The Mesa Musician - Online Version

Volume 4, Issue No. 1 West Mesa Music Teacher's Association January 21, 1998

A Glance Back . . .

1997 was another exciting, positive, and busy year for WMMTA, its members, and students. We filled 1997 with contests, master classes, concerts, competitions, and improvements to and worldwide recognition for our Web sites. Professor William Leland from NMSU in Las Cruces conducted 2 master classes. Those who attended were inspired by the insight that Professor Leland had into the music and into educating the students.

Virginia Bennett took upon herself the big job of organizing and coordinating the first Piano Guild Auditions for students on the West Mesa. Jane Viemeister and Nancy Ostromencki continued our series of free music appreciation classes, called A Little Light Music, Op. 1 and 2. Their wonderful sense of humor, selection of subject matter and easy-going commentary made A Little Light Music a joy.

Both our Sonatina/Sonata Festival and 20th Century Music Festival had an increase in participants from 1996. The students who participate have a great time and leave these festivals/contests wanting to do it again next year. Come to think of it, the judges have expressed that they have a good time at these festivals, too! Our sincere thanks to all participating students, parents and teachers for continuing to makes these festivals a valuable growing and learning experience for all those involved.

WMMTA again held a free ensemble recital for students of WMMTA members in 1997 Everyone involved had a great time doing ensemble music. Michele Todd and Eden Gillespie also organized another WMMTA student recital in the Spring of 1997, featuring solo music performed by students of WMMTA members.

Our Grand Piano Explorations Series was a delight to have again in 1997. We did the 1997 series in the tradition of Hausmusik, providing an in camera environment much like the Viennese salons of the days of Schubert. Our sincere thanks to Dr. John Zeigler for hosting these recitals in his home.

The Piano Education Page (WMMTA's educational outreach Web site) continues to grow, improve, and win national and international awards. PEP got several major uplifts in its appearance and function in 1997. We improved all the graphics, simplified the layout, added much more music, increased the number and size of articles and reviews tremendously, added search capability to the site, and made it more interactive. Working with Alicia Ahrens in Mexico, we are proud to have started a Spanish translation of PEP, which carries almost all of the content of PEP useful to Spanish speaking pianists and pianists-to-be. In a collaborative effort with the New Mexico State University Music Department, we have successfully launched a new family-oriented online magazine of music and music-making, Muzine, edited by Professor Bill Leland. If you haven't seen it, take a look at it. It's well worth reading and easily accessible from PEP's home page.

PEP continues to win awards and receive worldwide publicity. We'll tell you about a couple of them here: In February of '97, PEP was featured in newspapers worldwide in UPI's WWW4Kids column as a top musical site for both children and adults. Some newspapers (e.g. The Kansas City Star) ran the feature as a half page spread. In August, PEP was featured again in an article on the Internet published in MTNA's journal, The American Music Teacher. It was identified as a "place to start" one's exploration of the musical Internet. These and other honors have contributed to PEP's increase in visitors to its current average of about 500 per day. The site passed 200,000 visits just after the first of the year. PEP consistently ranks in the top five piano-related sites on the Internet in number of daily visits and is the only such site to do so. We must be doing something right!!!

We also started a separate WMMTA organizational Web site this year. It has expanded content over its predecessor and several new features and services. It now includes the WMMTA Referral Service, a free service by which one can locate WMMTA member teachers and performers all over the country through either the World Wide Web or by calling 505-896-0598. Listing with the Referral Service is free to WMMTA member teachers and performers. It is represented by ads in both the Albuquerque and West Side phone books also.

Welcome to new WMMTA Members!

Welcome to our new members, Heidi Martz, Billie Ferrell-Mountour, Adelina Tomofeyew, Darlene Harris, Marihelen Snowden, all of Albuquerque; Lynn Campbell Lamb, Los Alamos, NM; Diana Adoberavoski, Los Lunas NM; Susan Vaughan, Sandia Park, NM; Mara Lisa Ziecker, Rio Rancho NM, and Martha Stubbs, Tallahassee, FL. We appreciate the support and efforts of these new members.

Membership in WMMTA is not limited to residents of New Mexico; teachers, parents and students from all over the U.S. are invited to join and take advantage of WMMTA's many member benefits at one of the lowest yearly dues rates (e.g. $10 for teachers) you'll find anywhere.

And a Look Forward!

We will continue with our series of contests, festivals, concerts and free music appreciation classes in 1998. We are also working out the details for a new 1 week music day-camp to be held in August of 1998. We hope to not only have music and instrument appreciation activities for the kids, but also incorporate horse-back riding lessons and swimming time. As soon as the details of the WMMTA Music Day Camp are set we will let you know. Of course, we are always looking for new ideas; if you have something educational you're interested in doing, let us hear from you.

We also have plans for improving The Piano Education Page in '98. Professor Hao Huang of Scripps College has agreed to write a monthly column on the general subject of piano technique. Those of you who have read his earlier PEP articles and interview know that his column will be a must-read. We will continue to improve the content and graphics on the site. We are currently working on setting up a mirror of the site in Singapore to allow faster access in Asia, although our main site will remain at the University of New Mexico. After the first of the year, we intend to get back to our new project of starting an online music education journal for publication of scholarly articles. Scientists have been publishing on the Internet for years; we believe the time has come for musicians to be able to take advantage of this inherently interactive medium too.

Piano Fundraising Campaign

We are currently involved in an extensive fundraising drive to be able to purchase a Mason & Hamlin rebuilt grand piano, a high quality instrument on which we can hold all our competitions, recitals, music appreciation classes, and music festivals. Individuals or corporations can be a part of this project by contacting Gwen Denton, the secretary/treasurer of WMMTA at 505-897-4159. Both individuals and corporations making a donation will receive worldwide exposure on the WMMTA Web sites.

Speaking of Which . . .

WMMTA is sponsoring a series of piano events that we call the Bravo! Piano Recitals, the proceeds from which will go directly to the Piano Fund. The first Bravo Recital was held in November, 1997 and featured Jane Viemeister and Nancy Ostromencki performing piano duet music. Our sincere thanks to Jane and Nancy for donating their time, energies and talent for this performance.

The next Bravo recital will be held on Saturday, February 21, 1998 at 7:30 P.M.This recital will feature talented students of WMMTA teachers and winners of the Savler-Malon Memorial Piano Competition. This recital will be held at the home of Dr. John Zeigler, who has generously agreed to host the recital. On April 17, 1998, Michele and Peter Todd will host another Bravo! Piano Recital again featuring talented students of WMMTA members performing ensemble music. Our sincere thanks to those wonderful people who are so graciously letting us use their homes and pianos for these recitals and for their support of the Piano Fund.

WMMTA Competition and Festival Schedule

On February 7, 1998, the CAMTA/WMMTA Savler-Malon Memorial Piano Contest will take place at the Studio of Nancy Ostromencki. The prizes for this contest include monetary awards, trophies and all participating students will receive a certificate of participation. Repertoire requirements for this contest are available by contacting Nancy Ostromencki. The 20th Century Music Festival will be held March 7, 1998 at the Studio of Nancy Ostromencki. May 1 and May 2, 1998 are the dates scheduled for the West Mesa division of the Piano Guild Auditions at St. Paul's United Church of Christ, for information about that contest please contact Virginia Bennett at 505-891-4716. On Saturday, May 16, 1998 the WMMTA First Annual Concerto Competition will be held at the Studio of Annabelle Leviton, again please contact Nancy Ostromencki at 505-892-2747 or e-mail to for further information.

1998 WMMTA Officers

At the last regular meeting, the membership elected new officers:

Michele Todd, President
Jane Viemeister, Vice-President
Gwen Denton, Secretary/Treasurer
Nancy Ostromencki, Past President, Contest Director, Fund Raising Chairperson

Our sincere thanks go out to these people for their hard work, dedication, and ideas.

Member News

1997 also saw new additions to the families of Michele and Peter Todd, Eden and David Gillespie. One of the original members of our Board of Directors, Paula Bryant, decided to re-marry and head to California, where she is now living happily with her new husband. We miss you and wish you our best, Paula!!! Nancy Ostromencki has written an invited commentary on music instruction software which is scheduled to appear in the spring/summer issue of the magazine, Keyboard Companion.

Join Us!

Membership in WMMTA is open to teachers, students, and parents and offers many benefits including free studio listing on the Internet, free listing with the phone-in WMMTA Referral Service, reduced contest participation fees and more. Current WMMTA membership dues are: Teachers - $10 per year, Parents - $5 per year, Students under age 16 - $2 per year, Students over age 16 - $5 per year; simultaneous membership in other musical organizations is encouraged.

Tell Us What You Think!

If you have comments or suggestions about The Mesa Musician, would like to submit news items or story ideas for The Mesa Musician, or would like to receive a free copy of the printed version, please send e-mail to Nancy Ostromencki.

Reprinting from the Piano Education page The Piano Education Page, Op.4, No. 1, Copyright 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 John M. Zeigler and Nancy L. Ostromencki. All rights reserved.