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Who Is ‘The SAI Who Won on Jeopardy?’


or years, Gamma Iota initiate Rebecca Dixon knew exactly what she wanted to be. And, on December 2, 2009, she achieved that goal. Three times. “Being a ‘Jeopardy!’ champion has been one of my life goals since I was at least a teenager,” Rebecca said. “As a kid, I remember playing an old ‘Jeopardy!’ video game on a Commodore 64 computer and playing a board game version with colored paper money,” Rebecca said. The James Madison University graduate, with a Bachelor’s in Oboe Performance, approached her love of the game show, which debuted on airwaves in 1964 and returned in 1984 with host Alex Trebek, with the same attention to practice and routine she brought to the oboe. As with many a musician, her first audition wasn’t a success. But it was informative. “When I was 18, during my freshman year of college, I signed up for a ‘Jeopardy!’ audition in Washington, D.C. in February 2005,” she said. “When I got to the audition, it looked like I was possibly the youngest person there, and I felt like a lightweight. … I wasn’t really surprised [to not advance], but I was happy to see how the audition worked and get the experience for the future. The next year, she was initiated into Gamma Iota. “During my time in that chapter, I also served on the Executive Board as Treasurer,” she said. “I still have some good friends who were sisters, and I’m very glad I was able to get to know them through SAI, which I might not have been able to do otherwise.” “I decided to try again later in my college career after the online test was implemented … I felt a lot better about my performance on the test, but I knew I was probably just a few shades off from passing. Alas, I didn’t get chosen for an in-person audition. “I tried again in January 2009, during my first year of grad school,”

Gamma Iota initiate Rebecca Dixon, with host Alex Trebek, won three episodes of ”Jeopardy!” Her episodes aired in February 2010.



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Collegiate Comments

Province Day News she said. “Though still young, I felt like my chances were continually getting better. I felt much more confident about my performance on the online test, but I thought I was probably right on the bubble. I was happy, but not holding my breath by any means. I had mostly forgotten about it until I got the email in March inviting me to an audition in D.C. in June! “ “When audition day finally came, I thought it generally went well,” Rebecca said. “Although afterwards I kept mentally beating myself up about the fact that I had to be reminded to select the next category and dollar amount after a correct response in the mock game. … After a successful audition, they keep you in the active contestant pool for 18 months, so you may or may not hear from them anytime during that period. Luckily my call came relatively early, just 5 months later in November. It was one of the best phone calls I have ever received! “Most of my preparation has come over years of watching the show on a nightly basis and playing along at home,” she said. “I would try to pretend I was in the game as much as possible,

including practicing the timing on the signaling device (I used a click pen), practicing the quick selection of the clues ... and developing a good sense of knowing when to ring in or not ring in based on how confident I was of the response.” When the taping day arrived, the musical experiences of preparation and performance gave her the poise to relax. “I was really pleased at how much rehearsal we got -- all of the crew seemed to make sure that all of us contestants were very comfortable up there on stage. I was feeling more confident every minute. “When the categories came up for the Jeopardy round, I was stoked. The very first category was ‘Musical Instruments.’ I knew that was a good sign. When we were playing that category, I was dying to get in on every one, but the other contestants were beating me on the signaling device. I thought, “This is one of my dream categories, and I can’t get in on any of them!” Finally, on the $1,000 clue someone gave an incorrect response in regard to Pablo Casal’s instrument, and

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Alumnae Comments GREGORY DICKENS Publications Manager RUTH SIEBER JOHNSON Executive Director CONTACT US 828.251.0606


collegiate comment

Sigma Eta alumna Katie Van Sumeren and collegiate members Jordan Bickel and Lindsay McIntosh, at Sigma Eta’s swing dance. Members of Alpha and Beta Eta gather at the grave site of SAI co-founder, Nora Crane Hunt.

On October 16, the sisters of Alpha Chapter, The University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor met for a luncheon get-together with the Beta Eta sisters of Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. Alpha A Province Officer Jennie Ross and Alpha B Province Officer Sally Roach also attended. After a delightful lunch, the ladies drove to Jackson’s Mount Evergreen Cemetery to visit the grave of founder Nora Crane Hunt. Jennie presented a brief history of Ms. Hunt’s life. The group then sang The SAI Chorale as the two collegiate chapter presidents laid a red rose on the beautiful SAI marker. What a moving and valuable experience for those Michigan sisters! — Sally Roach, Alpha B PO

