Branch logo color

Important Dates for March

· Month of March.  Composers Today.  Entry information available at

· March 5 - Saturday.  Certificate of Merit.

· March 11 - Friday.  Board Meeting.

· March 19 - Saturday.  Bach Festival Applications due online; fees due to Sharon Kim today

· March 26 - Saturday.  Branch Competition application due to Lily.


WHEN:            Friday, March 11

                      10:00AM Board meeting only (all members are welcome to attend)

PLACE:           Home of Lily Starobinets.


Certificate of Merit is well underway.  It is a pleasure to see so many newer teachers participating this year!  We hope they will participate in the rest of our activities for the year—Bach Festival, Competitions & Ensemble Festival.

Speaking of Ensemble Festival, we have a new hydraulic duet piano bench, which we purchased at a greatly reduced price through our Conejo friend & neighbor, Ed Francis.  Fern Fay and Niccole Modell went to a lot of effort to make this happen.

If anyone is interested in serving on the 2016-2018 board or assisting a program chair, please let me know. Nominations for board members will be announced at the April meeting and voting will take place in May. 

Works of art make rules, rules do not make works of art.” -Claude Debussy

CM NEWS from Beverly

Teachers please read last month’s CM news from me, as the same applies for Saturday, March 5, 2016.

We had many drops on Saturday, mostly due to illness. Also, some teachers were ill and were not able to come, and two left early because they did not feel well.  Those of you that are working this coming Saturday take care of yourself and stay well. I need each one of you to be there.

Teachers if you are lending an extra book to a student, please give it to them during the week.  We had two students waiting for their evaluation and still didn’t have the books the teachers were supposed to bring them.  There were two students who played different pieces than listed on their repertoire list. There are consequences for doing these things. Read page 18 of the Syllabus.

Be sure to plan with your students when they should take their theory test. Before or after their evaluation, or the theory test can be interrupted to do their evaluation and then return to finish it after evaluation. We hold it at the theory desk. Refer to last newsletter for start times for which levels.

That’s all for now.  ~Beverly


The 2016 Branch Competition will be held on 30th of April, 2016 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, (depending on number of applicants, Age 15 will be in 2nd or 3rd division.) 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 $25 are due on March 26th , 2016 to Lily Starobinets.  Make your check payable to PV-VC MTAC.

Please call Lily at 805-437-6518 before March 26th with any questions.

Visit our website at Competition for additional information and registration.


1. Festival date is Saturday, April 16th at FUMC Ventura

2. The application is online.  Application fees ($20) and entry form are due to Sharon Kim by Saturday, March 19. 

3. The website registration is open now.

4. Students who plan to participate in Complete Works need to choose music from the required pieces.  

5. The list of the required pieces are listed in the above website. 

6. Branch & Regional Bach Festival need only one movement out of complete works but final Complete Works Audition requires the whole piece. 

7. Baroque pieces are allowed for  beginners and are only eligible for the Branch Bach Festival.  They cannot  advance to the Regional festival.

8. The Regional Bach Festival date is Saturday, May 21 at FUMC Ventura

9. Duplicate pieces are allowed.

10. Students cannot enter with pieces they have played in previous years.


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. The parlor will be available for refreshments during your reserved time. Please reserve enough time for set-up, refreshments, and clean-up. You must be completely finished in time for the next reservation.

To reserve times, email your desired date and time to Nicole Burns. Once your reservation is confirmed, send a check ($40 per hour) payable to PV-VC MTAC to Nicole A. Burns within two days of reservation. 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 arrivesScheduling immediately before or after another studio is highly recommended.

· June 4, 2016 – Saturday

9am-11am (2 hours still available)

· June 18, 2016 – Saturday

9am-10am (1 hour still available)


Our Teachers' Matinee recital will be held on Saturday, May 14 (time TBA). It will be held between Ensemble Festival programs so more of our students can attend.  This will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 1338 E. Santa Clara St. in Ventura. 

The piano, of course, will be our own Bosendorfer in the sanctuary. There will not be a second piano this year. 

Please contact program coordinators Karen Becker and Fern Fay no later than Friday, April 8th if you wish to play in this program.  Send your proposed titles, composers, time duration and a short bio for yourself. 


The 2016 Holiday Festival Theme is "Sounds of Nature"  This is the same theme being used for the Theme Recitals at the MTAC Convention. The MTAC website has a document (under CM documents) listing numerous possibilities and selections for this theme. I'm attaching a copy as a pdf so you don't have to search for it. Please let me know if you have any questions


Saturday, March 19, 5:00pmYou are warmly invited to a Lenten Evensong on Saturday, March 19 at 5:00pm featuring Dieterich Buxtehude's meditation on the various parts of Christ's body, Membra Jesu nostri (1680).  This rare and sublime work from a Baroque master features choral and solo moments combining the warmth of Italianate song with the austerity of minor key movements.  Buxtehude dedicated Membra Jesu nostri to a friend and colleague in Sweden; the regard in which he held their relationship as well as Buxtehude's own emotive piety can be found in the intimate and carefully wrought passages found throughout this lovely piece.

Our soloists and chamber players include musicians from both Santa Barbara and Ventura.  Helen Farson conducts from the harpsichord. Approx. performance time 60 min.  Admission is always free. Ventura Seventh-day Adventist Church, 6300 Telephone Rd. Ventura.  Please call 805.641.9646 for additional information.