MTAC Women Composers Festival- September

Open to all students

Women composers are celebrated in this unadjudicated recital.  Performers are asked to introduce the piece and composer before performing.  Solo and ensemble repertoire are welcome.  Registration is late August, recital is usually late September.  Held at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Thousand Oaks.

Cost: $12 festival entry fee; Accompanist fee applies


MTAC Advanced Contemporary Festival- October/November

 Open to students level CM 5 and higher

This program is a two-part event. During this preliminary competition, close to 200 applicants of all disciplines play in front of a panel of adjudicators for a performance spot on the Gold Medal Honors Recitals (second part) at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza stage. Repertoire is chosen from the contemporary period (from a list of approved composers), and 4-minute time limit is applied during the preliminary event.

Registration is early September, recitals are in October/November.  Preliminary round held at the Hillcrest Center for the Arts in Thousand Oaks; Gold Medal Honors Recital held at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza in Thousand Oaks.

Cost: $31 festival entry fee; Accompanist fee applies


MTAC Holiday Festival- November

Open to all students

A theme is chosen for this festival in which medals are awarded for excellent, very good, and good performances of one piece. Deadline for participation is due in early October.  Held at the First United Methodist Church in Ventura.

Cost: $35 festival entry fee; Accompanist fee applies


MTAC Certificate of Merit™ Program- February or March

Open to all students

The Music Teachers’ Association of California® (MTAC) sponsors the music study program Certificate of Merit® (CM). This level-based program provides a standard of curriculum that requires students to strive for focused musical excellence in performance, technique, ear training, sight reading/singing, and music theory.

Students take a written theory and ear-training exam in addition to performing technique, sight-reading, and 2-3 pieces for an adjudicator. All students who pass the minimum requirements will receive a Certificate of Merit™.

If the student performs above average on both written tests and performances, the student may earn a special gold seal on their certificate indicating Branch Honors. Highest achieving students are invited to perform at the MTAC Branch Honors Recital (see below).

Certificate of Merit is a fantastic challenge for bright, motivated, ambitious musicians who wish to both learn and accomplish new goals in repertoire and theory. We will discuss whether Certificate of Merit is an appropriate addition to your child’s lessons.

Registration is in October; theory tests and performance evaluations are in February or March.  The CM Performance Evaluation is held at Cal Lutheran University; Music Theory Exam is held in Thousand Oaks, TBA.

$55.00 to $75.00 CM Registration fee (depending on the level); $15.00-$40.00 music theory worksheets; approx. $30.00-$60.00 sheet music; Accompanist fee applies (usually $40-80)


CM Branch Honors Recital- April

Students selected by invitation based on CM scores

The local MTAC branch celebrates its students with the highest scores earned in Certificate of Merit with a series of CM Branch Honors Recitals. Works to be performed will be five minutes or less, making cuts where appropriate, and will be selected by the CM performance evaluation judge.  Students will be notified of eligibility and invited to perform shortly after the CM Performance Evaluation. Location TBA.

Cost:  No participation fee; Accompanist fee may apply


MTAC Branch Bach Festival- April

Open to students level CM 6 and higher
An original piece by Johann Sebastian Bach is performed. Three adjudicators provide written feedback on the performance.  Location TBA.
Registration is due in March; Festival is in April.

Cost: $35.00 festival entry fee; Accompanist fee may apply



Open to all students

KOOLFEST MTAC! is a popular-music event which promotes “pop” musical styles, such as jazz, ragtime, new age, rock and musical theater, usually of the 20th and 21st century. A pop rendition of a classical piece would also qualify under this category. Students of all disciplines and at all levels are provided an opportunity to perform before a live audience and be critiqued by a qualified judge.

Registration is in early April; Festival is in late April.  Held at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Thousand Oaks.

Cost: $12.00 festival entry fee; Accompanist fee applies


MTAC Ensemble Festival- May

Open to all students
The Ensemble Festival gives students an opportunity to perform with one another (or with an accompanist) in a non-adjudicated recital. This event also includes a contest to design the t-shirt for the festival, which each participant receives (included in the fee). This festival has no judging or formal repertoire requirements. Held at the First United Methodist Church in Ventura.
T-Shirt Design Contest due in January.  Registration is usually in April; Ensemble Festival is in May.

Cost: $30.00 festival entry fee, which includes a T-Shirt; Accompanist fee may apply

MTAC Branch Competition- May

Open to students level CM 8 and higher
The few students exhibiting the most polished performance in the studio can enter in a competition covering the Pleasant Valley-Ventura County Branch of the MTAC.  The winner receives a trophy and a cash prize.

Registration is usually in March; Brach Competition is in May.  Held at a private home in Camarillo.

Cost: $35 competition entry fee; Accompanist fee applies


MTAC Convention Recitals

Students who receive a “Good” or “Excellent” in all categories for their Certificate of Merit™ exam are invited to perform at the annual MTAC Convention. Accompanist provided.

Cost: $35 Convention Fee