an inclusive and feminist choral community advocating for peace and social justice
MUSE eNewsletter
Fall 2015
In This Issue

Scott E. Knox, Attorneys at Law



Join us Nov. 4, 6-8 pm for an evening of music and wine.  Unwind with MUSE!


Treat Yourself to a MUSE CD
Advertise with MUSE

A Season of Change, A Season of Continuity
MUSE prepares for an exciting November concert

Our 33rd season has already brought many changes to MUSE, Cincinnati's Women's Choir.  We are still mourning the loss of our dear friend, sign language interpreter Ruth Rowan.  We plan to honor Ruth's memory throughout this season.  At the same time we are so happy to welcome Stephanie Dreyer, owner of Greater Cincinnati Interpreters for the Deaf, who will be interpreting our performances this season.  Stephanie knew Ruth well, and knows MUSE well.  We are delighted that she is joining us.  We are also delighted to announce that Rachel Kramer has returned this season to be our accompanist.  
In addition, we have just completed a two-year long evaluation and re-framing of our mission, vision and core values.  You can learn more about that in the article below.  And, as you know, we have moved to our new rehearsal and office space at Community Matters in Lower Price Hill.  We're settling in and looking forward to collaborations with the wonderful staff at Community Matters and with the Lower Price Hill community.
But, of course, many things remain the same.  Right now we are busy preparing for our annual November concert,  RIVERS VALLEYS MOUNTAINS: OUR LIFE'S JOURNEY, to be held on Saturday, November 14th 7:00 pm at Northern Kentucky University's Greaves Concert Hall and on Sunday, November 15th at 7 p.m. and St. Anthony's Church in Madisonville at 3:00 pm.   This concert will be full of exquisite music from traditional Appalachian, Gospel, and Bluegrass genres, plus newly composed music by Rosephanye Powell and local musician, Liz Wu. 
We will share the stage with Ma Crow and the Lady Slippers Bluegrass Band as we tell relevant and educational stories of life in Appalachian Communities, including stories about losing the mountains to mountain top removal and displacement of people.  MUSE will sing traditional songs as well as new songs about family, the caring of our earth, and being peacemakers.  Highlights include the songs Earth, by Imogen Heap, and The Peace of Wild Things, with music by Joan Szymko and text by Kentucky poet, Wendell Berry. It's a wonderful blend of the old and the new-definitely songs with a message!
Our concert would not be complete without voicing the importance of Black Lives Matter and the tragedies of life lost. As stated in Liz Wu's new song, there must be a revolution, and we will sing about being ambassadors of peace, looking forward to the day when "Justice and Peace shall kiss".
As always, the concert will have something for everyone and will heighten awareness of current events. Come enjoy the music and bring along a friend or two; you will not be disappointed. I look forward to seeing you in November!
Amore e pace,

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."  Victor Hugo
Stating Our Mission
The statement changes, but the mission stays the same
MUSE's beautiful philosophy statement captures the essence of MUSE.  But its length makes it difficult to use in situations where a short mission statement is requested, including performance introductions, grant proposals and presentations to potential board members .
In 2012 MUSE participated in a 4-month capacity building exercise with students from CCM's Arts Administration program.  One of their primary recommendations was that MUSE develop a more standard mission statement to communicate to the public and to use internally to guide decision making.  In 2012 and 2013 the board of directors discussed this issue, but found it difficult to come up with a satisfactory statement.

In 2014, Julie Maslov Goodman, an experienced communications professional, joined MUSE as an Alto I, and our stalled mission statement project finally started in a productive direction.  Julie agreed to coordinate the mission statement project. She began with the philosophy statement and the results from a choir survey administered by Heather Wiggins, then chair of the board's Mission Statement Committee, and she drafted a two-sentence mission statement, a vision statement, and four core values.  These were presented to the board for input in March and again in May.
Over the summer, Julie and Rhonda Juliano led four sessions to gather further comments on the revised drafts from choir members.  In early October, Julie presented her proposed mission, vision and values statements, representing months of work to the board and to the choir.   The board voted to approve the proposed statements this week.

Julie helped us realize that we were not changing the mission of MUSE, only the way we articulate it.  Our new statements include familiar themes but with some notable twists.   Our mission, why we exist, and our vision, focus on achieving not just social change but also social justice.  Musical excellence is, of course, essential to achieve our mission and vision, and is now stated as our first core value.

We are pleased to present the results of this process.  A more complete version can be found on our website.  Our deepest gratitude to Julie Goodman for coordinating this effort, and to all the choir members and board members, past and present, who worked on this project.

Our Mission: 

MUSE is an inclusive and feminist choral community advocating for peace and social justice.  We unite our voices to raise awareness and inspire change in ourselves, our audiences, and our world through partnerships that honor the humanity and enduring spirit of all people.

Our Vision
We will create a more peaceful and just world through song.

Our Values :  
Musical Excellence, Unity, Social Justice, Empowerment

Our Foundation : Feminism

Mary Chaiken, Alto I
MUSE Board Member,  Mission Statement Committee
FRIENDS of MUSE make a difference
We can't do it without you!

We are so grateful to all of our donors and patrons, like you, that have supported us since 1984. We can't wait to see you at our next concert or welcome you to our new home, Community Matters in Lower Price Hill neighborhood. Happily, we consider each and every one of you cherished FRIENDS of MUSE!
And we simply couldn't get by without a little help from our FRIENDS. Individual gifts account for, on average, a quarter of our annual income. Other funding comes from concert ticket sales, program book advertising, fundraisers, performance fees, and member dues. MUSE is also the grateful recipient of financial support from  ArtsWaveCommunity SharesGreater Cincinnati Foundation, and  Ohio Arts Council

This year, consider making a tax-deductible gift to offset one of MUSE's regular monthly expenses . . . even an entire budget line item! What a meaningful difference you can make this year to MUSE!

$80 - Cost per month to provide childcare for singing parents at every rehearsal
$100 - Song copying or licensing fee
$240 - Instrumentalist concert performance fee
$344 - One month's office space rent at Community Matters
$1,000 - Scholarship for a member to attend the 2016 GALA Festival in Denver (where we will perform the first piece from the Dr. Catherine Roma Women Composers Commissioning Project.)

Your donation, no matter what the amount, is so important to us.

To become a 2015-2016 Season FRIEND of MUSE - and a vital part of our community - please make your donation online at You can also send a check to MUSE, P.O. Box 23292, Cincinnati, OH 45223. MUSE welcomes financial support from monthly subscribers and also offers direct bank-to-bank transfer (or ACH) as a payment option. FRIENDS of MUSE who give $25 or more will be listed on our website and in our concert programs or may give anonymously if preferred. Contact us with any questions:

Again, thank you for your continued support. We look forward to singing for you soon!

Sarah Meisch, Soprano II
MUSE Board Member, Development Committee Chair
Member Spotlight
New Soprano II Briana Niblick

Originally from Philadelphia, Briana moved to Cincinnati from Stuttgart, Germany in May 2015 to work with the EPA on sustainable technologies and materials. She has lived around the world and feels lucky to call Vienna, Austria her second home. It was in Vienna that she first discovered the strength of women's activist communities.   Briana sang in two women's choirs, Musica Lesbiana and the Fortissimas, in Stuttgart. She has a younger sister here in Ohio.
In her free time Briana enjoys doing Miksang contemplative photography, exploring Cincinnati on foot and bike, and enjoying good tea!
When asked after 3 rehearsals and a retreat how she felt about MUSE, Briana said it was like gaining an instant community, in and outside choir time, and that MUSE has lived up to everything she was hoping for.  She loves the music and feels the themes for the upcoming concert are very appropriate for this region and time.
If she could be a vegetable Briana would be a leek, if she were an animal she'd like to be a horse, and when asked to characterize MUSE in one word she answered with a resounding COMMUNITY!

Angie Denov, Soprano II
Membership Circle Co-Chair

William H. Albers Foundation