Mu Phi Epsilon
Dallas Alumni Chapter

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President's Letter

The piano in my home belonged to my great-aunt, Aileen Belle Trimble. Although I knew she was a Mu Phi when I was presented for membership, I hadn’t known it before then. And until I was going through the box of paperwork that Nancy Laine shared with me, I hadn’t known she was a founding member of the Mu Chi chapter at SMU. Her name, faded and light blue, is on a mimeographed list from years ago, though not 1926 surely.

Finding that brought a reminder, and a suggestion. Aileen (in my family we were all on first-name basis) was a pianist. She studied at Julliard before finishing at SMU. For reasons I do not know, I never heard her play. That’s astonishing to me now. We may have been familiar with each other name-wise, but we were not the sort to gather around the piano and sing familiar tunes. She had a travel agency; we saw lots and lots of slides. My younger brother married in California in 1994 and took his new wife to meet Aileen in our hometown. He was prompted to ask her to play. And she did. He said she was quite good.

That story brings a twinge of regret. Why did I never hear her play? Why did she never offer? Had that old Baldwin become just a piece of furniture? One of my friends has a different way of looking at many things. She shares her opinions of thinks she things I should do. For example, she once said, “I wish you’d take a tablespoon of unfiltered vinegar, the kind with the mother, every morning.” And so I do, even though a
doctor assured me it has absolutely no benefits. The most striking suggestion she ever made was this: “You should make a recording of yourself playing the flute for your boys.” It had never occurred to me to record myself for any reason (other than perhaps to check tempos or timbre.) It seemed an inspired thought. I have not done it.

Now my aunt was not interested in the past, oddly enough. Once a set of cousins came to look at old pictures and ask about long-dead relatives. She took me aside and said she much preferred current events and hoped they’d change the subject! Avoiding the word “should,” I’ll suggest not a spoon of vinegar or even one of sugar. Rather, I hope each of us will consider our musical legacies. The word originally meant “a body of persons sent on a mission.” We are sending ourselves into the future! But if not a recording of some sort, share a bit of music that you love with someone dear. You’ll not regret it, nor will they.


Mary Ann Taylor, president

Please put these dates and times on your calendar now. Check the
website and/or newsletters through the year for any changes or updates: – Meetings

Our meeting theme this year is Just Listen to the Music.

November: Celebrate the Harmony!

Monday, November 14 – 7 pm
Location: Home of Pat Suitt
Host: Pat Suitt
Co-host: Susan Poelchau
Program: Pat Suitt and Susan Poelchau playing Mozart’s Sonata in D,  Mov 2 & 3 for Two Pianos

Founder’s Day Celebration

Contact Mary Williams if you would like to join this meeting using a Zoom link.



JANUARY: Music Brings Joy!

Monday, January 9 – 7 pm
Location: Home of Susan Poelchau
Host: Susan Poelchau
Fran Pearson, viola and Sylvia Taylor, piano - Selections TBA
Harp on it: Melanie Rich-Wittrig, autoharp and vocals

Convention discussion


SEPTEMBER: Music Sends Us On Our Path

On September 17th we were hosted by Nancy Laine at her lovely home in Fairview. We each brought lunch dishes to share. We welcomed new member Stephanie Miller (3rd from left), voice major from Abilene Christian College, who is the elementary music supervisor of Richardson ISD where she works with members Lisa Beyer and Ashley Bouras.

We were invited to attend Amy Canchola and Noe Garcia’s concert on Sunday September 25 at St. Paul's E&R UCC with music by Julio Cesar Oliva, Maria Grever, Anastasia Guzman and traditional favorites.

Our chapter was awarded a Helen Haupt Grant to be used to support performances of the opera Anam the Witch and Beatrice the Beautiful. A report on how the grant was spent is due by the end of the year. Performances of Anam cost around $600 to pay singers. A performance was scheduled at Minda/Music school on October 22, including an hour of activities for the children before the performance. These expenses have been partially covered by a donation in case the the grant is not applicable to a private school performance. We are looking for public schools to host performances. Contact Claudia Jameson if you know of a school who would like a performance.

Program: hand chimes
We enjoyed a fun interactive program with members ringing hand chimes using introductory repertoire selections in the Ring Along Hymns/Christmas books compiled by Ardis Freeman. Phyllis Wilson led the fun and told us about her efforts to bring music and fine arts to her new home in Pilot Point.


OCTOBER: “Those who wish to sing always find a song”

On Tuesday, October 11 we were hosted by Sylvia Taylor. 2022-23 yearbooks were distributed. There will be some program changes for our meetings so watch your emails for up to date information. Collegiate Advisor Ashley Bouras reported on Convention information - see Chapter News.

Program: Duo Atesorado - Amy Canchola, soprano and Noe Garcia, guitar
  Vengo decirte que te quiero - Oliva
  De maiz tierno - Anastasia Guzman
  Vals de alma - Laura Chavez Blanco
  Cuando vuelva a tu lado - Grever
  La Llorona - traditional arr. Garcia
  Cielito lindo - traditional arr. Garcia

We enjoyed singing along with the chorus on Cielito Lindo and concluded by singing Happy Birthday to our host, Sylvia Taylor.

Following the program, the chapter held an Initiation Ceremony for Noe Garcia as a MPE member. We were pleased to have Collegiate Advisor Ashley Bouras in attendance.

 Amy Canchola, Noe Garcia, Lisa Beyer –
Membership Chair
Ashley Bouras, Noe Garcia, Mary Ann Taylor -


Minutes to previous meetings are now attached to newsletters sent to members. If you want financial information about the chapter, please open and read these minutes as that is not in our newsletter or website. The minutes will no longer be read at meetings. Most of the other information in the minutes is in these newsletters - sometimes verbatim! thanks to Susan Poelchau.

An interview with our president Mary Ann Taylor is at the end of this newsletter and has been added to the Interviews section of our website.

Dallas Alumni Chapter won these awards for this past year: Outstanding Chapter in South Central Province, Outstanding Yearbook, Honorable Mention in Creative Programming, and 3rd place International Chapter of the Year!!

Collegiate Advisor Ashley Bouras attended the October meeting of the International Executive Board and reported that the 2023 Convention information and a task list will be sent to us soon. Convention is July 19-21 in Dallas. Put this date on your calendar! The Convention hotel is the same as originally scheduled - Embassy Suites just north of DFW Airport.

MPE Foundation
The Foundation will be working on a “Mu Phi story” project and members will be contacted in January to share a memory or significant moment as a Mu Phi member. Please respond promptly when you are contacted.

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 will be December 31 - before our meeting on Monday, January 9.

Speaking of our website - if you have opened it lately you will notice that the Home page is out of date. That is because the Home file became damaged. If I update and publish that page, the links to other pages will not be available, resulting in a non-functioning website. So now you can access the website with no problem, but will not be able to return to the Home page once you are on it. Once I figure out how to repair the Home file, I can update and post a current version. I will be posting this newsletter to our website this week and updating the Concert Series page as new information is available.

Answers to your questions are on our website:

Social Media

Be aware that there is now an international Social Media Coordinator. You can post to Haley Stevenson what you are doing of note (along with us):
   Haley Stevenson
   Social Media Coordinator | Mu Phi Epsilon International Fraternity
   Follow us at @ on most sites - @muphiepsilon


Our fall concerts are in full swing. If you missed any of these virtual concerts, you can catch up on our YouTube page:

We will be presenting our concerts online into spring according to Library news. Kimla Beasley at continues to do a splendid job uploading these performer videos and introducing each Sunday concert.

We were able to find enough performers to have a full fall and spring schedule. Thanks to Amy Canchola and Noe Garcia and also to a previous performer Jonathan Tsay for stepping in with great programs for fall. Yay!

There will be a change in the schedule on November 13th as Guywan Kim and his violin partner had to cancel. We plan to have them back as an added program on January 22. The substitute concert for Nov 13 will be Asian Winds. See their program - posted on the Concert Series page. We hope you will watch this concert on Facebook or YouTube at 3 pm on Sunday Nov 13.

Asian Winds: Jung-Moo Lee, conductor
November 13, 3 pm

The Dallas Asian Winds is a group unlike any other. Based in the DFW metroplex, the ensemble provides great music to the community while celebrating Asian culture. The group is comprised of musicians ranging from all walks of life and a variety of different backgrounds.

The founder and conductor of the group is Jung-Moo Lee. In 2018, Jung-Moo brought together some of his friends with an ambitious (some may say crazy) idea- to start an ensemble that is primarily made up of Asians musicians and one that will promote and progress pieces written in Asia or by Asian composers.

After months planning, the group had its premiere concert on February 2nd, 2019.This a new group with big ambitions! The ensemble performed at the 2019 K Pop Together Festival and was invited to the 2020 Seonam International Wind Festival. Keep an eye out for what’s to come!

The link to the concert of the day will also be on our website Concert Series page.

Keep this link handy:


From Nancy Laine: Kathryn Johnson made a very interesting presentation on Oct. 15 to Church Music Institute about including the “O” Antiphons when planning for upcoming Advent services, both musically and visually. The handout shows some of the original musical notation (which fortunately Kathy has transcribed into modern notation!). If you would like a copy and did not get it attached to the emailed newsletter, you can request it from Mary Williams.

From Susan Poelchau: This afternoon (after our September meeting) I delivered Pat Hill's yearbook to her and had a delightful visit. I know she is as lovely and delightful as ever but quite frail. I asked if she wanted to attend a meeting and she said it was very difficult for her to get around. It seems to me that someone would have to volunteer to take her in a wheelchair but if it was a special occasion that would be possible. She observed that she is still patron chairman and asked to be relieved from that duty. She asked if Marybeth Johnson had gotten her yearbook. [Yes] Marybeth practices and teaches, and might want to perform at a meeting. Melody club has given up the ghost after 100 years in Dallas. That was one of Pat’s pet projects along with Mu Phi. She asked about the older members and still remembers everyone. I hope we can keep in touch with these legacy members. She loves listening to the library concerts.

Amy Canchola and Noe Garcia have been performing all over the place. Great to hear! They will be traveling to Mexico this month for with Julio Cesar Oliva, who has written songs for them.

Claudia Jameson is spending some time in Oregon with her daughter Rachel and granddaughter. She says she will be a second-time grandma in 2023 - son and daughter-in-law Willliam and Fukiko are expecting.

Ashley Bouras says she has finished her Master's classes but now faces the next hurdle... her certification portfolio and exam. She has started the writing process for her portfolio. She says to feel free to remind her that she is so close and to get to work.

Former President Peggy Wood (1972-1974) has passed away. I did not find a local obituary for her and don't have any details or a photo.

Jenny Smith is playing trumpet again in the Tarrant County Orchestra. Jenny says: For the first time since 2007 I was able to play with an orchestra again! I had a blast during the first concert of our year last Sunday with the Tarrant County Orchestra. Thank you to Dr. Bryan English at TCC Northeast for giving people like me who have experience and love music but have other full time jobs this opportunity!

In September Jenny lost her partner in crime and constant companion for the past 16 years - Zelda the Beagle. Jenny said: She brought so much joy to everyone.... She was not sick, but was in quite a bit of discomfort and pain recently, and just succumbed to old age....Thank you to everyone who helped make her life special.

Pat Suitt informed us of the death of Priscilla Long. Priscilla was a member of our chapter for many years and many members knew her from other music organizations as well. On Wednesday of last week Pat and her son were concerned about Priscilla as she had not been well lately and was not answering her phone into the evening. When they went to check on her, her car was there but she was not answering her door. They got a key from a neighbor and found her unresponsive in a chair. She was taken to the hospital but apparently she had had a stroke and she died the next day. Her service was held on Friday Nov 4 at 2 pm at Community Christian Church in Richardson. Below is the obituary that appeared in the Dallas Morning News. [photo from DMNews]


Interview with Mary Ann Taylor
By Mary Williams

From time to time I interview one of our members so that we can get to know each other better. When I set up an interview time with Mary Ann Taylor, I had no idea that she was as accomplished as I have come to find out. I also found out that we had much in common:

• 9 grandchildren each – Mary Ann with 8 boys and one girl; me with 7 boys and 2 girls
• A degree in music, but also a degree in something else – Mary Ann in English, me in Business
• An assortment of jobs and interests and travel experiences – some within the field of music, some elsewhere
• An tendency to agree to take on jobs and volunteer projects that strike us as important, thereby giving to our communities, but also spreading ourselves too thin with multiple projects going on at once

Mary Ann is a native Texan (San Angelo) who grew up with a natural knack for music. She played flute and also cello (playing cello in her first semester at college, but eventually giving it up to concentrate on flute). Her flute teacher recommended eight hours of flute practice a day – but that never happened – and she says she didn’t ever get to be as proficient as she might have otherwise. (I could also relate to that.) She played second flute in the San Angelo Symphony as a senior in high school and the third flute and piccolo as an adult until moving to Dallas.

She attended Texas Tech as a music major and married Jerry Taylor in the middle of her sophomore year. He was a fine pianist, band director and eventually church organist, and also played in musicals. When the Viet Nam war came along Jerry volunteered in order to get a better military posting. He and Mary Ann spent a year in South Korea during his military service. This was an interesting time for Mary Ann getting to experience another culture.

On their return, she completed her bachelor’s degree with a double major in music and English at UT Austin and her master’s in English later at Angelo State University.

She raised three sons and worked for Child Protective Services as an investigator for 11 years full time and then another 25 years on contract. She wrote a training film called “Essences” for employees. She taught English at Mountain View College until 2019. Lately she has been working for a media analysis company, monitoring and rating media outlets from Associated Press to Pink Slime, but also local news outlets. They are monitored for reliable/verifiable news and their bias of liberal, center or conservative reporting.

Mary Ann is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and volunteers at her church, with DFW Alliance for Religious Freedom (concentrating on education on first amendment rights), Dallas Interfaith Council (she chaired/arranged the Thanksgiving Square Gratitude program where students submitted thoughts of gratitude which Mary Ann wove into a choral reading and the Winter Festival of Faiths at Thanksgiving Square in 2021), Friends of the Library, Keep Duncanville Beautiful Board, and as President of our Mu Phi Epsilon chapter – for the second time. Her interests range beyond music and the literary arts to theater, art, science, mathematics and philosophy – and who knows what else.

Many of us were fans of her blog “Bluebonnet Syrup” that she published monthly on Facebook for five years, but recently discontinued. We followed the antics of her young grandsons – the Taylor Boys Demolition and Wakeup Service - as they spent weekends at her house, plus her musings of a more serious nature. She has started a novel that is in a holding pattern at present. Anyone familiar with her writing style will encourage her to finish it so we can read it. We know it will be wonderful!

Her loving husband and musical partner, Jerry, suffered a traumatic brain injury and passed away two years ago after a few years in a specialized brain injury facility and hospice care. Despite her loss, Mary Ann continues to be a committed and giving person to her family, community and our chapter.

Thank you – Mary Ann!

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: