera” from the opera “La Traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi for her talent portion and was the overall winner. She is an Adjunct Professor of Voice at Pepperdine University and founder and director of the Vocal Power Academy in Los Angeles. She is past President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and has conducted workshops and master classes for National Voice Teachers Conferences in eleven countries and thirty-three cities. Howard has coached STING, The Police, and was the voice teacher of Priscilla Presley and Paige O’Hara, the voice of “Belle” in the film, “Beauty and the Beast.”
The Ms. Senior America Pageant is the world's first and foremost pageant to emphasize and give honor to women who have reached the ‘Age of Elegance’. It is a search for the gracious lady who best exemplifies the dignity, maturity and inner beauty of all senior Americans. The Ms. Senior America philosophy is based upon the belief that seniors are the foundation of America, and our most valuable treasure. It is upon their knowledge, experience and resources that the younger generation has the opportunity to build a better society.
Dr. Al Mott, in the state of New Jersey in 1972, started the Senior America Pageant Program. In 1986, the California Chapter was created under the leadership of Ms. Elda Barry of Long Beach. She led the chapter until her retirement in 1999. In 2000, Marilyn McCabe Kohler accepted the position of Director of Ms. Senior California. Since that time, the program has grown from one pageant to seven Preliminary Pageants and one Annual State Pageant. In 2001, the formation of the entertainment troupe - the "Sizzlin' Seniors in Motion" proved an instant success, as the troupe now entertains at over 50 events each year.