1953-54 Helen Tilles

1954-56 Lillian McBarron

1956-57 Margaret Thompson

1957-58 Benjamin Jones

1958-60 Beatrice Roberts

1960-61 Richard W. Rightmire

1961-63 Yvonne Savercool

1963-65 Lillian Lancaster

1965-67 Beverly Eckdahl

1967-69 Patricia McKinley

1969-71 Ardis Pine

1971-73 Esther Pefley

1973-77 Muriel Bibeau

1977-79 Verna Randall

1979-83 Marguerite Blanchard

1983-86 Nancy Seed

1987-88 Muriel Bibeau & Carol Abbanat Co-Presidents

1988-89 Muriel Bibeau

1989-90 Elaine Urch

1990-91 Muriel Bibeau

1991-93 Betty Livesay

1993-95 Mollie Wakeman

1995-97 Catherine O’Connor

1997-99 Mina Fernando

1999-2001 Sister Andre Marie Fujier

2001–2003 Regina Mastrantonio

2003-2007 Jeanne Fisher

2007-2010 Susie Kim

2010-2013 Loan Nguyen

2013-2014 Amy Watt

2014-2018 Millie Chiem

2018-2021 Kristen Normann
2021 Jesse Micek

Our branch was founded in March 1, 1953


Chartered in March 1, 1959



Southern Alameda County Branch
Music Teachers’ Association of California
Given at the May Meeting – 1993
By Beverly Ekdahl

• Gertrude Norton of the Alameda County Branch (originally from San Francisco branch) saw the need and organized the Southern Alameda County Branch.
• Our Branch was so successful she was asked by the State to organize other branches throughout California.
• Besides qualifications, all that was needed was 5 or more teachers.
• Our first elected president was Helen Tilles, September 1953.
14 original Active Teacher Members
7 Associate Teachers
Because we often operated in the red, fund-raisers were necessary; everyone cooperated and donated much time. (When things eased up a bit and interest rates rose, we were able to put some money in a savings account which has really paid off.)
In the beginning, the President wrote, printed and mailed the newsletters to the members.


• Our current Certificate of Merit Chairman along with Roberta Hunter.
• Margaret was an original charter member in 1953 and served as President of the Branch from 1956-1957.

1. Our first project was to become associated with The Young Peoples Concert Association to encourage music students to attend programs given by the San Francisco Symphony.
2. On March 24, 1957 a Silver Tea honored our then State President Helen Adele Daun.
Proceeds from the tea were given to the State Benevolent Fund. Entertainments was provided by Mary Bolles, soloist and Margaret Thompson, accompanist. Also Raymond Foote from the Northern Santa Clara Branch on piano.


• Another charter member
• Served as President from 1958-1960

1. Music Listening and Art Expression featured art, written composition, poems and music composition. Seven districts in the Hayward school district participated. Children were registered in 3 age categories: Elementary (through 5th grade), Intermediate (6th through 8th grade) and Advanced (9th through 12th grade). Winners’ works were displayed in merchant windows throughout the area during Public School Week. This program had the full support of the community.
2. In November 1967, the Mini-Convention was hosted by the Southern Alameda County Branch at Chabot College. It was attended by Alameda, Contra Costa, Golden Gate and San Francisco Branches. The featured artist was Julian White, pianist. Several workshops were held, including “The Teenage Student” by Bea Roberts


• Joined branch in 1964
• Served as Recording Secretary for State 1969-70 (cannot hold a State and Branch office at the same time).
• Served as President 1971-1973.

At State level, we are known as an active branch, very cooperative and committed to serving and “bettering the teaching profession”

1. A Piano Festival was held in November 1970 at Chabot College. There were 12 pianos, 25 studios represented, 210 students performing and audience of over 1600 people. We had 4 large group rehearsals. Conductors assisting were Wallace Pefley, Milton Vowerman and Harold Whelan. Final guest conductor was Fern Davidson from Idaho.


• Joined branch in 1969
• Served as President 1973-77
• Accepted Presidency willingly again 1986-88 when Alameda East separated and took many officers
• When Elaine Urch moved away, Muriel took her remaining 1 year in 1990, a total of 7 years as President
• Muriel serves 6 years in elected offices at state level: State Treasurer, State Secretary , and Director
• In charge of Teachers’ activities
• Volunteer: Did the advertising compilation for the Music Teachers Quarterly
• Served on Scrapbooks and Programs
• Community Service
• Convention Programming
We owe much to Muriel. She IS the reason why we are known as a cooperative branch.
1. CAL State Scholarship started in 1979. It was renamed the Patricia A. Smith Music Scholarship 9n 1981. Yearly, $200 went to 2 music majors. Young Artist Guild recipient David Ross performed for a donation to start this fund.
2. The Piano and Its Music featured discussions on and performances of music from the different periods. Louis Coburn, costumed in period clothes, performed Baroque music on the harpsichord. Ellen Wasserman represented the Classical period with music of Beethoven. Trula Whelan discussed Liszt and performed the music of Brahms. There was also the Impressionistic music of Debussy and Contemporary music of Bartok and Joplin.

• Joined in 1959
• Served as President from 1965-67 during which she established the Branch Library to contain books, tapes, records and slides
• State CAL Plan Chairman 1971-73
• Tests and performances were given at the Convention for Cal Plan
• Claire James, Assistance Director at the Conservatory of Music, San Francisco, established for us an official Piano pedagogy Class. Until now there were only Performance major.
This was a 3-year program encompassing:
1A on Teaching-theory and musicianship (cross indexed)
1B Materials – also cross indexed
2A Music and Musicianship (definition: the Essence of Music-to develop the process of Listening
2B Performance – by periods
How to Practice
What Make Good Editing
3A-B- More advanced material
Special problems
Ear training
Sight singing
Master class with young children


• In 2003, our members number about 88
• Not all general meetings are fully attended; however we number 15-20 at any one time. Our first meeting of the year in September is very well attended as is our Spring Luncheon.
• We stand in good financial status. We are able to benefit our teachers and students by offering Master classes, Professional Recitals and Lectures “Admission Free”.
• We had 943 students registered for Certificate of Merit and this included 60 advanced level students.
• We will continue to hold our Performance Evaluations in private studios; and Theory, Ear Training in local and private colleges.
• Because of our size and continued growth, our Branch is now divided into North and South regions.


Jeanne Fisher
President – 2003 to 2007

Special events
• Composers Today workshop with Glen Stark
• Synchronicity Piano and percussion concert at Cal State – Garah and Greg Landes
• 50th Anniversary Celebration Luncheon At Papillon Restaurant 50 teachers attended
• Roy Bogas Discussion on Chopin Ballades
• Harpsichord and Baroque Dance with Phebe Craig
• Hans Boepple Master Class
• California Gold Bassoon Quartet
• Terrence Rust – Technique workshop
• Duo Piano Concert Dr. Yumi Mayama- Livesay and Dr. Steven Cook
• Passionate Practice with Margaret Elson
• Roy Bogas – Preparing students for competitions, auditions and College entrance
• Mozart Festival auditions
• Coaching the Artist within – Eric Maisel
• Mozart Festival (See details about the Mozart Festival reported by Jeanne Fisher)
• Basic Conducting with Lauren Jones
• Monster Concert (see details about the First Monster Concert reported by Jeanne Fisher)

The Mozart Festival and the first Monster Concert
The Mozart Festival in Jan 29, 2006

Mozart’s 250th Birthday Festival was held on January 29, 2006, the weekend of the Grand Gala Opening of the Center for the Arts in Castro Valley. This event was held by our Southern Alameda County branch as a fundraiser to benefit the Castro Valley Center for the Arts. Jeanne Fisher, President and co-event planner explained, “Our branch hoped to raise enough funds to purchase a grand piano for placement on their stage.”

Our concert featured our best students in piano solos, instrumental ensembles, three piano concertos and one bassoon concerto. Each concerto was accompanied by the Castro Valley Adult School Chamber Orchestra. Early on, the concert was sold out and a waiting list followed. Two grand pianos were loaned by Pianos Plus of Castro Valley. Generous donations in denominations of $1000, $250 and $100 were made in advance of the concert by Castro Valley businesses and student families. With these gifts, combined with ticket sales and a very generous gift from Pianos Plus, a beautiful C-7 Yamaha Grand piano was able to be purchased!

Immediately following the concert, a reception for our 550 guests was held in the Exhibition Hall. This had been transformed into an 18th century drawing room – called the “Amadeus Café”, under the direction of Alice Benjamin, co-event planner. A special cake (more grand than a wedding cake) was donated by Custom Cakes by Dorothy of Castro Valley to serve to all of the guests.

Since that time, our Southern Alameda County branch has utilized the Center for the Arts to hold the student recitals, branch honors recitals, special guest events, scholarship luncheons, and general meetings in their beautiful facility. Additionally, we continued to partner with the Castro Valley Arts Foundation to benefit The Center for the Arts.

The first Monster Concert in Feb 3, 2007: a branch collaboration

Castro Valley Arts Foundation invited our branch to return the following year. During a board meeting, our teachers decided to perform a Monster Concert. Twenty-seven teachers prepared over 200 students to perform on stage. The concert featured violin, flute and bassoon ensembles. Again, Pianos Plus loaned pianos. This time, 10 new grand pianos were uncrated, placed on the stage and tuned for performance. Meanwhile, in preparation, our teachers studied conducting together in preparation for conducting the pieces. The students were in costume and performed beautifully. Some pieces had as many as 30 students performing together. Again, this event had an overflowing crowd. This time the funds went to purchasing a new conducting podium for The Center for the Arts. The concert closed with 2 of our teachers performing Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody no.2. This concert was so well received, that the Monster Concert has been brought back in subsequent years!

Susie Kim
President – 2007 to 2010

Special events:
• Round Table Discussion: Studio Management and Policies
• Lectures/Performances:
• Betty Woo on “Contemporary Piano Repertoire”
• Hans Boepple on “Thoughts on teaching and playing Bach’s music”
• William Wellborn on “ Music of Chopin “
• Yoga session for Music Teachers
• Field Trip to Beethoven Center in San Jose
• Monster Concert
• Clavinova Workshop at Pianos’ Plus
• Young Artist Guild concert

Loan Nguyen
President – 2010 to 2013

Special events:
• Pedagogy: Lecture by Dr. Martha Baker-Jordan
• Lectures/Performances:
• Gwen Mok on “The piano music of Debussy and Ravel”
• Robert Schwartz on “Pedaling”
• William Wellborn on “The piano Music of Liszt”
• Master Classes with:
• Stephen Prutsman
• Robert Schwartz
• Round Table Discussion: on “How to motivate high school students, awards, recitals, and activities…”
• Monster Concert
• Young Artist Guild concerts
• 60th Anniversary Celebration and Scholarship Luncheon At Castro Center for the Arts


Amy Watt
President – 2013 to 2014

Special events:
• Lecture on Spanish and Latin American Music by Dr.Betty Woo

Millie Chiem
President – 2014 to 2018

Special events:
• Lecture by Diane Hidy on “Coaching Tips for students in CM level 3 to 7″
• Lecture by Ron McKean on Baroque music/performance in Harpsichord
• Workshop: Baroque Petting Zoo – 29 students performed on Harpsichord
• Musical Potluck Party• Teachers social gathering sharing music and food
• Memorial Party for former President Mina Fernando who passed away Oct. 3, 2015
• YAG Concert presented by Misha Galant

New programs:
Music Service Student League (MSSL):
• Formed a MSSL for our branch. The students are able to give service to the community as well as earn community service hours for their school. In charged by Olya Katsman.

Music Community Service Award:
• This award was set up to give to high school students for outstanding service to community for musical contributions. In 2015, we awarded 4 students in $150 per student. The money came from the memorial fund of our beloved former president Regina Mastrantonio who passed away in 2014.

YAG Scholarship:
• To award award students who achieve YAG in junior or senior year. $1,200 scholarship will be awarded in spring of senior year.

Established new website for our branch:  mtacsacb.org

Kristen Normann

President – 2018 to 2021

Musical Weekend with Peter Mack: October 6-7, 2018 and Jan. 11-12, 2020
Lectures: Lower the Rear End of the Elephant Slowly onto the Keys and Marvelous Moderns
and their Needlessly Neglected Mid-Level Masterpieces

MasterClases with Peter Mack for students level 6 and up

Pedagogy and Play Socials – an informal gathering where teachers (both new and experienced)
get a chance to chat about pedagogy, meet other teachers, and make music together. There is
no obligation to play.

Young Artist Guild Concert
Cameron Akioka Dec. 16, 2018
Derek Lim Oct. 19, 2019
Karina Tseng May 30, 2020

Practicing and Preparation for Performance – lecture by Margret Elson, piano teacher and
psychotherapist, author of “The Couch and the Piano: Music and Psyche”

Q & A with Jon Nakamatsu Dec. 14, 2019

Lecture by Mariam Safina, motivational speaker and head of the School of Practical Philosophy
in California, founded in 2004.

Christmas Luncheon at Papillon Restaurant 2018 and at Toro Restaurant 2019

Spring Scholarship Luncheon 2019 at Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose (new location)

Scholarship Recital presented on Zoom, May 30, 2020 and May 8, 2021

Student Recitals – Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose and new north region location
Redwood Chapel, Castro Valley. In June 2020 , Zoom account set up for branch to use for
students to perform live in their homes for virtual recitals

Come and Chat zoom meetings 2020-2021 for teachers to talk and collaborate on topics such
as virtual teaching techniques, piano technique problems and solutions and short exam pieces.

New Music for Motivation and Success Presentation with Gail Lew Oct. 9, 2020

Young Artist Guild Concert, February 21, 2021
Cameron Akioka and Karina Tseng, previous scholarship recipients performed works by Bach,
Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin and Ginastera

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