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WHEN:  Friday, September 13. 

                  —9:00am Board Meeting (all are welcome to attend)

                  —10:00am General Meeting.  Overview of Programs for 2019-20  and  Mandatory CM Teacher Training.

LOCATION:  Ventura First United Methodist Church parlor.  1338 E Santa Clara St, Ventura, CA 93003



I am pleased to be able to assist the branch once again this year in the office of President.  Some very exciting changes are being implemented this year, such as a new Branch Baroque Festival and changes to the Ann George Scholarship requirements, making both programs accessible to a wider range of students.  We have had several members step up and offer to help, which is sure to result in our programs running more smoothly.  This also allows us to expand what we offer all of our members.  Our Board of Directors works hard year-round to provide opportunities for all of our students.  Thanks to every one of you for making this a successful branch!  


Each Holiday Season a theme is chosen for a festival where Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals are awarded for performances of one piece.

Date: Saturday, November 16, 2019

Location: First United Methodist Church in Ventura

Theme: “Born in Russia”

Repertoire: ONE memorized piece (winds exempt) no longer than 4 minutes according to the theme.

All compositions written for the original instrument and all levels are eligible. As in all our branch recitals, NO REPEATS, D.C. is okay. One movement of a Sonata/Sonatina is allowed. Piano entries are limited to original works, no lesson/method books. No duplicate pieces within a studio will be permitted. Entries must be 16 measures minimum - all others are subject to variance committee approval. If you have questions about exceptions, email Nicole A. Burns.

Fees: $25.00 per student. Fees are non-refundable.

Write one check per teacher made payable to PV-VC MTAC and mail to Nicole A. Burns.

All entries must be submitted via email to

Please go to for the Excel spreadsheet under Festivals. Only ONLINE applications will be accepted. Please type in information carefully as this is how it will appear on the program. Do not use all caps. Please make any necessary program requests on the application.

Entry deadline: Saturday, October 11, 2019

Your registration is not complete until I have received your check. It is your responsibility to make sure your students and parents have read and signed the PV-VC MTAC Branch Recital Guidelines forms.

To promote fairness, any irregular entries will be screened by the Board of Directors. 


I'm introducing a new Baroque festival for our branch. It will be another opportunity for the young beginner students to participate in a stage performance. The Baroque Festival allows students to play any Baroque composer (as opposed to just J.S. Bach for SCJBF.)  Any student, regardless of instrument, can be chosen as a winner.  The winners of SCJBF advance to the regional competition, while the winners of our branch Baroque Festival will get a special seal on their certificates.  

Baroque Festival Information

—Any Baroque piece can be performed by Pianists, Winds, Strings, or Voice

Baroque Festival Date: April 4, 2020. Morning only

Application Due Date: March 6, 2020 - Entry Fee $25.00 per student

The Baroque Festival and SCJBF event will both be held on the same day; the Baroque will be in the morning, and SCJBF in the afternoon.  One student may enter both festivals if they’d like, but the teacher needs to complete the applications separately and each festival has its own fee.  

If you have any question regarding the Baroque festival, please let me know. ~Sharon Kim 


Please note the following important dates for the Southern California Junior Bach Festival 2019-20 Season.  Hope to see you at some of these great programs!

1.  Complete Works Audition:  Sunday, October 6, 2019, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM at California State University, Long Beach. (Schedule information will be online by September 15.)

2.  Complete Works Awards Concert:  Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, 2:00 PM at Covenant Presbyterian Church, Long Beach, 607 E. 3rd Street (at Atlantic Avenue), Long Beach 90802.

3.  Piano Masterclass with William Wellborn; Strings Masterclass with Ken Aiso: Sunday, January 19, 2020, Noon to 5:00 pm., with the Strings Masterclass following the Piano Masterclass. Loyola Marymount University, 1 Loyola Marymount University Drive, Los Angeles, 90045.  Please note the change of location and day from previous years.  (Applications will soon be posted at

4.  All-Branch Winds/Voice Regional Festival: Sunday, May 3, 2020, beginning at 1:00 pm at Citrus College, 1000 West Foothill Bl., Glendora 91741.

5.  Organ, Strings Festivals:  Strings and Organ Festival dates and places TBD.  Please check the Event Schedule at for updates.   

CM NEWS from Karen

Hi to all Certificate of Merit teachers and to those are NEW TO CM. I hope you are ready to start a new year with your students.

We will have our annual mandatory meeting for CM teachers on Friday, September 13, at 10:00am, at the First United Methodist Church in Ventura, 1338 E. Santa Clara St., Ventura. If you plan to have students in the CM program this year you must attend this meeting.  We will be presenting a video with all the latest CM information you will need to know for the coming year.

We are fortunate to be able to go to St Paul’s Episcopal Church for CM again this year as well as use our Bosendorfer piano at the First United Methodist Church (seniors/upper levels only will be assigned here). This affords us the luxury of having our entire CM in one day. 

All teachers will need to work the whole day; at the September meeting we will go over the teacher work agreement form with you and will ask you to sign it and hand it in.   Approximate start time for CM day on March 14 will be 7:00am and we will end between 6:00-6:30pm.  If you have 10 or more students you will be asked to do some additional work before CM day.

We all do a lot of work for the Certificate of Merit program because it is a great benefit for our student’s education. I look forward to seeing all of you at the meeting.   ~Karen  


This fall we have several new members to the branch.  Welcome!

Alyse Korn, MFA, BM. Alyse is the founder and teacher at Ojai Suzuki Piano School and Suzuki Early Childhood Music programs. She is a Jazz pianist, performer, recording artist, composer, arranger, Suzuki Piano and Early Childhood Music Educator, and Biofield Tuning Practitioner, with over 30 years performing around the world, and teaching music to all ages. Alyse is a Doctoral candidate in Jazz studies at USC.  She enjoys spending time in Ojai with her husband Robert and their dog Rickie-Lee, reading, traveling, gardening, hiking and Casino-Rueda dancing. 

Kathleen McKinley received her BA in piano performance from California Lutheran University where she also worked as a student/faculty accompanist.  Kathleen worked for 32 years for the Conejo Valley Union School District at Westlake High School in Thousand Oaks.  She served as accompanist and assistant choral director for the seven award winning choirs there.  During this time she performed extensively throughout the United States and traveled to Australia to perform on the Sydney Opera House stage.  Kathleen was on staff as Director of Choral Ministries at the Camarillo Evangelical Free Church for over 20 years.  She has enjoyed teaching piano for 30+ years and loves sharing her passion for music with students of all ages.   

Molly Brown began piano lessons as a child and has taught piano for many years.  She holds a BA in Psychology and enjoyed a career working in therapy programs for youth.  After retiring from Casa Pacifica in 2016, Molly began pursuing her goal of joining the MTAC.  She has been accepted as a provisional member until she completes her last two semesters of Music education in the Associate of Arts degree-program at Ventura College.  In addition to music, Molly enjoys gardening, bird watching, skiing, surfing, mountain biking and kayaking.

 Nadia Talley. Piano, Oxnard.

Tara KaysViolin, Camarillo. 


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 parlor is available for refreshments during your reserved time. You must 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:

October 26, 2019 —Saturday    

         11:00AM—2:00PM (3 hours available)

December 12, 2019 —Saturday  CLOSED!      

February 8, 2020 —Saturday     

         9:00AM—2:00PM (5 hours available)

 June 6, 2020 —Saturday    CLOSED!

June 27, 2020 —Saturday    

9:00AM—4:00PM (7 hours available)


Depending on Festival times, limited slots may become available on:

March 28, 2020 —Saturday     

Subject to timing of the CM Branch Honors Festival & Teacher Performance Recital (TBD)

April 4, 2020 —Saturday     

Subject to timing of the Bach Festival & Baroque Festival (TBD)

April 25, 2020 —Saturday     

Subject to timing of the Branch Competition (TBD)

May 16, 2020 —Saturday  

   Subject to timing of the Ensemble Festival (TBD)

Please let me know, if you are interested in one of these dates.    



Ensemble Festival applications and T-shirt Design Contest instructions are now live on the branch website!  Please view them at 
This is an excellent opportunity for students to dress and have fun with their friends and instruments.  The design contest is an outlet for your artistically expressive students to shine (and make a little money!)
Can't wait to see you all there! 


Sunday, September 8, 1:00-5:00pm.  Giant Fine Art Gala at the Fays.  We personally invite you to our Giant Fine Art Gala where there will be hundreds of paintings and drawings in a diversity of subject matter and styles to see and live music - perhaps even a jam session later for your entertainment.  Refreshments will also be served. Our garage and patio are accessible by parking in front of our home on Island View Street. Our garage opens behind our house to Amalfi Way.  To enter our garage gallery, you may wish to park inside the frontage road on Harbor Blvd. and walk seven houses down to the back of our home/studio.  Hope to see you then!           

Wednesday, Sept. 11, 10:00am.  The Sara Compinsky Master Class meets at 10:00 am on the 2nd Wednesday of the month and features a different pianist leader each month. The first class of this season will be September 11 at Keyboard Concepts piano store in Sherman Oaks, and the leader will be pianist Irina Brener.

Please visit  for more information, and click on NEWSLETTER to see artist leader's bio and program information.

If you are interested in attending, performing, or if you have an advanced student who would like to have an opportunity to work with a great artist, please call Raya Sadigursky at 818-706-0429 or email  Come enjoy, listen, learn and be inspired!