Κ KAPPA University of Nebraska, Lincoln Kappa’s activities for 2009 included a chapter musicale, a Halloween costume party, and sales for used music and baked goods. Rebecca Pieti is the chapter’s new corresponding secretary as of January 2010. As well as hosting music theory and history study sessions for the School of Music, Kappa women are taking one weekend a month to accomplish a new service project. — Lauren Taylor, editor

ΣΗ SIGMA ETA University of Redlands, CA From November 9-13, Sigma Eta co-hosted a school-wide Music Appreciation Week with Phi Mu Alpha. The week consisted of a lecture from Artist-Professor of Violin, Mr. Pavel Farkas, the screening of The Soloist, swing dance lessons, a concert by the University of Redlands Orchestra, and performances by local musicians. This five-day event was geared toward nonmusic majors in order to bring greater awareness and appreciation of music throughout the campus. Following this, the two chapters co-hosted a swing dance featuring live performances by the Empire Swing Orchestra and Over Easy. — Kristi Shelton, editor

ΣΧ SIGMA CHI University of Miami, FL The Sigma Chi ladies started fall semester 2009 with an October concert featuring movie tunes, which included Toy Story, Sister Act, Grease, and Josie and the Pussycats. The annual fundraising event was held during the Festival Miami Concert series, where chocolate bars and water were sold during

ΣΒ SIGMA BETA Ohio University, Athens During the winter quarter of 2010, Sigma Beta initiated two sisters, helped to raise money to send a number of members to the Ohio Music Education Association Conference in Cincinnati to perform in ensembles, and prepared for the Province Day Project on February 27. Upcoming chapter activities include fundraising events, recruitment socials, and planning for the annual One Voice musicale. — Katie Holmes, editor

Σ∆ SIGMA DELTA University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign At the end of the first semester, the chapter held a “sock exchange” to relieve some final exam stress. The Urbana Alumnae chapter hosted a “welcome back” gathering after winter break, with great food and sister bonding. Upcoming events include performances of the winning compositions from the Competition held in the fall of 2009, and hosting a Solo Competition for grades 5-12, to be judged by University of Illinois faculty. — Lindsay Ozburn

Marie D’Angiolillo, Sigma Chi’s VP-Membership, center, with the chapter’s newest sisters, Katerina Kuscevic, left, and Stephanie Gillespie.

Collegiate Comment Editor Pam Prouty, an initiate of Pi Chapter, can be reached at or 29976 328th Place, Adel IA 50003 or 515-987-1809. Submitted articles should be pasted into the email message. Photos should be sent to

Tempo! • spring 2010 • Sigma Alpha Iota

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intermission. Two new sisters, Stephanie Gillespie and Katerina Kuscevic, were initiated. The sisters also participated in many caroling events to local nursing homes and hospitals. — Laura Blancato, editor

ΒΕ BETA EPSILON University of Evansville, IN Beta Epsilon ladies welcomed Emily Mella, Caroline Buckman, Kayla Ryan, Jessica Hoyer, Kaylea Flater, Janel Jett, and Elizabeth Stone into their chapter in December. Other activities have included providing assistance at recitals and concerts, holding bake sales, and a philanthropy event called “Jail and Bail,” which is a fundraiser involving professors, administrators, and students. They are “jailed” for a minimum of 15 minutes, and students can pay additional money to see that they remain in jail longer. — Stephanie Voll, editor

ΒΨ BETA PSI East Carolina University, Greenville, NC Beta Psi initiated Ashley Miller, Hayley Kelly, and Jessica Wessel in November 2009. The chapter is excited to be celebrating its 55th birthday in May. — Jessica Wessel, editor

ΓΡ GAMMA RHO University of Tennessee, Knoxville In commemoration of 50 years of dedication and service to Sigma Alpha Iota, the Gamma Rho and Knoxville Alumnae and Patroness chapters are planning a celebratory luncheon on May 1 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the University of Tennessee Ballroom. Any charter members of the chapters are invited to participate in the celebration and are asked to contact Cheri Elkins for more information. All other Sigma Alpha Iota members are encouraged to participate. Festivities throughout the day will honor past Gamma Rho members and include all those who contributed to the fraternity. Former Gamma Rho member Fran Cartier Creasy will provide the keynote address, and the chapters will perform “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” arranged by charter member Betty Bertaux, whose “Sing On!” was premiered at the 2009 National Convention and appeared on the cover of the Winter 2010 PAN PIPES. Both chapters will be rededicated, and a 50-year ceremony for all charter members will be held. Guests may view artifacts from both chapters at a small museum and dine at the luncheon. — Emily Wuchner, corresponding secretary

∆Γ DELTA GAMMA University of Florida, Gainesville In October 2009, the sisters of Delta Gamma took part in a unique service opportunity for a local Gainesville school. The Sidney Lanier School serves students from ages 3 to 22 with physical and intellectual disabilities. The school’s Music Ensemble was given an exciting invitation to perform at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall in May. To help raise money for the trip, sisters from Delta Gamma performed a Broadway review at a benefit concert. They heard an inspiring performance by the school’s drum line, as well as a mesmerizing improvised drumset performance by student Lyndon White II, who is partially blind and deaf. The sisters of Delta Gamma are especially proud to assist the students of Sidney Lanier toward this outstanding opportunity. Sisters Kathy Crane, Maria Del Valle, Hannah Gill, Jaclyn Perez, and Lisa Ulseth studied for six weeks in the University’s summer study abroad program in Salzburg, Austria. They studied with well-known professors, participated in recitals and concerts, and visited famous landmarks of Mozart’s native Salzburg. Kali Woodruff attended the Buffet Crampon USA Summer Clarinet

Tempo! • spring 2010 • Sigma Alpha Iota

The Fall 2009 Delta Gamma initiates.

Academy in 2009 and studied with world-renowned faculty. Jaclyn Perez took part in the Florida Intercollegiate Band at the annual state Music Educators Association Conference. — Jaclyn Perez, editor

∆Π DELTA PI Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN The sisters of Delta Pi entered in three competitions in fall semester’s homecoming events and placed fifth in the chili cook-off, third in the banner competition, and second in the non-float category of the parade. The intent was to allow people to become more acquainted with Sigma Alpha Iota on campus. — Sarah Turner, editor

∆Σ DELTA SIGMA University of Dayton, OH Delta Sigma started the year with three recruitment sessions, including a “craft night,” “speed-meet-a-sister,” and the semi-annual “black-and-white party,” complete with a chocolate fountain. Five sisters were welcomed in November. December activities included a retreat, creating Operation Christmas Child gift boxes to benefit children around the world, the sale of Christmas carols and “Support the Arts” bracelets to benefit the Dayton Academy’s music program, and a semi-formal dance with Phi Mu Alpha. February events included a Bunco Night with Phi Mu Alpha and the Mr. Perfect Fifth competition, during which the University’s music ensembles compete to raise money for a local organization. — Lauren Perl, editor

ΕΛ EPSILON LAMBDA Belmont University, Nashville, TN Spring semester’s recruitment theme is “Audrey Hepburn.” Events will include a picnic, recital, coffeehouse, movie night, and a tea. The second benefit for the W.O. Smith School is scheduled for March, and Province Day will be in April. — Kay Nicholson, editor

ΗΦ ETA PHI Pennsylvania State University, University Park In December, the women of Eta Phi held a beautiful formal, and in addition, the a capella group, The Leading Tones, performed in a winter

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COLLEGIATE continued from page 3 concert with other a capella groups on campus. The chapter will provide music at a nursing home in the spring. — Meghan Zugibe, editor

ΗΩ ETA OMEGA University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA On December 12, Stockton rang cheerily with the joyful sounds of holiday spirit, as the ladies of Eta Omega held their second “Caroling for Cans” event in a local neighborhood. In this service project, members sing holiday carols to families in exchange for canned and non-perishable goods to be donated to the Stockton Food Bank. Five days prior to the event, paper bags donated by Trader Joe’s were left on the doorsteps of 100 households, along with fliers describing the project. Those who knew they were not going to be home could leave their donations on their doorsteps. A stunning amount of 400 cans was collected, far surpassing the 250 cans of last year. The serenaded families and associates at the food bank were all appreciative of the chapter’s efforts. Eta Omega received recognition for this project at the 2009 National Convention with the category II Collegiate Service Project Award. — Sarah Quiroz, editor/historian

Topeka Alumnae and Theta Joint Project


he Topeka Alumnae Chapter and Theta Chapter of Washburn University (WU) completed a two-year joint Philanthropies project in the spring of 2009. The Topeka members held their All-American March Concert and included an instrument drive sponsored by the Theta members. Concert donations provided funds for music scholarships to WU music students, and community members dug deep into their dark closets and basement storage rooms to bring their used instruments to donate. In all, twenty-five instruments were donated and all repaired at no cost by a local repair technician. Classroom instruments were distributed in Topeka, but some instruments for bands and orchestras traveled much farther. Eight instruments went to a mission school in Guatemala, four more went to Nicaragua, remaining instruments were distributed to Topeka Public Schools, and to local instrumental music teachers. The community now sees Sigma Alpha Iota as an organization that connects musicians with instruments. The Topeka Alumnae Chapter continues to receive donated instruments and find them good homes. While it is gratifying to work through SAI’s Adopt-An-Instrument program, the chapter has truly enjoyed the hands-on experience. This kind of service project has been one of our favorites. No money changed hands, but ordinary people opened their hearts and hands to make a difference, across town and around the globe.

N Eta Omega members load up a car for their ‘Caroling for Cans’ campaign.

ΚΠ KAPPA PI Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro Emily May, Heather LaPorte, and Brittany Clinton were initiated in November. The chapter also welcomes Solana Hawkenson, who affiliated after transferring from Austin’s Peay State University. Kappa Pi’s recruitment theme for spring semester focuses on life, art, and music throughout time and around the world. At each event, there will be discussions on a different decade in the life of Sigma Alpha Iota, different founders, the Fraternity’s history, and famous SAI sisters. The chapter musicale in April will highlight music from different cultures across the globe. — Maggie Shaver, editor

Λ∆ LAMBDA DELTA Vandercook College of Music, Chicago, IL Lambda Delta went pink for breast cancer for the month of October. The women of the chapter went to a Chicago salon and got pink hair extensions. All the money for the extensions went to breast cancer prevention. Performers in the large ensemble concert wore pink ribbons, and the chapter accepted donations at the concert in the hope of reaching their goal of $1,000 for the Susan G. Komen fund. — Lauren Prater, editor


u Province Day, held on October 24th in Seattle, featured an unusual instrument: solo English handbells. Keynote speaker Nancy Kirkner gave an hourlong lecturedemonstration of her instrument, during which she performed a variety of works including “Finlandia,” the folk song “Shenandoah,” and “Bist Du Bei Mir.” Between pieces, Nancy talked about the origin of English handbells, which have roots in antiquity. Bells were excavated in China that date back to 1600 BC. English handbells were invented in AD 1694 as a tool for tower bell ringers in England to practice their changes (ringing patterns) without disturbing the peace. Like most handbell soloists, Nancy learned to ring first in a group, in her case a bell choir she helped found at a Seattle church in 1999. She subsequently established a community handbell choir that became the largest handbell choir in the Pacific Northwest. Nancy rang with a handbell quartet for two years and currently studies with Nancy Hascall of Portland. Nancy has been performing as a soloist throughout the region since 2007 and teaches ringers from numerous churches in the Seattle area. She is a performing member of the auditioned Seattle group Ladies Musical Club, the first handbell soloist in the 118-year history of the organization. The Province Day also featured a musicale by the Tacoma Alumnae Chapter, Sigma Zeta, the Spokane Alumnae and MoscowPullman Alumnae chapters. Violinists Joanne Iverson and Susan Docken, pianists Lorna McCormack and Julie Roberts, clarinetist Allison Mousseau, pianist/organist Susan Billin, and flautist Katie Hagen all performed in the musicale. Dr. Elena Dubinets, Director of Artistic Administration for the Seattle Symphony and Artistic Advisor of the Seattle Chamber Players, spoke on the topic “How to make it in music if you are not a performer.” The event was organized by Nora Golden and attended by members from all over the Pacific Northwest.

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a group of about twenty kids in multicultural folk dancing, a drum circle, and a “meet the instruments” style tour of the orchestra. The children, ranging from ages 2 to 13, really seemed to enjoy these hands-on activities, especially when we gave them instruments and told them to make noise! This was our third year presenting at the Family Center, and we hope to continue this partnership. Other upcoming service projects include a musicale at Friendship Village assisted living center, member participation in the BOLDNOTES project, and music and instrument collection for the Rachel Barton Pine “Global Heartstrings” project. From left, Leigh Takata, Patsy Woods, and Mary Caroline Moore affiliated with the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter.

Atlanta (GA) Atlanta launched the season with a Membership Tea at the

home of Natalie Codelli. Long-time chapter treasurer Nancy Harper was awarded the Rose of Dedication, and our 2009 scholarship winner, Diana Shull (cello) of Gamma Eta, performed. A silent auction was held to fund the November service project and the chapter scholarship fund. The first formal meeting of the season was held at the home of Kathy Clark. Three new members — Mary Caroline Moore, Leigh Takata, and Patsy Woods — were affiliated. The chapter participated in two service projects related to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO). The first was Target Family Free Day in October at the Woodruff Arts Center with patroness Mary Frances Early serving as co-chair and several members serving as volunteers. The second project was the ASO-Georgia Music Educators Association Band Project. This is an all-day event featuring middle-school band students coached by ASO members and a performance for parents and friends, followed by a reception for which the chapter provides refreshments. Several members volunteered for jobs, including registering, coaching students, assisting with lunch, setting up the reception, and operating the Symphony Store. On December 5, members went caroling at two retirement centers in the Sandy Springs area.

