Volume 22, Issue 6 | February 2021
Kristen Normann, President
Olya Katsman, Vice President
Michelle Chi, Second Vice President
Millie Chiem, Treasurer & Parliamentarian
Fonny Chandra, Corresponding Secretary
Ruth Zhou, Recording Secretary
Katherine Valdez, Membership Secretary & Referrals Chair
Grace Cheng, Director
Gloria Ho, Director
Maria Ehlert, Director
Karen Wolff, Director
David Ross, Director & Student Recitals
Lu Huang, Director & Website Administrator

Sandy Fong & Maria Ehlert, Hospitality
Sr. Andre Marie Fujier & Ruth Zhou, Historian
Carmencita Aspiras, Sunshine
Lu Huang, Composer Today
Olya Katsman, MSSL Community Outreach
Dr. Jiang Wu, VOCE

Gloria Ho, CM Chair and North Region Chair, (Piano, Strings, Woodwinds and Voice)
Grace Cheng, CM South Region Chair
Millie Chiem, North Region Honors Recitals
Karen Wolff, South Region Honor Recital
Katherine Lee & Ruby Cheung, Theory Site Coordinators
Message from the President
What a wonderful master class presented by Peter Mack last month! A well attended virtual event with very polished performances by the students. Peter uses witty anecdotes, kindness, and humor to draw out even more technique and musicality from the students. We also had an awesome student recital last weekend! I am looking forward to the time when we can hold these events in person, but so glad everyone is willing to use virtual platforms for the meantime. Looking ahead to the end of the month, don't miss the Young Artist Guild Recital. We will have two past YAG recipients performing for our branch. Details are in this newsletter, so scroll on down!

Important Dates
February 21 (Sun)

March 6 (Sat)
  • Deadline to apply for March Student Recital
  • Scroll down for more details

March 11 (Thu)

March 20 (Sat)
  • Virtual Student Recital at 4:00 pm

April 10 (Sat)
  • Deadline to apply for April Student Recital
  • Scroll down for more details

April 15 (Thu)

April 20 (Tue)
  • Deadline to apply for the Scholarships (Senior Scholarship, YAG Scholarship, and the Regina Mastrantonio Community Music Service Recognition Award)
  • Check the flyer below for more details

April 24 (Sat)
  • Virtual Student Recital at 4:00 pm

May 8 (Sat)
  • Virtual Scholarship Ceremony at 4:00 pm presenting the Senior and YAG Scholarship, and the Regina Mastrantonio Commmunity Music Service Recognition Award recipients.
  • Zoom link to follow
MTAC - SACB website
password: mta1
Young Artist Guild Recital
Young Artist Guild Recital
Cameron Akioka and Karina Tseng

Sunday, February 21st, 2021
4:00 pm
Meeting ID: 885 7285 5986


F. Chopin: Preludes, Op 28 No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 13, 15, 16, 21, and 24
Cameron Akioka

J. S. Bach: Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828, I. Overture
L. v. Beethoven: Sonata No. 15 in D Major, Op. 28, "Pastorale" - IV Rondo: Allegro ma non troppo
F. Schubert: Sonata No. 16 in A minor, D 845, I. Moderato
A. Ginastera: Sonata No. 1, Op. 22, I. Allegro marcato
Karina Tseng

Cameron Akioka's bio CLICK HERE
Karina Tseng's bio CLICK HERE
Student Zoom Recital
Note from CM Chair
February 5 to 15
This is the two weeks your students must upload their repertoire, upload scans of their music, take the theory exam, and take the sight reading exam.

March TBA
Apply for convention recital and register for Convention.

July 2 to 6
Virtual Convention Unity through Music

Please read the directions very carefully for instructions regarding Sight Reading, Theory Exam, and Technique. Do not panic. The technique for piano is confusing. If your student has memorized the technique and does not need the digital chart (that you usually see in the sight reading booklet), just bypass that part of the instructions and go straight to uploading.

The student can find the instructions in their portal on the left hand side. There is a list of things they can click on that I've been told by some teachers. If they still can't get them, I have forwarded the Email from state office with all the videos and instructions and guidelines to my students, and they are able to click on the blue icons and see them from your e-mail.

For question about syllabus, CM problems, please contact the teacher e-support link.

If you have any technical questions, you can contact the MTAC State Office. They are available Monday - Friday, from 9 am - 5 pm.

You can find a list of helpful documents regarding all manner of CM procedure in your teacher portal home page, left side.

For policy and procedures, I can look up the answers for you, but I urge you to download the 2021 CM policy and procedures to find your own answers. And all syllabus questions can be answered in your syllabus.

Gloria Ho
CM Chair
New Branch Honor Requirements
The CM council has decided that the evaluators will no longer be evaluating for branch honors, since it is not a Certificate of Merit program. However, as a branch we will adapt.
The new requirements for branch honors is:

  1. Performance, Technique, and Sight Reading must be good or excellent
  2. All pieces must be memorized
  3. Theory Exam must be 80% or better
  4. There will be no rating.
  5. The student will choose the piece.

This year due to the pandemic, there will be no branch honors recital. Branch Honors ribbons will be given if they meet the requirements. Because a student cannot sign up for BH, like the State Honors sticker, the Branch Honors will be automatically given.

However, when and if everything goes back to normal and we have live in person recitals, then Branch Honors ribbons will only be given if the student performs and stays for the whole recital to accept the ribbon when they are presented after the recital.
Hello everyone!
Music Students’ Service League (MSSL) is a student-run group of volunteers with the mission to promote happiness achieved through musical entertainment as well as developing musical appreciation for the underprivileged members of society, especially our elderly citizens. Despite the ongoing pandemic, we still host recitals by pre-recording performances and send them to senior living centers to brighten up our elderly’s day. We are planning to host monthly recitals in this coming year via online or in-person if permitted by health experts.

If you’re interested in joining us, please print, fill out, and follow the directions on the form:

Students of all skill levels are encouraged to join! Not only is this opportunity a great way to fulfill your service hours requirement, but you also get some well-needed practice for recitals and competitions!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email Brooke Zheng (, Erin Yu (, or Andrew Gao (
Come and Chat Event
Need more idea for teaching? Want to share your experiences with other fellow teachers? Want to get to know other fellow teachers? Wants to chat with old friends in our branch? Then, please join our Come and Chat events! We will have two sessions with some very interesting topics. Don't miss it!

Technique - Problem and Solution
Thursday, March 11th, 2021
10:00 - 11:00 am
Meeting ID: 848 1604 5999

Short Exam Pieces
Thursday, April 15th, 2021
10:00 - 11:00 am
Meeting ID: 871 2332 7638
Scholarship Opportunity
Technology Corner
  • Gooseneck iPhone holder from Amazon, which can be attached to the piano lid to provide a top down view of the keyboard
  • New online platform:, better sound quality for online music teaching. Must use Google Chrome to have the best experience. You also can book a free demo to experience the sound.
  • Free video service, Flipgrid, is helping students to record online easily. Some school uses it, because it is super user friendly. Once you sign up, you create a topic (for example CM piano recording 1) and add verbal instructions, create an example video, etc. Next, set the parameters, for example, how long the video could ne, which students can access it, and send a join code to the students. They don't have to create an account. On their side, they open the video, click record and viola! (*Tips from Maretha Davel)

Have more ideas you would like to share? Please email Fonny Chandra at
Piano Tuners' Corner
Robin Whitehouse
Phone: 831-247-0043

David Amendola
Steinway Concert Technician
Phone: 415-250-0724

Linda Kay
Phone: 510-910-0283
Accepting New Students
David Ross
Phone: 510-586-9163

Alice Huang
Phone: 510-709-8293
Location: Castro Valley, CA 94546

Julie Chang
Phone: 510-366-2193
Address:716 Solstice Court, Fremont, CA 94539

To put your name on (or take your name out of) the list, please contact:
Fonny Chandra at: