Branch logo color


· February 1- Thursday. Ensemble T-Shirt Design Contest Entries Due

· February 3- Saturday. Branch Studio Recitals. First United Methodist Church, Ventura

· February 9- Friday. Board Meeting and General Meeting. Home of Karen Becker.

· February 24 - Saturday. Certificate of Merit.  NEW LOCATION THIS YEAR!  St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Ventura.   3290 Loma Vista Road


WHEN:  February  9 - Friday

                  Board Meeting, 9:30 am.  (All are welcome to attend.)

                  General meeting, 10:30am.   Teacher Soiree/Get-Together.

PLACE: Home of Karen Becker. 

"Dear PV-VC Branch Members,

I would personally like to invite you to my home on Friday, Feb. 9 for an informal Soiree.

The board will be meeting from 9:30 to 10:30 (which you are invited to attend) and will be followed by a get-together of our members.

This will be an opportunity to reconnect with people we may not have seen for a few months and to catch up on each other’s happenings. I would love to see each and every one of you!

Please RSVP by Feb. 5 so that I can procure ample refreshments.

Hope to see you then,

Karen S. Becker "              


What a great turnout we had at the January Advanced Masterclass! A huge thank you to Dr. James Lent for another inspiring and rewarding program. Be sure to check out the pictures on our FaceBook Page “MTAC Pleasant Valley – Ventura County”.

All Branch Members are welcome and encouraged to attend our February Board Meeting. We are always looking for input, committee chairs, and help with our Branch Programs as well as just general fellowship.  The Board will meet from 9:30am to 10:30am followed by a get-together of our members hosted by Karen Becker. Thank you, Karen, for your hospitality and Branch support.

You and your students can also help support our Branch by participating in our Restaurant Days Fundraising Programs. Look for details from Celine! Thank you, Nadia (Karen’s niece) for stepping up and organizing this for us. Please help spread the word – Don’t forget to Like and Share on our FaceBook Page.

CM is quickly approaching, and it is wonderful to see some of our newer members participating. CM is a rewarding program and really helps keep the students, and their teachers, motivated. I am grateful to Beverly Schmidt, Karen Becker, and Judy Johnson for all their hard work and dedication they’ve put into organizing this program for us.

I look forward to seeing many of you at this month at Karen’s informal Soiree and CM.  


CM NEWS from Karen

Hello CM Teachers,

We are only 20+ days away from CM and everything is coming together smoothly.  By the time you receive this newsletter the schedule will be "published". This means that you and the parents will receive an email from MTAC telling you to check your portal for the schedule.  Once you receive this, please check with your families to ensure that they have their schedule.

Students must take their theory test on CM day Saturday, February 24th.  Please make sure they follow the rules (#6 below) about what time they must arrive by.  Panel students will also take their theory test at our branch.  Panel teachers be sure to carefully read all information from the Panel Chair, for dates, times, and locations.


1. No ELECTRONIC DEVICES are allowed in the theory testing room. This includes, but is not limited to MP3 players, I Pods, etc.

2. No cameras or cell phones.

3. Backpacks are not allowed in the theory testing room.

4.  Once students have entered the testing room, they may not leave except when escorted for other portions of the exam, or for their evaluation time, or to use the restroom. If a student has to leave the theory testing room to go to their evaluation they must turn in their unfinished test to the teacher in charge of theory.  It will be given back when they return.

5. No talking in the theory testing room. Students that have questions ask a teacher in charge.

6. Theory testing opens at 8:00am.  Students that are CM 8 or higher must begin taking their test by 2:00pm. All other levels must begin no later than 3:30pm. We begin cleaning up by 5:30pm. Teachers please help your students plan their time. This will help insure we won’t have any disappointed students or parents.

See you all then,



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 16, 2018Saturday

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM (3 hours still available) 


The branch Bach Festival for pianists will be held on Saturday, April 14, 2018. The location will be the First United Methodist Church, 1338 East Santa Clara in Ventura. Entry forms are available online at and fees are due to Kary Kramer ($25.00 fee per student, check made payable to "PV-VC MTAC") by Saturday, March 17, 2018. If you need help with the website registration process, please direct your questions to Kary Kramer.  Applications for the String recitals and the Wind & Voice recitals are also available.  The Regional Honors Festival for piano students will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 1338 East Santa Clara in Ventura. The date for the Regional Honors Festival and Complete Works auditions are TBD. 

SCHOLARSHIP FUNDRAISING NEWS from the Scholarship Committee

Our branch has a scholarship fund which provides endowments for students who place in the annual Branch Competition. We run fundraisers to ensure that our Branch Competition can continue. Next month, there will be an event at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewery in Oxnard. Print and bring the attached flyer on Monday, March 5th anytime between 4:30pm-10pm, and 20% of the proceeds will be donated to our scholarship fund! We rely on you to spread the word. Please notify all of your students, email them the flier, and encourage them to participate!  Another way to help spread the word is to like our Facebook page, MTAC- Pleasant Valley, and share our BJ's Fundraiser night post.  Click here to download and print the BJ's flier: BJ's Flier

We have another exciting Fundraising opportunity this month on CM testing day!  Our local Ventura Jamba Juice will be selling 12 oz smoothies 12pm-3pm on site.  20% of the proceeds will be donated to our scholarship fund!  These delicious and nutritious smoothies will be the perfect AFTER testing treat!  


Our Teachers' recital will be held on Saturday, March 24th on the day of our CM Branch Honors recitals.  (It will be several weeks earlier than it has been in past years when it was combined with the Ensemble Festival.)  Our    recital will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 1338 E. Santa Clara St. in Ventura.  The piano will be our Bosendorfer. There will not be a second piano this year.  Please contact Fern Fay at no later than Friday, March 2nd if you wish to play in this program.  Send your proposed titles, composers, time duration and a short bio for yourself.


Sunday, Feb. 25, 4:00pm The St. Paul St. Paul's Episcopal Church Community Concert Series is pleased to present pianist Althea Waites She has been acclaimed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia as a brilliant soloist, chamber musician, and collaborative artist. Praised by the Los Angeles Times for "superb technique and profound musicality," Ms. Waites has a distinguished history of performing new music by American composers and has received several honors and commendations for her work.  Her strong commitment to cultural and community education is evident through her work with many outreach and service programs in retirement homes, hospitals, and arts institutions.   The concert is free with a suggested donation of $10 in support of St. Paul's Music Program.  3290 Loma Vista Rd. in Ventura, CA.