Mu Phi Epsilon
Dallas Alumni Chapter

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Greetings, Mu Phi friends!  

What a great time we had last month at our meeting at Sylvia Taylor’s home! Our first hybrid meeting was a success, with 12 in-person and 3 online! Amy Canchola, soprano, and her guitarist friend, Noe Garcia (Duo Atesorado) presented a wonderful program of music by Mexican composers, in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage month. Many thanks to Amy Canchola’s daughter, Madeline, for videoing the meeting for the Zoom attendees! After singing The Triangle live (for the first time since January 2020!), we REALLY enjoyed visiting with each other as we had refreshments (and for a long while after refreshments as well!).

Now that we’ve started getting “back in the swing,” we’re going to do it again this month! On Monday, Nov. 15, we’ll meet at 7:00 at Claudia Jameson’s home. We’ll be doing a hybrid meeting again, so please join us online if you can’t make it in person. We’ll be honoring the two visionaries who founded Mu Phi Epsilon - Winthrop Sterling and Elizabeth Mathias Fuqua. Who’d have believed that the fraternity focused on “Music, Friendship, and Harmony” that they so loved would still be in full swing 118 years later?! We’ll also get to learn about a work in progress - an opera that Claudia Jameson is collaborating on writing. Claudia and Susan Poelchau will be giving us a “sneak peek” into the upcoming opera.

I received my copy of the Fall edition of The Triangle today. There’s a nice article on the many scholarships, grants, and awards available. Some, like the Composition Award, are available to alumni as well as students. Take a look if you’re interested.

It’s hard to believe that 2021 is almost over. We don’t have a meeting in December, so the meeting next week will be our last opportunity to be together this year. (We can have an early celebration of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, in addition to Founders Day!) Hope to see you there

Nancy Laine


Our theme for this year is “Back in the Swing.” As always, our meeting schedule is a work in progress.

Monday November 15, 7 pm

Location: Home of Claudia Jameson
Host: Claudia Jameson
Co-hosts: Tena Hehn and Sandra McMillen
Debbie Brooks will host the Zoom version (link sent in email to members - request a link if you are a Mu Phi who would like to join us)

Program: Preview of "Aram and the Witch and Beatrice the Beautiful" with libretto by Claudia Jameson and music by Mary Alice Rich that will be performed in May by the Diversita Opera Company on our Concert Series. Claudia Jameson will direct it and Susan Poelchau will accompany. They will tell us more about this project at our meeting.

Founder’s Day Celebration

No December meeting

Monday January 10, 7 pm

Location: Home of Pat Suitt
Host: Pat Suitt
Co-host: Mary Ann Taylor

Program: Sam Melnick's compositions
Julie Schmitt's compositions


September Meeting

Our fall luncheon on September 18th was canceled because of concerns about the Delta variant and rather tight quarters in Mary Williams' home. We met virtually instead.

Debbie Brooks gave an outstanding presentation describing her own professional journey which has led her from her degree as a cellist, through various opportunities to her current position as the Visiting Lecturer for 2021-22 in the new Music Business courses being offered by the University of North Texas Department of Music. The goal of UNT is be to put the North Texas area on a level with larger coastal cities for professional music opportunities through these new fields of business and career development.

Debbie’s main recommendations for professional development are to constantly develop your networks and put the spirit of service before your ego. Emphasis on ego limits your possibilities. She recommends you be intentional, working with determination to develop your skills so that you can be ready when an opportunity arises by accident or coincidence. When an opportunity arises ask yourself what you would miss if you didn’t take it. She recommends the recently published “The Musician’s Career," by Ulysses Owens, which she uses as a class text for her new course.

Debbie was president of her collegiate chapter at then North Texas State University, and won the Sterling Achievement award her senior year. She served two terms as District Director from 1978-1983. She played cello in the Fort Worth Symphony since 1977 to the present and in many local ensembles.

October Meeting

We met at Sylvia Taylor's for a hybrid meeting on October 11th. Amy Canchola's daughter Madeline held a tablet capturing our meeting while Lisa Beyer hosted Zoom from home with three members attending. We had 10 Alumni members, two guests and one patron physically present – happy to see live faces! President Nancy Laine and Chaplain Kathryn Johnson formally opened the meeting.

We enjoyed some beautiful singing of Mexican songs from Amy Canchola with Noe Garcia, guitar (who now form the Duo Atesorado) adding a beautiful accompaniment on his guitar. They performed:
   Estrellita, Legos de ti by Manuel Ponce
   Marchita el alma by Manuel Ponce
   Nos. I, II & III from "Por siempre Sabines"
      by Julio Cesar Oliva, and
   Te quiero, dijiste and Despedida by Maria Grever

Nancy displayed our awards for this year: 3rd Place in the Circle of Winners, Best in South Central Province, Outstanding Newsletter.

Sylvia Taylor was presented with a special award for putting in 215 SERV hours at the Church Music Institute.

We sang Happy Birthday to Sylvia Taylor, celebrating her 91st birthday on meeting day.

We formally closed with the first in-person singing of Our Triangle since January 13, 2020. February 2020 was the joint meeting, and March 2020 was Board only, online.

Of course, "in person" means great yummies - these from Sylvia and Nancy.



Our program chairs Mary Ann Taylor and Amy Canchola are still open to those who would like to perform and to co-host. Let one of them know if you are available.

Remember, we will be hosting the joint MPE-SAI concert in February in Plano - we are all responsible for the goody table.

Newsletter / Website / Yearbook

Your Newsletter Editor Mary Williams at, appreciates knowing what you are doing or if you have changes to your information. Your news is our news. Our next Newsletter deadline is January 3.

This newsletter will be on our website in a day or two. Answers to your questions are there!

Your yearbooks will be distributed at our November meeting. If you do not attend, it will either be brought to you by someone who lives close to you, or mailed to you.


Mary Ann Taylor will participate in the Thanksgiving Square Gratitude program again this year. Students will submit thoughts of gratitude which she will weave into a choral reading.

Amy Canchola, soprano and Noe Garcia, guitar (Duo Atesorado) will present the program of music by Mexican composers they did for us at the October meeting for the Latino Cultural Center's Hispanic Heritage month program. Their goal is to promote more Mexican music. Amy ran the half-marathon at the Arboretum recently.

Sandra McMillen had a plastic protector on the back side of her kneecap come loose and was causing lots of pain and resulting buildup of fluids in the knee. She was hospitalized to have the fluid drained and the plastic protector reattached at the knee cap. After some complications, she is now finally able to stand on the knee that had the procedure and there was no pain.

Tena Hehn still has stiffness and lack of mobility in her right hand after she broke a small bone between the 4th and 5th fingers. What a problem for a pianist/organist!

Ashley Bouras will welcome a little sister, Constance, for Evelyn in January.


While all our concerts have been excellent this fall, we have had several outstanding concerts this season - the October 10 Chopin program with Sohyun Ahn and the November 7 piano selections played by Jin Ah Kwon were WOW performances. Our October 17 simulcast concert with Mu Phi Chris Brunt on the organ and Jane Fore, flute, was a first for us with an organ (!) and so enjoyable.

More kudos to Kimla Beasley who seamlessly puts these programs together and gracefully introduces them. All programs are available to view later on YouTube.

On May 10th, the Diversita Opera Company (Walteria Caldwell, director) will present on our Concert Series the opera "Aram and the Witch and Beatrice the Beautiful" with libretto by Claudia Jameson, music by Mary Alice Rich. Claudia will direct it and Susan Poelchau will accompany. The cast is being chosen at this time.

You can watch our concerts on Facebook, YouTube or from our website Concert Series page – Please share the schedule with your colleagues, students, family and friends. Links to bios and programs appear on our website’s Concert Series page.



Some people have been celebrating Hispanic Month (or months!) lately. This recipe is from Nancy Laine.

Sopapilla Cheesecake
2 (8 oz.) cans of refrigerated crescent roll dough  1 egg (optional)
2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese  1 C blueberries or other fruit (optional)
1 C sugar ½ C butter, melted (or less)
1 tsp. vanilla extract ¼ C sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon   

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
• Beat the cream cheese with 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth. (Some versions of this recipe also include an egg here. I also added a cup of blueberries to make a purple tint for Mu Phi. ???)
• Unroll one can of crescent roll dough and press into the bottom of the pan.
• Spread cream cheese mixture over the layer of dough.
• Unroll the second can and lay on top of the cream cheese layer.
• Pour the melted butter over the entire pan.
• Combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle on top.
• Bake about 25 to 30 minutes, or until top is crisp and golden.

I usually cut the recipe in half and use an 8x8 pan (but not if I’m taking it to Mu Phi!)
Some versions of this recipe are called Cream Cheese Squares. If you call them that, you don’t have to feel guilty about eating them for breakfast. ??

Nancy Laine


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: