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· May 5 - Saturday.  Scholarship Audition Applications Due!

· May 19 - Saturday.  REGIONAL BACH FESTIVAL.   First Congregational Church, Santa Barbara

· May 19 - Saturday.  ENSEMBLE FESTIVAL.  First United Methodist Church, Ventura


WHEN: Friday, May 11, 10:00am.

WHAT: Planning meeting for 2018-2019.

PLACE: Home of Karen Becker.


Last month’s “Teacher Sharing” was a real treat! Our teachers shared some wonderful nuggets of information. I certainly left with some great tools that I was eager to try out right away. Thank you to everybody for sharing your expertise with the group.

A big thank you to Kary Kramer for organizing a very successful Bach Festival. The judges were so impressed with the level of organization and the preparedness of all of the students. Kudos!

This month, we will be planning our meetings and scheduling recital dates for the 2018-2019 year. Please come join us at Karen's if you'd like to be involved in the planning process.



On Saturday May 19, 2018 we will hold our 25th annual Ensemble Festival at the First United Methodist Church in Ventura.  8 teachers are participating, and 61 pieces will be performed by 74 students.  Programs will be at 9:30am, 11:00am, 12:30pm, and 2:00pm.  We will not be providing lunch for the teachers, as no judges will be present.  We plan to hold a bake sale in the lobby to raise money for our Branch Competition scholarship fund.  Students will perform on piano, cello, flute, piccolo, clarinet, violin, and trumpet.  Please join us for this exciting event!


Our Branch Competition was a success! 26 students from 8 studios participated. Congratulations to all students and their teachers!  Here is a list of winners:

Division I  (age 12 and under)

1st place - Gyubeen Park   (Sharon Kim)

2nd place - Issac Choi    (Sharon Kim)

3rd place - Karvi Patil   (Lily Starobinets

Honorable mention - Irene Kim ( Ada Lovingfoss)

Honorable mention - Joshua  Cooper (Celine Gietzen)

Division II (ages 13 - 15) 

1st place - David Kwon (Sharon Kim)

2nd place - Joshua Lau  (Nicole Burns)  

3rd place -  Susana Sedler   (Beverly Schmidt)

Honorable mention- Manas Khatore  (Noelle Tinturin)

Division III  (ages 16 - 18) 

1st place Anna Lapteva (Lily Starobinets)

2nd place - Karina Garcia (Karen Becker)

3rd place - Matthew Ebuen (Nicole Burns)  

Honorable mentionArielle Buchanan (Celine Gietzen) 


Applicants must be middle school students residing in Ventura County and must perform 3 memorized pieces of upper intermediate to advanced literature including a work by Bach, Mozart, and a third piece.

Inquiries should be directed to Lily Starobinets at or call 805-437-6518 by May 5, 2018.  Auditions will be held Saturday, June 9, 2018.   Entry fee: $25. 


Open to students of PV-VC Teachers. Must be a high school student as of the competition date.  Levels - upper intermediate or advanced level repertoire. Students must perform any 3 memorized pieces of standard classical repertoire from 3 of the 4  musical periods. Popular music and jazz are not allowed.

Inquiries should be directed to Lily Starobinets at or call 805-437-6518 by May 5th, 2018.  Auditions will be held Saturday, June 9, 2018.   Entry fee - $25.


The Bach Festival was held on April 14, 2018 at the United Methodist Church in Ventura.  Nicole Burns and Kary Kramer stepped in for Jeong-ah Ryu as Bach Co-Chairs.  The Regional Bach Festival will be held on May 19, 2018 with many of the winners from our Branch competing with the winners from the outlying Branches of Conejo Valley, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, and Bakersfield.

There were four programs on the day with the following teachers' studios participating: Maria Arce, Karen Becker, Nicole Burns, Celine Gietzen, Sharon Kim, Kary Kramer, Ada Lovingfoss, Daniel Newman-Lessler, Jeong-ah Ryu, Beverly Schmidt, Lily Starobinets, Hiromi Tilsner, and Noelle Tinturin.

The judges selected the following students as Winners: Michael Liu, Irene Kim, Jane Kim, Ethan Jiang, Stephen Kim, Alvaro Rebolledo, David Kwon, Elijah Sheaffer, Ethan Choi, Tanvi Patil, Drake Nguyen, Catilin Choi, Kayla Park, Mika Mullikin, Terilyn Huang, Smuel Wu, Karina Garcia, Alyssa Yoon, Matthew Ebuen, Manas Khatore, Peiming Yang, and Daniel Kim, representing the studios of Starobinets, Lovingfoss, Newmann-Lessler, Kim, Kramer, Ryu, Becker, Arce, Burns, and Tinturin.  The fact that so many teacher's studios were represented in the winners list is a testament to the strength of our Branch!

The judges selected the following students for Honorable Mention: Joseph Lee, Allison Kim, Devon Romines, Hayden van Deinse, Issac Choi, Katelyn Cheng, Willow Brown, David Gabertan, Aiden Um, Alex Garcia, and Luke Nguyen, representing the studios of Kim, Tinturin, Gietzen, Newman-Lessler, Becker, and Starobinets.

Congratulations to all the participating students and studios that took part to make our Branch Bach Festival a wonderful success!


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: June 16, 2018Saturday, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM (2 hours still available)


Fern would like our PV-VC Branch to know that Daniel Newman-Lessler has done a fantastic job, not only with the PVSD Children’s Chorus, but also conducting the performance group from CSUCI-CICA choir.  He led the performance for more than 200 attendees at the Sherwood Country Club as a public service, to Mary Health of the Sick.  The previous evening he filled in as last minute baritone soloist for rehearsal of both Vaughan Williams pieces for the Channel Islands orchestra and choir in Dona Nobis Pacem and Five Mystical Songs.


Saturday & Sunday, May 5 & 6.Choral Spectacular – “Reconciliation" presented by a 55 voice choir, soloists and the orchestra with a particular relevance to today’s unsettling times: Dona Nobis Pacem  and Five Mystical Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams, The Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra, CSU Channel Islands University Chorus, Pleasant Valley School District Chorus with soloists Melanie Henley Heyn, soprano and, Dr. Michael Shasberger, baritone.  Dr. KuanFen Lui, Artistic director and conductor.Saturday, May 5th, at 7:00 pm (note the evening concert time) at Rancho Campana Performing Arts Center, 4235 Mar Vista Drive, Camarillo.Sunday, May 6th at 3:00 pm (note normal afternoon concert time), at First United Methodist Church, 1338 East Santa Clara Street, Ventura.
The objective is to have anyone enjoy the concert regardless of ability to pay. No tickets are sold - any donation you are willing to give at the door will help defray the expenses of the concert. $20.00 donation per person appreciated – students/youth, of course, are free.