Denton (TX) For 48 years, the chapter has presented the Benefit Musicale

with proceeds going to support scholarships for Iota Omega and Iota Theta local college chapters. The latest scholarship winners are Maria Hernandez (voice) and Audrey Steele (flute) from Iota Omega at Texas Women’s University (TWU). In October, the TWU and Brookhaven Flute Choirs presented a program directed by SAI sister Pamela Youngblood, professor of music at TWU. It featured 27 flutists performing on all instruments from the flute family: C flutes, piccolos, alto flutes, bass flutes, and the contra-bass flute. The group had just returned from New York where they had performed at the 37th Annual National Flute Association convention. They were one of only four university flute choirs invited to perform there. Featured selections were the Southwest premiere of their commissioned work, Fantasia on Red River Valley by Kelly Via, Mélange of Neumes by Texas composer Stephen Lias, and The Wicked Vicar by Jonathan Cohen. The year was rounded out by a wonderful Saturday morning of Christmas caroling with the residents of the Lake Forest Good Samaritan Retirement Center. Ema Ruth Russell, patroness and resident, who is 100 years old, arranged the event.

Boston (MA) On November 29, we initiated Kathleen Hallman Adams

as a Friend of the Arts. The initiation took place in Glouchester, MA, following a Holiday Concert given by the Cape Ann Symphony and reception following in the Green Room for invited guests and patrons. The chapter was also included to attend this gala reception as well. The initiation took place following in the private Library of Fuller Auditorium. The presiding officer was Former National Vice-President, Alumnae Chapters Geraldine Barretto-Sims, assisted by Former SAI Philanthropies Chairman Arlene Josepe Veron, and Diana Cioffari with Michelle Schultz (soprano). Alice Lovely had the honor of introducing and presenting Ms. Adams for initiation. We were honored to have present Maestro and National Arts Associate Yoichi Udagawa and Friend of the Arts David Benjamin, Manager of the Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra and clarinetist.

Cleveland (OH) The Cleveland Alumnae Chapter is strengthening

our sisterhood connections this year. Our website was re-created by Tracy Paroubek, and we sent Valentine gift bags to the Muskingum College chapter since they have no alumnae chapter nearby.  A picnic get-together is planned with Warren-Youngstown Alumnae Chapter in the early summer.  Our annual string scholarship competition will take place in March with the winners performing at Harborside [Nursing] Home.

Columbus (OH) For the past few years, one of our service projects is

providing an afternoon of musical activities for children living at the YWCA Family Center. This homeless shelter houses up to fifty families who live in “neighborhoods” and eat as family units. We lead activities including drum circles, instrument making, instrument sharing, and singing. This year we led

Tempo! • spring 2010 • Sigma Alpha Iota

Members of the Des Moines Alumnae Chapter gather for the chapter’s 90th anniversary.

Des Moines (IA) For the chapter’s 90th anniversary this year, we held

a joint celebration on Nov. 21 with Drake University’s Pi Chapter, which marks its 75th anniversary. Chapter members and special guests enjoyed a breakfast banquet, musicales, and a raffle benefiting SAI Philanthropies. Longtime alumnae members spoke about the chapter’s history and their favorite memories. Iowa Governor Chet Culver sent certificates of recognition for each chapter. The alumnae partnered with the local Barnes & Noble again to provide instruments for the Des Moines Public Schools. Barnes & Noble donated a portion of its proceeds to purchase instruments for the school district, with a total of $1,063 raised. The chapter also collected 63 donated instruments including a piano. Local school music groups and performers from the Des Moines Alumnae and Pi chapters entertained holiday shoppers that day, creating a festive atmosphere for a very successful fundraiser.

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ALUMNAE continued from page 5 Edmond (OK) Delta Iota initiate and current Denton Alumnae Chapter

member Grace Wiley Smith was presented with the Oklahoma Indian Elder of the Year Award, given by the Oklahoma Council on Indian Education. Smith, a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, has taught for about 20 years, composes traditional American Indian music, and is a professional flutist. In September, the chapter affiliated Priscilla Gray (Delta Iota), Sara Outhier (Kappa Upsilon), and Alicia Williams (Kappa Upsilon). Chapter members sang Christmas carols at the Sterling House assisted living center in December. Pat Hoig, Rebecca Yeager, Charlotte Christopher, and Missy Attebery assisted Delta Iota sell concessions at the second round of the Oklahoma All-State Chorus auditions. For fundraising, the chapter held a garage sale and raised $170 for the chapter. Musicales included a presentation by Charlotte Christopher of “Hymnspiration.” She gave a review of the hymn, “O God Our Help In Ages Past,” by Issac Watts, “Father of Hymns,” and performed on the piano. Afterwards, members prepared goodie bags for the Delta Iota women to enjoy while studying for final examinations. Members also attended a performance of the Oklahoma City Community Orchestra, which included member Priscilla Gray (bassoon) and Zeta B PO Janet Romanishin (flute).

Hampton Roads (VA) It was a very busy winter for the Hampton Roads Alumnae Chapter. It began with the affiliation of three new sisters into the chapter. The next event was a successful fundraiser at Uno’s Chicago Grill. While some sisters outside braved the cold, passing out donation coupons, the sisters inside the restaurant sang a collection of Christmas carols. January was by far the busiest month that the chapter has seen in a long time. The month started with our regularly scheduled meeting followed by a full day with the Girl Scouts at their “Artist in You” badge day. The 60 scouts earned their art badges, cooking badges, and with the help of our chapter, their music badges. The chapter put on an instrument petting zoo, taught dances and songs, and helped the girls make their own instruments. The most exciting event held during January was the Pampered Chef fundraiser. The sisters took orders from the Pampered Chef catalog and concluded the fundraiser with a cooking party at the home of one of the members. The chapter raised several hundred dollars and looks forward to putting that money to good use for the upcoming year.

Becca Buffett of Hampton Roads Alumnae Chapter helps a Girl Scout earn her music badge during the ‘Artist in You’ event.

Indianapolis (IN) The Indianapolis Alumnae chapter celebrated the

holidays by getting together for a Christmas Party at chapter president Leslie Nelson’s home. We enjoyed spending time together, eating holiday goodies and singing Christmas carols. We also collected toiletry items to send to an Iota Eta initiate currently serving in Iraq. Recent fundraisers have included a Max & Erma’s night at a local restaurant and a Lia Sophia jewelry party. Our annual Scholarship Benefit Recital will be held on the Butler University campus on March 27. The recital will feature local musicians of all ages and will raise money to be given in scholarships to members of the Zeta chapter at Butler University.

Lake County (IN) For many semesters, the Lake County Alumnae

Chapter has enjoyed putting together “final packs” for the girls of Beta Lambda at Valparaiso University. Each of the girls receives a bag of treats and some practical items they may need during their finals week.  In December, the chapter caroled at Hartsfield Village, a local nursing facility, prior to having a potluck Christmas celebration together with a grab-bag gift game.  The chapter held annual auditions for a scholarship to be given to a Beta Lambda member.  This year’s winner was Linda Rohe, a senior music business major at Valparaiso University.  Linda performed an oboe solo with piano accompaniment at an alumnae chapter meeting.   Our chapter is thrilled to have members who are involved in continuing the work of SAI.  Peggy Glennie, former Beta B Province Officer and Lake County Alumnae member, now serves as the Regional Officer for Region 5.  The chapter surprised Belinda Potoma, former Beta B Province Officer, by nominating her for the Ring of Excellence.  The chapter presented the award to Belinda at the 2009 National Convention in Chicago.  The chapter also affiliated two sisters, Margaret Dale Lane (Iota Chi) and Melissa Desjarlais (Theta Eta).  The chapter also has a new Patroness with Training, Katherine Campbell-Sipes.

Philadelphia (PA) The October meeting featured a PowerPoint

presentation of the new ritual, a formal business meeting, affiliation of new members Jacquelyn Howell and Gina Lenox, and a piano duet of music by Mendelssohn in recognition of the bicentennial of his birth performed by Jo Cauffman and Linda McAlpin. Service project musicales were performed at three different retirement/nursing facilities in October, November, and January. Guest Marilyn Stroh gave an entertaining presentation of her 50 years at the Metropolitan Opera orchestra and performed on her viola and violin at the November meeting. The scrapbook committee met monthly until January; the seven-year project of making nearly 60 years’ worth of scrapbooks preserved for archives was completed! The chapter will display the scrapbooks at the upcoming 60th anniversary luncheon in May. The January meeting took place at Temple University in Philadelphia, where renowned bass-baritone Eric Owens was initiated as a National Arts Associate and entertained those present with a delightful song. Following a musicale which included works of local composer Samuel Barber, whose 100th birthday is recognized in 2010, refreshments were served and the annual auction scholarship fundraiser was held. Alumnae Comment Editor Kim Everett, an initiate of Gamma Rho Chapter, can be reached at or 6014 Spanish Oak Dr., Pasadena, TX 77505. Submitted articles should be pasted into the email message. Send photo submissions to Gregory Dickens at

Tempo! • spring 2010 • Sigma Alpha Iota

alumnae comment


Terre Haute (IN) In March 2009, we sponsored a fine concert by the

The Milwaukee Alumnae Chapter celebrated the 100th birthday of charter member Helen Toussaint on November 11.

Phoenix (AZ) October Guest Day included many performances by

our skilled and multi-talented sisters, including vocal pieces by our hostess Dorothy Lincoln-Smith. In November, the chapter initiated six new members in a meeting at the home of Camille Conforti.  After the initiation, we enjoyed several piano selections, courtesy of Ms. Conforti.  In January, we had a very successful silent auction where members bid on various holiday items including a beautiful coverlet.  The annual Silver Musicale on February 20 included pieces performed in a variety of styles and by many of our sisters at the Beatitudes Campus in Phoenix.  Love and Roses in the New Year!  

Pontchartrain (MI) A group of our members made the holiday season

bright with performances at Briarwood Mall in connection with the Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive. Lauren Erickson organized the musical program and current members were joined by charter member Ella Villa, violinist, who came from her home in Western Michigan to participate. The music was well received and generated many donations. Our chapter had a festive Holiday Luncheon at Western Golf and Country Club, hosted by Mary Monroe and her husband Charles. A special musical program included traditional carols, played by Judy Culler (violin) and Lisa Kimmel (violin); duets performed by Lauren Erickson (flute) and Shelly Rouse-Freitag (flute); solos sung by Lauren Walter (soprano); and several selections sung and played by our new affiliate, Patricia Tait (soprano, Celtic harp). Sixtyyear certificates were awarded to Peggy Haddad and Elizabeth Roberts, both having made outstanding contributions to our chapter. Currently, Pontchartrain members are working with our sisters in the Detroit Alumnae Chapter to host the Alpha A Province Day on March 13.

Reno (NV) During the November 10 meeting, April Carpenter-Lessard was affiliated with the Reno Alumnae Chapter. A Tupperware Fundraiser was held in November by the chapter.

Rockford (IL) The Rockford Alumnae Chapter is busy working on two

service projects in conjunction with two groups. The first is a music sale with Beta Mu College chapter at Northern Illinois University. We are going through our personal files of music and will deliver them to the collegiate members at our annual get-together in March. Hopefully, the music will help those needing music at reasonable prices. In the second project, we are working with Rosecrance Facility for Drug Rehabilitation here in Rockford in their new Music Therapy Program. Our participation can be in the form of performance or working with the young people in more active ways, such as choral, instrumental, alone or in groups. An exciting time for all concerned and with hopes that our efforts benefit all.

Tempo! • spring 2010 • Sigma Alpha Iota

Farrington Grove Choral for the community, directed by Friend of the Arts Dr. Ray Meyer. The May meeting began with a short performance by our scholarship winner, Indiana State University soprano Shelley Mitchell. Dr. William Denton, who is known and admired among the oboe and English horn world as both a great teacher and a fine performer, was initiated as a Friend of the Arts. He had retired in 2007 after 41 years at ISU. Former chapter president Betty Meyer gave us a rousing SAI Professional Development Grant Report on a string workshop by Dr. Robert Gillespie at Ohio State University. Peggy Cobb, visiting from Atlanta, was happy to report that her longtime desire to be a music therapist at the Terre Haute Union Hospital is no longer just a dream. We mature members are delighted that our newest and youngest members are taking over many of our SAI activities.

Topeka (KS) Judy Coder traveled to Garland (a suburb of Dallas) in

September for the Academy of Western Artist Will Rogers Awards. The title track of her band’s second CD release, “Western Sky,” was named Traditional Song of the Year. In the songwriter’s acceptance speech, Judy’s recording of the song was credited with its success. In November in Albuquerque, the Western Music Association named “The Mourning Dove Song” (by Les Buffham and Judy Coder) the year’s Best Collaboration Between Poet and Musician for 2009. SAI sister Susan Ives and her quartet Zing! went to Nashville, TN, and won the title of Queens of Harmony by beating all the other a cappella quartets at the Sweet Adelines International Convention and Competition. In December, the chapter also provided bottled water after the rehearsal for the Washburn University Vesper Program. The members provided over 160 bottles of water to help the hard-working musicians rehydrate after a long rehearsal. We also provided “finals survival kits” filled with treats, tea, and goodies for the Theta Chapter girls.

Volusia (FL) The Volusia County Alumnae Chapter and Eta Pi of Stetson

University held their second annual Instrument Petting Zoo on September 12 at Stetson’s School of Music. The zoo proved to be a popular event with children and their families. Assisted by a local music store, which provided reeds and some demonstration instruments, instrumentalists from the two chapters gave children a hands-on experience with all the instrument families. Also very popular was the display of Orff instruments for the children’s experimenting. With the help of National Arts Associate Anthony Hose, conductor of the Stetson University Orchestra, the Petting Zoo veterans will be attending one of the orchestra’s “dress rehearsals” for an upcoming concert. Mr. Hose is Principal Conductor of the Welsh Chamber Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Beaumaris Festival in Wales. He has served as conductor of the Berlin Symphony, the Munich Bach Collegium, the Buxton (England) International Festival, the Glyndbourne Festival, the Icelandic Opera, and other European orchestras. On October 13, the chapter held its 8th annual “King of Instruments” recital fundraiser, performed by the organ studio of Price Professor of Organ and SAI National Arts Associate Boyd Jones. This year a new recital feature was material for harpsichord.

Actions taken by the NEB Members Reinstated • Shadrika Childs (Kappa Delta alumna) • Jackelyn Marcus (Beta Sigma initiate)

TEMPO! Spring 2010 ONE TUNNEL ROAD Asheville, NC 28805

New Officers Lists are Due April 15 The Fraternity Annual Report Deadlines are listed on the SAI website. www.

The Orange County Alumnae Chapter celebrated its 50th anniversary in November.

JEOPARDY continued from page 1 I immediately jumped all over it with, “What is cello?” I wouldn’t have forgiven myself if I didn’t get on the board with at least one from that category! “Luckily another category was “The Songs of Brian Wilson,” and I had listened to a lot of Beach Boys songs as a kid. I knew them all, and got in first on three of them. … Before I knew it, we had already cruised through both rounds. I looked up at the scores, and I was in the lead with $16,800! The Final Jeopardy category: 19th Century Artists. I felt good. I took a year of Art History in undergrad, so I felt confident that I could come up with the right response. The next closest contestant was Matt with $14,200. My wagering strategy was to assume he would double his score, so I had to wager more than $11,600. I thought adding $1 was so cliché, so I added $2 to it. “Once I saw the painting and the clue, I was about 98% sure I knew it. I wrote down, “Who was Cezanne?” pretty quickly and didn’t secondguess myself. ... As James and Matt each had their responses revealed, and they were both incorrect, that 2% of doubt was shrinking. I think Alex was toying with me a bit, but when he said I was

correct, I freaked out! People who are very close to me know that I rarely ever cry, but I couldn’t contain myself. “After a lunch break, we came back for the final two shows of the day. We had still more rehearsal, then got into the fourth show of the day. I felt a bit more relaxed, and so I took a few more chances than in my first game. “[Later, it was ] time for my third game, the final show of the day, although there would be a two-week break between the previous show and this one due to the College Championship. The funny thing about this game was that one of my challengers, Yevgeny, was from my same audition group in D.C. Not only that, but we had played our mock game in the audition together! ... “During the third game, I was even more relaxed and perhaps careless than in the previous two games. I felt less pressure ... When it came time for Final [ Jeopardy] … I ended up in third. I was mildly relieved that I wouldn’t have to go back down to L.A. the next week, but of course I would have loved to have been a three-day (or more) champion. Is there anything that can make the fulfillment of a lifelong dream even better? Well, there is the money.

“It could actually be up to 4 months from the time my shows aired until I receive a check, so I may still be waiting for it for a few months,” Rebecca said. “The state of California will take out income tax, even though I am not a California resident, because it was earned in California. Federal taxes aren’t taken out, but they are reported so I will set aside some of my winnings to pay that next April. “The majority of my prize money I’m planning on using to pay off some debts… I’m also donating some, taking my best friend on a vacation, and saving some to use after I get out of grad school so it earns a little bit of interest in the meantime.” Dixon’s success is a testament to focus and practice, skills nurtured by her musical training. “In all humility, being a ‘Jeopardy!’ champion was the number one thing I wanted to do before I die. No joke. That was a moment I had been hoping, wishing, dreaming, and praying for for a long time, and it felt more incredible than I imagined.” Rebecca is a new member of the SAI National Alumnae Association, and we are sure she will continue showing her zest for life in her career.

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Tempo Spring 2010  
Tempo Spring 2010  

The national newsletter of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity