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Staff Signals

Denver Alumnae Chapter * Xi C Province, Region 1

Spring * Volume 70, Issue 2

2020-2021 Denver Alumnae Theme
"To Champion Women Musicians of Color"

Presidential Thoughts

By: Marion Talley
Dear SAI Sisters,
Music (to play myself or to hear on KUVO or CPR Classical) was the most important aspect of my past year to stay atop the mountain of loss due to the pandemic quarantine.  I trust that you used your talents and goals, in true SAI fashion, to get it done! 

This issue of Staff Signals shows the variety of chapter activities during the pandemic. Musicales, Fraternity Ed, virtual Social meets and business meetings informed and encouraged participation in a new manner.  Province Day 2021 was so very different without meeting in person.  The committee planned well to enable many SAIs to enjoy a morning of seeing their SAI sisters in Xi C Province. We all met the National Vice President of Ritual and Fraternity Education Tracey Wygal Withrow who presented the Keynote speech.  

The chapter now looks forward to the fresh activities for 2021-2022 culminating with the SAI National Convention to be held July 28 - August 1, 2022 in Greensboro, NC at the Sheraton-Greensboro/Koury Convention Center. 

Continue to REACH OUT in support of music and your SAI sisters.
Marion Talley
Congratulations to the 2021-2022 Executive Board who will be installed at the June 12th meeting.

President: Jessica Knieff
Vice President, Membership: Sarah Butler
Vice President, Programs: Anna Maria Manalo
Vice President, Ritual: Catherine Rands
Secretary: Mary Hanson
Treasurer: Sabrina Green
Editor: Krista Aliga
Chapter Chatter
Here's what you've missed
  • On January 17th, the chapter held a virtual Informal Meeting via Zoom. A program was presented by Keena Day, "SAI and the Black Pioneers of Opera". This presentation earned Keena a feature in Pan Pipes.
  • On February 21st, the chapter held a virtual Informal Meeting via Zoom. The meeting began with a musicale featuring Linda Rolf and Judy Scherschligt playing two pieces by composer Amy Beach.
  • On March 13th, Xi C hosted their Province Day. 11 members of the Denver Alumnae Chapter attended virtually. 
  • On March 13th, the JoAnne Kyhl Memorial Performance Competition was hosted virtually.
  • On March 21st, the chapter held a virtual Informal Meeting via Zoom. The meeting began with a musicale featuring Donita Banks. FRED was presented by Keena Day about music education.
  • On April 11th, chapter members gathered virtually for a social trivia event!
  • On April 18th, the chapter held a virtual Informal Meeting via Zoom. A program was presented by Catherine Rands.
  • On April 24th, the sisterhood hosted a virtual Sip N Paint Fundraiser.
  • On May 16th, the chapter held a virtual Formal Meeting via Zoom. A program was presented by Krista Aliga. New member Shelby Pence was affiliated. Memorial Ceremonies were held for Natalie Belcher and Trudy Dierschow. (click on their names to read their Obituaries) FRED was presented by Keena Day as a review of our work in DEI this past year.
  • Donna Chase lost her son Randy May 16th. The memorial service and reception will be Wed. May 26th.  He died suddenly of a massive heart attack and he was 51.
April and May Chapter Meetings. Looking forward to when we can meet in person again.
Upcoming Events
June 12th - Last meeting of the year. Officer Installation. Founder's Day Ritual.

August 15th - Picnic at Observatory Park
Sister Spotlight
Vice President, Ritual Keena Day was featured in Pan Pipes for her program from our January Meeting, "SAI and the Black Pioneers of Opera". She is also a contributing author in a new collection of stories, THE HBCU EXPERIENCE: THE HBCU Band Alumni Edition. (click on the link to purchase the book on Amazon) The authors share their stories and experiences of how being a HBCU Band Member has molded them into the people they are today.
May 14th, 2021 - 
"A dream 10 years in the making. Today, I graduated from Colorado State University with my Master's of Music in Music Therapy with a 4.0 GPA. I am grateful. I am proud. I am exhausted. I want to thank my amazing study group for keeping me sane, my co-workers for supporting my projects, my family and friends for listening to me complain and understanding when I had to cancel plans to write papers, and, most of all, Ben and Teddy, without whom I would not have had any sort of prayer of getting this thing done. I did it, y'all!"
~Shelley McCluskey, MM, MT-BC
Editor Rachel Davis welcomed her first child into the world on February 21, 2021. John Matthew Davis is named after her husband's Maternal Grandfather, John, and her Father, Matthew.
Sweet, Sweet Music
Music has been shared in the 2020-2021 Year for Denver Alumnae.
If you missed a meeting or just want to enjoy again, check out this link for videos and photos!

February - 
Linda Rolf on piano & organ and Judy Scherschligt on cello played two pieces by composer Amy Beach. Recorded performance at Judy's church where we could use the organ. (Click on the links from each song to watch the videos presented) March -
Donita Banks on piano:  
  • “My Treasure” by Scott Wesley Brown, a Wedding Song written in 1981: *performed at her granddaughter Allie Banks’s wedding on October 2 at Denver Botanic Gardens, on my own keyboard.  Allie married Sean Starkman in a beautiful outdoor ceremony.  The song was a favorite of mine that was sung at the weddings of all three of our children so was a nostalgic choice for Allie & Sean’s ceremony.
  • “Artist of My Soul” by Rick Vale, written in 1997: *I first heard this song performed during a St. Andrew live stream worship service fall of 2020 & fell in love with it.  I was able to buy a copy of the CD by noted Christian artist Sandi Patty by that title (& included the song) then acquired a copy of the music & paired it with “My Treasure” for the SAI program. 
Province Day Musicale (click the link to YouTube performances)

April -
Catherine Rands on harpBillie's Song by Valerie Capers and A Summer Day by Lena J. McLin

May - 
Krista Aliga on Piano. "Thumbnail Sketches: A Day in the Life of a Washerwoman" by Florence B. Price
JoAnne Kyhl Memorial Performance Competition
Sigma Upsilon Members Rose & Leslie were this year's winners. Congrats sisters!
Statements of Solidarity
The SAI Denver Alumnae Chapter stands in solidarity with our Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander community. We denounce the hatred and violence committed against them. We are saddened by the increase in these incidents. We are committed to ongoing anti-racist work and to an increased awareness of the role we each play in creating a more just and equitable community. We especially raise up those in Sigma Alpha Iota who are creating a better world through music.
Black Lives Matter. The SAI Denver Alumnae Chapter stands in solidarity with our Black sisters nationwide. We stand in solidarity against ongoing racism, and we condemn the police brutality that disproportionately affects Black men, women, and children in our communities. Furthermore, we support Colorado’s SB20-217 and any initiatives that work to hold law enforcement accountable for their actions. As we write and post this statement, we are working to develop plans of action for how we move forward as a chapter to support our sisters, our Fraternity, and our community. We stand together.
Province Day 2021
Province Day looked a little different this year. What remained the same was the community and sisterhood we have all come to know and love. Want to know what some of our sisters thought of this years events?

MN - Province Officer Megan Nugent
MT - Chapter President Marion Talley
DB - Member Donita Banks
CG - Member Cindy Garrels
LR - Member Linda Rolf
AMM - Vice President, Programs Anna Maria Manalo
SB - Member Sarah Butler
RS - Member Rachel Stone
JK - Vice President, Membership Jessica Kneiff

What made you decide to attend Province Day Virtually this year?
MN - A chance to "see" sisters for the first time in two years! 
MT - The 2021 Xi C Province Day gathering was a very good use of time and technology.  The segments were not too long, and the transitions were mostly smooth.  Those who were Zoom weary and did not attend, missed seeing the province in action.
DB - Province Day has always been one of my favorite SAI events & I knew many of my sisters had spent many hours planning the details in order to make it special, even though virtual, so I wanted to be a part of it.  It included all the aspects of our fraternity: ritual, musical performances, fraternity ed, sisterhood events (sing-along of SAI songs, speaker, workshops, a craft project, slideshow & awards) & more, highlighting how important SAI is in all of our lives.
CG - It was so easy to attend virtually.  No traffic!
SB - I liked the ease of not having to travel
RS - I like to go to Province Day every year that I can. A virtual Province Day meant I didn't have to drive anywhere, so it was convenient
JK - Chapter events have been a huge source of strength, support, and community for me over the past year and I wanted to experience that with the whole province. 

What was your favorite activity?
MN - My favorite part of Province Day was the musicale. It was very well formatted for a virtual setting and had a great representation from almost every chapter. Kudos to Sabrina Green for spearheading that! My second favorite part was our Red Book sing-along. Even though we could not hear each other singing, we could see the mouths of sisters across the country moving together to the beautiful accompaniment played by Marion!
MT -  The insights by Tracey Wygal Withrow were fun to hear.  The Paper Rose Craft was interesting to get a 3 dimensional rose from a flat piece of paper. My favorite segment of province day was the slide show of members' Special Moments of their SAI experience.
DB - Probably the slideshow & Becky’s workshop but I enjoyed everything!
CG - My favorite part of Province Day was the slide show that was put together to show the journey of members.  I didn't have to be personally a part of each members important day to share in the love of SAI and sisterhood.  Many remarked after how teary eyed they were after watching.  How moving that a few pictures could make us so emotional. We were sharing how good it felt to do Province Day, even though it was virtual.  
LR - Being able to see so many SAIs from the other alumnae and college chapters in Colorado.  Seeing their name and chapter was a good way to get acquainted.  I guess that's an advantage of Zoom.
AMM - The virtual platform was very engaging. I couldn't leave even to get a glass of water. It was so organized and fabulously hosted by Meghan Nugent. I enjoyed every session - the time went so fast! Xi C was well-prepared for any technological challenges.
SB - I attended the session on film composing and I learned so many cool things about the process. I already had respect for them, but this presentation gave me even more! Wow.
RS - My favorite activity was Becky Wilkin's workshop on channeling a passion into a purpose. Her worksheet and her talk were very moving and motivating.
JK - I enjoyed the "Trip Down Memory Lane" slideshow. It was so cool to see so many happy SAI memories old and new. 

Favorite Performance?
MN - While every single performance was truly stellar, the mashup performed by Kate Bolcar truly blew me away!  
MT -  The SAI Songs were fun to share. 
DB - Anna playing in the NYC tunnel, even though I had seen it before.
SB - Favorite performance was song mashup. She performed in uniform and it was just absolutely gorgeous. It was soul-cleansing. 
RS - My favorite performance was Katherine Bolcar. Her voice and choice of songs were very beautiful and moving
JK - Katherine Bolcar's performance of "Rainbow/True Colors" Mash-up for PRIDE Month was absolutely incredible.

Anything else you’d like to share?
MN - I don't think any of us had any expectations for a Virtual Province Day, but I was thrilled to see the best attendance we have had in a very long time (if not ever) and the flow of the event kept everyone engaged throughout! 
MT - Thank you to the Province Committee for all the prep work.  
DB - Thanks to everyone who helped us “Zoom” in  so we could stay connected.
CG - The sharing and love were appreciated by all!
LR - I thought it was very well organized and flowed smoothly. It was nice they could do it on Zoom since we still couldn't meet in person
AMM - It was a little sad to be unable to hear the sisters while singing. But, I sang my heart out. 
RS -  It was so well organized and everyone was prepared with what they worked on. They went from one activity to another very smoothly. It was impressive.
JK - I enjoyed the paper rose craft that XI C Province Office Megan Nugent led! 
Ardice Garrels - Jan 4
Marion Talley - Jan 16
Sarah Butler - Jan 21
Shelley McCluskey - Jan 21
Linda Rolf - Jan 29
Donna Chase - Feb 7
Cindy Garrels - March 20
Rita Jo Tensly - March 27
Donita Banks - March 29
Debbie Kruckman - April 6
Krista Aliga - April 8
Tina Phillips - May 3
Katie Nicholson - May 9
Nancy Johnson - May 10
Clarissa Constantine - May 29
Need More Pictures?
Here is a link for a photo album of more pictures & videos from the last few months. I can easily add more photos to it even after you've received this newsletter so if you have photos from past SAI Events, please get them to me and I can add them to the album.
If you have a Google account, you can also add your own photos!

From Your Editor
Rachel Davis
I hope you enjoyed our Spring Newsletter.
If you'd like to share a message to your sisters about how you've been handling social distancing or have any GOOD NEWS to share, please email to be included in our next Newsletter.

It has been a pleasure being your Editor for the past few years. I'm looking forward to continuing to be an active member of the Denver Alumnae Chapter. Personally, I'll be starting a new job teaching Elementary Music in South West Denver and raising our now 3 month old son.
We Want Your Input!
Please always feel free to send any articles, upcoming events, & personal news, to the Editor for a feature in an upcoming Newsletter. (

Announcements made at meetings may be included in future Newsletters. If your news is not something you'd like to be shared, please let me know during your announcement.
Copyright © 2021 SAI Denver Alumnae, All rights reserved.

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