From the Comfort of a Miss to the Comfort of the Masses

Perhaps one of the most remarkable things about music is that much of the most beloved tunes in human history find their inspiration in the songs of our ancestors seeking comfort from their own challenges at the dawn of time. Every culture has a musical tradition preserving melodies and harmonies that have been passed down for countless generations. One of our veteran teachers, Toby Caplan-Stonefield, recently shared with us her own experience illustrating this concept. Toby is an accomplished flute and voice teacher who’s enjoyed her own storied career including her own published musical arrangements and her more recent founding of the Conejo Valley Flute Society in 2002.

Toby writes:

When I was a teenager playing the piano I would always just get so much comfort out of playing the Adagio Cantabile from Beethoven’s Sonata Pathetique, long ago. Then, last year – Tom Kampman, who has been sending me many original compositions and arrangements for my Flute Choir – …sent me an arrangement of the Beethoven! I was so very moved and did use it on one of our programs in memory of my sister who had recently passed away.

Now, this year, [the flute choir] will be on a program to honor the people recently hurt by the shootings and fires in our community. I have decided to use that Beethoven piece as well as a piece called Eili, Eili by Jacob Koppel Sandler that I arranged for Flute Choir. This piece is usually used in memory of the Holocaust, so is also fitting for this event which will be held at the Hillcrest Performing Arts Center on Hillcrest Dr in Thousand Oaks on Saturday, 7:00 PM, Jan 26 - organized by an MTAC friend.

This performance – which is open to the public – has been arranged to honor the survivors of the shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, CA, as well as the greater Southern California communities who suffered the ravages of one of the most devastating and widespread wildfires in the history of the area. You can get more information at

Toby is just one of our many talented private teachers available for private, in-home instruction for all instruments and voice. You can learn more about Toby Caplan-Stonefield at

If you live in Southern California and would like help developing your own musical ability to help you connect with the comforts of the generations you can register for lessons or call our office for more information at 805.492.1676.