Edward Francis

Edward Francis was a renowned and sought-after educator, adjudicator, and pedagogue of music. And he was the pillar of music education in our community. Most noteworthy of his accomplishments from myriad of his achievements is founding of Thousand Oaks Philharmonic, a non-profit organization that gives young musicians from our community, an opportunity to perform with a professional orchestra.

Everyone who knew Edward described him as kind, generous, and loving.  He made every member of our Music Teachers’ Association of California, Conejo Valley branch feel respected.

If anyone emailed him with questions, he replied with much consideration and details.  His thoughtfulness extended to everyone who needed help at all hours of the day and night. His generosity extended to performers or adjudicators who traveled into town.

He frequently entertained his friends, family, and students, personally cooking and accommodating every dietary restriction which is a testament to his tremendous effort, care, and love of people.

And of course, he had always taken incredible care of his parents and family. He adored his parents, his brother, his nephews, and his cousins.

Edward was extraordinarily capable, brilliant, and dependable.  He was an amazing peace-maker and an incredible problem solver.  He was remarkably positive and optimistic. He was generous with his home, his resources, and his time. He leaves countless number of students, friends, and family who love and respect him.  He was an invaluable teacher and mentor to many; he was an irreplaceable friend and colleague. Those who knew him are all incredibly blessed for having had this beautiful being in their lives and for having learned about life and love from him.  His light will continue to shine for us.

Edward’s love and legacy will live on.

Kyung Lee
Friend and Colleague of Edward Francis

Caroline Lai

Caroline Lai was a beloved piano teacher who taught hundreds of students in Ventura and Los Angeles counties during a long career.  She was a past president of the Conejo Valley Branch of the Music Teachers Association of California, chaired the our branch’s Southern California Junior Bach Festival (SCJBF), and also served as a judge for SCJBF.

Caroline was an amiable person who coached many students to a high level of success.   Her students were successful in the Certificate of Merit Program, the National Piano Guild Auditions, the Southern California Junior Bach Festival, Contemporary Festival and more.  She also had a student who was selected to play with the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic Orchestra.

Caroline earned a master’s degree in music from the State University of New York, a bachelor’s degree in music education from Kent State University, and a piano degree from the Chinese Culture University in Taiwan.

The many students who discovered the joy of music with Caroline Lai will keep her memory alive.

Gloria Hilliard
Friend and Colleague of Caroline Lai