Members Only Music Teachers Association of California, Santa Cruz County BranchMTAC Members Only
In memory: Ellen Khayat (November 17, 1941 – March 8, 2019)

Ellen Rose Khayat graced the Santa Cruz branch of the Music Teachers Association of California with her presence on the board and as Chair of the local Certificate of Merit program, a post she held for nearly 30 years. Certificate of Merit is the primary evaluation program available locally to students of piano, strings, voice, and woodwinds, providing a solid curriculum as well as performance opportunities for participating students and their teachers.

Always eager to learn, Ellen pursued advanced study in piano pedagogy, regularly attended MTAC Conventions, workshops, and computer classes, studied voice, and traveled internationally. She taught many scholarship students through the Opportunity Grants program, and encouraged and inspired those around her with her unflagging enthusiasm and energy. Ellen was also active as hostess and performer in the local Celebrate Piano Ensemble. In addition to her MTAC leadership roles, she held membership in the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and National Piano Guild. She was admired, respected, and loved by her colleagues and students for her hospitality, grace, generosity, and positive attitude in every situation. She will be missed by all who were privileged to know her!
-Mary Jane Cope

The Music Teachers’ Association of California®, incorporated in 1897, is a professional organization dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in music education. With over 4,700 members, there are 64 affiliated Branches throughout the state. MTAC serves over 100,000 students.

The mission of MTAC is to pursue excellence in music education and advance the music teaching profession through innovative programs that foster artistic growth and achievement.


Our Foundation

Your tax-deductible donations support scholarships and other special Branch activities. You may specify a favorite project, or let us choose the fund most in need. Make checks payable to SCCMTAC.

Mail checks to:
Barbara Jirsa, Treasurer
221 Nevada Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060


SCC-MTAC Officers and Board of Directors (2019 – 2020)

President: Ben Dorfan
Vice-President: Laureen S. Herr
Treasurer: Barbara Jirsa
Recording Secretary: Patricia Verheul
Membership Secretary: Carolyn Christian
Communications: Carol Panofsky

Certificate of Merit: Heather Thompson Smits
At large: Christine Bakalis (Recitals)
At large: Charlotte McManus (Recitals)



Our gratitude goes to Arts Council Santa Cruz County for the Develop Grant that helped pay for the creation of this site.

Website Manager: Lynn Kidder    *    Website Developer: Caroline Webster