Branch logo color


WHEN:       Friday, September 12

                 9:00AM Board meeting

                10:00AM General Meeting and Program

PLACE:  Ventura First United Methodist Church, 1338 E. Santa Clara St., Ventura, 93001

PROGRAM:  Overview of Programs for 2014-15 by program chairs.  Pick up your new mini directory and calendar for the year. 

DIRECTIONS TO FUMC:  1338 E. Santa Clara St in Ventura.  From Camarillo and Oxnard, take the 101 north.  Exit at Seaward then turn right to stay on Seaward.  Turn Left onto Main Street.  Just after you pass Chrisman Avenue on the left, veer left at the signal light on onto Santa Clara Street.  The FUMC will be on the first block on the left side.  Turn left into the parking lot.  For further directions, phone Ellen Pearson at the church office at 805-643-8621.



September is our month of new beginnings. We get new inspiration, set new goals, and inspire our students to do the same. At our September meeting you will be given a new mini-directory of our membership, as well as a separate calendar of events for the year.  This is your opportunity to ask questions about our upcoming programs and events. Let us also welcome new members to our branch: Caitlin Boruch, Julie Kwon, Daniel Lessler, Jeong-ah Ryu & Jill Walker. Please make them feel welcome.

Thank you, Fern Fay, for all your wonderful efforts in putting together the roster and the calendar. Emma Mitchell, Nicole Burns’ student, designed the cover.

Niccole Modell has been serving us well in keeping our website up to date. The reason we have a mini-directory this year is that Niccole is putting all our info onto the website. Be sure to cruise through it and see what it is all about.

Extra big thanks go to Beverly, from all of us, for being a fabulous president the last 2 years—she makes it look easy, though of course, it’s not. I look forward to serving as your president for the next two years. This branch is a terrific, hardworking group. Everyone pulls together to make it run as smoothly as possible.

Leopold Stokowski : A painter paints his pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence. We provide the music, and you provide the silence.  

~Judy Johnson



New officers were installed at our June meeting by D’Anne Rygg.  She said kind words about each position and presented flowers to each new officer.

President—Judy Johnson                                                                                                                                                            1st VP—Nicole Burns - Holiday Festival  
2nd VP—Karen Becker                                                                                                                                                Treasurer—Fern Fay      

Recording Secretary—Joy Asenas                                                                                                                                            
Corresponding Secretary—Goretti Ngao Fong                                                                                                

Membership Secretary—Lily StarobinetsCompetitions/Scholarships – Lily StarobinetsDirector—Sharon Kim—Bach Festival Director—Beverly Schmidt—CMDirector—Celine Gietzen—Ensemble FestivalDirector--Niccole Modell--Newsletter and Website                                                                                                                      


Each Holiday Season a theme is chosen for a festival where gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded for performances of one piece. This year's Holiday Festival will be held on Saturday, November, 15, 2014 at the First United Methodist Church in Ventura. The theme for this year’s festival is "IMPRESSIONS OF ITALY AND SPAIN".

Repertoire: ONE memorized piece no longer than 4 minutes according to the theme – “IMPRESSIONS OF ITALY AND SPAIN”. All compositions written for the original instrument and all levels are eligible. As in all our branch recitals, NO REPEATS, D.C. is okay. One movement of a sonata/sonatina is allowed. Piano entries are limited to original works, no lesson/method books. No duplicate pieces within a studio will be permitted. Entries must be 16 measures minimum - all others are subject to variance committee approval. If you have questions about exceptions, phone Nicole A. Burns.

Fees: $20.00 per student. Fees are non refundable. All entries must be submitted via email to Please go to for the Excel spreadsheet under Festivals.  Only ONLINE applications will be accepted. Please type in information carefully as this is how it will appear on the program. Do not use all caps. Please make any necessary program requests on this form. Write one check per teacher made payable to PV-VC MTAC and mail to:

Nicole A. Burns, 79 Daily Drive, PMB 115, Camarillo, CA 93010.

Entry deadline: AT OUR OCTOBER MEETING -- Friday, October 10, 2014. Your registration is not complete until I receive your check. It is your responsibility to make sure your students and parents have read and signed the PV-VC MTAC Branch Recital Guidelines forms. You may send these to me by mail or email.

Dress: Sunday best!

To promote fairness, any irregular entries will be screened by the Board of Directors.


Branch Studio Recitals are set up so that PV-VC MTAC teachers may use the First United Methodist  Church for personal studio recitals at a reduced rate of $40.00 per hour.

The branch will reserve the church. A minimum of three teachers must participate and/or a minimum of 5 hours must be reserved on each date for the event to take place at this reduced rate. The parlor will be available for refreshments for 30 minutes following your reserved time.

When times are reserved, please send a check ($40 per hour) payable to PV-VC MTAC immediately to Nicole A. Burns within two days of reservation. All reservations must be paid no later than Friday,          October 10, 2014. This is non-refundable.  You may exchange within the branch or forfeit. A wait-list for dates and times will be accepted.

Strict guidelines have been established for the pristine condition of the sanctuary, parlor, kitchen,   narthex, and restrooms following each studio recital. There will be penalties, both financial and denied future privileges, if any messes are left, including pews (cards, pencils, hymnals, and registration books), restrooms, kitchen, or parlor. The church may not be left unattended at any time. You are responsible to remain at the church until the next teacher arrives. Scheduling immediately before or after another studio is highly        recommended.

Branch Recital Dates:

· October 25, 2014 – Saturday

· December 20, 2014 – Saturday

· February 21, 2015 – Saturday

· June 20, 2015 – Saturday             
Instructions for registering:  Copy and paste this URL address into your browser:

Check for availability then email Nicole Burns at with your desired dates and times.  She will enter your name in the table next to the hour(s) you would like, in the order she   receives the requests.


Now I am back to my most familiar job as your CM chair. Karen Becker has done an outstanding job the last two years. I will just pick up where she left off.

It is very important to come to the meeting on Friday, September 12, at the First United Methodist Church in Ventura. We will meet in the parlor. The 10:00 meeting will have a CM presentation by our very own council member, Nicole Burns.

CM online registration will open on October 1 and close at midnight October 31. There will be no late CM registration. Fees will be due to me by mail the next day November 1. My address is 2317 Eagle Creek Lane, Oxnard, 93036.  Make one check to PV-VC MTAC.

Be sure to review your syllabus before registering your students and read the newsletters to keep informed. I will be sending frequent emails to remind and update you.  Email me at any time with your questions and concerns.

If you are a new teacher doing CM for the first time, I will be glad to help you.

Hope you have a great year teaching CM. See you at the September meeting.




Each year we celebrate the music of J. S. Bach with a competition in which students must play an original work by memory. Three judges select up to 35% of the students to play at the Regional Festival.  At the Regional Honors Festival in Ventura, selected piano students will perform. Selected wind, string, and voice students perform in separate Regional-level competitions in Los Angeles.  Students who perform and are chosen as winners in both recitals are eligible to compete in the Complete Works auditions.  For more information, visit the Southern California Junior Bach Festival.

· Complete Works Audition: Sunday, October 5, 2014 at Cal. State, Long Beach in Daniel Recital Hall website:

· Complete Works Awards Recital: Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014,  at the Covenant Presbyterian Church, 607 E. 3rd St., Long Beach, CA 90802



Our new and improved website is officially up and running.  Check it out at  We now have a “Find A Teacher”  page listing of all our teachers.  Your teaching preferences and phone numbers from our previous X-chart will automatically be included on the new site; however, we now have the additional options of including your email address, websites, teacher photos, and teacher bios!  If you would like this additional information to be included on the new website, please email Niccole Modell.



This fall we officially welcome several new members to our branch.  Brief bios are included below.  Be sure to greet them at our September meeting!

¨ Pianist Julie Kim-Kwon holds bachelor of music and master of music degrees from the Juilliard School.

¨ Pianist Jeong-ah Ryu is widely in demand as a soloist, chamber musician and teaching artist. She has won numerous prizes including the Bromsgrove Young International competition, British Contemporary competition and Concours national de piano de Lagny-sur-Marne in Paris. She appeared extensively in venues across the world including France, Germany, South Korea, the United States, and Lithuania, where her performance was broadcast live on national radio. Highlights of her performances include concertos with the City of London Sinfonia, Ernest Read Symphony Orchestra, and Trianon Symphony Orchestra in the Norwich festival in London. Attaining her Bachelor of Music degree from the Royal Academy of Music in London, she went on to receive a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music and an Artist Diploma at The Colburn Conservatory. Currently, she is a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University.

¨ Caitlin Boruch, flutist, has enjoyed a varied career of teaching and making music throughout the US and Europe. Her main teachers have included Jill Felber, Tadeu Coelho, Robert Dick, Wendy Mehne, Donald Peck, and Kathleen Goll-Wilson. Earning a Master's of Music Degree in Flute Performance from UCSB, Caitlin taught flute students and chamber musicians throughout Santa Barbara county from 2003-2008.  Subsequently, she served on the faculty of the International School of Music in Washington, DC and helped launch the International Community Music School in Basel, Switzerland.  Her musical engagements have included performances with the Santa Ynez Chorale Orchestra, Capital City Symphony, Great Noise Ensemble, the Arthur Lourié Society, Swiss Fasnacht festivals, and Duo Eudora.  As a proponent of community music outreach, Caitlin teaches with the New West Symphony's Harmony Project and volunteers with the Oxnard Music Advocacy Group.

¨ Daniel Newman-Lessler started studying classical piano at age four and was taught by Peter Yazbeck from ages eight to eighteen. Daniel graduated magna cum laude, as a Discovery Scholar, and as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Musical Honors Society with a Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance with emphases in composition and conducting from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, where he studied piano with Daniel Pollack.  Additional teachers in performance, composition, theory, history, and orchestration include Morten Lauridsen, Frank Tichelli, Stephen Hartke, Donald Crockett, Erica Muhl, and Lucinda Carver.  Daniel often performed the new piano music of fellow student composers and occasionally his composition teachers.  In 2011, Daniel participated in a summer music festival as a pianist and composer at the Landesmusikakademie in Ochsenhausen, Germany.   Daniel has decided upon a career in conducting and to date has studied with Kenneth Kiesler at the first Los Angeles Conductors Workshop, Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival, Maurizio Ciampi from the Conservatorio Santa Secilia, Jo-Michael Scheibe, Christian Grases, and Michael Christ Powers.  He is currently the pianist for the Oceana Trio and the Music Director and Founder of the Boys and Girls Club Choral Singers.  



Wednesday, September 10, 10:00amThe Sara Compinsky Master Class will hold it's first session of the season at the home of Ronna Binn-Hersh, 19365 Lemmer Drive, Tarzana (818-343-3095).  The Guest Leader will be John Perry.  Music to be performed includes: Scriabin, Preludes Op.11, No. 11-14, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1, and Schumann "Symphonic Etudes" Op. 13.  Refreshments will be served.  Come and enjoy, learn and be inspired!

--Saturday, September 20, 6:00pmThe Thousand Oaks Philharmonic presents a “Celebrity Recital benefit featuring board members in various ensembles.  Appetizers and beverages will be included.  The    concert will be held at the stately home of board member Joyce Osborn, overlooking the entire San Fernando Valley (address will be given when reservations are confirmed).  Admission is $25.  For advanced reservations, visit

Sunday, September 21, 1:00-5:00pm.  Don and Fern Fay invite you to an Art Gala at their home.  There will be over 300 paintings and drawings to see and live music with refreshments.  “Our home and studio will be informal as always so come as you are!”  For information call 805-985-0405.

Friday, September 26, 7:30pm.  California Lutheran University presents a Faculty Chamber Music Concert. The program will include works for piano and winds, including an original composition by faculty composer Mark Spraggins. Pianist Eric Kinsley and the Faculty Wind Quintet – featuring Niccole Modell, flute, Fred Beerstein, oboe, Daniel Geeting, clarinet, Eric Johnson-Tamai, bassoon and Jon   Titmus, French horn – will play the rarely heard Sextet by the late 19th-century composer Ludwig Thuille and Francis Poulenc’s popular Sextour.  Donations accepted.