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MTACPasOctober2019Newsletter (2)
August 2019 newsletter
July 2019 Newsletter




May 2019 Newsletter (1)
April 2019 Newsetter (1)

December 2018 Newsletter

MTAC Pasadena Newsletter—December 2018 & January 2019

Happy New Year!

2018 is now in the past and 2019 is before us. Our Pasadena Branch started off the new year with a Teachers’ Appreciation Tea held at Tea Rose Garden in Pasadena shortly after New Year’s Day. 44 teachers attended. It was a lovely afternoon, renewing acquaintances and meeting new members. Of course, the food topped it all with five different kinds of trimmed sandwiches, three kinds of scones, two desserts, a fruit compote and two kinds of tea. The tables were set with China teacups and plates. It was a beautiful setting.

Eight past presidents were present and they were each presented with a longstemmed rose. They were: Geraldie Keeling, co-presidents Fritzie Culick and Akiko Hasunuma, Winna Tan, Hellena Kim, Angela Whitaker, Eriko Geiger and Carol Man Lee.

The Los Angeles Liszt International Competition was held on Nov. 17 & 18. The competition featured 177 performances from 85 studios in eleven states and three countries. The fifteen judges came from ten states and four countries. This year, Pasadena Branch had thirteen students who received recognition in the Festival. The teachers of these students were Bernadene Blaha, Kevin FitzGerald, Antoinette Perry and Roza Yoder. For more details on the winners, please log on to MTAC Pasadena was one of the founding members of this competition. The Branch can be very proud of the international recognition that the competition has received. This competition is held every other year and Pasadena Branch members Geraldine Keeling and Judith Nesleny were the co-directors and founders.

The Theme Festival was at the start of December. It featured music written by composers born in North America. The festival was structured with solo and duet categories. There were ten duet teams and 77 solo students, representing 19 teachers. The four judges were: Wayne Behlendorf, Jeremie Favreau, Katya Gliadkovsky and Aaron McClaskey. All of them commented on the high level of performance and excellent preparation. Thank you to Kelly Anderson for chairing this event and a very special thanks to his wife Sherice for helping to schedule the students.

String teachers, please note that the String Festival, tentatively scheduled for Feb. 10, has been cancelled. The Board is looking into setting up a festival later in the year. Linda Stone, the Chairperson, is recovering from a fall and we wish her a successful recovery.

Certificate of Merit: Carol Man Lee, CM Chair, has been sending emails from . When you received emails from that address, please open to read. Some of the emails are reminders of deadlines! A VERY IMPORTANT DEADLINE IS JANUARY 15, 11.59 p.m. – all student information must be entered and SAVED – no changes are allowed and even the State Chair cannot help you. If you have any questions before Jan. 15, email Carol Man Lee at

On Tuesday, April 2nd, there will be a Piano Teacher’s Workshop. A husband-and-wife team will be discussing teaching methods on a few selections in the Advanced Level. If you would like to send in suggestions for the two pieces to be discussed, please do so by January 20. The workshop will be held from 10:00–12:00 at Rosemary Yang’s studio, 1425 Westminster Ave., Alhambra.

Wind teachers, be looking out for announcement of a Wind Festival.

VOCE Auditions will be held on Sunday January 27th at Fritzie Culick’s home. Chairperson Angela Whitaker is coordinating the event.

The next Branch Recital is on Sunday, January 20th. The deadline to apply is tomorrow, January 11th, to Michiko Hartzberg.

Kristi Lobitz, Chair of Bach Festival, writes:

This year’s Bach Festival will be held all day Saturday, April 6, 2019 at Steinway Piano Gallery in Pasadena. Registration is by online application only on the website. Interested teachers should go onto the website, select “Registration & Announcements,” and then log on using their personal password; follow the links in the Student Information box to access the application form. Before you can register students, you will be asked for a $10 teacher fee. This payment is securely handled online using a credit card, and helps to defray some of the costs involved with maintaining the SCJBF website.

The online registration opens December 1, and the deadline to apply is March 1 by 11:59 p.m. The registration fee is $40.00 per student. Teacher should send one check per studio, payable to MTAC Pasadena, and include a print-out of your student listing.

Please mail to:

Kristi Lobitz
484 E. California Blvd, No. 40 (Note: This address was corrected on February 26th)
Pasadena, CA 91106

The postmark deadline is March 1. Please do not send via certified mail as this will require Kristi to drive to the Post Office many times!

Some other general information:

Repertoire time limit for all pieces is 5 minutes. There is also an Anna Magdalena category to encourage younger students to study the music of Bach. More information is on the website.

The Board is glad to announce that the Pasadena Branch website is being updated by Ruth Kasckow. Please visit the site at for information, dates and photos. Each month, a board member will write a message on the homepage. If you have anything appropriate you would like to post on the website, please contact Ruth Kasckow.

The newsletter will continue to be sent to members monthly. News items should be sent to David Peck or Winna Tan by the end of the month.


November 2018 Newsletter

Dear Teachers:

At this time of Thanksgiving, I have been giving a lot of thought to what it is that I actually do as a teacher, and the hope I have that it makes some small difference in the world.  My gratitude for my students and their families just keeps growing, as I continue to learn from them. And we have opportunities to continue to learn from one another, which is a great blessing.

We will hold our annual holiday gathering  on Sunday, January 6,  right after the holidays have wound down. It will be at the Tea Rose Garden in Old Town Pasadena, at 2:30 PM. An online invitation will be sent out with more details. Registration will be necessary and this is a great time to get together In a casual way with colleagues, over sandwiches and tea.

Just a reminder, teachers who have students participating in the Theme Festival on December first should by now have the schedule from Chairman Kelly Anderson.

Master Class for teachers is on Tuesday, April 2, in the late morning,  at Rosemary Yang’s studio. Save the date!

Bertrands Old Town Music has a special sale which will benefit all of us. It is this Saturday, November 24th. They’re offering up to 75% off of their sheet music, and substantial discounts on instruments and accessories.

Antoinette Perry will be teaching at the Interharmony International Music Festival in Acqui Terme, Italy this July (whose website is  Antoinette writes that “any student who would like to come, ten to ninety-nine years old, is welcome. Teachers are also welcome…“ Which would be absolutely great, given the red wine varietals grown near Acqui Terme In the Piedmont region, midway between Turin and Genoa, and it is an ancient spa town, now home to French-influenced Italian meals.

Carla Bartlett let me know recently that she composes and that she has six collections of piano music available on her website,  Levels range from beginner to advanced, in highly accessible yet contemporary styles.

Please be sure to let us know of any change in your address, phone, or email. Especially those of us that are doing Certificate of Merit, please stay alert to all messages and dates from our CM Chair, Carol Man Lee.

I sincerely hope you have a fulfilling, gratifying break this week.


David C Peck

Co-President, Music Teachers Assoc. of California, Pasadena Branch


October 2018 newsletter:

Dear Teachers!
Hello! I trust your studio is already humming along and underway at the start of the new academic year! This is traditionally harvest time, when our ancestors would reap the fruits of their labors—but this is exactly when we get to plant seeds and invent new possibilities together with our students.
I am very excited to announce that in a few days, on Monday the 15th, students and faculty from the Saint Olaf School will stage a lecture/performance at the Steinway Gallery in Pasadena in the morning at 10:30 AM, and a special performance at Fritzie Culick’s home, in Altadena, in the evening at 7 PM. There is room for more at both events.
It looks like the majority of us are participating in Certificate of Merit, as nearly 130 teachers participated in a training session. There is a great variety, with eleven string teachers, six voice teachers, nine winds teachers and even one guitar teacher joining the piano teachers. At least nine teachers new to MTAC Pasadena are going to be involved in Certificate of Merit, and at least three teachers are involved with more than one instrument! Remember, these are the weeks during which we must register our students for Certificate of Merit; the deadline is October 31.
The Theme Festival is coming up December 1, and the deadline to apply is November 1. This year, the theme is composers born in North America- Canada, USA or Mexico. There is more info on the website or you can contact Kelly Anderson, chairman.
Member Natalia Hudson is performing chamber music in a benefit concert, with violinist Agnes Székely Schwartz, on October 20, at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Pasadena, at 7:00 p.m. The concert will benefit the Good Shepherd Shelter in Los Angeles, which is devoted to victims of domestic violence. The performance will be preceded by a wine reception starting at 6:30.
Looking ahead, on January 6th we will hold our Winter Tea, in the afternoon. This is always a fun event, a casual space in which to chat with colleagues and compare notes, in an especially beautiful setting. Details will be forthcoming.
There was an error in the directory—Carla Barlett received her directory and noticed errors on her particulars. It should be:
Carla Bartlett (with no “e” at the end of Bartlett), (no e between t and 5) and her phone number should be 310-503-7817.
Remember, the online directory, on our website, is the most up-to-date.
This Friday, October 12, is the deadline to send an application for the October 21st Branch Recital, which will be at Steinway Gallery in Pasadena, at 3:00. Please be sure to email Michiko Hartzberg at for Information about this important event.
I’d like to pass on some information from Dr. Stephen Cook, Associate Dean of Arts at the School of Music, California School of the Arts, San Gabriel Valley. Please feel free to pass this along to any of your interested students. “California School of the Arts-San Gabriel Valley is a public charter school that provides a creative, challenging, and nurturing environment offering bright and talented students a rigorous college-preparatory education and pre-professional arts conservatory training. We do not offer private lessons as part of our curriculum, but work closely with private teachers to support their instructional efforts by offering weekly classes in music theory, history, chamber music, methods & styles, ensembles, piano four hands, etc. We will be holding preview days and auditions in the coming months for limited openings this spring and for the academic year starting late August 2019.  For more information, go to to find out more.”
Remember, if any of us would like to have an item included in this monthly newsletter, the deadline for submitting is the 25th of the month, for the upcoming newsletter, which will be coming out a few days into the next month.
Thank you, as always, for the difference you make!
David Peck
Co-President, MTAC Pasadena

September 2018 newsletter:

Hello Teachers!

I am so inspired by you and what you do, and the difference you make. Greetings at the start of our new academic year!

Winna Tan and I are co-presidents this year of our MTAC Pasadena Branch. We look forward to a strong and productive year. This newsletter is just to touch on a couple of points so that we get going smoothly.

It is important that as many of us as possible attend the September 16 meeting, at Church of our Saviour, in San Gabriel. We will begin at 3 o’clock. An email went out about this a couple weeks ago. We are waiting for replies, so we know the headcount for the dinner. The deadline for that is this Monday, September 10. Kindly reply as soon as you can, if you have not already done so.

Secondly, directories will be distributed at the September 16th meeting, and there is an option to “opt out” of getting the printed directory. The online directory will be available for all teachers, regardless. If you do not want the hardcopy, please let us know. Only a few have replied so far. Remember, if you don’t reply, you will be getting a hardcopy, as always!

Third, teachers who plan to have any students participate in Certificate of Merit must attend a Certificate of Merit meeting, and there are two more scheduled. The next one will be after our September 16th meeting at 6 PM; or, on September 30 at 3 o’clock. The meeting should take about an hour. It seems our names will be blocked by the State Office until we attend a meeting, so it is important to schedule this with Carol Lee at

Fourth, September 14 is the deadline to send an application for the September 23 Branch Recital. Please be sure to email Michiko Hartzberg at for Information about this vital event.

And finally, if any of us would like to have an item included in this monthly newsletter, the deadline for submitting is the 25th of the month, for the upcoming newsletter, which will be coming out a few days into the next month.

Let me just say again, it’s extraordinary what you are doing; the commitment you show to your remarkable students, and the things you draw out of them, are truly moving and make a real difference in the world.


David Peck
Co-President, MTAC Pasadena