Mu Phi Epsilon
Dallas Alumni Chapter

HomeNewsletterMeetingsConcert SeriesInterviewsPast NewslettersScholarshipsConventionsMusical EventsContact Us

Greetings, Mu Phi friends!  

Wow, it’s hard to believe another year is coming to an end! Our theme for the year was “Back in the Swing.” I have to admit we did a little “swinging back and forth” in the process, but we’re getting close to our pre-pandemic chapter life.

In case you haven’t already heard the exciting news – our chapter was awarded the Helen Haupt Alumni Project grant for $2000! After we heard excerpts from Anam the Witch and Beatrice the Beautiful at our meeting in November, our chapter was so excited that we decided to adopt this children’s opera, written by Mary Alice Rich and Claudia Jameson, as a chapter project. In conjunction with Walteria Caldwell and Diversitá Opera Arts Company, we’ll use the funds to present the opera at multiple schools in the area.

You should have received an email about the opening performance at 5:30 on May 1. If you weren’t able to attend, there will be a second performance later this month. I was able to get a sneak preview by attending a dress rehearsal last week. It sounded and looked great, and Susan Poelchau is doing an awesome job as accompanist! How fun to see the creativity of our members, and what a blessing it will be to share it with school children.

It was great to have our April luncheon in person for the first time in 3 years! We met and heard this year’s scholarship winner, Clara Chestnut, from Texas A&M Tarleton. She sang several pieces for us, and also brought along a new initiate, Edith Frank, who joined her in a flute duet. Best wishes to Clara as she travels to Italy for study abroad this summer! Thanks to Phyllis Wilson for arranging and coordinating the meeting at Lovers Lane UMC and to everyone for bringing great food! Also many thanks to Mary Ann Taylor and Sam Melnick who served on the scholarship committee.

Our nominating committee (Tena Hehn, Phyllis Wilson, Pat Suitt, Sam Melnick and Amy Canchola) have prepared the slate of officers for next year. We’ll do an email vote and install the officers at the May meeting.

I’m looking forward to a fun time at our last meeting on Monday, May 9, at Mary Williams’ house for a pot-luck dinner. We won’t have a formal music program, but we may have time to do some fun and games! (We DON’T have a convention to plan for this summer, so we might as well take advantage of the time to have a little fun!)

Thanks for another great year for the Dallas Alumni Chapter!

Nancy Laine


Next Meeting

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

Monday May 9, 7 pm - Come, dine and play

Date/Time: Monday, May 9 – 7 pm
Location: 9229 Flickering Shadow Drive, Dallas 75243
Host: Mary Williams
Co-hosts: all attending
Installation of new officers. Please vote in advance by email – ballots to be sent.

Please bring a side dish or dessert for our pot-luck dinner. Mary will provide lasagna. Since we will be seated, please RSVP to Mary by Sunday May 8 and say what you are bringing -

March - Swinging to Old and New Tunes

We met on Tuesday, March 8 at the home of Pat Suitt with co-hosts: Mary Ann Taylor and Susan Poelchau.

For our program:
Mary Ann Taylor, flute, performed Syrinx by Debussy, followed by Three Pieces for Solo Flute by Paul Hindemith.

Fran Pearson, violin and voice, performed Vocalise by Rachmaninoff with Sylvia Taylor, piano

The Dallas Consort of Viols: Allen Garvin, Mary Beth Hays, Marsha Heinkele, Rachel Phares, Susan Poelchau, Susan Scheib performed a selection of dances by Anthony Holborne (1545-1602).


April - Collegiates Swing in 2021

On Saturday, April 9 we met at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church for our annual collegiate program and scholarship presentation. Thanks to luncheon coordinator Phyllis Wilson and members providing lunch.

Clara Chestnut of Delta Pi chapter at Tarleton was selected to receive the $500 Dallas Mu Phi Epsilon scholarship for this year! We are particularly impressed by the leadership she has displayed with the Delta Pi chapter. The recommendations from Dr. Spotz and Dr. Asakura were quite complimentary as well.

Clara performed vocal pieces:
Schumann's Widmung
She Used to be Mine by Sara Bareilles
All I Ask by Adele

And a flute duet with Edith Frank: Nouvelle Methode pour la flute - sonata No. 1 in G major - mvnt. 2 by François Devienne.


Clara was awarded the Dallas Alumni Scholarship by President Nancy Laine.


Chapter Project: La Bruja Anam Y La Bella Beatrice (Anam the Witch and Beatrice the Beautiful)

May 1st was the premiere of the opera by Mary Alice Rich - music, Claudia Navarro Jameson - libretto, Susan Poelchau – accompaniment. Performed by Diversitá Opera Arts Company - Walteria Watkins Caldwell, Director

Cast photo: David Meija as King Renaldo, Jazmin Luevano as Beatrice, Roberto Reyna as Beto, (Mary Alice, Susan) and Walteria Caldwell as Anam the witch. Claudia Jameson, who plays Anam, was quarantined because of a family COVID illness and will be back on May 21st.

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

UPDATE: The April 29, 2022 performance at Ovation Academy in McKinney, Texas was rescheduled to:
Saturday, May 21st at 2:00 pm at:
Trinity Presbyterian Church, 5871 Virginia Pkwy, McKinney, TX 75071
It is free and open to the public. Donations are accepted.

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.

For info, email

Additional photos:



SERV Hours

Nancy Laine needs to report the Dallas Alumni volunteer hours on the EOY president’s report. Could you email me the hours you’ve volunteered from June 2021 – May 2022, broken into the following categories?

SERVICE: accompanying, church musician, musical group participation, performance, music management (both practice and performance counts)
EDUCATION: any type of unremunerated teaching
RESOURCE: work with special populations

You can send her an email with the info,, or you can enter the info on the website: Dallas Alumni Service Hours (

For each activity, please give:

Description of Service
Date(s) of Service
Type of Service (Resource, Education, or Service)
Hours Served

The dates don’t have to be perfect, particularly for recurring service. For example, playing in a church handbell choir could look something like:

Play in Handbell Choir at church
20 weekly rehearsals @ 1.5 hours (counting all rehearsals between 6/1/21 – 5/31/22) = 30
4 performances @ 1 hour = 4

34 hours total

Even if you have only a few hours, she would appreciate it if you could report them. It’s great to have a high percentage participation rate as well.

She needs to have our chapter report in by June 15, so I send her your info by May 31 if possible.

New Officers

April/May is our month to select officers for the new year (school year + summer). Ballots will be sent to all members. Please vote in advance by email. We will install new officers at the May meeting.

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!


Our spring concerts have ended with performers from the Diversitá Opera Arts group. 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, to performer bios and photos, and to their complete programs. The fall series schedule and performer listings will be added when available.

We are not sure yet if we will be able to resume in-person concerts at Sundays at the Library – to be continued. If you know outstanding performers who would like to perform on this series starting in fall, have them contact Chairperson Kimla Beasley at


Kathryn Johnson, Minister of Music and Organist at St. Stephen United Methodist Church (2520 Oates Dr, Mesquite 75150) announced a Good Friday Tenebrae Service, April 15 at her church. This service included readings from Scripture partnered with the seven chorales of the Passion sequence from the J. S. Bach Orgelbüchlein and poems reflecting on those chorales.

Susan Poelchau attended and said it was an absolutely wonderful and meaningful Tenebrae service guided by the seven compositions of the Passion sequence in Bach’s Orgelbüchlein, beautifully played by Kathie. The appropriate chorales were sung by the choir before each composition. The service music was interspersed with slides of appropriate artworks, scripture readings by clergy, and poetry written and read by John Thornburg, all assembled and chosen by Kathie. The bulletin itself was a marvel, describing each composition in detail in a scholarly yet readable manner.

Fran Pearson posted a notice of the Tenebrae Service at Christ Episcopal Church – 2022 534 N Llewellyn Ave, Dallas, TX 75208 (near W Davis and 7th) on Wednesday, April 13. The chorus sang the Allegri Miserere, Buxtehude, Bach and more.

Amy Canchola has been awarded the Mu Phi Mabel Henderson Grant for International Study and will be going to Mexico to work with Julio Cesar Oliva.

Ashley Bouras returned to school this week from maternity leave – hard to leave little Constance! Her students (and teachers) will be glad to have her back though.


Chapter Photo

This chapter composite photo was made by Walteria Caldwell for us and updated by Mary Williams. Since we are never all together in one place, this photo is the best we can do for a picture of our group.

Top row: Susan Poelchau, Mary Williams, Cherie Bell, Nancy Laine, Judy Dardaganian
Row 2: Ginger DeWeese, Taylor Gaskins, Ashley Bouras, Pat Hill, Lisa Beyer, Kimla Beasley
Row 3: Zelda Hantz, Mary Ann Taylor, Tena Hehn, Sandra McMillen, Pat Suitt, Kathie Johnson
Row 4: Amy Canchola, Chris Brunt, Jenny Smith, Claudia Jameson, Phyllis Wilson, Katy Freiberger
Row 5: Julie Schmitt, Fran Pearson, Sam Melnick, Sylvia Taylor, Debbie Brooks, Dan Flores-McKay 


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: