June 15, 2021
President’s Message
I am sure that we all have fond memories of our music teachers. Their nurturing personalities are
surely one of the reasons we persevered with the sometimes challenging career goal of teaching
music. Many of us have been privileged to have had very high-level artists as our mentors. These sometimes larger-than-life individuals serve as our best examples. Many times, those with the most prestigious positions are listed prominently on our resumes. But lurking in the background is almost certainly the humble neighborhood teacher who was at once encouraging, nurturing, and perhaps even loving to us when we were just beginning our musical journey.

These days, when I am engaged as a Suzuki trainer, one of the projects I assign my teachers is to list the personal attributes of a great teacher – not only the musical and technical attributes but also the personal ones. Very quickly, the list becomes quite long. Being caring and encouraging,
being kind, and fostering a positive attitude in the student are a few of the usually universal qualities they invariably cite. Of course, we as teachers ourselves value musical knowledge and expertise, but the combination of those attributes with others that encourage and empower our students is both magical and necessary in order to develop in them a love for music and the continuous discipline it takes.
We all strive to be the best teachers that we can be. Helping us achieve that goal are the many outstanding programs and resources from our national, state, and local MTNA organizations. I urge you to take advantage of these valuable programs and become more involved in them and in
the VMTA.

As a first step, I recommend that you attend the general membership meeting this November. While there, consider volunteering to help with an event or to serve on the board.
Any board member can tell you the many different ways that you can help. Please contact them-

In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful summer filled once more with live music!
—Laurel Ann Maurer
VMTA Calendar

Quad State Conference
October 2, 2021

Fall Ensemble Festival
November 14
Richmond Library

VMTA Board Members
Laurel Maurer

Immediate Past President:
Marie Johnson


Samantha Angstman

Sarah Williams
Conference Chair:
Patty Bergeron (interim)

Non-Competitive Auditions:
Lilly C. Ramsey

Competitive Auditions:
Linda Buermeyer

Jina Smith

Patricia Cleary Bergeron

Web Publicist:
Sarah Williams &
Patty Bergeron

Composer Commissioning:
Michael Sitton

Fall Ensemble Festival

Do you remember the first Fall Ensemble Festival in 2019?  VMTA is again offering this performance opportunity for students. Pianists are often asked to accompany singers or instrumentalists. Collaboration between musicians is both fun and educational opening up a new dimension in music making. The next Fall Ensemble Festival is scheduled for November 14 (late afternoon) at the Richmond Library.  The Ensemble Festival is a great way to build skills for accompanying. 
Friends and family members of a student who studies with a VMTA member are invited to join in. Music to be performed should be chamber music, solo instrumentalists accompanied by students, piano duets, and piano trios are example of music to be performed at the FestivalMemorization for this concert is not required.  
Teachers may enter 15 minutes of music for the performance but can add more if time allows. A fee of $5 per student or $10 per family will be charged. The VMTA Board is excited to continue this new venture.
Students who participated in 2019 enjoyed the challenge of a different experience. If you have students interested in performing, please contact Marie Johnson at
879-8863 or mdjkiln@gmail.com.
The VMTA Spring Festival is always an event that brings us together and a worthwhile and inspiring day for students and teachers. Despite the pandemic, the VMTA was able to adapt and still hold its annual Spring Festival on March 27th. The Festival was held virtually on two platforms. A total of 54 students from the studios of six member teachers participated. Programs were submitted via video and shared during one-hour sessions. Students, their parents and judges logged in. Many thanks to teachers, judges and hosts: Sarah Williams, Linda Buermeyer, Claire Black, Jina Smith, Lynn Smith, Samantha Angus, Evan Allen, Marie Johnson and Carleen Graff and to their students for bravely participating. We all learned a great deal!
We look forward to an in-person event next year!
Join us on Facebook! Please check out the latest VMTA programs and news on the Vermont Music Teachers Association Facebook page!”
Do you patronize a music store? Piano tuner? Instrument maker? Are they a VMTA sponsor? (See ads in this newsletter). If not, could you mention our sponsor program to them and let a board member know about them? Sponsors receive publicity to the market they are trying to reach-teachers, students and their families. Their support of music education in Vermont will also help their business. 

Volunteers are needed to serve on the VMTA board! We currently need to fill the following positions:

President-Elect, Conference Chair, and Certification chair.

Come and join our wonderful group of board members and see how your organization works!

(Burlington Branch of the Vermont Music Teacher's Association)
What an “interesting” year it has been. It was disappointing to cancel the 2021 BBVMTA
Monster Concert. At that concert we were to have premiered the commissioned piece by
Wynn-Anne Rossi. After delays caused by the pandemic, I’m excited to announce the
piece is now in print. I hope you all will have a chance to take a look at it. Happy

BBVMTA luncheon
August 23, 11-1pm
(Marie Johnson's home)

BBVMTA Recital
November 14
Richmond Library
Membership Information

Did you know?
There is a "Find a Teacher" feature on the website to which teachers are welcome to have their name added if you have openings. Please email Sarah Williams if you wish to have your name listed there. sarah5432@gmail.com
Membership changes have been made to the website. Please double check to be sure your listing is to your liking. The VMTA website can be reached at
vermontmta.net . If you would like changes please email them to Patty Bergeron ( pcberg86@gmail.com ).
If you have not renewed your membership please do so now.
If you need help renewing or if you need the password for the members only section, please email Patty.
Member News
Paul Orgel...
Henry Wu performed Schumann’s “Kinderszenen” and Tan Dun’s “Eight Memories” in an online benefit concert for the Borgen Project. Ruth Brueckner was a scholarship winner in the Vermont All-State’s Solo Competition (Mendelssohn Fantasy, op. 28). 

Seven of my students recorded the twelve pieces (months) that make up Tchaikovsky’s “The Seasons.” Here is a link to their “recital” of the complete work:  

Jina Smith...
Last spring when recitals had to be reconfigured due to Covid, we got creative and had a backyard recital with a Disney theme! I have a Clavinova, so we moved it to the back deck, and invited the students and their parents to come equipped with a lawn chair and they socially distanced in my back yard. This was a much more relaxed atmosphere than the usual "formal" recitals, but the students loved it. They wanted to do it again this year, so we did. It's always good to change things up a bit, and this was a lot of fun and well-received.

Hiromi Fukuda...
I am pleased to share that my piano trio (Champlain Trio; with violinist Letitia Quante and cellist Emily Taubl) has completed a six-episode documentary series called “Empty Stages: Performances and Stories of Resilience,” which follows us as we visit six concert venues across the state of Vermont during the COVID pandemic, interviewing managers and staff of arts organizations, and performing in their empty halls. The film director, Jay Craven of Kingdom County Productions, and his team beautifully captured footage of winter Vermont landscapes, the closed venues, interviews, and our performances on stage, to weave together a cohesive and touching story of the arts and artists in Vermont during this challenging time when institutions were forced to close.
I would like to invite you to enjoy the series, which will air on Vermont PBS on three consecutive Thursdays this June. The premiere dates are: June 3rd at 8pm (Episode 1 Highland Center & Episode 2 Essex Experience), June 10th at 8pm (Episode 3 Elley-Long Music Center & Episode 4 The Flynn Theater), and June 17th at 8pm (Episode 5 St. Johnsbury South Church & Episode 6 Brattleboro Music Center). You can stream the episodes after premier dates from the Vermont PBS website. For details, please visit the following:
Claire Black...
In lieu of a recital, I had each student record two videos--a spoken introduction and a performance--and upload them to YouTube, unlisted for their privacy. After sharing the links, exactly what I hoped would happen happened. The students watched each other play, and many of them said to me, "I want to learn the piece ___ played!" We all know the value of performance experience for our students. What I appreciate in particular about recording is what the record itself can offer us. Connecting with ourselves as the artists we were, in whatever moment we captured, can be a powerful impetus for progress through time if we pay attention. Often, it is a way to remind us of what we do well. What a joy to celebrate and foster that.

Thank you all so much for your tremendous support throughout this past school year. Your referrals have helped me grow my studio to the extent that I could afford to secure housing in South Burlington. Though I probably won't be a full-time Vermonter until August, I couldn't be more excited to share that I will see students in person there starting in July. This will be momentous; I will meet 20 of my 25 students in person for the first time. You have all my gratitude.
Please Note:
There is a now a button on our website to donate! Spread the word to local businesses or individuals who may wish to support our organization.
copied with permission from wunderkeys.com

VMTA Website: vermontmta.net

Allan H. Day, R.P.T. Piano Service
8 Lincoln Road
Williston, VT 05495
(802) 879-4338

Geoghegan Company
Michael Geoghegan, owner
396 Howes Rd.
Moretown, VT 05660

Hilbert Pianos
40 Pleasant Street
Bristol, VT 05443
(802) 453-3743