MUSE eNewsletter
Winter 2015
In This Issue
Here and Aware
Virtual Connections
A Jolly Holiday
Volunteer Receives More Than He Gives

Scott E. Knox, Attorneys at Law

Nexus UCC Church ad
Photo credit: Phil Groshong
Here and Aware 
More Than a Title 
MUSE is here, alive, and thriving. We are currently preparing for our Spring Concert, to be performed at the beautiful, St. Francis Seraph Church in the heart of Over-The-Rhine. Entitled, "HERE AND AWARE!" this concert features music written by women composers and highlights the joys, strength and impact of women of the past and today. As always, the music is varied and invokes laughter, tears, inspiration and awareness about current topics.

Powerful songs and powerful poetry will be celebrated. Featured composer, Rachel DeVore Fogarty creates a "tone painting" with use of her soaring violin, cello, and oboe accompaniment.  With text based on the words of Amelia Earhart, you may feel as if you are ascending through the stars alongside the trailblazing Ms. Earhart! In addition, we will feature songs by Sarah Hopkins from Australia, and American Artists Gwyneth Walker, Elizabeth Alexander, Alicia Keys, and Dianne Reeves.

As women of MUSE we care and we are aware! This is definitely a concert you will not want to miss! With its variety of music, uplifting arrangements and even a special comedy surprise, there is something for everyone. So mark the date on your calendar: Saturday, April 18th at St. Francis Seraph Church (2 pm and 7 pm performances). Through our music, location and guest vendors, we are working to bring awareness of women artists and unique, local women's agencies to the forefront of our collective conscience. 

See you there!

Happy New Year and thank you for your continued support of our music and mission!

Rhonda Juliano

MUSE Artistic Director

In Our Backyard 
Heartland, a Community Resource for the Trans* Community 


The suicide of Leelah Alcorn has "meant something" not only to Cincinnati but around the globe.  MUSE was at Woodward Theatre, Saturday, January 10, to sing in solidarity with other trans-supportive organizations from our community for a second candlelight vigil held in memory of Leelah.  This vigil, like the first held at Leelah's high school in Kings Mills, OH, implores our community to exhibit a spirit of compassion, acceptance and love.

Further, these candlelight vigils are also a call to action because members of the trans* community are among the highest individuals at risk of attempting and committing suicide.  "Data shows 41% of trans* individuals attempt suicide at some time in their lives compared to the 2-3% suicide rate of the general public," says
Jonah Yokohama, a MUSE 5th Section volunteer, and Transition Care Services Director for Heartland Trans* Wellness Group.

Heartland is a Cincinnati-based project dedicated to creating Heartland Trans* Wellness Group logo accessible, affirming community resources for Midwestern trans*, queer, and LGBTQPIA people. It provides accessible, inclusive, and affirming resources to community members and service providers through comprehensive educational programming, community building, creative cultural growth, and socially-just activism.


Since Leelah's death, Heartland has been contacted by individuals from Brazil, Ghana, and England, to mention only a few.  The widespread media coverage of Leelah's suicide has prompted not only individuals who are struggling with trans* issues, to reach out, but also people who are hearing about Heartland for the first time and seeking the safe and accepting community that it provides.


You can learn more about Heartland, a community resource, by visiting their website


Trans* is an umbrella term that refers to all of the identities within the gender identity spectrum. - See more here
Virtual Connections
MUSE No Stranger to Social Media 

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have skyrocketed to the top of the crop as the most popular social media platforms. With photos, videos, news and updates from friends, families, classmates and organizations like MUSE, we're more connected now that ever!
Our online community continues to grow and we couldn't be more thrilled. We invite you connect with us for sneak peeks behind the scene and updates on what MUSE has coming up next. 
Twitter: @cincimusechoir 
Instagram:  musechoir

Catherine Clay
SII, Social Media Coordinator 
A Jolly Holiday  
Busy Holiday Choir Represents MUSE Around the City 
The sounds of MUSE were heard throughout the holiday season. A group of approximately twenty MUSEs volunteered to sing for special events in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. On December 6, MUSE returned to Memorial Hall for Saengerfest, a weekend presentation of choral music at venues in the downtown area. Five days later, MUSE appeared onstage at the Carnegie Center for the Arts in Covington as part of a benefit for Chicks & Chucks, Inc., a nonprofit resource for breast cancer patients.
Rhonda Marcotte Solos!!
Kristina Johnson, A1 and MUSE's chair for social change, said that it was important to be part of this benefit. "Some of the members of our choir or their families have gone through this, and we wanted to help raise awareness in the community."

On December 12, MUSE powered up the Holiday Sing at College Hill Coffee Company. The following Sunday, we sang to (and with) a packed audience at the Taft Museum of Art, and the next day, we ended the run at Joseph-Beth in Rookwood Commons.

"It was awesome singing to so many different audiences," says SII Catherine Clay. "Most of the people had never heard us before and we have a lot of new fans."

Anne Arenstein



Listen: Holiday choir rehearsal clip from the MUSE facebook page. 
Volunteer Receives More Than He Gives:
Scott Whitehurst
Scott Whitehurst, a member of the 5th Section of MUSE, Cincinnati's Women's Choir, is serving his fifth season as a volunteer!  He was introduced to MUSE through St. John's UU Church where he attended upon moving to Cincinnati from Chicago.  After attending concerts and expressing his enjoyment of the choir, Kathy Beck, Alto II and fellow coworker at FedEx Office, invited him to get more involved by volunteering.  Scott was encouraged to engage at a deeper level because "I always felt empowered by the music."  Scott remembers his first volunteer assignment was selling CD's for MUSE MarketPlace at the Holiday Sing-Fest at College Hill Coffee Company.  

When asked what he would want the choir and the greater audience of MUSE supporters that are reached by this newsletter to know about him he said, "I can't imagine how much more difficult this first year of transition would have been without MUSE.  MUSE was the first group that I asked to call me Scott, and (their) overwhelming love and support has sustained me through times of struggle.  Being a part of this community has made my life much richer than it would be otherwise."

MUSE's influence also reaches into Scott's home. Tsena Pride is the name Scott gave to his cat after a lyric from the MUSE song, "The Peace Song."  Tsena thinks he's a dog!  He meets Scott at the door at the end of a long day, leans in and sniffs Scott's clothing.  Tsena also obeys a "Stay" command and can fetch.


Melissa Stephens

MUSE Managing Director  


William H. Albers Foundation