Welcome to the month of Spring! Our busy season is in full swing, and I’m sure we are all very busy preparing students for various events. The month of February hosted the Inland Empire Piano Festival, the Rotary Competition and our branch Bach Festival. Congratulations to all the winners and participating students of these events.

The month of March will feature the following events:

March 3 – Steinway Junior Competition (at La Sierra University)

March 10 – Steinway Senior Competition (at La Sierra University)

March 24 – Certificate of Merit (at La Sierra University)

Convention registration opens on March 1st, so be sure to register to get the early bird pricing. As a reminder, convention this year will be June 28 to July 2 at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara.

Our biggest event of the year, Certificate of Merit, is just around the corner now. The help of all participating teachers is needed as well as volunteers. Together we can get through this busy day. Please note that there is a major need for more volunteers. Read more about that in the newsletter.

Best wishes to all of you as you work with your students, and Happy Teaching!

Linette Rodriguez


After last month’s newsletter, only one name of a volunteer was turned in. At this point, we need ALL teachers to talk with high school students that may need community service hours and turn in names. Please contact Linette Rodriguez ( with the names of responsible students that are willing to volunteer on CM day. Here are some important things to remember regarding volunteers:

* No students younger than Junior High will be allowed to serve as volunteers.

* All full-day volunteers will be provided with lunch. If a volunteer is also taking the CM evaluation, please let Linette Rodriguez know so the work can be planned around that time.

* Please provide the name, email and cell number of the volunteer, as well as the parent or guardian contact information if they are under age 18.

Thank you all for your help in getting the volunteers needed for this year.

Linette Rodriguez

CM Volunteers Coordinator


CM Schedule: Schedules for CM have been published in the database as of February 25th. Teachers and parents can now view the schedule. Please remind parents to print out the Check-in Voucher to take to the evaluation and present at the registration desk. On this voucher are many different instructions and information. Please encourage parents to do this for themselves, but if there is someone that is technologically challenged, teachers can print these for their students. Teachers will also be able to print out a master schedule with all their students listed on this schedule and their CM evaluation time, room number, evaluation length, etc. To access these reports, log into, click on Certificate of Merit on the home page, then scroll down to the 5th ribbon titled Student Schedule. Right under the title of Student Schedule, you will see a grey box that says Reports. Click on the down arrow, and you will have several options to choose from. The first one is your master schedule.

CM Job Assignments: The job assignments are currently being organized. You can expect an email or phone call in the next 2 weeks or so.

Volunteers Still Needed: We need more volunteers. Remember that volunteers can get community service hours for this, so please ask around to see if any past students (or parents) can help. We would like at least half days of work to facilitate the schedule. Please send any names and contact information to Linette Rodriguez, (, our volunteer coordinator.

Lunch on CM Day: Sara Rosenthal and Jessica Higdon have volunteered again to organize our lunch for the day. Thank you to both of them for their help in making this happen. This year we will not need to ask teachers for a donation.

Status Changes: Be sure to inform Kate Rubke-Foxworth if you have any drops. Now that the schedule is published, no changes can be made in the database, but it is helpful for us to know if someone will not be showing up.

Branch Honors: Remember that our Branch Honors program will be a month after our CM evaluations (April 28th). If you have students going to Branch Honors, you will need to fill out an application. The Branch Honors application will be sent out via email right before the CM evaluation date.

Teachers with Graduating Seniors: Just a friendly reminder that all prospective graduating seniors that are planning on completing the requirements for their senior medallion and award need to have a short bio prepared for the Branch Honors recital program. An email will be sent soon to all the teachers with graduating seniors with samples of bios. If you have any questions, please inform Abraham Fabella. Congratulations and best wishes to all seniors!

On March 24, please arrive to Hole Memorial Auditorium (HMA), La Sierra University, by 7:45 am unless otherwise instructed in your job assignment. Report to the Conference Room to pick up your nametag and instructions for the day. There will be maps of HMA available at the registration tableImportant: please do not leave your post during the day to meet up with your students or to listen to their playing outside the evaluator’s door. This is a recurring problem and disrupts the flow of the day.

Replacements for CM Day: If, for some extenuating circumstance, a teacher cannot be present on CM day, he/she must provide a replacement and inform Abraham Fabella immediately. Please do not wait until a week or two before CM to make this known as it affects the whole workflow. The replacement must be someone that is not scheduled to take the CM evaluation. Students enrolled in CM cannot replace a teacher because then another replacement must be found to take over those duties while the student is taking the evaluation.


Important Dates:

March 24 – Certificate of Merit evaluations, Riverside Branch, at LSU

April 1 – Deadline to complete ALL theory makeups (except Panel, which is March 1st). This applies to Makeup Evaluations (MUP’s). Special arrangements need to be made with Abraham Fabella.

April 2 – Date that CM materials can be given to teachers

April 2 – Postmark deadline for senior bios and Branch Honors applications

April 15 – Deadline for Convention Applications online (remember there is a $30 fee for all convention students)

April 15 – Deadline for teachers to apply for a Makeup Evaluation (MUP). 

Remember that the theory must be completed by April 1st.

April 28 – Branch Honors recitals

Here’s to a great CM Day on the 24th!

Abraham Fabella

CM Coordinating Chair

Other Announcements


Congratulations to the winning students and their teachers:

Winners (to advance to the Regionals)

Erik Chen (H. Che)
Jeffery Chen (T. Maslova)
Angela Fan (A. Olsen)
Alana Grable (A. Batista)
Kathleen Gurning (E. Rodriguez)
Matthew Gurning (E. Rodriguez)
Austin Harrison (A. Olsen)
Audrey Lee (T. Flanders)
Jonathan Lee (E. Martin-Hollaus)
Amanda Liu (H. Che)
Christina Liu (E. Rodriguez)
Caitlin Pan (H. Che)
Isabelle Ragsac (E. Rodriguez)
Lydia Xu (E. Rodriguez)
Carey Yoon (E. Rodriguez)
Zoe Zhang (H. Che)

Honorable Mentions

Jessica Chen (T. Maslova)
Charlotte Haga (L. Rodriguez)
Charlotte Kim (L. Rodriguez)
Jason Kim (L. Rodriguez)
Nicholas Ragsac (L. Rodriguez)
Alexa Vargas (L. Rodriguez)
Nathan Zini (K. Schnebeck)

Music Rotary CompetitionCongratulations to the winners of the Music Rotary Competition:


Lydia Xu, First Place Tie
Samuel Zu, First Place Tie
Matthew Gurning, Second Place
Brian Huynh, Third Place


Sarah Gediman, First Place
Malana Baez, Second Place
Kennedy Stephens, Third Place

Inland Empire Piano Festival – Congratulations to all the participants and winners of the Inland Empire Piano Festival!

Young Pianists’ Competition – This is a reminder to all the teachers of the Riverside Branch that the deadline to apply for the Young Pianists’ Competition is March 18. The Competition will be held on April 7 at California Baptist University, and the Winners’ Recital will be Saturday night, April 20 in Hole Memorial Auditorium at La Sierra University. The information and application are in your Branch Handbook. Please contact Dr. Anette Guldhammer if you need additional information or an electronic application or call (951) 313-4169.


We want to wish the following teacher a VERY happy birthday for the month of March. Enjoy your day to the fullest:

Annette Betts (3/29)