Mu Phi Epsilon
Dallas Alumni Chapter

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Greetings, Mu Phi friends!  

How nice to have spring weather this week, particularly after our deep freeze last week! And how nice it was to be able to have our joint meeting with SAI last month in person! While we’re not totally “back in the swing” yet, we’re certainly making progress! I’m looking forward to having another chance to socialize at our meeting next week!

Did you have a chance to look at the last Triangle (the Winter 2022 edition)? Dallas Alumni were VERY well-represented! Kudos to Lisa Beyer and
Ashley Bouras, whose Mindfulness and Movement program for elementary music classrooms was highlighted in the centerfold of the magazine (4
pages worth!). (And to think, we got to experience those activities at one of our chapter meetings in 2019). Amy Canchola and her Duo Atesorado
partner, Noe Garcia, were highlighted on p. 18. On p. 3, The Dallas Alumni chapter is recognized as celebrating our 90th anniversary last year, as our chapter was founded on Feb 26, 1931. We even have a connection to the article on Birdsong (p.14 and the cover) – Rachel Barham, who wrote the article, was a student of Chris Brunt, who hosted our meeting last month. Rachel and Chris assisted Elizabeth Moak in the founding of the Delta Nu chapter at Millsaps University in Mississippi in 1998.

Those of you at our November and/or February meetings got a chance to see sneak previews of the opera, “Anam the Witch and Beatrice the Beautiful,” that Claudia Jameson and Susan Poelchau have been working on with composer and patron Mary Alice Rich. We were so excited about the opportunity to use this production to introduce opera to school children that we adopted it as a chapter project. Walteria Caldwell is making the opera a reality through Diversità Opera, a 501(c)(3) organization assisting deserving student performers. We’ve also applied for one of the Mu Phi Foundation grants to help fund additional performances at elementary schools throughout the area. (The first performance will be on April 29 at 3:00 at the Ovation Academy in McKinney.)

Congratulations to Ashley and Basil Bouras on their precious new baby daughter!
Hope to see you next Tuesday, March 8, at Pat Suitt’s house!

Nancy Laine


Our theme for this year is “Back in the Swing.” (Or maybe it should be “Swinging Back and Forth”??)

Tuesday March 8, 7 pm

Location: Home of Pat Suitt
Host: Pat Suitt
Co-hosts: Mary Ann Taylor and Susan Poelchau

-- Dallas Consort of Viols: Allen Garvin, Mary Beth Hays,Heinkele,
  Rachel Phares, Susan Poelchau and Susan Scheib:
  Dances by Anthony Holborne (1545-1602)

- Fran Pearson, violin, with Sylvia Taylor, piano:
  Vocalise by Rachmaninoff

- Mary Ann Taylor, flute
  Eight Pieces for Solo Flute by Paul Hindemith


April - Collegiates Swing in 2022

Congratulate Collegiates
Saturday, April 9 – 11 am
Location: Lovers Lane United Methodist Church –
9200 Inwood Rd, Dallas, TX 75220
Luncheon Coordinator: Phyllis Wilson
Co-hosts: all members – please tell Phyllis what you are bringing; large portions
will help feed hungry college students

Award Dallas Alumni Scholarship

UPDATE: Our scholarship was awarded to Clara Chestnut, flute/piano,voice - from Texas A&M University Tarleton

Scholarship winner and collegiate performers in a program


January - Bring on the New Year

Monday, January 10 – 7 pm

To start off our year, Debbie Brooks hosted our Zoom meeting. We featured Dallas Chapter composers Sam Melnick and Julie Schmitt.

Julie’s daughter, Stephanie Schmitt, presented videos of three of Julie’s songs:
- On Aging by Maya Angelou, sung by Judy Oates and Cheryl Barnard
- Indispensable Man, also known as The Hole in the Water, sung by Judy Oates
- Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming, sung by Jenni Rasberry
  Pianist Mary Ruth Tucker accompanied.

Julie talked about her compositional process. She noted that some listeners had a problem hearing new music to words they already knew, as in Lo How a Rose. Mary Williams read a poem written by her daughter Beth Williams Aaron for her 85th birthday and offered to send Beth’s poetry to our composers for their use - pending Beth’s approval. Beth did approve and Julie found a poem she liked. She composed a new song, River, that premiered at our February meeting. Thank you Julie!

Sam Melnick introduced us to his Cycle Song set to the poem "Beat neck" (2012) by Hailey McNutt. It was beautifully sung by UNT soprano Erin Matthews with pianist Ellen Pavliska.

Sam wrote: “I originally came across this poem in the fall of 2013 while studying with Dr. Kirsten Brogerg. We analyzed the poem and agreed that it evoked a sense that cycle of mundane daily activities resonates with the cycle of music and the universe. I drafted ideas to set the poem, but the project was never finished. In early March 2015, I decided to actually set the poem once and for all.

Cycle Song is structured in four and a half cycles of the poem. Each cycle sets the first stanza in different ways, but the second stanza is a returning theme with slight adjustments. Each cycle is centered on a different pitch using the naturally occurring harmonic series. A rhythmic ostinato is also used throughout which changes pitch to bridge each cycle together.”

February - Swinging with Musician Friends

Tuesday, February 15 - 7 pm

In February we resumed our annual meeting with the SAI chapter after our hiatus with COVID. It was held at Custer Road United Methodist Church
in Plano, for which we thank the organists there – Chris Brunt and Nancy Laine.

Hosts: Mary Williams - reception coordinator; thanks to all the attending Mu Phis who brought wrapped goodies for our walking reception, and all the
MPE and SAI performers.

MPE performers:

- Claudia Jameson, soprano and Susan Poelchau, piano
  Excerpts from "Anam the Witch and Beatrice the Beautiful" by Mary Alice Rich and Claudia Jameson.
  Susan played the Overture and Claudia sang the opening aria of Aram the Witch offering tortillas to her
  young neighbor. Susan accompanied.

- Claudia Jameson, soprano and
  Tena Hehn, piano
  River, by Julie Schmitt and
  Beth Williams Aaron               

- Kimla Beasley, soprano with Nancy Laine,  piano 
  Il Est Doux, Il Est Bon from Herodiade" by Jules Massenet

- Chris Brunt, organ
  Marche Joyeuse, by John Head
  with Pete Tolhuizen, trumpet
  Tuba Tune Ragtime by George
- Sanctus from "Messe Sollenelle:
   St. Cecelia"
by Charles Gounod
   with Nancy Laine, piano

SAI performers

- Lindsay Gillis, piano
  Suite from Downton Abbey by John Lunn

- Jane Samford and Angela Pendleton,
  violin duo

  Spring from "The Four Seasons"
  (Allegro) by Antonio Vivaldi,

  Rondo by Jacques Féréol Mazas
  Presto by Pietro Antonio Locatelli
  Caprice by François-René Gebaur
  Concertante by Ignace Joseph Pleyel

                           : Mary Alice Rich, Susan Poelchau, Angela Pendleton, Jane Samford

                                      Second row: Tena Hehn, Claudia Jameson, Julie Schmitt
                  Back row: Chris Brunt, Kimla Beasley, Nancy Laine, Pete Tolhuizen, Lindsay Gillis



As Nancy noted in her letter, our chapter has applied for one of the Mu Phi Foundation grants to help fund additional performances of “Anam the Witch and Beatrice the Beautiful” at elementary schools throughout the area.

This delightful short opera for children was written by composer (and now our patron) Mary Alice Rich, with the libretto by Claudia Navarro Jameson. Claudia used her Mexican heritage and experience in musical theater to create the words for Mary Alice’s wonderful tunes. Claudia is singing the part of Anam, who is really a good curandera and helper - not a bad witch. Susan Poelchau is pianist for the project. Walteria Caldwell’s opera company, Diversità Opera Arts Company, will be presenting it.

UPDATE: We have received the Helen Haupt grant for this chapter project!


LA BRUJA ANAM Y LA BELLA BEATRICE (Anam the Witch and Beatrice the Beautiful)
Mary Alice Rich - music, Claudia Navarro Jameson - libretto, Susan Poelchau - accompaniment

A beautiful short children's opera based on a Mexican fairy tale with a twist. It tells a story of redemption, love, and forgiveness.

Performed by: Diversita Opera Arts Company - Walteria Watkins Caldwell, Director
~Jazmin Luevano as Beatrice
~Roberto Reyna as Beto
~Claudia Jameson as Anam
~David Meija as King Renaldo

* The first performance was scheduled for Ovation Academy - McKinney, Texas on April 29, 2022, 3:00 pm  IT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED TO:
Saturday, May 21st at 2:00 pm
Trinity Presbyterian Church,  5871 Virginia Pkwy, McKinney, TX 75071
It is free and open to the public. Donations are accepted.
(For info, email

*  A performance will also be given on Sunday, May 1st at 5:30 PM at:
Lakewood United Methodist Church
2443 Abrams Rd.
Dallas, 75214
It is free and open to the public. Donations are accepted.
The opera is a short and lively one, and refreshments will follow.


Newsletter / Website

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 May 1.

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


Claudia Jameson is now Sunshine Chair and passed around a sheet for us to sign with our birthday month and day, not year. (If you haven't told her when your birthday is, send her an email with that information – You don't need to include the year.)

Welcome to our new patron Mary Alice Rich. Contact the President or Webmaster for her address and phone number.

Please correct Mary Ann Taylor’s phone number in your yearbook. Contact the Webmaster for that information.

Condolences to Phyllis Wilson, whose husband’s sister died on January 22, 2022. Phyllis is retiring from directing the hand bell choir at First Presbyterian Church. I know she will be missed.

Debbie Brooks (far left) was introduced as part of the new Faculty at UNT as she appeared on the cover of the UNT magazine. She is developing and teaching new classes in music entrepreneurship. She is a cellist in the Fort Worth Symphony and runs a music business.

Have you seen the latest issue of The Triangle? Big spread for Ashley Bouras and Lisa Beyer for their work with elementary children and mindfulness.

There was a nice picture of Amy Canchola in The Triangle taken at our fall meeting too. She has been active performing and presenting at conferences. (See January Newsletter or look it up on our website – Past Newsletters)

Ashley and Basil Bouras's baby finally made an appearance - late but healthy – on February 9th. Constance weighed 8 lbs 14 oz and is growing fast. Mother and baby are spending nights wishing they were sleeping.

Barbara Hill Moore (Mu Phi and SMU Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Meadows Foundation at SMU) was honored at the National Opera Association’s Annual Conference which met Jan. 5-8, 1922. She received the “Lift Every Voice” Legacy Award.

Moore is the Distinguished Professor of Voice at SMU Meadows School of the Arts. She has also performed with orchestras around the world and was a particular fixture in Germany where she sang opera, concerts, and recitals with such organizations as the Zelt Music Festival and the Holstein Musik Festival, among others. She also appeared with Florentine Opera, Houston Ebony Opera, and Pittsburgh Opera, and others.

There is an extensive article about her at:



Our concert series was updated with revisions and will remain virtual through 2022. Our performers this year have been excellent, beginning with the extraordinary violin students of Jan Mark Sloman: Ella Yeh, Elim Wong, Ayaan Ahmad and Cal Alexander. They are the best of the best students of Mr. Sloman, formerly of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Lethicia Caravello, harp, Carlos Audi, cello and Adam Booher, piano and Prime Music Institute's facultyTsun-yuet Kwok, cello with Yinhui Stacy Li, piano and guest violinist Monica Rodriguez also presented beautiful programs.

Kimla Beasley remains a wonderful host and behind-the-scenes magician of this successful series. If you missed any of these virtual concerts, you can catch up on our YouTube page:

Continue to follow our series on our Concert Series page - - click on Concert Series. You will find links to the concert programs for the coming and past week, to performer bios and photos, and to their complete programs.

Susan Poelchau has been in contact with Mary Wilonsky, Executive Director of Friends of the Dallas Public Library. Susan gave her a rundown of our history with the Library, and requested help from the Friends to see if we could get a more prominent presence on the Library's website. The Library website is under redesign, so we will see what can be done to greater publicize us through this means.

Please support our series by watching on Facebook, YouTube or through our Concert Series page. Tell your friends, colleagues, students, family and friends.

Share Facebook postings.

If you are not getting a weekly concert flyer with links to the program, let Kimla know. These are sharable.


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: