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Important dates for February

Month of February—Young Composer’s Guild entry information available at
February 1—Friday, Ensemble Tee Shirt Design Contest Entries Due Today!
February 15—Saturday, Branch Studio Recitals, First United Methodist Church in Ventura
February 22—Saturday, Certificate of Merit , Performance Evaluations & Written Test , For Piano & Strings, Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura, 5654 Ralston St.
February 22-23—Saturday & Sunday, CM Piano Panel Regional South
March 1– Saturday, Bach Applications Due Online; Fees Due to Kary Kramer


WHEN: Friday, February 14
9:00 AM Board Meeting
10:00 AM General Meeting and Program

PROGRAM: Piano Master Class with Rufus Choi for upper intermediate/advanced levels. Mr. Choi graduated with a BM and MM in piano from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Oxana Yablon-skaya . Mr. Choi won First Prize and the People’s Choice Award in the notable Jose Iturbi International Music Competition and has performed widely around the United States in such venues as the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. First United Methodist Church in Ventura.


      I hope this greeting finds you all well, and that none of you have fallen victim to the flu as I have. We will be having our February meeting early this month. It will be held on the second Friday instead of the third.
     We will have a Piano Master Class with Rufus Choi, featuring students who are upper/ intermediate to advanced levels. Contact Lily if you have a student you wish to participate in this program.
     CM is coming up at the end of the month. Be sure to read everything that Karen sends you by email. Look for student and teachers schedules to be out soon.
     Speaking of our MTAC Branch programs, I would like you to send me an email letting me know what kind of meetings would be meaningful to you, and that you would definitely want to attend. It is important to me that our meetings represent what the majority of you are interested in. I am open to any and all suggestions. Also, would you be interested in having a luncheon after some of the meetings? I am looking forward to many responses.


1. Festival date is Saturday April 5th at FUMC Ventura
2. Applications due online, fees due to Kary Kramer, both by March 1st
3. The website will be open for registration on February 1st

CM NEWS from Karen


  • CM evaluations are coming up in a few short weeks. We will have two CM days. Saturday, February 22, and Saturday, March 1. Evaluations and theory testing will be held on both days. String evaluations will be held on Saturday, February 23. Our three flute students will also be evaluated on this day.
  • The location for both days is the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura, 5654 Ralston St., in Ventura.
  • Piano students may be scheduled for either day. Teacher work schedules will be sent this week. All efforts to honor requests have been made, however they are not guaranteed. The schedule is being worked on now, please do not make any more special requests.
  • I have sent out numerous emails this past week with all the information you need to make the CM days successful for everyone. Please read them all carefully, especially the Theory Guidelines that came from the State.

Please note:

  • NO ELECTRONIC DEVICES are allowed in the theory testing room. This includes, but is not limited to MP3 players, I Pods, etc.
  • No cameras or cell phones.
  • Backpacks are not allowed in the theory testing room.
  • Once students have entered the testing room, they may not leave except when escorted for other portions of the exam, or for their evaluation time. If a student has to leave the theory testing room to go to their evaluation they must turn in their unfinished test to a teacher in charge. It will be given back to them when they return.
  • Theory testing opens at 9:00 a.m. Students that are CM 7 and above be advised to get an early start. These students must begin their test by 2:00 p.m. All other levels must begin no later than 3:30. We begin cleaning up by 5. Teachers please help your students to plan their time. This will help insure we won’t have any disappointed students or parents.

Thanks to everyone for your work and cooperation for CM this year. Your help is appreciated so much. Take care, Karen.


T-shirt Design Contest entries are due on February 1, 2014. The winning designer receives $50 and has their design printed on all of the Ensemble Festival t-shirts. In your e-mail (or on the back of your design), include the following: your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, age, and your teacher’s name.


Begin planning and practicing now for our May 16th Teacher Matinee – branch teacher performanc-es! There will be a second piano available for piano duo and concerto works. If you wish to play, please contact Fern Fay or Karen Becker.


  • Sunday, February 16, 4:00pm. The Thousand Oaks Philharmonic cordially invites you to a Music Soiree Benefit Concert, featuring the Ornela Ervin and Raya Sadigursky piano duo. The event will begin with a pre-concert reception of drinks and light snacks and the concert will start at 4:30. The reception will resume after the concert. Repertoire on the program includes Mozart Fantasy in F minor No 2, K. 608, the Schubert Fantasy in F minor, and the Brahms Waltzes Op. 39. Location: Home of Joyce Osborn (violinist and board member), 20349 Delita Dr., Woodland Hills. Please RSVP to Joyce at 818-620-0569. Admission is limited to 70 people.
  • Sunday, February 23, 1:45-3:45pm. PEDALS, PIPES AND PIZZA! is a free event hosted by the Ventura County Chapter American Guild of Organists. Learn about the organ: how it works and how it sounds. The event is designed for piano students, and all interested musicians, grade 3 and older who have had at least one year of piano study. Leaders in the field of organ performance and organ building will pre-sent at the event. This is a fast-paced, hands-on event; students will have an opportunity to play. A free piz-za reception will follow the presentation. Camarillo United Methodist Church, 291 Anacapa Dr., in Cama-rillo. Register online at For more info, call Gary Henricksen at 805-216-8511.