Mu Phi Epsilon
Dallas Alumni Chapter

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Greetings, Mu Phi friends!  

As Bob Dylan would say, the times they are a-changin’, and the weather right along with it as well. As I write these notes, it’s a beautiful fall afternoon, but who knows what it will be like by the time you read this!

As we embrace “changing times” with this year’s theme, it’s also comforting to know that some things seem to stand the test of time. This month we celebrate the founders of Mu Phi Epsilon, Winthrop S. Sterling and Elizabeth Mathias Fuqua, who began Mu Phi Epsilon in November 1903. Although changes have occurred in Mu Phi over the past 117 years, the ideals of Music, Friendship, and Harmony are as relevant today as ever.

Next Monday night, November 9, at 7:00, we’ll celebrate Founders Day for the first time at a Zoom meeting. (Yes, some things have really changed!) And we’ll also be treated to a performance by Susan Poelchau and her friend, Mary Alice Rich.

Have you listened in yet on this fall’s library concert series? I am continually amazed, not only at the quality of the performers, but also at how well the series has transitioned into a virtual format. It would have been so easy to say, “Oh, the library is closed, we’ll have to cancel our series this year.” But Kimla Beasley, Susan Poelchau, Mary Williams and Debbie Brooks don’t give up that easily! The Concert Series has continued uninterrupted since 1937. If a World War couldn’t stop the series, they certainly weren’t going to let a little thing like COVID stop it either! And since the audience is no longer limited to people who can go downtown on Sunday afternoons, we’re getting many more views than we normally had attendees. Viewers can watch the previous Sunday’s performance throughout the following week. Try it!

Concerts are on YouTube, Facebook and on our own website’s Concert Series page:

Looking forward to seeing you all next Monday!

Nancy Laine


November Meeting – Time to Take a Deep Breath - AHhh!

Monday, November 9 – 7 pm
Program: Mary Alice Rich, violin and Susan Poelchau, piano
    “Meditation” from the opera Thais
     by Jules Massenet
     “Passaggio” by Ludovico Einaudi.

Founder’s Day Celebration

Join us on our Zoom Meeting – link to be sent later. Look for it in an email and on the day of the meeting.

Violinist/composer Mary Alice Rich has been a member of Musical Arts Club for several years. She composed the opera “Wading Home” based on the novel by Rosalyn Story. The opera was awarded an MPower Grant from the Sphinx Competition and was presented in concert form on April 2, 2015 at the Dallas City Performance Hall. We have also heard excerpts from it at a meeting. Mary Alice is a graduate of the University of Illinois and three-time winner of the Texas Orchestra Directors Association Composition Contest.


NOTE: Debbie Brooks, who has been hosting our Zoom meetings,
has conflicts so we need someone else to host those meetings,
starting with this meeting. Need a volunteer!

No Meeting in December


January Meeting  Time to Visit Germany

Monday, January 11 – 7 pm

Location: Home of Claudia Jameson (if we are safe by then)
OR (more likely) Zoom - Link to be sent to members
Host: Claudia Jameson
Co-hosts: Sandra McMillen, Tena Hehn

Program: Claudia Jameson, soprano
"Die Schnur, die Perl and Perle and Vergebliches Standchen"
by Johannes Brahms


September Meeting – Time to Reminisce

Our Saturday, September 9th Zoom meeting featured a video from the “Carnival of the Animals” originally performed and recorded by members of Mu Phi Epsilon and friends on April 2, 2001. We enjoyed seeing our performers as they were 20 years ago in this delightful performance.

Pianists: Katie Freiberger, Tena Hehn, Pat Hill, Mary Beth Johnson, Sylvia Taylor, Martha Pettit, Judy Reynolds, Sadie Rowe, Karen Schoenrock, Gaylia Seeley, Frances Stuart, Pat Suitt, June Tighe
Cellist: Gretchen Nichols
Instrumentals: Paul Dutka
Reader of the Ogden Nash narration: Debbie Pfautsch

Nancy Laine proudly shared the awards our chapter won this past year.


October Meeting –  Baroque Times

Our meeting and program on Zoom featured Fran Pearson, viola, who played Bach Suite #1 in C major for cello - Minuet #1 & #2.

She also sang some songs she sings with her school classes: Children's Songs from Rogers and Hammerstein musicals.

Fran Pearson recommends as a good site for elementary music teaching resources.


Meetings and Programs

From Nancy: Calling all MPE composers!

