September 2015
In This Issue
September Meeting
Recital and Competition Info
NEPTA Dues Renewal
Member News Info
Member Spotlight
Awards and Grants
Presidential Luncheon
Thank You
Looking Ahead
Music Sale

Monday, Sept. 28
Meeting 9:30AM

Gerald Klickstein
"Teaching Performance Skills"
The First Parish, Watertown

NEPTA Music Sale

Monday, October 26

Phillip Kawin 
"Playing With the Piano: Essentials of Tone Production and Pianism"
The First Parish, Watertown

Monday, November 23

Teachers' Exchange
Sarah Takagi
"Authentic Musicality And Understanding Through Improvisation"
Wellesley Free Library

Monday, December 14

MasterClass with NEPTA Members
A Scholarship Fund Benefit
The First Parish, Watertown 


Sunday, Sept. 27
A Concert of Music by Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee
Angel Rivera Recital Hall, Rivers School Conservatory
333 Winter Street, Weston, MA 02493
Admission: Free
Performers include: 
Violin: Priscilla Goolkasian DerAnanian 
Pianists: Diane Andersen (from Belgium), Phyllis Alpert Lehrer and Ena Bronstein (from New Jersey), and Irina Baghdasarian, Karine Baghdasarian, Armine Karapetian Donato, Miriam Gargarian, Ashley Grant, Lilit Karapetyan Shougarian, Kathryn Rosenbach, and Eric Zhang from the greater Boston Area.

Sunday, October 4
"Time Passes By"
 (Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee's commissioned orchestra work performed by the Waltham Symphony Orchestra)
Program includes: Mozart Piano Concerto Op. 453, G Major, soloist Thomas Stumpf and works by Wagner and Saint-Saëns.
Waltham Middle School
617 Lexington Street, Waltham, MA 02452  
Admission: Free

Submitting News
Member News for the October Newsletter needs to be submitted by September 30th.  An email with guidelines for these submissions will be sent out soon.  


Dear Colleagues and Friends,

It is my great pleasure to welcome each of you to NEPTA's exciting 2015-2016 season! I hope you have enjoyed the summer
and that you are ready to take part in strengthening and sharing the musical community that NEPTA members have been cultivating for so many years. It is a privilege to be part of an organization that 
provides opportunities for us to enrich our own lives. NEPTA also p rovides us with opportunities to enrich the lives of our students a nd  their families - and everyone with whom we come in contact.  Music is an extraordinary gift, and through the simple act of joining together as members of NEPTA, this gift of music becomes a powerful tool that has the potential to change lives. We have an extraordinary opportunity before us. Let's get started! 

Donna Gross Javel
NEPTA President


Our first meeting of the season is scheduled for next Monday, September 28, at 9:30AM at the The First Parish of Watertown and will feature Gerald Klickstein on "Teaching Performance Skills." This meeting is supported in part by the Sue B. Demb Enrichment Fund.   

Gerald Klickstein directs the Peabody Conservatory's Music Entrepreneurship and Career Center, which helps students and recent alumni attain artistic and professional success.

I was first "introduced" to Gerald Klickstein on Twitter (@klickstein) where he is best known for his informative posts on how to cultivate performance skills.  According to his website, his book, The Musician's Way, and its extensive companion website,, have drawn global praise for their insightful handling of the issues that today's musicians face. I look forward to finally having the chance to meet him in person and hope to see many of you there as well.  

The meeting officially begins at 9:30 but the doors open at 9:00. Plan to arrive early so you can get to know our members -and don't forget that the NEPTA Music Sale begins at 9:00. Many thanks to Ruth Ross for organizing the music sales.  Did you know that Ruth transports ALL the music to and from each meeting? Have you seen her biceps? You might want to stop by and thank her!

Many thanks to our program committee chair, Colleen Campbell; our beloved immediate past president, Irina Gelman; and fellow members of the program committee Shann Wood, Miriam Gargarian, Janna Bruene, Lydia Reed-Guertin, and Barbara Jones for arranging such an exciting season for us.  


Welcome to yet another exciting year of NEPTA recitals and competitions! Online applications will be available on the NEPTA website October 15. Please mark your calendars and make plans with your students accordingly.

As many of you may already know, M. Steinert & Sons is renovating its Boston space this year. Consequently, we are changing the venue for our Ensemble recitals and competitions to the beautiful space in Steinert's Natick store, in the Natick Mall. Many thanks to Diana Tetzlaff for visiting this new space with me and for her willingness to help with the arrangements. I am extremely grateful for the help I have received from Steve Hauk at M. Steinert & Sons, Natick, and Competition Chairs Ranko Konishi-Houston and Victoria Suchodolski in making this transition.  

Speaking of recitals and competitions... many thanks to Marianne Jensen, Lyubov Shan, Niva Fried, Elizabeth Landman, Heather R.R. Riley, Kathryn Rosenbach, Janice Paratore Zaganjori,  Ranko Konishi-Houston,  Victoria Suchodolski and Diana Tetzlaff for their efforts to help improve the online registration process for the recitals and competitions.  Additional thanks to Karin Kydland and Heather Riley for their help in conveying their detailed suggestions for improvement, and to Sue Demb who has worked tirelessly to implement them. Some of these changes are intended to make it easier to register students and others will help the Recital and Competition Chairs and their committees work more effectively.  

The privilege of being able to present students in NEPTA recitals and competitions is a benefit for all members.  The opportunity to do so is made possible by these volunteers who are willing to devote a considerable amount of their time to make these recitals and competitions run smoothly.  These volunteers are doing an extraordinary service for this organization. I hope you will want to join me in expressing gratitude for the work they are doing for us and for our students.  

Many of you will also want to thank Tina Liu and Diana Tetzlaff who have generously volunteered to help guide NEPTA members who would like help in registering online for recitals and competitions.  I will discuss the specifics of how they will provide help in the next newsletter.


Did you forget to pay your NEPTA dues last spring?  While the vast majority of NEPTA members have already paid annual membership dues (deadline was May 31 for inclusion in the directory), this is a reminder that members who want to enter students in the 2016 NEPTA recitals and/or competitions must pay their dues by this coming Wednesday, Sept. 30. A $10 late fee applies. 

NEPTA members may renew their annual dues online at, through the secure PayPal site with their credit card. Or, members may download the registration form from the website and mail it with a check to:

Bert Yocom, NEPTA Treasurer
16 Rogers Street
Boston, MA 02127-3525

Active and Associate Members:
$50 ($60 with the late fee)
Seniors (over 65) and Student Members: 
$30 ($40 with the late fee)
Two Members in One House (same mailing address):
$70 ($80 with the late fee)

If you are not comfortable renewing your dues online and would like to learn how to do so, Diana Tetzlaff has generously volunteered to help guide you through the processor the phone.  if you would like Diana to help you, please contact her at 617-816-1777. 


Some of our volunteers got together this summer to walk, not work!  Those of us who were able to get together had a great time.  Some of us had so much fun we participated in both walks! It was a fun way to get to know each other a little better.  

Irina Gelman, Tong Liu, Caroline Ly Germeys, Deborah Yardley Beers, Eleanor V. McLaughlin

Barbara Engel, Tong Liu, Jan Spillane, Irina Gelman
Volunteer opportunities abound within NEPTA! Perhaps you'd like to learn a new skill, or use a skill that you already have...let us know how you'd like to help and we will try to find a way to use you. 

Please contact Donna Gross Javel at  if you are interested in becoming a part of our wonderful community of volunteers.  
A template for submitting member news will be available shortly in a separate email to the NEPTA membership. The template will also be available on the website.  The goal is to s treamline the 
Member News, and especially to create a uniform presentation of the information for concerts and performances for all  the  submissions. More about this soon.  


I will be using this section of the newsletter to introduce you to some of our volunteers.  

* * * 
This month I'd like to introduce you to Caroline Ly Germeys, Board Mem ber and Website Coordinator. 
Born and raised in France, Caroline has an educational background in both Piano and Art history. She began her training with Armenian pianist Armine Varvarian who studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, and later with Nadia Wininger, a graduate from the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris-Alfred Cortot.
She moved to the USA in 2011 to work as a cultural manager before resuming her piano teaching career. In Boston, Caroline studied with Jeanie Lee (New England Conservatory, Continued Ed.), Angel Ramon Rivera (Piano Pedagogy, NEC), Gregg Pauley and Thomas Stumpf (two-pianos chamber music, Tufts University). 

Caroline holds a Piano Performance diploma from the Conservatoire de Noisy-le-Grand and received a Second Excellency Prize at the Musica Competition (Paris) in 2010. She has performed in various solo and chamber music recitals, and is especially interested in the repertoire for two pianos, as well as the music of French composers Debussy and Ravel.
It was composer and NEPTA member  Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee who encouraged Caroline to join and volunteer at NEPTA. Together with Sue Demb, she soon became involved as the organization's website coordinator. Caroline currently maintains a private studio in Arlington.
Aside from teaching the piano, Caroline is also a member of the Copley Cats, a Boston-based a cappella group, and recently co-founded French Music for Kids, a music and movement class in French for babies and toddlers.


Miriam Pizer Award
The Miriam Pizer Award, created in memory of Miriam Pizer, was established for students in Grades K-5 who are in need of assistance for lesson tuition or other essential expenses.  The winner will be selected during the October NEPTA meeting.  The teacher will be notified but the student's name will be kept private.
Amount of Award: $250 
Deadline: October 15, 2015
How to Apply:  Please send your name along with your student's name by email to Donna Gross Javel at Only submissions received by October 15th will be accepted.
Please note that this is the only reminder you will receive before the deadline so if you want to submit a student, please make note of the deadline.  

Eight awards in the amount of $125 are available to students in need.  To apply, a brief note from the teacher (email is acceptable) stating the family's need and reasons for financial assistance should be sent to Carol Chaffee, Scholarship Chair, at


NEPTA is extremely fortunate to have a very dedicated core of volunteers who devote a lot of time and energy to this wonderful organization.  In order to help facilitate the work that our volunteers are doing, we will be honoring all deadlines and rules very seriously.  This will enable our volunteers to work more effectively and efficiently to make it possible for all members to enjoy the benefits that NEPTA has to offer.  Thank you for your understanding.  


The Presidential Luncheon, which took place in June at the Carriage House Restaurant in Chestnut Hill, provided me with proof that it is possible to survive the role of Presidency!  I enjoyed the opportunity to connect with these wise and wonderful women: Irina Gelman (2013-2015), Lydia Reed (2009-2011), Barbara Jones (2005-2007), Shann Wood (2003-2005), Miriam Gargarian (2001-2003), Carol Chaffee (1991-1993) and Joan Collins (1981-1983).  It was a great opportunity to exchange ideas about NEPTA but mostly, I loved having the opportunity to share the time together.  I'm sorry that I was not able to find a date suitable for everyone who wanted to attend.  Many thanks to all the past presidents (including those of you who were unable to attend this time) for your support and words of encouragement! 

Many thanks to those of you who have reached out to me through emails and phone calls with words of encouragement, support and offers to help.  Wow!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!


NEPTA has an exciting speaker and event lineup for the fall! Please put these dates on your calendar.

October Meeting: Monday, October 26

Presenter: Phillip Kawin 

Topic: "Playing With the Piano: Essentials of Tone Production and Pianism"

Location: The First Parish, Watertown

November Teachers' Exchange: Monday, November 23

Presenter: Sarah Takagi

Topic: "Authentic Musicality And Understanding Through Improvisation"

Location: Wellesley Free Library


Master Class with NEPTA Members: Monday, December 14

A Scholarship Fund Benefit. Robert Finley, chair of the event, will provide us with names of NEPTA members who will perform and a list of the repertoire that will be performed. Look forward to reading more about this exciting upcoming event in the next newsletter.  

Our Music Sale is back by popular demand, once again organized by Ruth Ross, Music Library and Donation Chair. Please join us prior to all regular meetings in September, October, January, February, March and May. Please note that the music sale takes place at The First Parish starting at 9AM. Members are asked to bring their checkbooks and any music that they are willing to donate that morning.

The sale serves three purposes:
  • Teachers have access to music that, perhaps, has gone out of print
  • Standard teaching methods and collections can be acquired at a very reasonable price
  • All proceeds go directly to the NEPTA Scholarship Fund

Please direct any questions to Ruth Ross at

Remember that you can post your own up-to-the-minute concert listings and other items of interest on NEPTA's Facebook page. Visit 
to see the latest news from your NEPTA friends! 
YouTube videos of your performances are especially welcome.   Don't forget -- when you visit the Facebook page, click the 'Like' button!!
car-sales-lot2.jpg The Watertown Savings Bank has strongly requested that NEPTA members do not park in the bank parking lot for NEPTA events. Please be respectful of this neighboring business and leave the free parking for its clients.

Please be aware that Watertown has restricted parking on the side streets immediately surrounding the First Parish and thus eliminating any "free parking." The metered spots in the parking lot adjacent to the church can accept coins up to a maximum of 8 hours (blue meters only), thereby removing the need to go feed the meter during our meeting breaks, offering instead an opportunity to socialize with NEPTA friends and colleagues.