March 2021 Newsletter

No matter where you're from, there's always a sense of optimism when spring arrives! I grew up in Nebraska on a farm and as a child was amazed when entire fields that lay dormant all winter would show signs of new life as little green plants pushed their way up. I've learned the subtle ways to look for spring in the desert. Flowers here bloom year 'round, but now I look for the flower buds to start showing up on my orange trees in March. Other green plants that have gone dormant are now starting to send out new leaves and you can almost hear them sigh as they stretch to meet the sun.

Certain areas of our lives have had to lie dormant, stay in, and be careful during this pandemic. Fortunately, we are beginning to see signs of life returning to normal. I am so proud of our DVMTA Committee Chairmen who have embraced new ideas that have burst forth from the difficult challenges of hosting our annual events. Some events have had slight changes, while others have had drastic revamps! My heart is full of gratitude for our amazing event chairs: Charles Newton-Music Marathon, Claire Westlake-Original Composition, Sara Pratt-Cavalcade, Lorri McHardy- Awards in Excellence, Toni Tetreau-Achievement Day, and Wendi Heslop-Awards Plus. These events have been tremendously successful, and have provided all our students opportunities to keep growing and blooming!

Lori Weidemann, DVMTA President

Our Upcoming General Meeting

March 26th 9:30am on Zoom and at Hammer & Strings Conservatory 610 N. Gilbert Rd. Ste. 400 Gilbert, AZ 85234 Zoom Meeting ID: 966 655 6826, Passcode: knox111

Masterclass “Sound in Motion” with Dr. Karali Hunter

Our next General Meeting will showcase several talented DVMTA students playing pieces for Dr. Karali Hunter as she presents a Masterclass about “Sound in Motion.” We will get to learn about the importance of gestures and physical motions in playing and how the motions relate to the sound and affect it. It will be a wonderful opportunity to watch a very talented pianist and pedagogue talk about technique and creating beautiful sounds. We will be meeting at Hammer & Strings Conservatory in Gilbert, where we will be having Awards in Excellence in April. Dr. Hunter is the owner and founder of the conservatory.

Upcoming April Brunch

What an exciting year at DVMTA! We have learned so many new things and gained skills we never thought we would use. Please come celebrate the past DVMTA year with us at the April Brunch!

April 23rd at 9:30 am 1111 E. Blue Spruce Lane, Gilbert, AZ 85298

If you can’t make it, join us on Zoom (a link will be sent when we get closer to the date). A light brunch will be provided, or you may bring your own if you are more comfortable with that option. We would like to thank Toni Tetreau for opening her back yard to accommodate the brunch this year. We can't wait to see you!

Cavalcade of Rhythm

THANK YOU to everybody who participated in our 2021 Virtual Cavalcade Video ROCK ON! It was so much fun and a huge success. But we couldn’t have done it without so many teachers and students who were willing to try something new! Congrats to you and all of your kids who made their YouTube debut! The video is still available for viewing, so please check it out if you haven’t already.

Sara Pratt, Chair

Awards in Excellence

Thanks to all the teachers and students who have registered for Awards in Excellence. We have 79 students participating this year from 11 different teachers. I’ve been double-checking all the data, and have been pleasantly surprised at how little confusion there has been.

All students auditioning and all teachers working the event will need to wear masks at all times. The check-in tables will be outdoors and we will have some spread out chairs for students to wait in. Parents may need to wait in their cars if seating becomes an issue. We are doing our best to keep everything distanced and safe.

Our auditions will take place on Saturday, April 10 at Hammer and Strings Conservatory beginning at 9:00 a.m. I should have a schedule with specific audition times very soon. We have a slight change to the times of the winners recitals; they will be at 2:30 and 3:45 on Saturday, April 24 at Hammer and Strings. I highly recommend attending one of the recitals whether you have students registered or not. These winners amaze me every time with their preparation and artistry, whether playing repertoire from level 1 or level 14. My eyes are always opened to the great potential within these talented students and it motivates me to do my best for them.

Lorri McHardy, Chair

Achievement Day

This year's event will be virtual, due to lack of staff and the fact that our venue got cancelled, due to Covid.

Here's how it will work:

Videos (the students will perform their pieces on video for a judge) Due May 14th. Make sure if they are playing their pieces memorized, the music is not on the piano in front of them. We will have specific instructions for you on the website.

Scales, Theory tests, and other options will be graded by the teacher.

Here are a few ideas on how to do this:

1. If you want more of a hybrid event: Send in the videos, and schedule an "Achievement Day" at your home, for those who want an in-person event. I will be scheduling my students in 15 minute intervals on May 15th. One student can take a Theory test, while I grade the other student's scales, and other options in the studio. (Or schedule them farther apart for those who need more space).

2. Grade them during their lessons the week before the event.

3. Grade them during their lessons during the month of May (scales one week, Theory test the next week, etc.) This won't provide the same "test" feel as doing it all on one day, but provides a bit more flexibility for the teacher, and won't take up the entire lesson time.

*Registration is due by March 26th at the general meeting. All information will be updated on the website by March 15th.*

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Toni Tetreau, chair 602-614-2374

Awards Plus

Awards Plus registrations are due at our next general meeting on March 26th. Forms are available at All events are double-checked, so please be as specific as possible about the events your students have participated in. Senior Scholars also need to turn in a personal letter to the committee and may include recommendations from other teachers or music directors. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Wendi Heslop, Chair 480-241-4591



26 General Meeting 9:30am, on Zoom and at Hammer & Strings Conservatory: 610 N. Gilbert Rd. Ste. 400 Gilbert, AZ 85234

26 Deadline: Awards Plus applications due


10 Awards in Excellence Auditions, beginning at 9:00am, Hammer and Strings Conservatory in Gilbert, 610 N Gilbert Rd #400, Gilbert

24 Awards in Excellence Winners Recital, 2:30pm and 3:45pm, Hammer and Strings Conservatory in Gilbert, 610 N Gilbert Rd #400, Gilbert

30 April Brunch 9:30am, Toni Tetreau’s home: 1111 E. Blue Spruce Lane, Gilbert, AZ 85298


15 Event: Achievement Day

17 Awards Plus awards presented 7:00pm, location TBA

Facebook iconInstagram iconTwitter iconWebsite iconEmail icon

Copyright (C) 2021 Desert Valley Music Teachers Association. All rights reserved.

Update Preferences | Unsubscribe

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp