an inclusive and feminist choral community advocating for peace and social justice
MUSE eNewsletter
Fall 2016
 
In This Issue











Treat Yourself to a MUSE CD
Advertise with MUSE
RISE! with MUSE

Those seeking a post-election place to reflect, restore and rally will find it Nov. 19-20, 2016, when MUSE presents two concerts titled  RISE! at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Performing with MUSE will be  Emma's Revolution , the duo of award-winning, activist musicians Pat Humphries and Sandy O. hailed as "smart, funny and informative - like Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart with guitars."

MUSE opens its 34 th season with a collection of current and traditional protest songs that promises the choir's signature blend of inspiration, advocacy, humor and heart. From "Fired Up" by Holly Near, "Wage Peace" by Jennifer Stasack and "Mahk Jchi" (as performed by Native American trio Ulali), to "Which Side Are You On" (union worker protest), "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" (as performed by Julia Easterlin) and "Still I Rise" by Dr. Rosephanye Powell, the concert will feature songs embraced by Black Lives Matter, Dakota Access Pipeline protesters, education and health reform, the anti-war movement and more.  

Emma's Revolution will take the stage for the second half of the program, performing several songs together with MUSE. With hauntingly beautiful harmonies and powerful acoustic instrumentals that deliver the energy and strength of their convictions, Emma's Revolution creates new standards in the art and culture of social justice. In the spirit of Emma Goldman's famous attribution, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution," Emma's Revolution has brought their uprising of truth, hope and a dash of irreverence to thousands of concerts and activist events across the US and abroad.

Please join us for RISE! at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center on Saturday, November 19 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 20 at 3 pm. 

Early-bird pricing is available now through November 11. Click here to purchase your tickets today!

Free childcare is available during concerts, by reservation. Contact MUSE at muse@musechoir.org or 513-221-1118 to make a reservation.
Introducing Eva Floyd, Interim Director

MUSE is very pleased to welcome Eva Floyd, PhD, to the podium as Interim Director for the 2016 fall concert.  Floyd's interim appointment follows the recent departure of Artistic Director Rhonda Juliano who successfully led the choir from 2013-2016 after the retirement of MUSE Founding Director Dr. Catherine Roma.

Eva Floyd is an associate professor of choral music education at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). Her active role in Cincinnati's choral community includes charter membership in the Young Professionals Choral Collective, and founding and conducting both the Cincinnati Homeschool Choir and the CCM Community Women's Chamber Choir. Eva served as a conducting coach for the Chorus America National Masterclass for Conductors of Children and Youth Choruses. She served on the Music Advisory Committee for the Cincinnati World Choir Games, and she is the Midwestern Regional Representative to the Organization of American Kod├íly Educators National Board. 

When she's not teaching or conducting, Eva enjoys baking, yoga, and strolling through thrift stores. She loves  historic homes, and enjoys working with her husband on their charming 1940 home in Westwood. 
Singing for Social Justice

Each year, MUSE collaborates with local community organizations to provide musical entertainment for events. We choose to collaborate with organizations that share our commitment to social justice and help us work towards our goal of being "artist-activists blending concert and conversation. " 

The 34th season has brought with it a variety of wonderful opportunities to share our mission.  Our first performance of the year was a fundraiser for Lydia's House, an organization which has a mission "to provide safe, stable and supportive housing to women and children in transition and crisis." 2016 marks the fourth annual fundraiser to benefit Lydia's House. MUSE has been honored to participate in this "women for women" event since its inaugural year.  

On September 25th, thousands of entertainers throughout the country performed in Concerts Across America to End Gun Violence. MUSE joined local musicians and Cincinnati City Council member P.G. Sittenfeld for the Cincinnati event at First Unitarian Church. Participating in this event was an obvious choice because it combined two of the MUSE core values: musical excellence and social justice.

MUSE also participated in the third annual Bend in the River Art and Music Festival . We were honored to be a part of this not only because it is the premier music event on Cincinnati's West Side, but also because Price Hill is our rehearsal home, so it gave us the opportunity to build community and sing with our neighbors.

MUSE's next performance will be the annual
She Screams Without Sound Candlelight Vigil for Domestic Violence . This event remembers women, men, and children who have been murdered as a result of domestic violence in Hamilton County. She Screams Without Sound was started in 1988, and MUSE began performing for the event shortly after its inception. Please join us for the event this year: October 18th at 6:15pm at the Hamilton County Courthouse.

Maria Kitsinis, Soprano II and Social Justice Co-Chair
Janet Neidhard, Soprano II
Ellen Newman, Soprano II
Be Our Friend!

Please consider a tax-deductible donation to MUSE today!
As a not-for-profit organization, MUSE relies on individual contributions from our generous supporters and fans like you. Donating to MUSE helps us pay for musical commissions, rehearsal space, concert PR and marketing, and so much more. Your gift doesn't just keep the lights on, you KEEP US SINGING!
 
All donors, a.k.a. Friends of MUSE, will receive a playbill listing  unless you choose to remain anonymous. Contribute soon . . . you'll be just in time to be included in our next concert program!
 

Questions?  Contact us - 513-221-1118 or muse@musechoir.org 

Continuing Ruth Rowan's Legacy 

M USE wishes to thank Stephanie Dryer, our ASL interpreter for the 2015-2016 season, who fulfilled the important role of maintaining inclusiveness in our concerts for deaf and hearing impaired audience members. Stephanie further assisted MU
SE by recommending  Erin Kelley , who will be our new ASL interpreter.

Erin brings a wealth of experience including platform, theatrical and community interpreting. She is enthusiastic about MUSE's mission and vision and eager to join our sisterhood. 

We are truly grateful, first to Stephanie and now to Erin, for the tremendous loving support and expertise they have shared with us to continue Ruth Rowan's passion for social justice and inclusiveness. If you'd like to help ensure the MUSE concert experience remains accessible to all people, please make a donation to MUSE in Ruth's name. Click here to donate.

Trish Hart, Soprano II
Audition for MUSE on November 5!

Have you ever dreamed of singing with MUSE? Well, here's your chance! We will be holding auditions for new singers on Saturday, November 5th. Auditions are by appointment only.  Details and registration form are available on our  website. Please spread the word to friends and family.
 
Not a singer but still want to be a part of MUSE? 5th Section Members receive the same perks as singing members and play a valuable role in our group's success! Email Laura Talarek , Production Coordinator, for more information.
Honoring a MUSE Icon

I n the fall of 1991, MUSE's 9th season, Connie Kreiner, an Alto II in MUSE, finally convinced her friend, the dynamic music teacher from her school, to audition for the choir...
 
Enter Lois Shegog! 
 
That year, Lois and MUSE introduced what has become Lois Shegog's signature piece, "I'm Gon Stand" by Bernice Johnson Reagon. The summer of 1992, MUSE recorded our first CD Coming into Our Voice and MUSE members knew "I'm Gon Stand" had to be included, and that Lois, with her rich, warm, velvety and fierce tone had to sing it. At the 1996 GALA Festival in Tampa Bay, FL, Lois brought the house down with this iconic piece. The rest is surely history.
 
There were other firsts that year. A group of African American women in MUSE had performed "I Feel Like Going On," in the previous year's spring concert. The same year Lois sang "I'm Gon Stand," these same women called themselves Sister Friends, and performed "These Three Words," by Stevie Wonder, with Lois taking a leadership role in the new and popular group.
 
Soon, by unison acclamation, Lois was hired as Assistant Director of MUSE. For the following exciting and productive years, she directed run-outs throughout the Cincinnati and tri-state area, conducted in every spring concert and often performed as a soloist, and has been a revered wise woman in discussions with groups like the Philosophers, Eaters, and Dreamers (earlier version of the Musical Excellence and Social Justice circles).
 
Lois played a pivotal role in MUSE's New Spirituals Project by forming lasting relationships with performers who came to Cincinnati to perform as part of the New Spirituals programs . She was host to Linda Tillery and other performing artists who came from California and Washington DC to sing with MUSE, from 1994 to 2012. This project set MUSE apart from other socially conscious choirs, leading to the creation of the documentary, I Feel Like Going On. Watch the story of the New Spirituals Project: Part One and  Part Two.

  Lois' 25 year long and remarkable career with MUSE comes to an end this year with her decision to retire from the choir. She currently works full-time with the St. Francis Seraph ministries and assistant directs the Martin Luthe r King, Jr. Coalition Chorale. MUSE salutes Lois Shegog and honors the lifetime of work, energy, knowledge and spirit that she has shared with our community!

Dr. Catherine Roma, Founding Artistic Director of MUSE