Piano Notes – Studio Newsletter December 2013


Rachel and Charys Hong performed for the California Association of Professional Music Teachers Solo and Ensemble Audition on November 16. They each performed two solos of contrasting style and a duet, all memorized. Charys participated in Category 5, and Rachel in Category 6. They both did a great job! Rachel scored the highest rating and has been invited to perform at the State Festival next year.

December Schedule

On Saturday, December 14, I will be playing in the Inland Valley Symphony orchestra Christmas concert. Here are the details:

DECEMBER 14, 2013 (Sat.) –
Two concerts: 2:00 & 7:00 pm, at Temecula Valley High School, Golden Bears Theater – 31555 Rancho Vista Rd., Temecula, CA 92592

A CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL (4th Annual) – Inland Valley Symphony, conducted by Maestro Anthony Parnther, and the Temecula Valley Master Chorale, directed by John Byun, join together to present a traditional Christmas concert full of heart-warming holiday music. Enjoy that magical time of year when young and old gather together to celebrate traditions and holiday festivities!

You can buy tickets here: http://inlandvalleysymphony.tix.com/Schedule.aspx?OrgNum=1683


Our Holiday Recital is scheduled for December 21 at the Grace Presbyterian Church. The recital will start at 1:30pm. 42 students will perform, and I will also accompany a guest performance by virtuoso flutist Kate Prestia-Schaub. All are welcome!

The studio will take a holiday break from December 22 – Jan 2. All lessons will resume on Friday Jan 3. If you are effected by this schedule, your December tuition will be prorated.


Upcoming Student Opportunities

Now is time to plan for activities for next semester. Here are some programs to consider:

National Piano Guild Auditions

Most of you should be familiar with this program. If not, read this, and click here to find out more. I recommend this program for everyone in the studio. The cost to participate in this program is $60. The date is not confirmed until we send our registrations, but is usually around end of May-early June for the Temecula Audition Center, and early July for the North San Diego center. You must email me by December 15 if you wish to participate in this.

Royal Conservatory Music Development Program

This is a newer, more vigorous program than the National Piano Guild. In 2013, two students participated at Level 7, Meijke Balay-Mickelson received Honors, and Catherine Howard received First Class Honors. I would like to encourage more students to enter for this event in 2014. Click here to read about the program. I recommend this program for students that are more experienced in auditions, and are willing to work very hard. Click here for fees. Dates have not been confirmed for Temecula, but will be between May 11-June 1. Due to the extensive preparations required for this event, students must have a minimum of 45 min weekly lessons. If you are interested, please talk to me at your next lesson or email me.

Southern California Junior Bach Festival

This is scheduled for April 12. Click here to read more. This is probably one of the most competitive student events in California. All students can participate in the Branch Festival, which is in recital format, but bare in mind that only a small percentage of all participants will be selected to move onto the Regional Festival, and even a smaller number will be selected to compete in the Final stage.

Student of the Month – Rachel Hong

Rachel (on the left) with her sisters at the Sonatina Festival
Rachel (on the left) with her sisters at the Sonatina Festival

Rachel is 9 years old and is the oldest of 5 children. She is in the 5th grade at Linfield Christian Elementary School in Temecula. Rachel has been playing piano for a little over 2 years, plays the violin in the school orchestra, can play percussion instruments and is learning the guitar as well. She has always shown an interest in music and is passionate about writing her own songs and directing her own plays/musicals. Outside of music Rachel likes to golf with her dad and accompany him on occasion to LA’s Skid Row to help the homeless.

Rachel came to our studio in September 2012. She has made tremendous progress. What has impressed me the most is that she is a consistent hard-worker. Since being at the studio, she has participated in numerous events, including the following:

MTAC Sonatina Festival 2012 and 2013 – received trophy in both years

CAPMT Student Evaluations Level 3

TVMTA Spring Music Festival – Gold Medal

National Piano Guild Auditions 2013 – Intermediate D level, National winner

CAPMT Solo and Ensemble Audition – selected to perform at State Festival

Rachel will be doing MTAC Certificate of Merit Level 5 in 2014. I enjoy teaching her and her two sisters!

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