December 2017
In This Issue
President's Greetings
Spring Speaker Series
Music Sale
20th/21st Century Changes
Reminders and Deadlines
Student Recitals and Awards
NEPTA Competitions
Online Registration Help
Volunteer with NEPTA
NEPTA Mentoring Program
Newsletter Schedule
Member News
NEPTA Facebook
Facilities Usage and Parking

Monday, January 22
Meeting 9:30AM


"Examining Chopin's Notational Indications"

NEPTA Music Sale


Monday, February 26
Meeting 9:30AM


"152 Strategies for Effective and Efficient Teaching" and "Lost Gems of the Piano Repertoire"

The First Parish Watertown

NEPTA Music Sale


Monday, March 26
Meeting 9:30AM

"Again and Again: Minimalism and Postminimalist Piano Music"

NEPTA Music Sale


Dear NEPTA Members,

It has been wonderful seeing many of you at our monthly meetings.    My hope is that this newsletter will keep you informed about NEPTA events.

We have had a musically rich fall with our featured meetings each month.     In September, Catherine Kautsky inspired us with a presentation about Debussy, and you can find the Meeting Minutes on our website: .     At our October Speaker Series, Gabriel Chodos presented "Some Thoughts on Schubert's Piano Music" with insightful comments and selected performances of Lรคndler music, waltzes, dances and the late Sonatas.     The minutes for this meeting will be uploaded soon.

In November, we hosted the NEPTA Fall Teachers' Exchange.    Honorary member, Jean Stackhouse shared her fascinating musical journey and gave us a quick refresher course in piano pedagogy.    Members also had the opportunity to ask questions and receive valuable feedback from Jean.    This month, we held the Teachers' Master Class with former NEPTA member, Phyllis Lehrer.   Our colleagues Natacha Rist, Wanda Paik, and Robert Finley all played beautifully and received thoughtful musical ideas and suggestions from Ms. Lehrer.  

We now look forward to the NEPTA Student Recitals, which will begin on the first weekend in January.     All of the information regarding recitals are in the Program booklet and on our website (www.nepta.infoand you will receive reminders for deadlines to sign up your students.     Please note a small change in the 20th /21st  century recital requirement, which is stated in this newsletter below.   I look forward to hearing many of your talented students perform and am  proud of the teachers who work so hard to encourage and prepare their students for these performances.

It is hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us and that 2017 is ending soon.  During this time of giving, if you or someone you know would like to make a donation to NEPTA you can do so online at the NEPTA website or by sending a check.  I thank you in advance for your generous support. 

would like to take this moment to thank all of the devoted volunteers who have patiently worked with me this year and to show my appreciation for their dedicated work to our organization.  Lastly, a heartfelt thank you to all of the NEPTA members.  I wish you peace, love, and joy this holiday season and throughout 2018! 

Ranko Konishi-Houston
President, NEPTA
Mark your calendars and plan to join us for our Spring Speaker Series events:

" Ex amining Chopin's Notational Indications "
  Lecture by Seymour Bernstein
Monday, January 22, 2018, 9:30am-12:00pm
Click here for Mr. Bernstein's biography

"152 Strategies for Effective and Efficient Teaching" and "Lost Gems of the Piano Repertoire"
Lecture by Julie Knerr
Monday, February 26, 2018, 9:30am-12:00pm
Click here for Ms. Knerr's biography

"Again and Again: Minimalism and Postminimalist Piano Music"
Lecture by Bruce Brubaker
Monday, March 26, 2018, 9:30am-12:00pm
Click here for Mr. Brubaker's biography

All Speaker Series events take place at the First Parish of Watertown, 35 Church St, Watertown, MA 02472

For more detailed information, check the 2017-2018 program booklet or the NEPTA website

The NEPTA music sale will take place at all Speaker Series Events from 9:00-9:30 am and during the intermission.

Take this opportunity to acquire music at a very reasonable price.  You may even find some rare music that you've been looking for.  

If you have inquiries regarding the music sale, contact Ruth Ross:


Grade in School:  K-12
Level of playing:  intermediate or advanced level
Time limit:   up to 10 minutes (no exceptions) - This does not limit to one piece.
Memorization required

Three awards in the amount of $125 are still available to students in need.  To apply, teachers can send a brief note stating the family's need and reasons for financial assistance to Carol Chaffee, Scholarship Chair:

Susan B. Demb Teacher Enrichment Grants
Established in honor of retired member Sue Demb, this program is designed to foster teaching excellence.  Two NEPTA members are awarded up to $500 to further their professional development by enrolling in a continuing education course, workshop, seminar, or conference in piano pedagogy.  Please see the program booklet, page 23 for application instructions and qualifications.  Applications are due by May 1, 2018.


NEPTA student recitals give students and teachers the opportunity to experience the organization's high performance standards.

Detailed information is available in the NEPTA Program Booklet and on our website:  Please direct all questions to the appropriate Recital Chair.

All recitals other than the Adult Recital are held at the First Parish.

Junior I (grades K-4)  
Date:  Sunday, January 7, 2018
Deadline:  Thursday, December 7, 2017
Recital Chair:  Marianne Jensen

Junior II (grades 4-6)
Date:  Sunday, January 7, 2018
Deadline:  Thursday, December 7, 2017
Recital Chair:  Tong Liu

Intermediate I (grades 6-8)
Date:  Sunday, January 21, 2018
Deadline:  Thursday, December 21, 2017
Recital Chair:  Karin Kydland

Intermediate II (grades 7-12)
Date:  Sunday, January 28, 2018
Deadline:  Thursday, December 28, 2017
Recital Chair:  Lyubov Shlain

20th/21st Century (grades K-12)
Date:  Sunday, February 11, 2018
Deadline:  Thursday, January 11, 2018
Recital Chair:  Christina Guibas

Composition (grades K-12)
Date:  Sunday, February 11, 2018
Deadline:  Thursday, January 11, 2018
Recital Chair:  Diane Anderson

Jazz & Pop (grades K-12)
Date:  Sunday, February 11, 2018
Deadline:  Thursday, January 11, 2018
Recital Chair:  Diane Anderson

Senior (grades 9-12)
Date:  Sunday, March 4, 2018
Deadline:  Sunday, February 4, 2018
Recital Chair:  Niva Fried

Ensemble (grades K-12)
Date:  Sunday, April 8, 2018
Deadline:  Thursday, March 8, 2018
Recital Chair:  Nina Grimaldi

Adult (18 years or older)
Date:  Sunday, April 15, 2018
Deadline:  Thursday, March 15, 2018
Recital Chair:  Irina Baghdasaryan

Recital Awards
Alice Procter Award :  Given to an outstanding original composition in the classical style and performed on the composition recital

Louise Hodder Olsen Award :  Given to a student who performs his/her original jazz/pop-style composition in either the Composition Recital or the Jazz/Pop Recital and shows most creativity in the style of jazz or pop music.

Nancy Oliva Awards :  Given to a 7th grade student performer at the Intermediate I recital for artistic achievement. Students must study with an independent teacher to qualify.

Wanda Paik Awards :  
Given to an 8th grade student performer at the Intermediate II recital for artistic achievement. Students must study with an independent teacher to qualify.

Detailed information can be found in the program booklet, page 22.
If you would like your students to be considered, please remember to check the appropriate Award in the application.

Reminder to Students and Parents
Please communicate to your students and parents the following:

On the day of the recital, please
  • Be on time.
  • No parking in the church parking lot or the Watertown Savings Bank lot:  The public parking lot is adjacent to the church, and parking is free on Sunday.
  • No food or drink, only water is allowed in the recital hall (Sanctuary).
  • If you misplace your belongings, do not contact the church office.  The church is not responsible.

All competitions are held at M. Steinert & Sons, South Boston
Details and applications can be found online at

Mildred Freiberg (grades 6-8)
Date:  Saturday, April 7, 2018
Deadline:  Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Chair:  Michal Harris
Details in the program booklet, page 19

Ruth Davidson (grades 9 & 10)
Date:  Saturday, April 14, 2018
Deadline:  Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Chair:  Jia Shi
Details in the program booklet, page 20

Alice Hamlet (grades 11 & 12)
Date:  Saturday, April 14, 2018
Deadline:  Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Chair:  Jia Shi
Details in the program booklet, page 21

Diana Tetzlaff and Barbara Lieurance are available to help members with the online registration process. You can contact them via email or phone.

Diana Tetzlaff: (617) 816-1777
Barbara Lieurance: (617) 437-7718

If you are interested in getting more involved with NEPTA, please contact Ranko Konishi-Houston at

We are especially interested in filling two current volunteer openings: 
  • Tech-savy volunteer to help maintain and update the NEPTA website with Caroline Ly Germeys.
  • Volunteer to take over Music Sale position.  Our current volunteer Ruth Ross is stepping down after 9 years.  This position could be shared between multiple people.

NEPTA's mentor program offers a free opportunity for members to learn from experienced NEPTA teachers.

Our current roster of mentors includes Janna Bruene, Betty Reed, A. Ramon Rivera, and Linda Vieira.

If you are interested, please contact program chair Betty Reed:

The NEPTA newsletter provides members with up-to-date information about NEPTA programs, rules, and upcoming events. Watch for the next newsletter in March 2018. Please note that member news is no longer included in the newsletter.  

Members News is for sharing member's updates that directly relate to the members only.  The next members news email will go out in March 2018.

For submission, go to the NEPTA the homepage, hover your cursor over the "MEMBERS' tab, then click "Member News Guidelines" or click here to go directly to the instructions.

Note the new deadlines for submission and make sure to submit in time for inclusion in the next member news
Post your news including pictures, videos and recordings.  Members can share and post general information such as concert listings, upcoming competitions, job opportunities, piano sales, and the latest news on our Facebook page.

NEPTA's Facebook page:, or go to NETPA's website and follow the Facebook link. 


Most meetings and Student Recitals are held at First Parish of Watertown. Please help us maintain a good working relationship with the church by observing the following:
  • Double check your belongings before you leave. The church is not responsible for lost items.
  • Please do not contact the church office if you have misplaced any belongings.
  • No food or drink, aside from water, is allowed in the Sanctuary.

Please note that the same rules apply to the Student Recitals. 

Parking Reminders:
Please do not park in The Watertown Savings Bank parking lot or the church parking lot for NEPTA events.

There is a metered parking lot adjacent to the church.  Blue colored meters accept coins up to a maximum of 8 hours.