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Important Dates for October

· October 1st—31st CM Database is open for registration!

· October 6, 2019 - Sunday, 8:30AM-5:00PM.  SCJBF COMPLETE WORKS AUDITIONS, Cal. State University Long Beach

· October 11, 2019 - Friday.  Board and general meeting. First United Methodist Church, Ventura

· October 11, 2019 - Friday.  Holiday Festival Applications Due!

· October 19, 2019 - Saturday,  2:00pm.  SCJBF COMPLETE WORKS AWARDS CONCERT.  Covenant Presbyterian Church, Long Beach, 607 E. 3rd Street (at Atlantic Avenue), Long Beach 90802.

· October 26, 2019 - Saturday. BRANCH STUDIO RECITALS.  First United Methodist Church, Ventura

· October 31st at 11:59 pm - Thursday.  CM Registration CLOSED!

October Branch Meeting

WHEN:  Friday, October 11. 

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

                 —10:00am General Meeting.  Intermediate piano masterclass. Guest clinician: Jim McCormick.

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


We had an excellent September Overview and CM Training meeting.  I am grateful to Karen Becker and Nicole Burns for their assistance in creating that.  It was great to see so many branch members!  I hope that if you are a new member, you will reach out to others in our group for guidance in enrolling students in our festivals and in CM.  

It has come to my attention that Daniel Newman-Lessler (a member of our branch, and former student of Peter Yazbeck) is a finalist in a prestigious competition for choral conductors, the Romano Gandolfi International Competition for Choral Conductors.  Congratulations, Daniel!


Each November we have a themed festival where Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals are awarded for performances of one piece. If you have suggestions for future themes, please email them to me – we’d love to hear your suggestions!

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. 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.

Write one check per teacher made payable to PV-VC MTAC and mail to:

Nicole A. Burns, 79 Daily Drive, PMB 115, Camarillo, CA 93010

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.


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.

 October 26, 2019 —Saturday     

11:00AM—2:00PM (3 hours available)

December 14, 2019 —Saturday     


February 8, 2020 —Saturday     

10:00AM—2:00PM (4 hours available)

March 28, 2020 —Saturday (Same day as the CM Honors & Teacher Performance Recital)

9:00AM—1:00PM (4 hours available)

June 6, 2020 —Saturday     


June 27, 2020 —Saturday     

9:00AM—11:00AM (2 hours available)

1:00PM—4:00PM (3 hours available)

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

 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.

CM NEWS from Beverly

It will soon be time to enroll your students for another CM year. Registration opens on October1 and closes at 11:59pm on October 31.  If you are new to CM don’t hesitate to ask for help. The syllabus will answer many questions. Also, the database has all CM information available, if you know where to look.

Just login to your teacher portal and go to Certificate of Merit. You will see ribbons to click on for information. Resources has many things you will want to read through. Policies and Procedures, Instructions for teacher enrollment, Welcome letter to Parents, Parent CM payment instructions, Instructions for entering repertoire on line, and many more things are there.  It is essential reading.

You may still have questions. I will be glad to answer your emails regarding enrollment issues, payment issues, and questions about repertoire, or anything else you need help with.

Also, you will receive frequent emails and the first of each month our branch newsletter. Karen will be writing the emails and I will be writing most newsletters.   Best of Luck with your students this year.  ~Beverly


If your students are playing hymns or any meditative music, they are welcome to schedule a time to play in one of the worship services at the First United Methodist Church.  In looking over the music outreach offered at the church I have decided to try and connect with the local teachers more, as the MTAC piano is such a blessing for this area.  Students should be playing on it! 

If your students would like to play for a service, we will have written mention of them with their name, age, and maybe a little info in the printed bulletin.  The congregation LOVES music and would be a perfect "audience" to let the student play for.  Because this would be during a service, the song selection should be on the milder side.  It doesn't need to be religious, but appropriate.  If your student would like to play a hymn, we can arrange for it to be congregational or just solo.  I hope this will help for some students to experience where their education in piano may lead, as the sacred arts are a large employment for many musicians.  

Let me know if you have any other creative ways the church may be able to expand in this area and provide the students with meaningful opportunities.  

If you require any sort of community service for your studio, this could be perfect!  Feel free to contact me at any time.


—Saturday, October 12, 2019, at 7:00 pm at Rancho Campana Performing Arts Center, at 25 N. Las Posas Road, Camarillo. 2nd performance: Sunday, October 14, 20193:00 pm, at First United Methodist Church of Ventura, 1338 East Santa Clara Street, Ventura.  Program: World premiere of The Channel Islands Orchestral Suite by Ashley Broder, commissioned by CHICO – a meditative set of tone poems inspired by the eight islands. The concert will include Santa Monica Mountains by composer Bevan Manson which was commissioned by CHICO in 2015 – a piece with more of a jazz influence that contrasts the quiet mood of the Channel Islands with a more frantic feel of traffic on the Pacific Coast Highway. Plan on attending a presentation of slides and discussion of biological diversity, vulnerabilities and preservation of the Channel Islands – starts an hour before the concert.

 —Wednesday, October 16, 10:00am The Sara Compinsky Master Class meets monthly on Wednesdays at 10:00 am, and features a different pianist leader each month. The next class will be October 16 at Keyboard Concepts piano store in Sherman Oaks, and the leader will be pianist Craig Richey.  Admission to audit the class is $25.00.  Coffee and refreshments are served.  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 and enjoy, listen, learn and be inspired!