September 2021

Dear friends and colleagues:

Fall has definitely arrived!

October is one of my favorite months; the cool change in the weather, apple picking season, the shortening of the days. There are ghosts and goblins in the air as well as children looking forward to Halloween.

What are your favorite Halloween-themed spooky musical pieces? I know that when Halloween comes around, I always get the request to play Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” on the organ. Other great spooky pieces are Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique,” Mussorgsky’s “A Night on Bald Mountain,” and the quirky “Funeral March of a Marionette” by Gounod which was used as the theme music for the old TV show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents. And of course, there are many scenes in opera where witches, sorcery and ghosts show up to haunt and enchant the living. “Il Trovatore,” “Un ballo in maschera,” and “Don Carlo,” all operas by Verdi come to mind. Finally, the Latin Requiem Mass for the dead, has been set numerous times by composers such as Verdi, Mozart, Faure, and Ligeti.

One subject that would make an interesting project for students to delve into would be the use of the Dies Irae chant from the Requiem Mass in Western music. How do certain composers use it as a musical motive? How does its association with death and doom figure in a particular piece? The aforementioned piece by Berlioz certainly uses it. Liszt’s piano work, “Totentanz,” and Rachmaninoff’s “The Isle of the Dead” are also studies of the Dies Irae melody. This melody is also found on numerous movie soundtracks.

I hope we can all take advantage of this spooky season to engage our students in this wonderful music! Remember, the Harvest Recital will take place at La Sierra University’s Hole Memorial Auditorium on Sunday afternoon, October 24th. The postmark deadline to enter students is October 15. The application fee is $10 per performance. Also our recital coordinator, Cindy Abts, has devised a Google Form to make the application process easier and more convenient.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Musically yours,
Abe Fabella

Certificate of Merit

Remember teachers that October is the month for enrolling students in the Certificate of Merit program. Be aware of the following deadlines: 

Any Time is a good time to add students to your roster. You must add students before they may enroll into the CM program. In order to add a student, you will need the student’s first and last name, their instrument, and their parent’s (or adult student’s) email address. An email will be sent to the student asking for their temporary ID number. You will be provided that temporary ID number to give to the student. September 15-October 25 is the time period for us as teachers to complete the Teacher Training Quiz. You must take and pass the quiz before you are unblocked from enrolling students. In your teacher portal, you will find the 2021-22 Teacher Training Video. This video provides the answers to your quiz.

October 1— CM Enrollment is open

October 31 — Deadline to submit Special Needs Accommodation Request Form online. No late requests accepted.

October 31 — CM Enrollment is closed. No late applications accepted.

October 1—November 5 — Parent Payment Period in the Online System. No late payments accepted after November 5.

October 1 — Entering Repertoire and Student CM Information is open

January 15 — Deadline for entering student repertoire (Panel and Non-Panel)

January 15 — Deadline to YAG Letter of Intent and repertoire

CM Evaluation Dates for Riverside County Branch

Media Submission Dates are February 26, 2022 – March 8, 2022

Please note that all of the dates and deadlines for CM are found as documents in your teacher portal. Please check back to for more information as it becomes available. I am always around if you need a question answered; I will do my best to answer them. (909) 800-9633

Best wishes,


Happy Birthday!

We want to wish the following teachers a VERY happy birthday. Enjoy your day to the fullest:

Tina Whitley (10/14)
Anita Olsen (10/16)
Susan McConnell (10/21)
Eva Martin-Hollaus (10/28)


Newsletter Deadline

For those who would like to make announcements in the newsletter, please send all of your info to Cindy Abts at by the 25th of the month. Thanks.

MTAC • Riverside County Branch
Cindy Abts, Newsletter Editor
1479 Colbern Dr.
Corona, CA 92881

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