MUSE eNewsletter
Spring 2015
In This Issue

Raul Pulido GLBT Realtor
Scott E. Knox, Attorneys at Law
WIT - Humour

Symmes Chiropractic & Nutrition
Treat Yourself to a MUSE CD
Ellen Bierhorst Holistic Clinical Psychology-Alexander Technique
New Church of Montgomery Angel Window
Nexus UCC Church ad
Advertise with MUSE
Spring Concert Artwork by Maggie Panyko

Winter's End, Spring Beginnings
Concerts and Updates 
MUSE, Cincinnati's Women's Choir is alive and well, filling this 32nd season with rewarding performances and making and strengthening community connections!  On March 6th we helped the Woman's City Club of Cincinnati celebrate their 100th birthday at the Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel - a gala event indeed, filled with music, inspirational speakers, historical reflections, and a charge to continue the good work needed to keep our communities moving forward! The next day we rocked Memorial Hall for the Macy's Arts Sampler, singing Ella Fitzgerald's "A-Tisket-A-Tasket" and Harry Bellefonte's "Turn the World Around" to an audibly supportive audience. And this past weekend, MUSE participated in the St. John's Unitarian Universalist Music Series event, "Women Hold Up More Than Half the Sky."  

Additionally, MUSE is rehearsing for our upcoming concert titled "Here and Aware". We look forward to presenting the music of gifted and socially aware women composers who through their writing speak to the social issues that continue to plague communities around the world. As we add our voices to their songs, MUSE will once again sing to share awareness of those issues-what inspires us to sing!

I personally invite you to join us on April 18th at St. Francis Seraph for our Spring Concert.  MUSE, Cincinnati's Women's Choir will be present two concerts; 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm. We also welcome back MUSE Alumnae and MUSE kids for our annual spring tradition. Help us spread the word; tell your friends and family members not to miss this concert! It will be beautiful, powerful, and fulfilling. The music and texts of Amelia Earhart, Sarah Hopkins, Melissa Etheridge, and Carole King will heighten your awareness and lift your spirits. Here and Aware!

Tickets are available on our website:

Please stop by and say hello after the concert.  I enjoy seeing you and meeting each of you!

Keeping a song in our hearts,
Support the Sarah Center
Partners for our Spring Concert 

St. Francis Seraph in Over-the-Rhine was selected with great intention as our Spring Concert venue to enable a partnership with its affiliated ministry, the Sarah Center, which provides empowerment opportunities to local disadvantaged women and children through authentic relationship building, life skills and peer support.


The Sarah Center uses arts curriculum in jewelry, sewing, quilting and painting supplemented by classes in empowerment, health and wellness and Tai Chi. As skills develop, members are encouraged to sell products through the Sarah Center and its retail partners. Outcomes include better health, self-awareness, improved life skills, economic sustainability and community engagement. Some members have even begun their own craft businesses!


In addition to informing, inspiring and engaging our audience through song, a key objective of our MUSE Spring Concert is to help raise awareness of the Sarah Center.


MUSE will feature Sarah Center stories during the concert (and as part of our concert promotion) and will collaborate with the Sarah Center to feature members' artwork and crafts at our MUSE marketplace before and after the concerts.

Inspired by "The Arts Ripple Effect" the MUSE Spring Concert program content combined with the Sarah Center partnership will bring diverse groups together to share common experiences, hear new perspectives and understand each other better.

Julie Goodman, AI
Inspiration is Mutual 


MUSE has served as a source of inspiration for women since its founding in 1983. As a women's choir dedicated to social change through musical excellence, founder Dr. Catherine Roma was equally committed to performing and commissioning works by women composers.


Jennifer Stasack was a doctoral student in composition at CCM when she was commissioned to set Pat Mora's poem, "Let Us Now Hold Hands." It was her first commission, and MUSE later commissioned her to set biblical texts for "Her Song Rises."  She has gone on to create music in a variety of genres that is performed throughout the world. Dr. Stasack is now chair of the music department at Davidson College in North Carolina.


Other women who have written for MUSE include Holly Near, Sweet Honey in the Rock founder Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Sweet Honey member Ysaye Marie Barnwell, Elizabeth Haskins, Libby Larsen, Joan Szymko, Elizabeth Alexander, and Abby Betinis.


The composers tell us how pleased they are to write for a women's chorus dedicated to social justice. "I brag on you all the time," Ysaye Marie Barnwell told us in 2013, "There's nothing anywhere else like MUSE."


Anne Arenstein, AII 
The Reciprocity of Opportunity
You make a bold statement when you volunteer. You are saying that you care about something that is greater than yourself.  You proclaim that this event, this cause, this organization is worth more than money. It's worth the most precious gift of all - your time.

Volunteering is not just giving; it is receiving too!  When you volunteer for MUSE you receive benefits you may not have anticipated:

-You feel connected to something that is larger than yourself. 
-You feel like a valued part of a community. 
-You pass on value to your community and your loved ones. 
-You develop friendships. 
-You have fun. 
-You learn new skills. 
-You get to see the concert for free.

MUSE so greatly treasures our volunteers!

The need is evident.  We can't do all the amazing things that MUSE does without them--without you!

We are looking for volunteers to usher and sell concessions for the Spring Concert, Here and Aware, on April 18, if you would like to volunteer or just learn more about the opportunities, please sign up here.

Melissa Stephens, Managing Director 
Member Spotlight
Allyson Thompson 
The Alto 1 section is jazzed to have Allyson Thompson join MUSE this season.  Allyson hails from right here in Cincinnati and is the youngest of 4 of which is her twin brother.  AI Allison Thompson

Allyson is an artist at heart. She has taken some classes at Cincinnati State but in her free time loves to paint and work with art.  She is a self-taught pianist and states, "I prefer to write my own songs and sing along to my own lyrics.  Art and music have been very helpful to me when coping with difficult experiences."

Allyson auditioned for MUSE because she wanted to involve herself with others who love singing as much as she does and who also appreciate all that music can give. Through MUSE, she hopes to make a positive impact.

Some Q&A with Allyson:

Q: What is your favorite food?
A: Hard to pick a favorite, but I love fish/seafood. And one of my favorite sweets is licorice.

Q: What book are you reading right now?
A: I am reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte.

Q: What is your favorite word?
A: My favorite word is ellipsis.

Q: Would you rather be a giraffe or an eagle?
A: I would rather be an eagle, but being a giraffe would be just fine too!

Welcome to MUSE, Allyson!


Amy Arnold, SII, Membership Coordinator, MUSE Board Member


William H. Albers Foundation