Mu Phi Epsilon
Dallas Alumni Chapter

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Greetings, Mu Phis! 

What a great start we’ve had to 2020, with our meeting at Lisa Beyer’s house in January and our joint meeting with SAI in February! The momentum is building as we move toward convention. It’s so exciting that we’re picking up new members in the process! We’re thrilled to have Leslie Spotz, Debbie Brooks, Jordan Doss, and Kathie Johnson as new affiliates in our Dallas alumni chapter!!

Next month, we have two members of our chapter who are moving into the “GEMS OF OUR TRIANGLE” category, a special designation for those who have been in Mu Phi Epsilon for 50 or more years. Mary Ann Taylor and Zelda Hantz were initiated into Mu Phi in April 1970, 50 years ago! Note that there will be a special luncheon at convention this summer honoring all GEM members (all those initiated 50 or more years ago). For the Dallas chapter, that includes Pat Hill, Cynthia Wadley, Frances Estes, Mary Williams, Susan Poelchau, Judy Dardaganian, Pat Suitt, Katherine Freiberger, Tena Hehn, Julie Schmitt and Sandra McMillen, as well as Mary Ann and Zelda!

In February, Kimla Beasley and I represented Mu Phi Epsilon at the New Philharmonic Orchestra of Irving’s annual Grace Note Awards. (Mu Phi Epsilon won a Grace Notes award in 2009, the very first year the awards were given, in recognition of the Mu Phi Library Concert series. Many thanks to Cleo Furr, Frances Stuart, Edie Pfautsch, Mary Williams, Susan Poelchau, Claudia Jameson and generations of Mu Phi’s that have kept this series running for 82 years!) This year’s awards recognized the contributions of print media to the musical scene of North Texas, including the Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star Telegram, music critic Scott Cantrell, Patron Magazine and commentator Lee Cullum.

We need volunteers for the following three committees. Please let me know if you’re willing to serve on any (or all!) of the following:

• Scholarship Committee: Need several people to volunteer for a very short-term task.
• Nominating Committee: Will present a slate of officers to be voted on at the April 11 meeting.
  See more about these two committees in the Chapter News section
• Convention Committee: Planning our local involvement in the international convention, which will be held
  in Grapevine July 22-26. See more in the Convention section.

Hope to see you next Tuesday, March 17, at 7:00 at Sylvia Taylor’s house!
UPDATE: This meeting has been cancelled.


Nancy Laine


January 13, 2020 - 2020 Hindsight
Hosted by Lisa Beyer

The meeting was opened with 15 members, 1 patron and 3 guests introducing themselves to the group. We welcomed back former member Priscilla Long after a long absence.

The program opened with 3 selections for viola da gamba trio: Une jeune fillette and Two Fantasias by Gibbons, played by Susan Poelchau and guests Rachel Phares (left) and Susan Scheib (right).

Soprano Julie Schmitt (right) , soprano Amy Canchola (center) and pianist Susan Poelchau (left), performed selections from Julie's song cycle composition “Songs of Remembrance”.


February 10, 2020 – Joining Together

Our annual joint meeting with SAI was held at Arapaho United Methodist Church in Richardson. It was hosted by the SAIs.


Two Fantasias for Five Viols
- Richard Dering
Almaine & Galliarde: The Fairie-round - Anthony Holborne

Dallas Consort of Viols: Rachel Phares, Susan Poelchau, Allen Garvin, Susan Scheib,  Mary Beth Hays, violas da gamba

Mein Herz ist bereit, from "Symphoniae Sacrae" - Heinrich Schütz

Claudia Jameson, soprano; Mary Alice Rich, Louise Rossi, violins;  Gretchen Nichols, cello; Susan Poelchau, piano >

Orchestral Suite #3 in B Minor
- Johann Sebastian Bach
V. Polonaise and Double

Vicky Suarez, flute
Betsy Durnin, piano

Alma grande e nobil core (K. 578)
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

   Leanne Scaggs, soprano
   Betsy Durnin, piano
< Suarez, Durnin, Scaggs

The Junk Man Rag - C. Luckyth Roberts
Intermezzo from “Cavalleria Rusticana” - Mascagni (arr. Jim Higgins)
La Cumparsita - G. Rodriguez

Texas Winds String Trio: Mary Alice Rich, violin; Gretchen Nichols, cello; Jane Aten, viola >


Next Meetings

The theme for this year’s meetings is 2020 Vision to celebrate this coming year’s convention in Dallas. We are trying to incorporate 2020 in as many ways as possible into our meeting themes and selections.

March – Looking Forward on a Clear Day

Tuesday, March 17 – 7 pm
Location: Home of Sylvia Taylor
Host: Sylvia Taylor
Co-hosts: Fran Pearson, Pat Hill

Katherine Freiberger speaking on "Music in the Mountains"
Claudia Jameson - piece by Katy Freiberger
A SURPRISE Beethoven work – Tena Hehn and Nancy Laine


April - Music Scholarship

Saturday, April 4 – 11 am
Location: Lovers Lane United Methodist Church,
9200 Inwood Road, Dallas 75220
Coordinator: Phyllis Wilson (please let her know what you are bringing
and/or if you can help set up)
Co-hosts: All members

Lunch potluck – food brought to celebrate our collegiates - by all members
Program: Award Scholarship
Scholarship winner and collegiate performers

REVISED MEETING PLAN: We will have a virtual chapter meeting at our regularly scheduled time on Saturday, April 4 at our regular meeting time - 11 am, using  ZOOM software. Ashley Bouras will set up the meeting with her teacher copy of Zoom, so we won’t be restricted by the 40 minute limit.

Click the link and you are joined to the others..

IF YOU HAVE NEVER USED ZOOM, DOWNLOAD IT FIRST. GO TO WWW.ZOOM/US/ TO DOWNLOAD THE SOFTWARE. You can participate with a video of yourself, if your computer has a built-in or add-on camera, and/or audio. You need to select one or both to have others see/hear you.

Since our collegiates are out of school and will not be attending, we would like to have several performances from members.  It would be fun to hear some of our newer members, or maybe some who don’t get to attend regularly. Contact Kimla, Susan or Claudia to volunteer for the April or May meetings.

The Board will meet at 10:30 on Zoom for our chapter review with Ashley. The rest of the chapter is invited to join at 11:00 (BYOL - bring your own lunch!).


We need volunteers for the following three committees. Let Nancy Laine know if you’re willing to serve on any (or all!) of the following:

Scholarship Committee: Need several people to volunteer for a very short-term task. Job entails reviewing the scholarship applications (which will be emailed to you next week), then meeting via conference call on Monday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m. to recommend a winner. The scholarship committee will present its recommendation to the chapter at the next meeting the next day (March 17).

Nominating Committee: We will present a slate of officers to be voted on at the April 11 meeting.

And – see CONVENTION for more volunteering opportunities.

In February, Kimla Beasley and Nancy Laine represented Mu Phi Epsilon at the New Philharmonic Orchestra of Irving’s annual Grace Note Awards. (Mu Phi Epsilon won a Grace Notes award in 2009, the very first year the awards were given, in recognition of the Mu Phi Library Concert series) This year’s awards recognized the contributions of print media to the musical scene of North Texas, including the Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star Telegram, music critic Scott Cantrell, Patron Magazine and commentator Lee Cullum

Your Newsletter Editor Mary Williams appreciates knowing what you are doing or if you have changes to your information. Your news is our news. Next Newsletter deadline is April 27.

Spread the word! Sign up for our Facebook page and share our concert series postings. You can post your own performances there as well. We just cannot use that space to advertise or sell products.


Welcome these new members:

Debbie Brooks
Cellist / Contractor / Phi Tau

Debbie pledged Phi Tau Chapter (now UNT) in 1974 and was chapter president in her senior year 1976-77. She served as District Director for 6 years after graduation, following in Tena Hehn’s footsteps! She was National Sterling Award Winner in 1977 as Deborah Petty. She is looking forward to being an active member.

Leslie Spotz
Piano / Curtis Institute of Music

Dr. Leslie Spotz is Professor of Piano at Texas A & M Tarleton in Stephenville and is faculty advisor for the MPE chapter there. She has been a regular performer on our concert series for many years, both as soloist and in collaborative groups and has performed all over the world. We are delighted to have her this year. See her extensive resume on our Performers section of Concert Series on our website.

Jordan Doss
Music Education / French Horn / Phi Tau

Jordan graduated from UNT in May 2019 with a Bachelor’s in Music Education. While there, he served as president of the Phi Tau chapter for two consecutive years, where they earned the title of International Collegiate Chapter of the Year. From Phi Tau, he learned many valuable things about how to function as a professional, a leader, and above all else, a good person. It was important to him to instill the legacy of Phi Tau’s success and warm atmosphere and leave it sustainable for the future leadership. Now he is the Assistant Band Director at Frank Seale Middle School in Midlothian, Texas. He is glad to be joining Dallas Alumni and is excited to be a part of the phamily

Kathryn (Kathie) Johnson
Organ / Mu Chi

A graduate of SMU when it still had a Mu Chi chapter, Kathie Ellsworth Johnson is currently Minister of Worship/Associate Organist at St. Stephen UMC in Mesquite and has served as President of the Dallas chapter of American Guild of Organists. This is her first time to affiliate with an alumni chapter. She has a friend from out-of-state coming to the Mu Phi convention this summer, and Kathie wants to come too. Her father is Eugene Ellsworth, who was Nancy Laine’s theory professor at SMU.

NOTE: Contact Webmaster or President for other contact information. We publish only email addresses of members on our website.


Tena Hehn's new email address is:

Phyllis Wilson has a new address. Contact Webmaster or President for this information.

Frances Estes asked that we list her landline. Contact Webmaster or President for this information.


What are we up to?

Ashley Bouras has been busy directing musicals:
MYO Urinetown Jan 22-25 (live band!)
JHE Annie Jr Feb 28
MYO Frozen March 5-7
... and coming up:
MYO Spelling Bee April 9-11
MYO Big Fish May 21-23 (live band!)

Lisa Beyer and Ashley Bouras were presenters at TMEA in January giving a presentation on Mindful Movement.

Ashley: Words cannot adequately express what I’m feeling leaving TMEA. I am beyond blessed to have such a wonderful friend to take these wild adventures with. Sharing our ideas with so many friends and colleagues brought me unimaginable joy. Thank you for joining us, it means so much to Lisa and I.

We are so proud of our members who are showing up in our community as leaders, performers, presenters, directors, and enhancing our musical presence in our community!

Katie Freiberger would like rides to the meetings. Contact Katie for exact address.

Phyllis Wilson has moved to her son's farm in Pilot Point and is not able to take Katie any longer. Her new address is listed above.

Pat Hill has recovered from a round of aspiration pneumonia.

Judy Dardaganian has moved to Highland Springs retirement home on Frankford Rd. Her new address is in the yearbook.

Mary Williams is just back from a cruise to the west coast of Mexico with her two sisters, one of whom is ill and needed an easy trip. All went well.

Claudia Jameson reported a full house over Christmas with 10 adults, 2 kids and her newly married son and bride.

Sam Melnick is the new librarian of Dallas Chamber Symphony.

Francis Vu will be directing the Convention Chorus.


Interview with Pat Suitt
By Mary Williams

Pat Suitt is a long-time Dallas Mu Phi and I have known her a long time. But, as I might say with many of our members, I never knew her very well; ships passing by the goody table you might say if don’t mind mixing metaphors, and hearing her at the piano at some of our meetings. So I asked her for an interview for this newsletter.

Interviews with members are not new. I was doing at least one at year for a while, sometimes two. But I haven’t done any in long time and hope to get back to doing some more as I think it helps us to get to know each other better. See some more member interviews on our website.

Pat grew up in Dallas and attended SMU while living at home. She married at 20 and then was off the family payroll to finish – and pay for - her music degree. She has some fond memories of SMU – especially ones involving Dr. Lloyd Pfautsch, who was choral director there for many years, and his wife Edie, who was a Mu Phi alumni member and liaison to the SMU Mu Chi chapter. Edie sometimes invited the Mu Chi collegiates to her home for tea or other chapter events, like initiations. Pat played violin as well as piano and played violin in the SMU orchestra. Favorite performances were the great choral works conducted by Dr. Pfautsch.

She has one son, Jay, from her first marriage. She became a teacher as Jay entered school – first in pre-school, where he was, then moving up grade by grade. She taught classroom music at Burnett and class piano at Dunbar elementary schools. She also taught private piano at home and at Greenhill and in South Dallas. Along the way she returned to North Texas and got her Master’s degree in Piano Performance. She still has a few students and enjoys private teaching as a part of her life.

She met her second husband, Charles, at a class at Highland Park Presbyterian Church. Charles was a singer in several choruses over the years – the Dallas Symphony Chorus, Plano Civic Chorus and at several other churches where they both sang – Highland Park Methodist and Preston Hollow Presbyterian.

Some of their favorite memories are the performances of these wonderful choral groups, especially those conducted by David R. Davidson when they were members of the Highland Park Presbyterian Chancel Choir and the Plano Civic Chorus. Choral music has always played a prominent part in Pat’s life.

A choral highlight was singing as a guest singer with the Dallas Symphony Chorus in Israel as part of the 3000th year celebration. There were six concerts with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic of the Mahler 8th Symphony. She has also sung in concerts in Edinburgh, London, Coventry, Berlin, Prague, Berne, Barcelona, and more recently in France with a highlight in Notre Dame.

This past few years Pat was at the side of Charles as he became ill and died. Losing a loved one is always a time of upheaval and change. She has been grateful for the help of Jay, who is presently living with her, and Charles’ daughters who have been very kind. One of the daughters has a 5 year old child – so Pat is a step-grandmother. Our recent tornado ripped through her neighborhood but missed her by just a little bit. Life in continuing and Pat is getting out again.

She enjoys gardening indoors and out, and reading – periodicals, mysteries and books of all kind. She likes fabrics and used to sew. Maybe she will take that up again. Who knows? I asked what she is most proud of – and she answered – finishing graduate school. Anyone who has gone back to school while maintaining another full life knows what she means. A Hurrah! for that, Pat.

NOTE: This article will have a permanent place on our website under Interviews.


There have been several changes to our original schedule for spring.
• February 9: Landon Chang, saxophone and Xioa Wang, piano
• February 16: Dameron Growe, tenor and Anu Uranchimeg, piano
• March 1: Szu-Ying Huang and Gustavo Romero - duo-piano
• March 8: Eldred Marshall and Friends - Eldred Marshall, piano; Diego Villamil
  Gómez, violin; Diana Rosales, violin; Edwardo Ríos, viola; and Zoltán Csikós, cello
• March 15: Catalin Dima, piano
• March 22: Austin Simonds, piano and Friends - Austin Simonds, piano; Victor Musasia, baritone; and
  Briana Villalba, clarinet

And these unchanged concerts:
• March 29: Boulanger Quintet: Lakshmi Ananthakrishnan, violin; Sing-Yi Feng, violin; Shan Su, viola;
   Matthew Lewis, cello; Noah DeGarmo, piano
• April 5: Luis Sanchez piano studio (winners of a competition at Texas A&M Commerce – contest to
   be held soon)

Keep up to date by looking at the website: Click on Concert Series. There are links there to Performers bios and to their Programs, as received.

Pick up a few "business cards" at the next meeting that you can give friends with our website and Facebook contact info on it; YOU can help promote our series.

Our goal is to have every member help at a Sunday concert at least one time a year. So, if you have not done that this year, tell Kimla what Sunday works for you. Many thanks to Pat Suitt, Tena Hehn and Nancy Laine who have helped.


Nominations for National Officers

Nominations for national officers to serve on the 2020-2023 International Executive Board have been sent – with a deadline of March 1. The final slate of officers will be presented at the convention by the convention appointed nominating committee.


Our big news of course is that our CONVENTION is just around the corner - timewise and locationwise. If you have put aside your Triangle, get it out and start at page 16 to see a big spread on the DFW area and lots of information about what is planned, how to register for the convention itself and for the hotel if you wish to stay at the convention hotel.

Convention Dates: July 22–26, 2020
Put these dates on your calendar! You will want to be there!
Plan to attend the convention - even if all you can do is just one day. Having a convention in our own back yard last happened in 1968 - so hopefully everyone will be able to attend at least a part of this one - no air fare necessary!

Dates you need to know:
• International Competition Finals: Wed July 22 from 2 - 5 pm

• Early Bird Convention Registration Deadline: April 15, 2020 - $300 for the 3 days (includes 3 lunches, 3 dinners, all convention events), or you can go one day for $150 which includes lunch and dinner for that day.
UPDATE 3/12: The convention early bird registration fee of $300 has been extended through April 30. (Rate increases to $350 after April 30)

If a decision is made to cancel or postpone the convention, all who have registered will receive a full refund of the registration fee paid. Hotel reservations may be canceled at no cost to the attendee. Check with your airline on their policy for canceling a reservation. Many airlines are offering plans now that reservations made through March 31 may be changed for free over the next 12 months, so it might be a good time to get your reservation. Prices are very good right now.

• After April 30 full registration increases to $350.

• Registration Deadline: Postmarked by June. Forms received after June 30 will have $50 late fee added.

• No refunds after June 30.

• Individual meals for individuals and/or guests not attending other functions (lunch or dinner Thurs, Fri or Sat - no other events) - $75@

Register online now: available at

Location: Embassy Suites Hotel, 2401 Bass Pro Drive, Grapevine, TX. Embassy Suites is off of Hwy 121 near Grapevine Mills Mall - just north of DFW airport. Perhaps we can have a few daily carpools for those not staying at the hotel.

• Hotel registration: at Embassy Suites website - or call 972-724-2600 - ask for inhouse reservations and reference Mu Phi Epsilon 2020 Convention group for special rate of $159 valid from July 18-29 + tax for single or double (allows you to come earlier and/or stay later). Rate is through July 1. Registered guests receive included breakfast and evening reception every day.

On page 15 in the Triangle is more information about getting sponsors for our convention booklet. See the forms at the end of this newsletter if you are able to find someone to sponsor an ad.

Volunteers Needed

• Convention Committee: Planning our local involvement in the international convention, which will be held in Grapevine July 22-26. Contact Nancy Laine to help.

• We are still looking for sponsors for program ads, sponsors for various events, and items for goodie bags. Nancy will send more about that in a future email.

In addition, many volunteers are needed to procure donated or loaned items. Be thinking of how you can contribute to our International Convention. Contact Nancy Laine or Lisa Beyer if you can address one of these needs:

• Steinway piano - Rental should be free since there will be at least one Steinway artist, but we need to make arrangements for portage (delivery 7/22 AM; pick up on Sunday, 7/26). Anyone have a Steinway dealership contact?

• Small portable piano to use in the meeting space. Anyone know of one that could be used?

• Music stands and risers (4 sections) – Anyone have a school or church that would be willing to loan these out?

• Photographer – anyone interested in being the official convention photographer?

• Ads in the program book – any thoughts on companies, groups, chapters, schools, or individuals who might like to buy one? Rates range from $75 (business card size) - $250 (full page) for Mu Phi members, $100 - $350 for non-Mu Phi’s. Inside and back covers are also available ($500 - $750). Details and forms available.

• Goodies for the tote bags – we’ll be stuffing 250 bags. IEO will purchase something like pens or pencils. We need to check with places like the Chamber of Commerce, the Bass Pro store that’s connected to the hotel, other businesses, etc.

• Event Sponsorship opportunities – Sponsorships are available ranging from $75 (for convention nametags) to $5,000 (various dinners) to $10,000 (full day at convention). Details and forms available.

• Mu Phi Store – The St. Louis alumni will be in charge of a “store” at the convention where chapters can sell things (like extra t-shirts or whatever). Do we have things we’d like to sell? There will be specific times in the convention schedule that the store is open.

• Photo booth – Possibility of setting up a photo booth (maybe a good job for a collegiate chapter?)

• Transportation greeters – we may need a few greeters at DFW airport.

• Meal decorations – haven’t really gotten that far in planning yet, but the time will come.

The last pages are forms that you can use when you solicit ads, donations and sponsorships for our Convention.

If you think this is a lot of work – it’s not like it used to be. The host chapters had much more work to do in planning. The last time the Convention was in Dallas was in 1968.                  


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: