Branch logo


Important dates for March

  • Month of March: Composers  Today.  Entry information available at
  • March 1– Saturday, Bach Applications Due Online; Fees Due to Kary Kramer Today!March 1—Saturday. Certificate of Merit. Performance Evaluations & Written test for Piano. Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura, 5654 Ralston St.
  • March  1-2—Saturday & Sunday, CM Piano Panel Regional SouthMarch 10– Friday.  Last day to submit the final application and fee to the appropriate CM Panel Chair.
  • March 21—Friday, Branch Competition Application Due to Lily
  • March 23—Sunday.  Organ, Strings, and Wind/Voice Bach Regional Festivals at El Camino College


WHEN      Thursday, March 13

                 10:00am board meeting only

PROGRAM:  No general meeting or program.  Board meeting only at 10:00am.  Home of Beverly Schmidt. 


    Congratulations to all of you hard working CM teachers.  I hope you have had a successful year with your students. It is very satisfying to see our students working hard and passing to the next level.  It is always worth the hard work and challenges we face with each student.

      I have heard from a dear friend of Marty Mandras that she is not doing so well right now and is in a care facility. Marty has been an active member of our branch for many years. Those of you who know her might want to send a card of encouragement to her home address at 828 High Point Drive, Ventura, 93003.  She will appreciate it.

     This month we will have a Board Meeting only. It will be held Thursday, March 13, at my home at 10:00 am. Everyone is welcome to our board meetings.

     Last month I asked teachers to email ideas for next year’s programs.  This is your branch and it can reflect what you want, but you must let me know.  June is when we begin to work on programs for next year.



   Bach Festival entry deadline is Saturday March 1st, students entered on the website by noon, and checks posted in the mail ($20/student) with a March 1st post mark!  The PV/VC Branch Bach Festival will be held on Saturday April 5th.  Winners of the Branch will be featured at the Regional Bach Festival on Saturday May 10th.  Both events are held at the First United Methodist Church in Ventura.  Teachers will be notified of their student times and teacher duties near the end of March.


     Congratulations to Emma Mitchell (student of Nicole Burns) for winning the 2014 T-Shirt Design Contest! The Ensemble Festival will be held on Saturday, May 17, 2014.  Application forms are due via e-mail to Celine by Friday, April 11, 2014.  To apply, go to and click on Festivals.  Scroll down to find the link for the 2014 Ensemble Festival application.  We look forward to your participation!


     The 2014 Branch Competition will be held on April 26 at the First United Methodist Church in Ventura.  The competition is open to all instruments and voice.  Students must qualify to enter the competition by meeting one of the following criteria:

1) receive Branch Honors for level 3 or higher in Certificate of Merit in the competition year

2) receive a gold medal in the Holiday Festival in the previous year

3) be awarded Branch Winner or Alternate for the Bach Festival in the previous year.

   There are three divisions: ages 12 & under,   13 - 15, and 16-18.  There are two judges for each division.  Winners will be announced after each division program.   Students may perform any memorized piece from the standard classical repertoire. Popular music is not allowed.

    Application deadline and fee of $20 are due on March 21 to Lily Starobinets.   Please visit our website at Competition for additional information and registration.


    Begin planning and practicing now for our May 16thTeacher Matinee – branch teacher performances!  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.


     The Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra invites student applications for a chance to perform a concerto with the orchestra.  Please see the application, at the end of this newsletter, for more information.


   The Ventura County Arts Council is initiating a Pianos in Public Places collaborative and interactive musical experience that will take place in all of our 10 cities.  It is based on the four-year old Pianos on State (Street) program in Santa Barbara.  Each piano will become its own piece of art as local Ventura County artists create unique looks.  It is  intended that the pianos will be available for musical exploration, impromptu play, and planned performances morning, afternoon and evening over a specified period of time.  You can see how successful the program has been in Santa Barbara by going to:
     We are looking for partners who are committed to furthering music in the lives of all of our residents.
We already have piano donations.  What we are seeking now are pro bono or low cost piano movers (these are spinet  pianos) and storage space, as well as volunteers to cover/lock and uncover/unlock the pianos.  Sponsorships are welcome to help cover expenses.  We welcome your input at:

~Margaret Travers, Executive Director


  • Monday, March 3, 2014Gold Medal winner Robert Thies at Ventura College to participate in our new concert Series “Music Exposed” a series that breaks the barrier between the artist and the audience.  Free master class in the PAC Theater at 12 noon.  8 pm concert program includes Brahms ~ Two Intermezzi, Debussy ~ Images, Debussy ~ L’isle joyeuse, Schubert ~ Sonata in B- flat Major, D. 960  Helen Yunker Auditorium, Performing Arts Center, 4700 Loma Vista Road, Ventura.  $15 general, $10 students & faculty.
  • Friday, March 7, 7:30pm.  The California Lutheran University Symphony and CLU Choir will perform works by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel and Felix Mendelssohn.   Samuelson Chapel.
  • Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 4:00 pm.  One In Song Concert Los Robles Master Chorale and Los Robles Children's Choir, Ascension Lutheran Church, 1600 East Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks.  Two dramatically different interpolations of the traditional mass:  Fauré’s Requiem in D minor and John Rutter’s Mass of the Children.  Tickets - Adults $25, Students $15
  • Tuesday, March 11, 7:30pm.  The California Lutheran University Choir and Women's Chorale will present their annual Spring Concert featuring an eclectic assortment of music by female composers.  Samuelson Chapel. 
  • Saturday, March 22 and Sunday, March 23 at 4:00 pm - Choral Spectacular presented by the Channel Islands Chamber OrchestraProgram featuring Brahms: Tragic Overture and Requiem with the Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra and Choral  Association & Chancel Choir FUM.  Saturday's concert will be held at the Studio Channel Islands Art Center in Old Town Camarillo.  Sunday's concert will be at the Ventura First United Methodist Church.