Mu Phi Epsilon
Dallas Alumni Chapter

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2016, here we come!!!

In The Triangle, Ruth Cuccia’s article, as Alumni advisor, relates the theme the International Executive Board made for 2015-2016. The title is “High Noon”, a theme about getting it done and making it happen!! For us as the Dallas Alumni Chapter members, I think that means we have experienced an exciting fall with new members, new ideas, new programs with new leadership. Now it is time to put all that together. Let’s enter 2016 with renewed energy to culminate the year with full participation in our Concert Series at the Library, in our “senior songs” at Monticello West and bring a sense of urgency toward addressing our financial needs.

Our District meeting at TCU January 16-17 has been postponed – more information later. Maybe we can work out some carpooling to TCU. Please attend our January 11 meeting at Sylvia Taylor’s and enjoy Ashley Bouras’ presentation on the Orff Method.

I live in Mesquite and our daughter’s family in Sunnyvale. We consider ourselves fortunate that the storms on Dec. 26 went around us. Since our house is only one block off Interstate 30, the tornados were certainly very close. Many were not so fortunate and they are facing a very uncertain 2016. Our daughter knew several families that experienced damage, of course, some worse than others. We all respond to disasters in our own way, but this is a difficult way for those families to live out the holiday season.

Congratulations to Ashley and Basil Bouras on their November wedding and their first Christmas together as a married couple.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday with friends and family. This season brings many wonderful opportunities to listen and participate in glorious music. The sounds of the season conjure up many memories and often leaves us basking in the familiar carols. Music offers us a special way to enjoy the holiday season. I trust you experienced many inspiring “notes”.

Happy New Year!

Phyllis Wilson, President


Upcoming Meetings

January: Tooting into the New Year
Mon Jan 11 - 7 pm
Host: Sylvia Taylor
Co-host: Ashley Kimmel
Co-host: Tena Hehn
Performance: Orff Lecture – Ashley Kimmel


February: Joint Meeting with SAI
Date/Time: Monday February 8 - 7:00 pm
Location: Collora Piano, 1451 Wycliff Ave
Hosts: SAI
Program:nce and Baroque Dance Forms
La Bouree by Michael Praetorius (1571-1621)
Pavane "Belle qui tiens ma vie" by Thoinot Arbeau (1519-1595)
The Faerie-Round by Anthony Holborne (1545-1602)
Balletto by Antonio Brunelli (1577-1630)
   Lisa Beyer, Ashley Bouras, Basil Bouras, Virginia Hadzic,
   Susan Poelchau, Harald Poelchau, recorders;
   Nathaniel Earhart, guitar
Andrew Balettie - Saxophone
Sam Melnick - Phi Tau Alum
Let Megan Carfa know if you are interested in performing at the Feb joint meeting with SAI. They need to print their program soon, so if anyone is interested, please let her know ASAP.


March: Senior Songs
Date/Time: Saturday, March 12 - 10 am
Location: Monticello West senior living home - 5114 McKinney Ave, Dallas
Program: Walteria Bethea Caldwell, soprano and others
Be thinking of some light music you might perform for appreciative residents of Monticello West
A short meeting will follow. Go out to lunch afterwards for those who want to go.
Contact Megan Carfa to volunteer.


South Central District Conference

The January 16th date did not work out and the Conference is postponed. There are two possible weekends in March that are being looked at (possibly the 12th or 19th), but nothing has been confirmed as of yet. We will send a special mailing with information when we get it.

Scholarship Fund

Though generous contributions have been made to our Scholarship Fund for this year, we still need to build up this fund and more contributions are welcome. Send your check to Sandra McMillen, specifying what it is for. To date, the chapter has received $460.00 to fund the scholarship for this year. Thanks to all contributors.

We have also received $30 in contribution to our concert series and could use more funds for that. Money is needed for several piano tunings and for printing programs during the year. To get a tax deduction, you may donate directly to Mu Phi Epsilon International; mail your check made to Mu Phi Epsilon with a letter of explanation to International Executive Office – Mark Gehrke, PO Box 1369, Fort Collins, CO 80522. There is now a form you may use to send with your contribution: Click here for form.
Or you may send a check made to Friends of the Library. Send to Friends of the Library, J. Erik Jonsson Library, 1515 Young St., Dallas TX 75201 specifying it is for the Mu Phi Epsilon Concert Series.


You can “Like” the Dallas Alumni Chapter on Facebook to keep up with messages and events. Type it in within Facebook, or click on Members can post their own performances there as well.


November Meeting

Pat Suitt told the story of her 100-year-old Sohmer piano.
      Virginia Hadzic shown with birthday cake>

The program featured works that were composed in 1915:
- Andante movement from Faure Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 109 with Gretchen Nichols, cello, and Pat Suitt, piano
- First movement from Debussy Suite for 2 Pianos, En Blanc et noir with Pat Suitt and Susan Poelchau, duo-piano
- a vocal selection from de Falla El Amor Brujo with Claudia Jameson, soprano, and Tena Hehn, piano; and
- de Falla's Ritual Fire Dance from “El Amor Brujo” with Pat Suitt and Susan Poelchau, duo-piano.

Gretchen Nichols / Pat Suitt                       Susan Poelchau / Pat Suitt        Claudia Jameson / Tena Hehn

Phyllis Wilson read a letter from International President Rosemary Ames for our 112th anniversary. Tena Hehn collected Founders Day pennies in the absence of the treasurer.

Wynona Lipsett's daughter Michelle brought violet-themed china and other items for members to take home. Phyllis Wilson may still have some items if you did not get anything.

After the Founders Day ceremony, the executive board of Phi Tau chapter initiated special election member Lisa Beyer in a beautiful and moving ceremony. Nathaniel Earhart was preparing for his graduation recital and his father was very ill, so he will be initiated in January. The meeting closed with the singing of the Creed, followed by refreshments.

< Phyllis Wilson, Lisa Beyer, Ashley Kimmel Bouras


Member News

Ashley Kimmel and Basil Bouras were married the day after Thanksgiving at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. Virginia Hadzic and Megan Carfa were among her attendants. We all wish them the best.

Mary Ann Taylor has had two articles in the Dallas Morning News. This is a link to one of them:

Walteria Bethea Caldwell has checked in as being busy weeknights and sometimes weekends with teaching and children. She has just started a nonprofit foundation and is in the middle of finishing the leg work to apply for grants. Her son Jason has visited colleges and will attend Oberlin, playing football there; he will major in environmental sciences. Baby Gia has turned toddler, the apple of big sister Aria’s eye.

Martha Peak
We are saddened by the loss of longtime member Martha Peak. The following is her obituary.

Martha Raley Peak, 88, passed away on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, at her home in Dallas, Texas. She was born on March 1, 1927, to Lee and Willie Belle Raley and grew up in Dallas. She was a graduate of Highland Park High School, Sullins Junior College and SMU. Martha had a lifelong passion for the arts, particularly music. She began playing the piano as a small child and took up the violin at age 12. By the time she was in high school, she was giving piano lessons. At SMU, she earned a Bachelor of Music with majors in violin and piano and was inducted into the Pi Kappa Lamba honor society. She was an active member of the Chancel Choir at Highland Park Presbyterian Church for 67 years, finding in it her spiritual and social home. She has also sung in the HPPC Chamber Chorale and Dallas Civic Chorus and considered herself privileged to have participated in choral workshops and festivals conducted by Robert Shaw, John Rutter and Donald Knoen. Martha loved people and was a great champion of young musicians just starting their careers, going to great lengths to help and encourage them. She enriched many, many lives with her thoughtfulness, gracious hospitality and generosity.

Martha was very active in the community and belonged to many organizations, including Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, Mu Phi Epsilon, the Dallas Woman's Club, the Dallas County Club and the Dallas Petroleum Club. At the time of her death, she was serving on boards at the Dallas Opera, the Dallas Symphony, the Dallas Chamber Music Society and the Meadows School of the Arts.
Survivors include daughters Martha Rochelle and husband James A. Rochelle and Margaret Peak and granddaughters Katherine Rochelle and Rebecca Rochelle. Other survivors include her brothers Jack Raley and wife Lutetia and Bill Raley and wife JoAnn and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Martha was preceded in death by her daughter Mary Lee Peak in 2007 and her husband Preston A. Peak in 2014. Visitation will be at Sparkman-Hillcrest Funeral Home on Thursday, November 19, 2015, from 6 - 8 pm.

A Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 pm on Friday, November 20, 2015, at Highland Park Presbyterian Church, with Rev. Joseph B. Rightmyer officiating, and a reception will follow in Elliott Hall. Gifts in Martha's memory may be made to the Music Department at Highland Park Presbyterian Church, 3821 University Blvd., Dallas, Texas 75205, or to the SMU Meadows Division of Music, P.O. Box 750402, Dallas, Texas 75275. - See more at:

Concert Series

Our spring series starts January 31 and we have a wonderful and varied lineup. Please think of how you can participate in maintaining this series.
- We need some volunteers to help out at the library concerts on Sunday afternoons. We need someone on February 14 and April 3 specifically. Contact Susan Poelchau if you are able to come -
- We could use someone to distribute concert schedule posters to residences in the downtown area and local libraries or bulletin boards.
- Kimla Beasley has volunteered to send publicity to news outlets (done online). Thank you Kimla!
- We could use a new chairperson for the series as of next year, as Susan would like to retire.
- Attend these wonderful performances when you can and bring your friends.
- Everyone on Facebook – please share concert information from our Facebook page.

Check our Concert Series page – for schedule, bios and programs that are updated as they are received.

Note that our own members Walteria Bethea Caldwell and Kimla Beasley will present the February 7th program. Come out to support them!

See the Spring schedule on  the Concert Series page along with performer biographies and programs as they are received.

All concerts are FREE - on Sundays at 3 PM at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library First Floor Auditorium – 1515 Young St, Dallas. Reasonably priced parking is available in the Library garage entered from eastbound Wood Street behind the Library.


Mu Phi Epsilon International

Mu Phi Epsilon has officially launched its new website! Go to and check it out! Make your own profile and make changes at any time to your status, contact information, and interests. If you are a member -- even a member who has not paid dues recently - you can still log in and reconnect. More functionality with this will be added later that will make this an even better tool for you to use moving forward.
Alumni members will have the opportunity to pay dues for 2016-17 on this site. If you have any questions, contact Mark Gehrke, our new Secretary-Treasurer –


Contact Information
President / General Information - Mary Ann Taylor:
Website - Mary Williams:
Concert Series - Kimla Beasley:
VP/Membership - Lisa Beyer:
Programs - Amy Canchola:

Mu Phi Epsilon International: