Mu Phi Epsilon
Dallas Alumni Chapter

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Greetings from an energized convention attendee:

The 2014 Mu Phi Epsilon Convention in Sacramento, CA is past, but the memories are close to my heart. I met so many wonderful fraternity sisters and brothers of every age and from many areas of the country. As your business delegate/ Resolutions Committee Chair and current Dallas Alumni president, I am so proud of the Dallas Alumni Chapter and I report with pride the recognitions received.

The Dallas Chapter received:
* Dallas Alumni 4th place Circle of Winners
* Outstanding Alumni Chapter in the South Central Province
* Outstanding Newsletter (kudos to Mary Williams)
* Recognition for Susan Poelchau and Pat Suitt for their 300+ SERV hours

We congratulate Sandra McMillen for her many years of service to Mu Phi Epsilon as she finished her terms as International Second Vice-President/Collegiate Advisor. She has served in so many capacities with enthusiasm and integrity. We are proud to claim her and are extremely excited to announce that Jenny Smith is now the new International Second Vice-President/Collegiate Advisor, a distinguished Dallas Alumni. With Jenny’s election, Ashley Kimmel as taken the full reins as District Director, SC2.

Our own Wynona Lipsett received the Eleanor Hale Wilson-Rosalie V. Speciale Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is given in convention years only and honors members who have served the fraternity beyond the local chapter level. Wow! What a chapter! Congratulations to all and certificates will be available for you to see at the September meeting.

This being the 50th Anniversary for the Mu Phi Epsilon Foundation, the entire convention was full of great performances which put everyone in a celebratory mood. The International Competition featured four outstanding finalists:

 - Yi-Yang Chen and Nicholas Susi, piano;
 - Kyle Hutchins, saxophone (Phi Tau - North Texas); and the winner,
 - Rachel Brandwein, harp

Rachel is also a fine composer and played her own compositions, both in competition and recital. The Mu Phi collegiates and alumni hope to book Rachel for a concert in our area within the next two years. As members of the Dallas Chapter, please give that some thought and we will discuss it at one of our meetings soon.

I will offer other highlights from the convention at our September meeting and will share that opportunity with Tena Hehn, Ashley Kimmel, Sandra McMillen, and Jenny Smith. We will try to keep our entire presentation to 20 minutes.

At our September meeting, we will welcome new members and, also, install a new patron; Jenny’s father, John Smith. New faces provide new energy to our chapter. The September meeting is a great time to invite Mu Phis you know or friends you think would like to become a patron. I encourage you to catch some of that excitement. Join me in working together in music, friendship and harmony to strive for the Dallas Alumni Chapter to receive 1st place in the Winners Circle in 2014-15!!!!

Phyllis Wilson, President


Program planning is in progress and details will be posted as they become available. Contact Tena Hehn to perform on a program:

Hosts have been assigned to meetings. The first-listed host is asked to contact the others to coordinate setup and refreshments for the meeting. If the date you have been assigned is not convenient to you, please trade with someone else and let Tena know who that is.

Getting Started with the New Season
Date/Time: September 13 - 11 am
Chimneyhill Clubhouse -
9223 Emberglow, Dallas 75243
Lunch: bring your favorite dish
Program: Scenes from Dallas composer Mary Alice Rich's opera "Wading Home," with Walteria Bethea and Dante Davis singing roles with Susan Poelchau accompanying.
Phyllis Wilson - Convention Report
Co-hosts: Mary Williams, Sandra McMillen

See Meetings for the year's schedule. Get meeting location information from Phyllis Wilson - or Mary Williams, webmaster..

October: Fall Fun
Date/Time: Monday, October 13 - 7 pm
 Home of Pat Hill
Program: Linda Proch, Violin, Pat Suitt, Piano
“Sonata in G Major for Violin and Piano” - Ravel
Co-hosts: Frances Estes, Susan Poelchau


April: Collegiates / Scholarship Winners

The April meeting was held at the parlor of Lovers Lane United Methodist Church where the scholarship winners of our competition performed, as well as other students from TCU.

< Joseph Sills, Nie Gutierrez, Amy Burgar and Libby Taussig from TCU

Alumni and Collegiates alike enjoyed a luncheon with dishes brought by members.

Jenny Smith presented Alison Jayroe, winner of our Chapter scholarship this year a check for $500 and

Libby Taussig a check for $350 (special Music Ed award).

See more about them on our Scholarships Winners - 2014 page.

The program included: Nie Guttierez, soprano from TCU, accompanied by Josef Sills sang "Juliette's Waltz" by Gounod

Libby Taussig, soprano from TCU, accompanied by Josef Sills sang Plus de depit, plus de turistesse by Gre'try

Amy Burgar, soprano from TCU, accompanied by Josef Sills sang Juliette's Waltz by Gounod

Alison Jayroe, flute from Baylor, played Tango and Etude #3 b by Astor Piazolla


May Meeting
In May we welcomed Laurie Shulman, who delighted us with tidbits about unrecognized British composers and samples of their works.


Chapter News

The following people were elected by acclamation as officers for 2014-2015:
   President - Phyllis  Wilson
   VP - Susan Poelchau
   Secretary - Sylvia Taylor
   Corresponding Secretary - Frances Estes
   Chaplain - Pat Suitt
   Steward - Jenny Smith
   Historian - Mary Williams
   Chorister - Tena Hehn

Other people willing to serve on committees (not limited to these people):
Program Committee - Tena Hehn (chair), Walteria Bethea, Susan Poelchau, and Claudia Jameson
Concert Series - Susan Poelchau, Mary Williams, Pat Hill
Scholarship Committee - Jenny Smith
SERV hours - Jenny Smith

They were installed in May by Jenny Smith.

New officers: Jenny Smith, Tena Hehn, Phyllis Wilson, Sandra McMillen, Pat Suitt,
Susan Poelchau, Mary Williams, Sylvia Taylor (missing Frances Estes)

You can now “Like” the Dallas Alumni Chapter on Facebook. Type it in and keep up with our activities. Feel free to post items that reflect your musical and professional activities. Share your postings. This is a great way to spread the word about Mu Phi.

Your yearbooks will be ready at the September meeting. If you have changed any info, let Sandra McMillen know before we print these – ASAP.

Our new-looking website will be up by the end of this month. It is nearly ready to go – just waiting for this newsletter and bios for the Sunday concerts. It will have the same name and features, just a newer look (and more compatible with hosting servers so that we don’t get shut down.)

The Dallas Chapter was represented at the 2014 Convention in Sacramento by Ashley Kimmel, Sandra McMillen, Jenny Smith, Phyllis Wilson, Tena Hehn and Wynona Lipsett.

<  Congratulations to Jenny Smith who was elected 2nd VP, Collegiate Advisor, following retiring Sandra McMillen. She requests that we use her official e-mail address for all Mu Phi correspondence:

>  Congratulations to Ashley Kimmel who was appointed District Director for South Central 2 Province. She will also serve as a liaison between the International Executive Board and the Alumni chapter.

Phyllis Wilson accepted the awards for our chapter – 4th place in the Circle of Winners, Outstanding Alumni Chapter in the Southwest Province and Outstanding Newsletter.

We welcome two new patrons – Ashley’s fiancé Basil Bouras and Jenny Smith’s father, John Smith.


A new work was born at SMU on April 4th. The New Music Ensemble premiered a piece composed by Adrian Hernandez that was commissioned for them by Mary Ann Taylor. The interesting work entitled Syzgygy featured an unusal combination of instruments. Mary Ann's son BJ Taylor played trombone in the ensemble of violin, flute, cello, trombone, French horn and trumpet.

Congratulations to Cherie Bell who received her Master of Liberal Studies from SMU Friday, May 17th, 2014.

Judy Dardaganian is introducing the new Presbyterian Hymnal Glory to God to members of West Plano Presbyterian Church, who have embraced it lovingly. She is working on getting to know the writers of the hymns (text) and the composers of the tune/music. 

From Judy: Please express my thanks for the concern of my Mu Phi friends during Stephen's illness. I miss you all. Maybe - just maybe - I can see you during this coming year. Stephen is doing well. He has been through some very difficult days. He will not be driving, though, so we have been very busy since he has been home with many doctors' appointments, errands, etc. All the best, Judy

Congratulations to Ashley Kimmel who was recently engaged to Basil Bouras. She recruited him as a new patron. [I like the way she thinks.]

A new baby is on the way for Walteria Bethea.

We have a new phone number for Nicki Wilbanks who is at Presbyterian North. Contact the President or webmaster if you need it.

Julie Heller, Delta Pi, married Jared Duncan earlier this summer. She was District Director for South Central 3 during her graduate studies at Texas Tech. She is an elementary music teacher who spent her summer earning Orff Level 1 certification.

New Members
Please welcome these new members:

Nadine Cole (friend of Pat Hill)
Piano, voice

Nadine recently moved to Dallas from New York. She was affiliated with Mu Phi while she attended Eastman School of Music (Mu Epsilon), is a pianist, vocalist, and especially an accompanist for student competitions. She joined Melodie Club last year and has already performed there.

Joining us are recent graduates from Phi Tau (UNT):
Michelle Perez

Virginia Potcinske Hadzic
French horn

Megan Carfa


Susan Poelchau has lined up some great performers for our 2014-2015 series. Our first concert is on September 28th at 3 pm and features the Azul Piano Duo - with Hye-young Song and Amy Gustafson. Plan to welcome them at our season opening.

See the complete concert schedule on the Concert Series page: Click on Performers or Programs for more information.

You will enjoy some unusual groups this year, including Mary Alice Rich’s opera chamber group who will perform for us at our first meeting, and the Menagerie Multicultural Ensemble featuring musicians from various countries, cultures, and languages including Brazil, Thailand, Taiwan, China, Colombia and the United States. They embrace Classical, Jazz and Ethnomusic. The instrumentation is non-traditional - clarinet, pipa, violin, flute, a jazz rhythm section and world percussion. Should be fun!

The Abilene Chamber Players - faculty at Hardin-Simmons University - will present an interesting program of chamber music dating from the 18th century with Crusell’s Clarinet Quartet, to contemporary works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Karel Husa and works by Peter Schickele and Astor Piazzolla.

Last year our Concert Series had three concerts canceled due to maintenance problems at the Library. The new budget for the Dallas City Council restored $3M to the library this year and next year of the $10M requested. (The 2008 level was $30M.) We hope to have a better year this year.

Please volunteer to Susan Poelchau to help at Sunday concerts; we have several dates where we will be shorthanded. Check our Concert Series page for bios and programs or last minute changes - or contact Mary Williams you have questions before attending a concert.

Please share the concert schedule with students and friends.


Mu Phi Epsilon International

The International Board of Mu Phi Epsilon announced the retirement of Gloria Debatin (left) as International Executive Secretary/Treasurer.

The new International Executive Secretary/Treasurer is Jennifer Maeda (pronounced mah-EE-da), an association management professional with diverse, in-depth experience in financial and administrative leadership in nonprofit organizations. She is based in Fort Collins, CO, where she is backed by a team of other professionals in the association management firm Synergos, with which the Fraternity has contracted.

As of June 1, the new International Executive Office address is:
   Mu Phi Epsilon
   PO Box 1369
   Fort Collins, CO 80522-1369
The phone number and email address will remain the same: 888-259-1471 and

More Adieus

Many thanks for the years of service that Lenita McCallum and Sandra McMillen gave to the fraternity as Alumni Advisor and Collegiate Advisor respectively.

From Sandra: I completed my second term as International 2nd VP - Collegiate Advisor at the close of the MPE Convention. I really enjoyed the six years working with collegiate members, faculty advisors, and chapter advisors. I will miss that close connection but know that the new 2nd VP will do a grand job and continue the work of building healthy chapters.
(See the Interview with Sandra on the Interviews page.)

Excerpt from Lenita:
… I have enjoyed the interaction with so many of you and our shared vision of making Mu Phi Epsilon a thriving, vital organization again. … there are many ways you can help on the national level. If you have interest in any of the standing committees, let Rosemary [Ames] know. She is usually looking for willing hands and hearts. Perhaps you have some skills that would be particularly valuable to one of them. …the lack of District Directors in certain areas continues to drag down performance by chapters so again, if you know of anyone in your area who would be a candidate to work on that level, please let either Rosemary or Jenny Smith, our new 2nd VP know about them. …I bid you all a sad, but happy farewell. I look forward to lasting friendships with you as we move through life with Mu Phi Epsilon as the thread that binds us together. Thank you for your support, help and love these past five years.

New International Officers

President: Rosemary Ames (right)
1st Vice President, Extension Officer: Charlotte Brown
2nd Vice President, Collegiate Advisor: Jenny Smith
3rd Vice President, Alumni Advisor: Ruth Cuccia
4th Vice President, Music Advisor: Jan Scott
5th Vice President, Eligibility Advisor: Kayla Lisa
Executive Secretary-Treasurer / INEST: Jenny Maeda
Triangle Editor: Melissa Eddy

Their contact Information is on our Contact Us page.

Convention 2014

The 2014 Convention met in Sacramento, July 29 through August 2, 2014 at the Doubletree Hotel, Sacramento CA. Included was a celebration of the Mu Phi Epsilon Foundation’s 50th anniversary by past competition, scholarship and award winners. See Phyllis’ letter for a list of awards won by the chapter.

Included was a celebration of the Mu Phi Epsilon Foundation’s 50th anniversary by past competition, scholarship and award winners. We will hear Phyllis’ report at our September meeting. Below: Southwest Province awards.

< Jenny Smith and Phyllis Wilson

     Peggy Capps, Ashley Kimmel, Tena Hehn  >


Contact Information
Electronic mail President/ General Information -
Ashley Kimmel:
Website - Mary Williams:
Concert Series - Susan Poelchau:
 Membership - Lisa Beyer:
Programs - Tena Hehn - and Mary Ann Taylor -
Mu Phi Epsilon