News Notes: MTAC Orange County North
February 2014



From The President

Dear Colleagues,

According to the Chinese calendar, 2014 is the year of the beautiful and hard-working horse. Likewise hard-working are our students and teachers in their preparation for CM. All efforts are put in to making the program succeed and run smoothly and professionally. Many of us plan workshops in order to further polish student's performances and theory readiness. To this extent, I found an interesting idea in the last of Bonnie Blanchard's news blasts called "Distraction Recital". It is an intriguing method of training a performing student to stay in the moment and be focused on his/her task NO MATTER WHAT. In a nutshell, the "Distraction Recital" intentionally creates an environment with distractions during performance. Performing in such conditions can cause things to fall apart; however, practicing in similar conditions will help students and teachers alike recognize points of weaknesses and help with more focused practice.

Below are few of the distraction methods Bonnie Blanchard does at her studio:

  • Bang the door
  • Have YouTube blaring the piece or play it on the flute at the same time (just a few beats or measures ahead)
  • Untie ponytails and shoelaces
  • Order pizza on the phone (with anchovies!)
  • Drop books
  • Throw pillows
  • Hold up scorecards
  • Have heated discussions right in front of the player
  • My favorite was when our accompanist purposefully made mistakes.

During our last January meeting, Dr. R. Watson kindly shared with us his adventures as a young music student leading him to become an accomplished musician today. His speech was called "Tribute to my teachers".

Let us strive to be the teacher that could make an impact in the student's life and become unforgettable through their achievements and memories.

Lusine Shahinyan |

Membership: 3 Very Important Items

Dear OCN Members,

Please take care of these 3 very important items immediately if they apply to you.

  1. Please let branch members know that if you have moved recently, or changed any contact information. The State Office will need this information to properly invoice them for renewal
  2. For all new applicants and reinstating members, we’ll accept all forms and payment for the 2014-2015 membership term starting March 1. The submission deadline for all items for Certificate of Merit eligibility is July 31 - no exceptions.
  3. Branch Transfers Accepted April 16 to August 31 Only
    For members wishing to transfer Branches, they may contact the State Office only during this time period. No forms are necessary for members; they may phone or email the State Office directly.

Carol Hills |

Volunteers Needed!

We need your students to help us make this year's CM a huge success. This is a great way for them to earn Community Service hours. The process is rather simple. All you have to do is download the application form from our branch website and mail it to me. Upon receipt I will assign a job for your student and then confirm with you where they will be working. Please do not have a student show up to work without having been confirmed by me. I'll be waiting anxiously for your applications.

Thank you,

Joane Grubaugh | CM Keyboard Scheduler, OCN Branch

Just a Friendly Reminder

Just a friendly reminder: Your teacher assignment has been sent to you. If you have not already done so, check your email inbox sent by Carol Hills. It is important that you find your assignment and report to work on the date you are assigned. We need every one of you to help. We had just enough teachers to fill all the positions so your participation is VITAL.

Thank you,

Joane Grubaugh | CM Keyboard Scheduler, OCN Branch

Certificate of Merit

We're on our way! By the time you read this you will have your student schedules. Please remember the following:
  1. All students playing at CSUF must have a signed release form
  2. Release form is found on the website
  3. Release form must be USPS mailed to Teri Watson by Feb. 1
  4. Check-in sheets can be found on the website
  5. Student labels will be emailed
  6. Print the student labels for the performance check-in sheets
  7. Attach the labels to the performance check-in sheet
  8. DROPS- please inform Teri Watson by email up to the last minute

Teri Watson |

Composers Today: Branches Composition Contest

We are very pleased and happy to announce that our judge for the Branches Contest this year is Michael Glenn Williams. Please read his bio below. We are very fortunate to have such an esteemed judge to comment and to judge our students' compositions.

Be reminded of our new deadline for the Branches Composers Today Composition Contest.  The Registration Form is on the third page and the Adjudication Form follows. Please contact Carol Hills if there are questions or difficulties.

The Application also has questions regarding the Festival Recital:

The Festival Recital is Sunday, May 18th at Chapman University. You and your students should plan to attend. All compositions will be performed. Awards and reception to follow.

Michael Glenn Williams:
Composer, Pianist, Conductor

Michael Glenn Williams is a "man of many musics - symphonic, choir, electronic, pop, free jazz, you-name it. He has tried on all these hats, and all of them seem to fit." -    Alan Rich

Michael G. Williams' music and piano performance is featured  on productions such as the  "Chicago Hope"; "Wicker Park", "The Limey", "King of the Hill", "Younger and Younger", "House of Yes", "Through the Door" and "Wonderland."  His concert transcriptions of video game music are featured in the game "Crabs and Penguins" from Coke, and performed by the Video Games Live orchestra.

Michael's music has been recorded by internationally famous pianists such as Sean Chen, Roberto Prosseda, Gabriele Baldocci and Enrico Pompili. His jazz group "1 40 4 20" has released two albums: "Jazz Trespassers" and "Wet", to critical acclaim.

Michael G. Williams is well known in the computer industry as an expert in operating system design, system hardware design and computer chip functional design. He served  full time as Principal Architect for Nokia's Enterprise Solutions division. He was the author of the music, MIDI sequencing, typesetting and printing program SuperScore, and consulted on the design of the original music font for general use "Sonata" with Adobe Systems. His name appears in many patents, and in two IEEE international computer standards.

As an arts administrator Michael served as President of the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic, and concert producer for Who's Afraid of Opera, The Chopin Project, and record producer for AIX Media, Stradivarius, Parma/Naxos, Pocket Jazz Records and Coke.

Mr. Williams has served as director of music , conductor, accompanist and organist for numerous orchestras, churches, temples, colleges and master classes in Southern California. As an accomplished classical pianist, Michael Williams was named an "International Piano Master" by the International Piano Academy of Lake Como. He twice won the Northridge Chamber Music award, and has premiered many works for piano as a new music evangelist.

 Michael taught music composition at UCLA extension and teaches piano and composition privately. He studied composition and piano performance at California State University Northridge and at the Eastman School of Music, where he won the Howard Hanson Prize for orchestral composition. He is active member of AMC (American Music Center ), CMS (College Music Society, NACUSA (National Association of Composers USA and SCI (Society of Composers

The Performance Forum

The Performance Forum is open to the OCN Branch students to perform and participate in a discussion session with an audience. Questionnaire forms for the discussion session will be sent out to all OCN teachers via email after the performers are selected on March 16, 2014. I will also select a few questions from the submitted questionnaire form.

The student candidate(s) must be at a performance CM Level 8 or above or highly talented. There is no age limit. Registered students are required to audition for this program. The judges will select 3 students who are highly qualified to perform for this event. There will be an audition fee of $20.00.

Each student will audition with two pieces that he/she would like to showcase at the performance forum. No changes will be made.

The audition will take place on Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 1058 S. Hanlon Way, Anaheim Hills, CA 92808. Please fill-out the registration form HERE. The audition time limit is 12 minutes per student. The results of the audition will be sent out via email to the participating teachers on the evening of the audition.

Registration Postmarked Deadline Date: Feb. 15, 2014
Please send the completed registration form by mail to:
Susan Kim-Pedroza
1058 S. Hanlon Way

Submissions for MTAC Orange County North's monthly newsletter, "News Notes," should be emailed to Emily Outhier by the 15th of each previous month. Next deadline is February 15 for inclusion in our March newsletter.