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Month of March—Composers Today Entry information available at

March 4 - Saturday. Certificate of Merit.

March 10 - Friday.  Deadline for Panel Final Application. No late applications.

March 18 - Saturday.  Bach Festival Applications due online; fees due to Jeong-ah Ryu.

March 24 - Friday.  Branch Competition application due to Lily Starobinets.

March 25 - Saturday.  CM Branch Honors Recitals.


WHEN:            Friday, March 10

                        10:00 Board meeting only; all members welcome to attend!

PLACE:           Home of Lily Starobinets.


Certificate of Merit is well underway and I am sure many of us are hyper-focused on helping students finish their CM preparation. Certificate of Merit is an invaluable benefit of membership in MTAC. Despite our nail-chewing over repertoire rules, technique requirements, and other areas of musicianship that are demanded of us, I hope you are having a successful year with your students. It is very satisfying to see our students working hard and moving on to the next level.  It is always worth the hard work and challenges we face with each student. A big thank you to all of you hard working CM teachers. This program would not be the success it is without your support and dedication. Hang in there we have one more CM day to go!

~Nicole Burns


To celebrate the music of J.S. Bach, an annual Festival is held in which participants play an original work by memory.  This year our branch festival will be held on Saturday, April 8th at First United Methodist Church in Ventura.


·      Online registration at, no later than Saturday, March 18th.

Fee ($20)

·     Non-refundable

·     No registration is complete until the fee is received.

·     One check per teacher should be made to PV-VC MTAC, postmarked no later than Saturday, March 18th and mailed to: Jeong-ah Ryu, 278 Calle Orovista, Camarillo, CA 93012


·    The list of required pieces for the Complete Works Audition is listed at the above website

·     Branch & Regional Bach Festival require only one movement out of the complete works, but the final Complete Works Audition requires the whole piece

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

·     Other Baroque pieces are allowed only for beginners and will qualify for the Branch Competition; however, these students cannot advance to the Regional Bach Festival

·     The Festival is open to keyboard, instrumental and vocal students.

  —Instrumentalists and vocalists who would like to advance to compete at the Complete Works Audition must participate and be selected at the All-Branch String Festival or the All-Branch Winds and Voice Festival.


Ensemble Festival applications are due April 15th, and the Ensemble Festival will be held May 20, 2017.  

There will be one piano available this year.


The winner of our annual T-Shirt Design Contest this year is Tanvi Subhash Patil, age 13, student of Lily Starobinets.  Her design features the yellow outline of a violin on a black t-shirt.  The image is very artistic, with the silhouette of a child holding a swirling piano keyboard and an interesting arrangement of clefs forming heart shapes. Congratulations Tanvi!              


The Practice-a-Thon is now concluding.  Please remind your students to submit their donations to you by the March 17 deadline.  Then mail them to Celine by March 24.  If you have many cash donations, she can arrange a time to meet with you.  

In the future, we will be doing fundraising with “Restaurant Sponsorship Nights,” in which a restaurant will provide our group a percentage of their profits when our students bring in a promotional flyer on a given day.  We are looking forward to this new fundraising opportunity!


The board has decided to look into other possible locations to house our piano.  We are not certain yet if we will move it, but we are looking into options.  If you have an idea for a church or other hall that would possibly be suitable for our Bosendorfer grand piano and to host our festivals and recitals, please inform Celine Gietzen at


The 2017 Branch Competition will be held on April 29, 2017 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 24th , 2017 to Lily Starobinets.  Make your check payable to PV-VC MTAC. 

Please call Lily at 805-437-6518 before March 24th with any questions and leave a message.   Visit our website at Competition for additional information and registration.


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 at

Once your reservation is confirmed, send a check ($40 per hour) payable to PV-VC MTAC to Nicole A. Burns. 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.

Available Dates and Times are listed below:

June 3, 2017 – Saturday
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM (1 hour still available)

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (1 hour NOW available due to cancelation)

June 17, 2017 – Saturday
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM (1 hour still available)


April 18, 7:30 pm. Daniel Newman-Lessler will present a graduate conducting recital in partial fulfillment of the M.M. in Sacred Music from USC. The program will feature choral music by Jewish women, including: Lobgesang, Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn; Shirim l'Yom Tov, Shulamit Ran; Panda Chant II, Meredith Monk; Sea Dream Elegies: For Whom Does Your Heart Despair, Julia Adolphe; Jerusalem of Gold, Naomi Shemer (arr. Newman-Lessler)* ; Adon Olam, Coreen Duffy.  USC Thornton School of Music MacDonald Recital Hall.   Parking is $10.