Mary Ann's Notes

Mu Phi friends!

“It’s about time! Where did the time go? I let the time get away from me. Do you have time? It’s almost time!” We hear these phrases and more, well, all the time. Keeping time (impossible in physics, common in music) is a talent. Filling the time, again an odd phrase, describes how music can enrich our lives dramatically: it truly “brightens every hour.”


It is possible to lose track of time, too, and that can cause problems other than lateness. As musicians, we are often juggling many responsibilities and must prioritize how we use our time: practicing, rehearsing, searching for music to perform must be balanced with not overcommitting and remembering what matters most.

Again, a few words about the upcoming international convention in July. Here is a link to get to the detailed PDF schedule. If you plan to attend, please contact Nancy Laine at [email protected] as soon as possible. She will be registering you directly. As for time, our chapter will be asking for a bit of yours, if you can. We have a luncheon for which we will decorate tables and a table for which we will need both donations and staffing. We will be planning how best to make some sales, first of T-shirts which are beautiful. Unique items may also be winners.

Watch for more details, but most importantly, of course, come! This convention will be time well spent.

Mary Ann Taylor

Mu Phi Epsilon Convention - A Bridge Forward

A Bridge Forward

July 19 - 22, 2023
Embassy Suites by Hilton
2401 Bass Pro Drive
Grapevine, TX 76051

The hotel is just north of DFW airport where LBJ I-635 turns south onto Hwy 121. From westbound LBJ follow signs to north Hwy121 exiting to Bass Pro Road. Then turn left on Bass Pro Road; the hotel is across the bridge on the right.

Convention Planning Update Nancy Laine. Convention Coordinator

  • Wednesday will likely be a day to do prep work, like bag stuffing, greeting, setting up, etc.

    • All are invited to our locally written and produced folk opera for children called Anám the Witch and Beatrice the Beautiful on July 19 at 3 pm in the Heritage Ballroom.
    • · Sessions are on July 20-21, ending session is July 22.
  • Claudia Jameson, Susan Poelchau and Mary Alice Rich will be performing on the Music Delegate Recital at 2:00 on Thursday, 7/20.

  • The Honors Dinner is Thursday, 7/20, 6:00 – 7:30. (We’ve nominated Susan Poelchau for the Orah Ashley Lamke Award, so cross your fingers!)

  • We will be decorating for the 50+ luncheon on Friday, 7/21. (I’ve asked IEO to see how many people will be seated at each table to help us get an estimate of table count.)

  • On Saturday, there are initiation and memorial rituals, followed by a grand banquet (with choir performance) at 6:00.

    See the complete convention schedule at 2023 Schedule (


  • Ashley Bouras and Lisa Beyer will NOT be making a presentation at convention this year.

  • Basil Bouras will be the convention photographer and will also have a setup to do professional headshots.

  • Francis Vu Cathlina, who was initiated into the Dallas chapter just a few years ago, will be directing the convention chorus. Some of the preliminary info about the convention showed him as still being a member of Dallas alumni. (He’s now at University of Tennessee in Memphis and is longer a member of our chapter, but the publicity was nice for us anyway!) I hear they’re getting a good number of folks registering to be in the convention choir.

  • Amy Canchola and Noe Garcia had a conflict and are no longer available to perform at Convention.

  • T-shirts for Dallas alumni will be available in M, L, and XL. Sizes are unisex, so are larger than you might expect. If you want a T-shirt and haven’t already given me your size, please let me know. However, it doesn’t look like they’ll be ready before the May meeting. (If you don’t think any of these sizes will work for you, you can give me a purple t-shirt in your size and we’ll put the logo on that.)

Convention Needs:

  • Goodies for the tote bags: Anyone want to contact Bass Pro Shops (adjacent to the hotel) or a music store or whatever to see what we might be able to get? {Pencils, candy, notepads, whatever)

  • The Foundation is renting a Steinway for the Convention. However, the Dalla Alumni also need to come up with a portable keyboard to use for things like chorus rehearsal and such.

  • Even though IEO thinks they’ll be able to handle registration by themselves, it won’t hurt for us to be friendly faces to greet folks when their bus comes in from the airport, or whatever. Ann Geiler, Alumni Advisor. asked about the possibility of us helping with greeting at the airport, but she will probably go with collegiates if they’re available.

  • We’ll be manning the convention “Marketplace.” Chapters can rent tables to offer goods for sale. Our chapter will have a table. We’ll sell the extra t-shirts we have, as well as any items you’d like to offer up.

Convention Registration

As of last week, there were 110 people registered for the convention, not counting any of our single-day Dallas folks.  Almost all alumni chapters were registered (only 4 missing), but there were still about 30 collegiate chapters missing.

I plan to register our single-day (or double-day) folks on May 9 (right after our next meeting.)  Please let me know what day(s) you plan to attend. The $100 special Dallas workers registration fee covers both meals (lunch and dinner) on the day you work, as well as any events that fit into your schedule. I’ll pay the registration from chapter funds when I register you next week. You can reimburse the chapter when/if it’s convenient for you.

  • Dallas alumni registered for full Convention:

    •     Ashley Bouras
    •     Debbie Brooks
    •     Tena Hehn
    •     Kathy Johnson
    •     Nancy Laine
    •     Sandra McMillen
    •     Mary Ann Taylor
    •     Mary Williams

  • Sign-ups for Daily Registration:

    •    Cherie Bell                   Friday
    •    Lisa Beyer                    ?
    •    Claudia Jameson     Thursday & Friday
    •    Susan Poelchau       Thursday & Friday
    •    Pat Suitt                        Friday
    •    Phyllis Wilson            Thursday & Friday

Suggestions from Mary Ann for printed products to sell:

  • [I had a] Good trip to the printer. This is my report:

    • They can't make pads with photos cost effectively. However, they could make notepads (100 pages, maybe 4x6) with whatever message we want--logo, location, year, etc. on colored paper as desired: 100 for $65.
    • Postcards: Full color, 75 cents for two
    • Bookmarks: Full color design (probably not photos) 8 for $3.75, including cutting

    • Placemats, 11x17, full color: $1.50 each. (Laminating is another $3.00)

  • I've ordered a placemat (perhaps with all 7 [photo choices] if they can do it to suit and a single photo they choose if not) and a set of postcards to see what they look like. Besides using any for table decorations, we could in theory make some for selling. I am not at all adventuresome, however, so I won't make a recommendation on this idea.

    Turnaround is usually just a few days.

I've ordered a placemat (perhaps with all 7 [photo choices] if they can do it to suit and a single photo they choose if not) and a set of postcards to see what they look like. Besides using any for table decorations, we could in theory make some for selling. I am not at all adventuresome, however, so I won't make a recommendation on this idea.

Turnaround is usually just a few days.

From Claudia: Centerpieces

  • Suggestions for red and blue Texas bouquets from Etsy: $5@

    Comment: Five dollars isn't bad depending on number of tables. We will use Mason jars for vases.

    Seeing these reminds me that we’ve forgotten about the “Yellow Rose of Texas” in our flower and song discussions. And since you didn’t know “Have you ever been to Texas in the Spring?” here it is on p. 18 of the Centennial edition for Schools of Songs Texas Sings.

Partial Convention Note from Ann Geiler, Alumni Advisor:

I don't know about you but 2023 has been going by quickly, it's hard to believe it's almost May.  Please read the entire email for some updated information.

Thank you to the chapters who have registered for the convention. The early bird deadline has been extended to April 30th. (early bird cost is $325.00). After April 30th the cost is $375.00. Try to register as soon as possible, this will help us with our final planning for the convention. It is expected that there is a delegate from every chapter at the convention but if your chapter is unable to send a delegate to the Convention please email me at [email protected] and let me know. A tentative Convention schedule is posted under the convention tab.

Mu Phi Marketplace

We will have a SERV project going on in the Marketplace room. Please plan to stop by and spend some time working on fleece blankets and chatting with your fellow Mu Phis.

SERV Project

You will have an opportunity to sell any Mu Phi swag that you would like to sell at the Convention. We will have a secure room for your items, designated store hours and help from members of the Dallas Alumni. If you are interested in selling items, please see our website and go to the Convention tab.  There is a sign-up form to fill out. Tables will be $25.00. 

Hotel Reservations:

Go to

Click on International Convention, then Hotel Accommodations. That will take you to the Embassy Suites website. You can book a room from there using the MPE discount. No more than four to a room. (Probably not an issue for us!) Plus more information.

Next Meetings

May: Music Brightens Every Hour

Monday, May 8 - 7 pm
Location: Home of Mary Williams
Host: Mary Williams
Potluck dinner – Please RSVP Mary at [email protected]
Mary will provide an entrée. All other diners bring a dish to share.


Dinner, conversation, Convention planning Installation of Officers

June: Convention and Chapter Planning

June 12, 7 pm
Zoom link will be sent to members


Last Meetings

March: Music Soothes the Troubled Heart

We met on Monday March 13, 7 pm at the home of Claudia
Jameson in De Soto.
Tena Hehn co-hosted.

Our performers who were scheduled were dealing with the last of COVID and did not perform. We hope to have them another time.


April: Appreciate Collegiates


We met at a Royal Lane Baptist Church on  Saturday April 8, 11 am, a last minute but perfect location. Many thanks to Sam Melnick for finding the place and to Phyllis Wilson for coordinating the luncheon. Mary Williams provided plates, plastic ware, our usual centerpieces and drinks and members provided a fine meal.

A core group met afterward for conversation and plans about Convention. This year we appreciated our collegiates only in spirit, omitting our usual collegiate scholarship and program by collegiates.

Chapter News

In the confusion of everything else going on, we have election of officers, installation of officers at our May meeting and remitting of our SERV hours to Mary Ann Taylor.


These officers who have agreed to serve a second year will be installed at the May meeting:

  • President: Mary Ann Taylor
  • Vice-president: Lisa Beyer
  • Secretary: Susan Poelchau
  • Treasurer: Nancy Laine
  • Chorister (Programs): Amy Canchola
  • Chaplain: Kathryn Johnson
  • Steward: Claudia Jameson
  • Historian: Mary Williams

SERV Hours

Full instructions on reporting hours are in your Yearbook on page 31. Please turn in your SERV hours to Mary Ann Taylor by May 15.

Status of Website – old and new

Mary Williams has started working with developers from our web host, GoDaddy, to get us a new, updated, stable website. It will be developed in WordPress and reside on the GoDaddy website so that anyone else can keep it up at a later date. The first two years will be maintained by GoDaddy. Anyone who knows Word Press or would like to learn it will be needed to take it over two years from now. Word Press is not a difficult program to learn or use, and the site will be all set up to keep updated. This a perfect volunteer opportunity for a younger member. Anyone interested, please talk to Mary Williams about what is involved.

You should see a simpler layout, fresher look, and I hope, easy to access information. We will also be able to preserve our past history. If you have suggestions of what you would like to see, now is the time to give them to me. I met with “Ken” our developer from our host GoDaddy Tuesday morning and I will see a first draft on May 18. I will send a preview copy of the new website to everyone for review and there will be opportunities for your input at that time before it is finalized.

Just after our call, my [email protected] email crashed, and my one look at it was that all my emails, contacts and folders were gone. I have not been able to access that email since then, even with a new password. My contact with Yahoo, who owns that email, and AT&T who owns Yahoo, have been frustrating. Each pointed me to the other to solve the issue and neither is willing to do anything. Just this afternoon I have this email completely back.

The present website resides on my old, unstable Windows 7 computer, and while I was able to make some fixes to some pages recently and it is more up to date than it had been, it still has major flaws and instabilities. You can access the Home page and most other pages, but most of the time you can't get back to the Home page from somewhere else - you have to check out and back in again. I will not put the May newsletter (this one) on the current website, but it will go on the new one.

Normal business: Your Newsletter Editor Mary Williams appreciates knowing what you are doing or if you have changes to your information. Your news is our news. Our next Newsletter will be for fall so your deadline for news to me is September 4, with our first fall meeting date TBA, but likely Saturday Sept 16.

Please refer to our Facebook page and/or post Convention news and photos there yourself to keep us in the news. We are at:

Concert Series

Our spring concerts have been excellent! If you missed any of these virtual concerts, you can catch up on our YouTube page:

Kimla Beasley at [email protected] continues to do a splendid job uploading these performer videos and introducing each Sunday concert.

If you know excellent performers who may want to perform on our series, refer them to Kimla and vice-versa for a start date at the end of September.


Near Ennis, TX in spring

Hope to see you at dinner on
Monday at 7.
Please RSVP to Mary for a table count.
Bring a side dish for a pasta entrée
provided by Mary

Member News

From Pat Hill: I had a miserable fall and spent three weeks hospitalized.  Back in my apartment and doing better. My love to all of you!!  Pat  [Our love to you too, Pat]


Claudia Jameson's granddaughter Suzu (William’s first child) was born on April 18th. She weighed 8 lbs, 1 oz and was 21 inches long. Mom and baby are well and are adjusting to the new lifestyle.

Kimla Beasley has a new address. Contact the webmaster for it. : She said when she moved that she would be able to host a meeting sometime.

Phone change for Cherie Bell. It is incorrect in the Yearbook. Contact the webmaster for it. She volunteered to stuff bags and work at Convention.

Ashley and Basil Bouras have moved, Contact the webmaster for their new address.

Last month Francis Vu Cathlina did a workshop for The Colony High School choir that Nancy Laine accompanied. He is a former Dallas member and will direct the Convention Chorus.


New info on Judy Dardaganian. Her daughter Kristin has been very ill this past couple of years. She will be having kidney replacement surgery May 24th in her hometown in CT. Her husband David is the donor. Judy is living in Highland Springs Senior community in the Dallas/Plano area. Judy plans to be with her daughter and may stay on to add comfort.

The American Guild of Organists spotlighted our Nancy Laine in this fine article


Dallas Chapter-American Guild of Organists

Member Spotlight: Nancy Laine (AGO)

Nancy Laine was 14 when her small Methodist church in Oak Cliff asked her to play the Hammond organ for the summer, while the regular organist was on pregnancy leave. She had studied piano for years, accompanied the choir at school, and usually played along on the hymns for Sunday night services, but playing organ was different! Thankfully, she started organ lessons with Stanley Shepelwich at Kessler Park UMC on their Aeolian Skinner organ. (She can still remember being in awe the first time she opened the swell pedal and the wall moved!)


At the end of the summer, there was another short-term sub position, and then a position in Church of the Ascension Episcopal in Dallas, which was a small church on Central Expressway at that time. After she got her driver’s license, she started leading the choir in a mid-week rehearsal. (Oh, the things we do when we have no idea what we’re doing!)

Nancy graduated from SMU with a B.M. in piano performance and pedagogy, along with a minor in math.  Following in her dad’s footsteps, after graduation she went to work at Southwestern Bell (AT&T), working primarily in forecasting, finance and marketing most of her 40-year career. Music was never absent from her life though, as she always taught piano, played at church, accompanied band students, accompanied a group of singers from AT&T, etc.

In 2000, she moved to San Antonio with AT&T and decided that she was going to become a “normal person” (i.e., sitting in the congregation with her family at church). They found a new home at Coker UMC, where she was in awe of the organist, Kevin Calloway, and their young daughter Laura was fascinated by the many offerings in the children’s music program (choir, Orff, and chimes).

It wasn’t long, however, before Nancy joined the choir, started accompanying one of the children’s choirs and then started subbing in trade for organ lessons. The big change happened, though, when Kevin talked her into going to a meeting of the AGO Alamo chapter.

The next thing she knew, she was working with the Education Committee, led by Mary Ann Winden, to get ready for the Service Playing exam. For the first time in her life, she felt like a “real” organist, not just a pianist playing the organ. Next came Colleague, then Associate.

The education committee met almost every Sunday night, and all became mentors and tutors for those working at earlier levels.

In 2015, she moved back to the Dallas area with AT&T. Although she had not been to a Dallas AGO meeting before, she joined immediately, knowing that she would find a new family of organists for continued learning, friendship, and support. (I can truly say that AGO changed my life.)

Nancy is currently organist and associate director of music at Christ United Methodist in Plano. She is still involved in several music-related ministries at Custer Road UMC as well.  She and her husband Larry (who used to play in the praise band) live in Fairview. Her son, Chris Unzicker, is a wonderful classical guitarist. Her daughter, Laura Laine, is an engineer at A&T (and still plays clarinet very well!).