As you may have noticed in the yearbook, our Mu Phi theme for the year is Changing Times. I tried to find something we could sing that fit the theme. There are options out there, like Bob Dylan’s “The Times, They Are a-Changing,” and songs by Aretha Franklin, Earth Wind and Fire, and others. But nothing I felt we could do as a group (especially on Zoom).

So I thought of Plan B – how fun it would be to have our resident composers (that is, YOU!) come up with songs or instrumental pieces illustrating the Changing Times theme (probably to be performed by a single person or small group rather than the whole crowd). You wouldn’t necessarily have to perform it yourself, although that’s certainly an option. Ideally, we could highlight one at each of the remaining meetings (Nov., Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May) [Mary: or designate March as Composer Month]. How cool would it be to say on our end-of-year report that our chapter “commissioned” works to match our theme!

Another option is to write new words for existing tunes (about the extent of my “compositional” skills!) We might have some other folks take us up on that option. But I thought I’d start by asking you, our known composers.?? Thanks for considering it!

From Mary: We need a program for March and featuring our composers would be something we could do - if our composers can submit something, possibly around our theme, but not necessarily. Could be an oldy or something new. Let Claudia Jameson know if you have something written and/or you could write something or perform something. Instrumentalists? Singers? Come forth!

Julie Schmitt may have something in the works, and Mary Ann Taylor has already written a poem suitable to be set to music. She says: This poem is in 6565 meter. It's based on Ashley's student's comment yesterday.

[Ashley: After my kindergarten class, one of my kids disappeared from the line and went back into my classroom. I went to get him back and he was lying down, curled up on his spot. I asked what was up and he said “I want music to be forever” in the sweetest, saddest voice.]

So here is Mary Ann’s poem - Music is Forever:

Music is forever:
It was always true.
The music you love now
Brightens all you do.

When hard times come along,
Change the path of gloom.
Sing or play or listen:
Hearts will find the room.

Joy is in the journey.
Changing times don’t stay,
Music gives us courage
All along the way.

Mary Williams is taking a class at Collin College that features some poems. Parts might work for a composer. They are in a separate file – for those who are interested. Email Mary for the poems. Or you can always ask Mr. Google for ideas. Changing meter is another possible idea….

Another poem (author unknown):
God's the Reason For All Things

You want rainbows, you get rain
We'll all be forever changed
(Forever changed).

I'll sail my boat and fly my kite
Walk in the park, go out at night
And hold my loved ones extra tight.

When everything is on the mend
I'll even drink with my old friends -
Sing and play the mandolin.

We'll make it through this long night
Darkness fades when faced with light
And everything's gonna be all right
When life is good again.

From Henry Van Dyke, born on November 11, 1852:

Time Is . . .
Too slow for those who wait,
Too swift for those who fear,
Too long for those who grieve,
Too short for those who rejoice,
But for those who love,
Time is Eternity.


Newsletter / Website

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 January 4.


Please make these changes/corrections in your Yearbook:

Rosemary Ames has moved. If you need her address, please contact the webmaster for it.

Gems: Mary Ann Taylor - initiated in 1970
Sandra McMillen - initiated in 1964
p 9: Typo for Orah

From Susan Poelchau: I have good news today-cancer is gone! Doing one more chemotherapy now, then follow ups for a while. Whew!

Ashley Bouras was named a Richardson ISD Super Teacher last week! The deputy superintendent, Tabitha Branum, came to her virtual staff meeting and presented the award. Congratulations Ashley!

And speaking of Ashley – here is the official family Halloween photo with Basil and Evelyn.

Mary Ann Taylor is a new member of the Dallas Interfaith Council and has been helping to put together a program at Thanksgiving Square with music and inspirational artwork for Thanksgiving. Big event!

She says: It will begin airing on December 13. The first day is live; we record the others in November. It will be via Facebook on Thanks-giving Square page.

So far we have five musicians of considerable diversity. I haven’t seen the artist interviews yet but hear they are fabulous! We may also be able to include Nancy Laine’s [organ] recording.


Using Zoom

If you have not used Zoom or are having trouble with it, please ask for assistance.

Note: We are not requiring a password for our Zoom meetings, since a link is sent only to members and the likelihood of our meetings being crashed is remote. (If hackers have our link, they would also have the password.) Once you have downloaded Zoom (takes just a minute), Zoom is super easy - click a link and you are there.


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.
* Please sit in a lighted place and ajust your screen and/or chair height so we can see you.
* Please use headphones or earbuds to minimize noise and for best audio.
* Keep your audio muted (by clicking on the audio icon in lower left of your screen) when you are not talking.
* You can toggle between Gallery View (see everyone) and Speaker View (see only the speaker) by clicking on the square shaped icon in the upper right corner of your screen. If you don't see it, hover your cursor in the area until it shows up.
* At the end of the meeting, click Leave Meeting in the lower right corner.


Our pre-recorded videos are working very well for our Virtual Concert Series as the Library is still closed. Our performers have been excellent and the production quality has been good as well.

The concerts are still at 3 pm on Sundays, but now are also available for viewing through Friday of the concert week. We have seen great audiences numbers – many more now coming from around the city and country.

Our Major Tech Guru who is making this season happen is Kimla Beasley who is working with performers, getting their videos uploaded to our Concert Series page, as well as to Facebook and YouTube, and sending out colorful flyers. She is also introducing each concert. Whew!

Help us spread the word about Mu Phi and our Concert Series! With our regular concert goers not joining us at the Library, it is even more important than ever that you let your family, friends, colleagues and students know about our free concerts being online - and encourage them to attend. Your help in forwarding the concert flyer each week to friends is really paying off! We have had some listings in local arts listings as well.

As happens very season, we have had some changes in the schedule. For this coming Sunday’s concert – November 8 – we have a change to a Piano Trio with Hyejin Lee - violin, Hamin Kim - cello, Kihwa Kim – piano. They will play two lovely trios:
   Piano Trio No. 39 in G major by Joseph Haydn
   Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49 by Felix Mendelssohn

The February 14th concert will be a piano duo, rather than solo.

Our last concert for fall will be on November 15 - harpist Mallory McHenry.

See this season's schedule on the Concert Series page.

A direct link to our Sunday 3 pm concerts is:


Editor Wanted

Hi Everyone,

As you know, Ann Davis has served as the Editor for the Final Notes section of the Triangle for several years now and done an excellent job of keeping track of and honoring our members who move on to a higher calling. Ann has let us know that she is looking to hand over this very rewarding position to someone else.
The job is not intensive at all and as Ann can tell you, a most rewarding position. Members send Ann notice of fellow members who have passed on. Or sometimes, I send the notices to Ann from information I read in your newsletters. Ann has a spreadsheet where she keeps track of the names. Each time a Triangle is prepared, Ann sends the notices to the Triangle Editor with a short paragraph about the member. She checks online for obituaries or contacts chapters for additional information. Ann uses the database to check the chapter and date of initiation. There are four issues of the Triangle, so notices are sent to the Triangle Editor before each issue. You would be reminded when it was time to send the Final Notes column.

Other than that, at the convention, at least for the last four conventions, the Final Notes editor has taken part in the Memorial Service by reading highlights from each province of members passed since the last convention (thus the spreadsheet Ann has designed). However, this is not a requirement, so if you are interested in the Final Notes position but would not want to participate at the convention, that is perfectly fine. That can certainly be worked out later.

Would you be willing to volunteer for this position? Ann is anxious and would be happy to work with you and pass along all the information she has. This is an opportunity to be involved with our fraternity as we honor those members who came before us. Please let me know if you might be interested in continuing the work of the Final Notes.

Thanks. Hoping to hear from you soon. Please stay safe and healthy.

Rosemary Ames


Convention 2021

JULY 21-24, 2021
Grapevine, Texas
Embassy Suites
All fees and room rates will remain the same.

Sam Melnick was chosen by the Board be our official chapter delegate. Our new GEM members, Mary Ann Taylor and Zelda Hantz, will be recognized.

Several Dallas Alumni members have been invited to present/perform:
• Composers Katie Freiberger's “A Mountain Meditation” and Julie Schmitt's piece “A Hole in the Water” will be performed.
• Lisa Beyer and Ashley Bouras will present “Mindful Movement.”
• Our new member Leslie Spotz will play some Beethoven and also give a lecture on him. We are so delighted she was chosen. Leslie has been performing on our concert series for many years and is an accomplished professor and touring pianist.
• Francis Vu, chosen to direct the Convention Chorus, had already started working with his choir for their presentation.

These members hope to be available next year for Convention.            


Contact Information
Electronic mail / President / General Information - Nancy Laine:
Website - Mary Williams:
Concert Series - Kimla Beasley:
VP/Membership - Kimla Beasley:
Programs - Phyllis Wilson: and Claudia Jameson:

Mu Phi Epsilon