Remembering Jane Smisor Bastien (1936-2018)

We are all saddened by the passing of Jane Bastien, who was a long-time member of the MTAC San Diego Branch. We are dedicating this page to honor her, by sharing thoughts, memories and photos, that are contributed by the members of our branch who knew her. If you would like to share your thoughts on this page, please contact

Emi Clements
“Teach each student as if he or she were your best one.” Jane Bastien’s words have always encouraged me and inspired me with my own piano students. My daughter was fortunate to be one of the last students Mrs. Bastien taught. In spite of the early hour of a weekly lesson at 5:45 am, Chelsea always had a smile on her face when she came out of Jane’s studio. Jane had a magical quality about her that made all students respond and want to learn. And all of Jane’s students became very good at playing the piano! Jane never compromised with her teaching methods and expected much from her students but she always showed much love to each and every one. The unmatched energy she brought to her love of the piano will remain in her published works and with her students forever. Her teaching ability and vibrant personality will continue to enrich all of our lives. Thank you Jane. We will always love you!

Dan Yu
Jane Bastien was a major inspiration for me on music. I came to America in 1997 when I was 16 years old, and studied with her for three years during my high school years. Many piano lessons and musical activities with her made me decide to pursue the path of music. I always remember her encouraging words, colorful smile and her positive personality. When I heard the sad news about her passing, I even stopped all entertainments and practiced the piano more and recalled memories, to be a little more spiritual with her. I know that I will carry on Mrs. Bastien’s love for music when I teach my students, when I practice the piano, and when I perform, and strive to excel in all of these things that were passed on to me by Mrs. Bastien.

Leslie Olson
I first met Jane Bastien 30 years ago at a welcome new member MTAC gathering in her home. With her warm, friendly personality, I quickly recognized her dedication and love for her family and her students. Over the years her presence at meetings, branch events, and conventions or giving master classes inspired many students and teachers, I was no exception. She started the San Diego Branch Sonata Contest and chaired it every year. Being a guest in a castle home in Norway, I recall seeing the Primer Level Bastien books on the grand piano. Realizing her presence around the world became real to me. I was so proud to say, I know her and she lives nearby. All the Bastien materials have been very helpful in teaching my students. I will miss her and am grateful for all she did for all teachers and students around the world. One quote I will never forget her saying, “Teach every student as if they were your very best one.” Her gifts continue.

Tim Broadway
Jane was an unforgettable person who loved music and life in general. We can all remember Jane as someone who truly loved to teach piano. She nurtured her students in an extraordinary way which became contagious for the love of music. Her warm personality was enjoyed by all. In addition, Jane exuded excellence in all areas of her life. She created a life that was filled with beauty. Her home, her flowers, and of course her music was enjoyed by all who knew her.

Angelina Hardy
She was very kind to my son and even signed his book one time at CM (2016). I was always impressed how encouraging she was to all the piano students at CM and Sonata Contest. I really enjoyed working at the check in table with her at CM. She was a true inspiration to me!

George Katz
Despite the demands of her involvement in teaching and creative projects, Jane was deeply committed to the
organizations which promote the excellence of musical life in San Diego. During the ten years in which I served
as treasurer for the Musical Merit Foundation, Jane’s generous support and the use of her home as a venue for
Board meetings were important contributions. On a personal level, Julia and I are most grateful for Jane’s friendship
before and after our move to San Diego. We and many others will sorely miss her presence.

Jane Smisor Bastien (1936-2018) was an internationally renowned piano teacher, pedagogue and musician. Jane and her husband James Bastien wrote the best-selling piano methods, the Bastien Piano Basics, which are enjoyed by millions of students and teachers worldwide. Jane was first accepted as an MTAC member in 1975, the year she moved to La Jolla, CA. She started the San Diego Branch Sonata Contest in 1976 with her husband James, and served on the Board of Directors of the MTAC San Diego Branch from 1989 to 2003. Among the honors Jane Bastien received were the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), as well as the MTNA Citation for Leadership, in recognition of her significant leadership contributions as a teacher, pedagogue and author to the music teaching profession throughout the world.

A memorial service will be held at the La Jolla Presbyterian Church on Sunday, June 3, 2018, at 4pm, where several of Jane’s former students will perform. A reception will follow immediately in the church fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to: UCSD Foundation for the Jane Bastien ADRC Fund (F-2352) to benefit the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, 9500 Gilman Drive #0937, La Jolla, CA, 92093; The Musical Merit Foundation of Great San Diego C/O John Peterson Treasurer, 3030 Curlew Street, San Diego, CA 92103.

President’s Message – 5/4/18

Dear MTACSD Teachers,

A few more weeks and the school year is over. I would like to congratulate every teacher for a job well done. I trust that your students have learned and improved their skills and musicality. And a big THANK YOU to all the teachers for your participation and help in all our events. It has been a very busy and rewarding year that it flew rather fast.

The annual state MTAC Convention is going to be held at the Hyatt Regency Orange County from June 29 to July 3. It will be full of information from renowned lecturers and high quality performances you would not want to miss.

So we look forward to summer. Let me make a few suggestions regarding your summer teaching activities, if I may.

  • Use this time to have your students learn easier pieces i.e., jazzy, popular-ish. In this way, they will be prepared for our first event next year, the Popular Music Festival. You will find resources in the CM Syllabus. And, voila, one CM piece will have been learned.
  • Another is to pair up your students for 4-hand music. There is a vast literature on this genre. Some of them are arrangements and/or transcriptions, which is always fun for the students. Sibling pairing is ideal for this, which would make all parents proud. Later on, they can enter in the Piano Duo Festival.
  • For String, Wind, Brass and Voice teachers, muster up your young prodigies for VOCE. This is a state MTAC event which involves concertos for orchestral instruments and arias or art songs for vocalists. This event is usually held around January or February so learning that literature early would be useful. (You will find necessary information on the State MTAC website. There is a link below.)
  • Take a 2-week break from teaching to rejuvenate and formulate ideas or goals.

Have a great summer.

Miriam Cole

2018 Chopin Festival Results

On April 14-15, we celebrated Chopin’s music triumphantly together during the inauguration of the first MTACSD Chopin Festival at the First Presbyterian Church of San Diego. Our three accomplished judges from Los Angeles, Dr. Andrew Park, Dr. Wojciech Kocyan, and Dr. Sarkis Baltaian, commented that they were “very inspired with the level of performance and very impressed with the teaching in our branch.” We had 36 contestants represented by 18 studios. There were definitely magical moments and artistic excellence present throughout the Festival. Congratulations to all the performers for their outstanding demonstration of musicianship! Thank you to all the teachers for your exemplary guidance, and please continue to inspire your students to make beautiful music.

My goal for Chopin Festival is to showcase not only some of the strongest music ever written for pianists, but also to feature the many talented musicians we have in our community. This festival encourages young musicians to express themselves with piano, connect with one another through their music-making, and uplift spirits through Chopin’s music. The highlight of the festival was, of course, the Winners’ Recital on Sunday evening, where the attendees benefited from a wonderful showcase of the magnificent artistry of the top two winners and the engaging fellowship at the reception time. I appreciate tremendously for the much enthusiastic support from many of you leading up to and during the two-day weekend. A special shout-out to incredible individuals: Dr. Ed Basilio, Jane Klofkorn, Nimpa Akana, Quynh Nguyen, Sarah Lincoln, Marilyn Carnes, Yuko Maruyama, Miriam Cole, Brian Goral, Lee Galloway, and Jaclyn Summers. I’m most grateful to the First Presbyterian Church of San Diego for hosting us with a fine Steinway concert grand and many cheerful volunteers. Partnering with them has been a real blessing for us all.

Below, please find the winners’ list that the judges have deliberated. Congratulations!

CATEGORY 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Waltz/Mazurka Malvyn Lai Stephanie Ling Amaia Schmitigal
Etude Claire Lewis Priscilla Ling Risa Schapiro
Scherzo Joelle Jeon Ian Llacer Justin Lee
Nocturne Sarah Deng Jason Li Alexis Wu
Ballade Andrew Vu Luke Kim Cameron Lincoln 

2018 CM Results Now Posted

The 2018 San Diego Branch Certificate of Merit was held on March 24-25 and March 31 at the San Diego State University. This annual event is sponsored by the state MTAC, and organized by the MTAC San Diego Branch. This year, our branch received over 1,200 student applications from 139 teachers. The results are now available on both the teacher and the parent portals of the state MTAC website. (Link is below.)

Running the three days of CM was a concerted effort by all of our CM volunteers, some of whom worked very long hours. The outstanding CM team of our branch planned the entire three-day operation in great details months in advance; our CM teachers fulfilled various tasks of testing, grading and recording on the CM days; and our student runners escorted the CM students safely to and from the evaluation rooms on strict schedule.

Our CM students were evaluated on their level-appropriate repertoire performance, technique, sight-reading, theory and ear training skills. Students who scored high in all areas receive branch honors and are offered additional performance opportunities at the state MTAC Convention in June.

Here are some photos from our CM days. A million “Bravos” to the CM team members, teachers, runners, and our CM students!

2018 Bach Festival Results

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Bach Festival!

Winners of the Complete Works Bach Festival 2018

You chae Bae Celine Lau Hahnlin Noonan
Soo Hyun Bahn Jonathan Lee Luke Qiao
Anna Cao Richard Lee Emily Shi
Emma Cao David Lee Ethan Song
Michael Chen Claire Lewis Edmund Sumpena
Walter Chen Archimedes Li Andrew Sun
Frederick Chien Eric Li Katie Tang
Aaron Chizhik Chloe Li Aidan Wahlmann
Benjamin Fitzpatrick Jason Li Sunny Xiao
Colin Huang Priscilla Ling Jonathan Xue
Allen Huang Stephanie Ling Laura Yu
Edward J Kim Annie Lu Dorien Zhang
Skylar Larsen Ally Negulescu Ryan Zhou

2018 Anna Magdalena Bach Winners

1st Place Ella Xing
2nd Place Haowen Sun
3rd Place Rien Chen

President’s Message – 3/12/18

Dear MTACSD Teachers,

A few more days and the culmination of hours of preparation and learning will take place at San Diego State University. CM is coming! Ready or not, it will arrive. There will be students who will experience triumph if they are ready and others will experience disappointment with the realization that practice and work really makes a difference. Let us hope there will be more triumph rather than disappointment.

While everyone was busy preparing the students for this big event, there were those behind the scenes working so hard to prepare for CM to be a reality and a success. To name a few: Eleanor Hum, Dr. Mitzi Kolar and Chutaphin Yeager. Because of these three wonderful people, the students, evaluators, volunteers and teachers can enjoy their CM at SDSU with ease and safety. Please make sure to thank them when you see them.

It is no secret that the teachers enjoy the catered lunch. It is also a well known fact that CM evaluators do not mind the trek “down south” because we treat them and feed them so well. Much “catching up” and “getting to know you” conversations float all over the lunch room which is great music to listen to. I hope to see you there!

Miriam Cole

2018 Concerto Winners Performances

Congratulations to the 2018 Concerto Competition winners!
The first place winners of Divisions I through VI, will perform their winning pieces with orchestra as follows:

Adora Xiao, piano and Sunny Xiao, piano
will perform with the Greater San Diego Chamber Orchestra, Dr. Angela Yeung, conductor.

Dates: Friday, March 16 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, March 18 at 2:00 pm (two performances)
Location: University of San Diego, Shiley Theatre

Adora will perform the Haydn Piano Concerto in D Major, 3rd mvt.
Sunny will perform the Mendelssohn Piano Concerto in G minor, 3rd mvt.

Kevin Lu, piano, Stacy Widyono, violin, and Phoebe Olzewski, violin
will perform with the Mira Costa College Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Branden Muresan, conductor.

Dates: Saturday, May 19 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, May 20 at 3:00 pm (two performances)
Location: Mira Costa College Concert Hall- Oceanside Campus

Kevin will perform the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, 1st mvt.
Stacy will perform the Bruch Violin Concerto in G minor, 1st mvt.
Phoebe will perform the Lalo Symphonie Espagnole, 1st mvt.

Zackery Edwards, bassoon
will perform with the New City Sinfonia, Mr. Daniel Ratelle, conductor.

Date: Sunday, June 3 at 2:00 pm
Location: Church of Mary Magdalene (Bay Park)

Zackery will perform the Weber Andante and Rondo Ongerese, Op. 35

2018 Concerto Acknowledgement & Results

Congratulations to all the participants in this year’s Concerto Competition! It is a fact that in competitions some auditioners must go home without a ribbon or plaque award. However, both days were filled with beautiful music from the morning until the end of the day.

I want to give a special thank you to Yuko Maruyama and Dana Burnett who were tremendously helpful to me. Additionally, I want to thank the teachers and helpers who furnished food for the judges and worked at the check-in table: Jane Bastien, Sun Yung Cho, Susanna Han, George Katz, Inessa Litvin, Alex Mirolyan, Anna Savvas, Risa Schapiro, Carol Seefeldt, Seiran Sohn and Danette White.

I would also like to express my gratitude to the distinguished panel of judges this year:
PIANO: Dr. Doug Ashcraft (Idyllwild), Dr. Jan Meyer Thompson (ASU), Dr. Beverly Simms (ISU)
WINDS: Beth Ross Buckley (flute), Pamela Vliek Martchev (flute), Frank Renk (clarinet)
STRINGS: Isaac Allen (violin), Alex Greenbaum (cello), Angela Choong (viola)

We are in the process of finalizing the orchestra performance for the first-place winners. I hope to have that information for all within the next few days. We will publish the concert information on the website in hopes that many of you will attend!


DIVISION I Piano (through 11 years old)
First Place Adora Xiao – Haydn Concerto in D Major, Mvt III
Second Place Leo Zhang
Third Place Gene Chang

DIVISION II Piano (12-14 years old)
First Place Sunny Xiao – Mendelssohn Piano Concerto in G Minor, Mvt III
Second Place Alexis Wu
Third Place Jeremiah Cho
HM Saeji Hong
HM Soo Hyun Bahn

DIVISION III Piano (15-18 years old)
First Place Kevin Lu – Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Mvt I
Second Place Zisheng Shang
Third Place Athena Tsu
HM Sofia Chamberlain
HM Andrew Zhao

First Place Zackery Edwards – Weber Andante and Rondo Ongerese, Op. 35 for bassoon
Second Place Helen Zhu
Third Place Michelle Liu
HM Isabelle Jamois
HM Jennie Cao

DIVISION V Strings (through age 13)
First Place Stacy Widyono – Bruch Violin Concerto in G Minor, Mvt I
Second Place Isabel Kim
Third Place Lucas Lee
HM Saejoon Hong
HM Caden Jiang

DIVISION VI Strings (14-18 years)
First Place Phoebe Olzewski – Lalo Symphonie Espagnole
Second Place (TIE) Katherine Zhu and Jacey Yang
Third Place Pearl de la Motte
HM Evan Zhou
HM Nathan Sariowan

2018 Duo Acknowledgement & Results

The 2018 Piano Duo Festival was held on Saturday, January 20th at Greene Music. I am sincerely thankful to the judges, all the volunteers, teachers and students who came and did an excellent job at the festival. 12 teams participated and 10 teams competed. All the teams were well-prepared and performed wonderfully. The judges’ final results are below:

Piano Duo Festival Final Results
Category I: Ages 5 – 9 
1st place 
Anya Davis & Kailey Phillips
2nd place
Katelyn Duong & Allison Duong
Category II: Ages 10 – 12
1st place (tie)
Ashley Arner & Sophia Guan 
1st place (tie)
Ruei-Chi Lai & Davina Zhu
3rd place 
Wei-Shi Lai & Peiran Liang
Category III: Ages 13 – 15
1st place
Emily Suh & Lauren Suh
2nd place
Stephen Zhu & Hsiang-Kuang Zhuang
Category IV: Ages 16 – high school
1st place 
Tori Tinsley & Sophia Lam

Category V: College 

1st place

Isabelle Chen & Daniel Chen 

Playing piano duets is an effective way to improve the student’s musicianship, as the students learn to work with other musicians on various aspects of ensemble performance. This would be beneficial for their solo playing as well. Thank you again to the studios of Eunice Ahn, Carol Ong-Chen, Yulia Atoyan, Anna Vasilyeva, Irina Bessonova, Yun-Yin Wu, Tracy Lovley and Dan Yu. Thank you to judges Dr. Marina Sakach and Mr. Steve Baker. Thanks for the wonderful help from Yuko Maruyama.

Thank you again! Hope to see you all at next year’s Piano Duo Festival!

2018 VOCE Acknowledgement & Results

Thank you for participating in the 2018 MTAC VOCE Competition. We also would like to thank Grossmont College for the use of their facilities. Thank you to our 3 judges, Rose Lombardo, Catie Longhi and Wesley Precourt. Thank you to Yuko Marumaya and Risa Schapiro for their tremendous help, as well as Danette White.

1st-Place Winners in their categories in the MTAC VOCE Branch Auditions Competition are eligible to compete in the VOCE State Finals Audition on April 22, 2018 at Chapman University in Orange, CA.

The official results are below:

San Diego Branch VOCE Competition on January 7, 2018

Instrumental Ensemble: Intermediate, Competitive
String Quintet – First Place

Instrumental Ensemble: Senior, Competitive
Equinox String Quartet – First Place
4 Cellos – Honorable Mention

Junior Strings, Competitive
Andrew Maxwell – First Place

Senior Strings, Competitive
Katherine Zhu – First Place
Luzy Guanuna – First Place Alternate
Ryan Zhou – Second Place
Amy Lee – Third Place

Intermediate Strings, Competitive
Nathan Sariowan – First Place
Evan Zhou – First Place Alternate
Susan Lee – Second Place
Stacy Widyono – Second Place
Darren Jiang – Third Place
Phoebe Olszewski – Honorable Mention
Jacey Yang – Honorable Mention

Senior Winds, Competitive
Gabriela Beltran – First Place
Zackery Edwards – Second Place
Michelle Liu – Honorable Mention

Intermediate Winds, Competitive
Elisha Tan – First Place
Nithin Chilakapati – Second Place
Anna Lee – Third Place
Praveena Ratnavel – Honorable Mention

Thank you,

Hernan Constantino
Miriam Cole
Co-Chairs, 2018 VOCE Competition