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April 2 - Sunday.  Strings and Winds Final CM Panel North and South.

April 8 - Saturday.  Branch Bach Festival.  Ventura First United Methodist Church.

April 8 & 9 - Saturday, Sunday.  Final CM Panel Auditions South (Piano).

April 15 - Saturday.  Ensemble Festival Application due to Celine

April 15 - Saturday.  Deadline for Convention Applications and $30 Convention Application fee online.

April 29 - Saturday.  Branch Competition.  Times TBA.


WHEN:            Friday, April 7

                           —9:00 Board meeting; all members welcome to attend!

                         —10:00 general meeting.  Program:  Pedagogy presentation by Dr. Cindy Tseng. Appropriate Repertoire & Technique for Late Elementary & Intermediate Students."   Dr. Cindy Tseng graduated cum laude from University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance and received the Master of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Northwestern University. Tseng received a Ph.D. in Piano Pedagogy at the University of Oklahoma. 

PLACE: Home of Beverly Schmidt. 


Kudos” to Karen Becker and her team of teachers and helpers for the smooth-running efficiency of CM this year.  It is such a complicated and important event.  It truly requires the participation of all teachers who enter students to make it work. A huge thank you to Caitlin Boruch for a wonderful evening of Branch Honors Recitals this past Saturday. It is such a blessing to have Caitlin organizing this event and being able to honor the top 60 CM students in our Branch.

The excitement continues this month as we move on to the Bach Festival with chairperson Jeong-ah Ryu and the Branch Competition with chairperson Lily Starobinets. This month we also have a special treat for you, a lecture with Dr. Cindy Tseng "Appropriate Repertoire & Technique for Late Elementary & Intermediate Students" at Beverly’s home. I hope to see you all there.

~Nicole Burns


This year’s Bach Festival will take place on Saturday, April 8, 2017. We will have a total of three programs;   9:30 am, 10:45 am, and 1:00 pm, at the First United Methodist Church, 1338 Santa Clara in Ventura.

There are 54 students representing 14 studios at this event. All students should abide by standard Bach Festival dress code and rules. They are expected to arrive 15 minutes prior to their assigned program. Additionally, students should only bow after they play.

Student time schedules and teacher job assignments have been sent to all teachers. Please confirm with Jeong-ah Ryu that you received this information. If you have not received yours, please contact her via email at   All participating teachers are required to fulfill their assignments in order to make the festival a successful event.

Three judges will select about 35% of the students to play at the Regional Festival.  This year, the Regional Bach Festival event will occur on Saturday, May 13th at the First United Methodist Church in Ventura. Times and event information will be announced after the branch Bach Festival.

Students who win at the Regional Festival are eligible to compete in the Complete Works auditions in October 2017 at California State University at Long Beach with an Award Concert to occur the same month.  Detailed date, time and place will be announced later. Additional information about the audition is available online at the website.

CM NEWS from Beverly

I was able to be your CM chair until the end of December and then I become ill as you all know.  I want to thank Nicole and Judy for taking over during Repertoire Input and for any other matters they handled for me.  Then Karen offered to take over CM chair for me.  She did a great job organizing CM and following through on everything until it was finished.  Also, I know other teachers stepped up and did some extra things as well.

I thank you all so much and am glad to say I am almost 100% well now.  I will be glad to be your CM chair again next year.

Also, thank you for so many emails and phone calls and cards. I so appreciated it.


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 Practice-a-Thon has concluded.  Three teachers participated, and a total of almost $1,000 was raised.  

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


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 has reserved the church. The parlor is 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.   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 1, 5:00pm.   You are invited to a Lenten Evensong featuring Haydn's glorious Harmnonie-messeso-named because of the way in which the wind instruments are featured in the orchestra.  Our guest soloists include Patricia Lathrop-McPherson, Rebecca Comerford and Christian Quilici along with clarinetist David Singer,  bassoonist Nick Akdag,  and flutist Mariana Smith. Helen Farson conducts our chamber ensemble and chorus from the keyboard.  Admission is always free.  Ventura Seventh-day Adventist Church.  6300 Telephone Rd. Ventura.  More information: 805.641.9646.

April 2, 4:00pm. The nonprofit San Fernando Valley Master Chorale & Orchestra is excited to present the world premiere of “Moses”, an entertaining and inspiring work which musically narrates the life of Moses. Created by composer-in-residence Sergio Barer, the concert will be performed with instrumentation, soloists, staging and audience participation in the historic and beautifully restored 1920s landmark.  Wilshire Boulevard Temple, 3663 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles (Free parking available in the adjacent parking structure.)

—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.