March 2019
In This Issue
President's Greeting
Spring Events
Award Winners
Annual Luncheon
Volunteer Needs
NEPTA Facebook
Facilities Usage and Parking

Monday, March 25

Norman Krieger

"Leonard Bernstein's The Age of Anxiety and Beyond"


Monday, April 8

Irene S. Golan Teachers' Exchange


Monday, April 22

Students' Master Class
Gilles Vonsattel


Monday, May 20

Annual Meeting
Awards Recital
Member Luncheon



Dear Members,
Happy spring!
In January, we kicked off a long series of student concerts with the Junior I and II student recitals, followed by the Intermediate I and II, then Composition/Jazz and Pop/20th-21st Century recitals. This month, we had the Senior recitals. Congratulations to our wonderful student performers and many thanks to all of the teachers, parents, and recital chairs. See below for the winners of the Nancy Oliva Awards, Wanda Paik Awards, and Alice Procter Award. Congratulations to the winners and their teachers! In the spring, we look forward to the Ensemble Recital, Adult Recital, Middle School Competition, and High School Competition.
We also enjoyed many outstanding speakers at our speaker series events. In January, the members of the NEPTA Editions Committee shared an engaging and informative session on selections from piano repertoire. Miriam Gargarian introduced us to music by Canadian composers, Sivan Etedgee performed piano works by John Cage, and Sandra Rosenblum lectured on composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk. In February, guest speaker Jenny Tang spoke on "A Coincidence of Chaos and Order: Works of Ligeti, Barber and Schumann" and shared a performance. It was inspiring to hear her views.


This month we had the NEPTA Members' Recital at M. Steinert & Sons in South Boston. Our fellow members shared an evening of beautiful music. Thanks to performers Deborah Yardley Beers, Elena Drabkin, Nina Grimaldi, Donna Gross Javel, Uyen Sa Nguyen, Natacha Rist, Shizue Sano, Tatyana Shrago, and Ranko Konishi-Houston. Many thanks to Ellie Perrone and Irina Baghdasaryan for organizing the recital and reception, and as always, we are very grateful to M. Steinert & Sons for letting us hold our events in their beautiful venue.
Please plan to join us for our upcoming spring events! 

On Monday, March, 25th, Norman Krieger will speak on "Leonard Bernstein's The Age of Anxiety and Beyond." 

On Monday, April 8th, the Irene S. Golan Teachers' Exchange, held at the Wellesley Library, will provide an open discussion for teachers to share and learn from each other. This meeting will focus on the MTNA conference and the Royal Conservatory of Music with a discussion led Lydia Reed-Guertin, Betty Reed, and Nina Grimaldi. Betty and Nina are the 2018 Susan B. Demb Teacher Enrichment Grant recipients, and they will give a summary of the 2019 MTNA Conference, which they attended in March. Lydia will share her expertise as a Certified Adjudicator for the Royal Conservatory of Music and lead a discussion on their philosophy and curriculum. Please bring your thoughts, suggestions and questions around these topics. 

On April 22nd, we will have our Student Master Class with Gilles Vonsattel. Our final meeting for the season will be on Monday, May 20th. We will convene with a brief meeting, followed by the student awards recital and our annual luncheon. I hope you will join me in concluding this wonderful season as we celebrate by hearing our competition winners' performances, and reflect on how meaningful this organization is for our students and for us as piano teachers.
I also want to share a very exciting update - our dedicated member, Sue Demb, has been working to improve the NEPTA website.   You can expect an easier-to-navigate user-friendly website for next season. This will be a great step forward in our current, digital world. Many thanks to Sue! Please be assured that you won't experience any interruption using the website during the changes.
As of May, I will be finishing my term as President, and this will be my last newsletter to you. I thank you all for letting me serve as NEPTA President. It has been a great honor. I learned so much, and I have met so many dedicated people. Many of you have become friends and confidants that I will treasure forever.
Many thanks to the Board members, Caroline Ly Germeys, Natacha Rist, Janice Spillane, Irina Baghdasaryan, Tong Liu, Ellie Perrone, Christina Guibas, Valerie Ross, Jia Shi, Eric Bowman-Wozencraft, Robin Cho, Shizue Sano, and most of all to Diana Tetzlaff, Vice President. 

Also thank you to all the dedicated volunteers who helped me run this organization smoothly. This list is in alphabetical order - Janet Ainsworth, Diane Anderson, Elaine Rombola Aveni, Deborah Yardley Beers, Janna Bruene, Colleen Campbell, Carol Chaffee, Sivan Etedgee, Robert Finley, Niva Fried, Miriam Gargarian, Irina Gelman, Nina Grimaldi, Lydia Reed-Guertin, Natalia Harlap, Catherine Costello Hirata, Dianne Impallaria, Donna Gross Javel, Marianne Jensen, Barbara Jones, Karin Kydland, Elizabeth Landman, Fan Li, Selma Ramic, Cindy Null, Betty Reed, Kathryn Rosenbach, Tanya Schwartzman, Lyubov Shlain, and Janice Zaganjori.
Lastly, thank you to all the NEPTA members! Without you, this organization would not exist. Please remember to renew your 2019-2020 Annual Dues before May 31, 2019.
I hope to see many of you at this season's remaining meetings, especially, the Annual Meeting.
With gratitude and warm wishes,
Ranko Konishi-Houston

Mark your calendars and plan to join us for our Spring events.

Norman Krieger
"Leonard Bernstein's The Age of Anxiety and Beyond"
Monday, March 25  9:30 am - 12:00 pm
First Parish of Watertown

Irene S. Golan Teachers' Exchange
Open discussion with our fellow members 
Monday, April 8, 2019  9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Wellesley Library

Students' Master Class with Gilles Vonsattel
Monday, April 22, 9:30 am - 12:00 pm
First Parish of Watertown
Click here for Mr. Vonsattel's bio

Annual Meeting, Awards Recital and Luncheon
Monday, May 20, 2019  9:30 am - 12:00 pm
First Parish of Watertown
Luncheon at Not your average Joe's (see article below for details)

Nancy Oliva Award
Awarded to students who performed in the NEPTA Intermediate I Recitals on January 13, 2019:

Maxwell Huang, student of Faina Kofman
Nathaniel Su, student of Valerie Henkin
Edward Zhang, student of Valerie Henkin
Michael Yang (Honorable Mention), student of Dr. Nilly Epstein Shilo
Daniel Zhou (Honorable Mention), student of Natalia Harlap

Thanks to Diana Tetzlaff and Nina Grimaldi, scholarship committee.

Wanda Paik Award
Awarded to students who performed in the NEPTA Intermediate II Recitals on January 27, 2019:

Hannah Li, a student of Lina Yen
Eric Zhang, a student of Helena Vesterman
Maiana Joyce, a student of Elena Drabkin
Howard Zu, a student of Hsiaoching Hsu

Thanks to Janice Zaganjori and Dianne Impallaria, scholarship committee.

Alice Procter Award
Carly Heslop, student of Diana Tetzlaff
for her composition "Sunset on lo"

Congratulations to all of the winners and their teachers!

Join us for the annual members' luncheon on Monday, May 20th, immediately following our meeting and awards recital. 

The luncheon will be held at Not Your Average Joe's, located at 55 Main St in Watertown, adjacent to the church. We will walk over together after the meeting.   Click here to view the luncheon menu.

Fee: $30

To register:  print out the luncheon registration at
Mail registration form and check, postmarked by May 6, to treasurer Janice Spillane.
18 Mill Street, North Reading, MA 01864
Please make check payable to NEPTA
Paper registration only; no online registration available.

There are still 6 remaining Grants-in-Aid available.  Please contact Carol Chafee, Scholarship Chair.

To avoid the late fee and to be included in the 2019-2020 Member Directory, renew your membership by May 31, 2019.  
Final deadline for eligibility in next year's recitals and competitions is September 30, 2019.

$70 active and associate members
$40 seniors over 65 and student members
$100 two members in one household (same mailing address)

$20 late fee incurred after May 31, 2019

Dues can be paid online at

The next edition of Member News will go out in May and cover events in May through August.  Please submit information to Ellie Perrone by April 15th.  Refer to the Member News Guideline on the website for proper format.

We are always looking for new volunteers.  Volunteering is a wonderful way to get more connected with our organization and fellow teachers.  If you are interested in getting more involved with NEPTA, please contact Ranko Konishi-Houston at

We are especially in need of a tech-savvy volunteer.  The technology is advancing every year, and NEPTA needs someone with good computer skills.
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. 

Members can check "Lost and Found" storage bench that is located right by the church office.  The storage bench is on the left when you enter the church entrance. 

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.