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Important Dates for December

-December 20, Saturday, Branch Studio Recitals



Congratulations to our teachers and their students who made our Holiday Festival so great!  It is a wonderful event, and we thank Nicole Burns for all her hard work as chair. 

Thanksgiving turkeys have all been eaten, and it is time for our energies to go toward Christmas.  I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:  “I heard the bells on Christmas Day.  Their old, familiar carols play, And wild and sweet, The words repeat, Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

~Judy Johnson



We are fortunate to have Craig Richey join us again for our Masterclass!  He was very informative and helpful when he last joined us and is very popular with the students. 

We will be hearing:  Valses Poeticos #3 & 4 - Granados; Cello Sonata, 2nd movement - Shotokovich (collaboration between piano and cello); Prelude in G Minor, Op. 22, #5 - Rachmaninoff

Hope to see you all then! 



Our annual Branch Competition (April 11, 2015) relies solely on fundraising and direct donations to award the winning students.  We count on teacher participation in the Practice-a-Thon Fundraiser in order to replenish these funds each year.  Please seriously consider participating this year if you haven’t in the past.  We need your support!

What is the Practice-a-Thon?  Students get friends and relatives to “sponsor” them in their practicing for the month of February.  Each sponsor pledges a certain amount of money that they agree to donate, depending on the number of hours the student practices that month.  The more the practicing, the more the donations!  Students who receive the most donations receive prizes such as gift cards for trampoline jumping, bowling, ice skating, or a candy gift basket.  In the past we’ve had many eager students get lots of sponsors and increase their practice time for the month of February, just in time for Certificate of Merit.

All you need to do is hand out forms to your students in January and follow up with them to make sure they are doing their part.  I recommend that you hand out the form at the first January lesson and tell them what it’s all about (you can read the flyer together).  Tell each student you expect them to get AT LEAST ONE SPONSOR, and that you also expect them to fill out the practice chart in February (whether they have a lot of sponsors or not).  For the next couple of lessons in January, ask them if they’ve gotten sponsors and remind them that now is the time to do that; February 1st is the deadline for getting sponsors.  In February, check their practice chart every week and fill in any blanks together if they practiced but forgot to write it down.  In March, the students will give you the donations they’ve collected, and the prizes will be issued.

Practice-a-Thon flyers will be sent out soon in a separate e-mail.  We count on your support to make this profitable for our scholarship fund.  Please encourage your students to participate!



—November 1, 2014 - Online registration opens for 2015 festivals.

—January 19, 2015 - Piano and Violin/Viola Masterclasses in Bertea Hall, Chapman University, Orange, CA. Click below for applications and further information.

For applications and more information, please visit:



Saturday, December 6, 5:00pm You are warmly invited to an Advent Evensong. Vivaldi's Magnificat will be featured, including guest soloists Patricia Lathrop-McPherson and Karen Sonnenschein, as well as Bach's Trio Sonata in C with Mariana Smith on flute, Nick Akdag on bassoon and Pamela deAlmeida on cello.  A contemporary choral setting of Christina Rossetti's poem, In the Bleak Midwinter will be offered as well as Morton Lauridsen's mystical and moving setting of O nata lux (O born light). Free admission. Ventura Seventh-day Adventist Church, 6300 Telephone Rd.  Please call 641.9646 for more information."

—Sunday, December 7, 3:00pm and Monday, December 8, 7:30pm.  The Channel Islands Choral Association presents concerts by the CSU Channel Islands Choir: Ancient Words with Modern Harmonies, Dr. KuanFen Liu, Artistic DirectorSunday, December 7th, 3 p.m. at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, 1251 Las Posas Road, Camarillo and Monday, December 8th, 7:30 p.m. at Malibu Hall, 1 University Drive, Camarillo.

 Tuesday, December 9, 7:00pm.  The Master Children's Choir will be presenting the most beautiful Christmas Concert they have ever sung at the Mission, directed by Tara Kays, and accompanied by Mary Canfield.  Please join us for an evening of truly inspirational Christmas music as the children present this gift of song to you and to our community.  You will be truly inspired as they share this lovely Christmas music, written for children, and thoroughly enjoyed by adults.  This will be a gorgeous beginning to your Christmas season as their pristine voices fill the space of the historic chapel.  Please join us and bring a friend.  You can support the choir by purchasing your ticket on line at   Tuesday December 9th, 7PM at the beautiful San Buenaventura Mission on Main St in Ventura.  Go to to purchase your tickets.  All tickets are children's prices!  Only $10!  Thank you for supporting the choir. Tickets are also available at the door. Cookie reception immediately following the concert.