SAI Washington, D.C. Alumnae Chapter

St. Matthew’s Musical Theatre Troupe Presents “State Fair”

Posted by saiofwdc on March 18, 2017

Come and see our wonderful SAI sisters in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s State Fair!

Our Regional Officer, Mary Jennings, and Becky Unkenholz, a DC Alumnae Patroness member are performing in the show. Karen Hastins, also a DC Alumnae Patroness member is the choreographer. Christin Vare, a DC Alumnae member, and Jane Thessin, Patroness, are in the pit.

State Fair

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Survey on SAI Events

Posted by saiofwdc on September 25, 2016

Dear sisters,

On behalf of our social chair, Angelica Brooks, I am sharing a survey creates to assess the interests of the DC Alumnae chapter in future social events. We are all excited in bringing in more interest to the chapter, and supporting the bond of sisterhood through fun events!

Please click the link below to take the survey!

SAI Events Survey


Stephanie Cadwell

Editor/Historian, DC Alumnae Chapter

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SAI Potluck 2016

Posted by saiofwdc on September 25, 2016

As we welcome in the new year of Sigma Alpha Iota events, I wanted to write a quick note about our wonderful potluck that happened tonight. We welcomed members of the SAI DC Alumnae Chapter, Mu Epsilon (George Mason University), and Gamma Epsilon (University of Maryland, College Park). There was plenty of delicious food, and was hosted graciously by Chrissellene and Dimitri Petropoulos.

We enjoyed a wonderful performance by sisters Sharon Guertin Schafer and  Dr. Liana Valente. Liana premiered five songs composed by Sharon, titled “Poems of Love and Life”. It was a fantastic performance, and we were all so grateful to them for sharing their amazing artistry!

And congratulations are in order to Dr. Liana Valente, who has just accepted an appointment from the National Federation of Music Clubs as the next Representative to the United Nations. The National Federation of Music Clubs is the only music organization member in the Department of Public Information/Non-Governmental Organizations.

Please enjoy this photo from the potluck festivities! We are looking forward to plenty of exciting events this coming year!


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The 2015-2016 year comes to an end.

Posted by saiofwdc on May 23, 2016

Greetings everyone!

This month the chapter had our final meeting of the year. We had the honor of inviting our scholarship award winner, Maya Keys from Gamma Epsilon (University of Maryland – College Park), to perform in our musicale. Washington DC Alumnae sisters Paula Moseman and Carolyn Freel also performed. The chapter also enjoyed presenting Sharon Schafer with the Rose of Honor.

What follows is a write up of Sharon’s amazing achievements so far, written by sister Mary K Traver:

“Sharon Shafer, singer, composer, administrator, music historian and author, has been an active member of Sigma Alpha Iota since her college days as a member of Beta Phi at the Catholic University of America followed by membership  in the Washington, DC Alumnae chapter. In recent years, Sharon has served on committees including the alumnae chapter’s Scholarship Awards committee, and for four years was Vice President for Programs. She planned excellent programs which were well-balanced, and often included American music. Her annual “Meet the Composer” musicales were outstanding.  At present, she serves as a Member at Large, offering wise counsel when needed.  Sharon holds the fraternity’s Sword of Honor.

At the national level, Sharon served with distinction as Project Director of Doctoral Grants for SAI Philanthropies, Inc.. While serving as  Vice Chairman of Philanthropies, Inc. I had the pleasure of reading her reports which were professionally prepared and a pleasure to read. The selected candidates were outstanding scholars.

Sharon holds the Bachelor of Arts degree from Catholic University, Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Maryland. She was awarded  the Mullen Memorial Scholar Award at CUA, was a National Endowment of the Humanities grantee, and also a fellow of  the National Defense Education Act for three years.

In 1974-she joined the faculty of Trinity University.  She held the position of Professor and in 1992, was named  Chair of Arts and Humanities.  She was recipient of Trinity University’s “Outstanding Faculty Award”.

She is the author of “The Contribution of Grzyna Bacewicz to Polish Music 1909-1969″.

Her compositions include song cycles, works for solo piano, flute and piano. Performances of her works have been very well received. She has performed extensively, including Wolf Trap Performing Arts benefit concerts, the College Music Society, Friday Morning Music Club of Washington, and Sigma Alpha Iota., There have been appearances at the International Congress on Women in Music (Heidelberg, Germany and New York City). and performances throughout Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Memberships include National Women’s Studies Association Conference, and Phi Beta Kappa (Treasurer 1976-1990).”

The chapter has an incredibly successful year, and we can’t wait to see what is in store for us next year!

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Founders Day Tea

Posted by saiofwdc on April 10, 2016


We just had an incredibly eventful Founders Day Tea and spring meeting! The meeting was graciously hosted by Mary K Traver. We initiated 2 new patronesses, Angelica Brooks and Dawn Wilson. We also welcomed SEVEN new affiliates to our chapter! Besides welcoming new members, we also celebrated Founders Day by recognizing our seven founding sisters, and also had a wonderful Meet the Composer session, organized by VP of Programs, Allison Hughes. We got to talk with Gabriel Ruiz-Bernal, who is an accomplished composer and has written pieces for film, orchestra, solo instruments, and much more. You can learn more about him and listen to his compositions here.

Next Saturday members of our chapter will be attending Iota A Province Day at Morgan State University. I am looking forward to writing about our experiences after our return!

Affiliates and Patronesses 2016

The Washington DC Alumnae Chapter’s newest affiliates and newly initiated patronesses! 

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All-American Voice and Piano Recital at Jessup Women’s Correctional Institution

Posted by saiofwdc on March 13, 2016

Greetings everyone!

The chapter wanted to update the public on an amazing initiative we were honored to donate to. Two SAI sisters, Marquita Lister and Dr. Stephanie Bruning contacted the Washington DC Alumnae Chapter asking if we would we willing to contribute to the cost of a piano for their prison recital concert at Jessup Women’s Correctional Institution. The chapter obliged, and the concert was done on February 12, 2016. By all accounts it was a remarkable success! Below is a write-up on the prison concert and some pictures!

“On Friday, February 12, 2016 Morgan State University Music faculty members Marquita Lister (soprano) and Stephanie Bruning (piano) performed a recital at the Women’s Correctional Institution in Jessup, MD.  It is the only women’s correctional institution out of 32 facilities in Maryland.  They performed a joint recital of solo voice and solo piano works featuring American composers including works by both female and African-American composers.  In order to set up the event, Lister and Bruning secured several donors to pay for the rental of a grand piano including Menchey Music, Sigma Alpha Iota Alumni Chapter of Washington, DC, and James Haynes.  Around 100 inmates voluntarily attended the performance and were an enthusiastic crowd.  One inmate said that she “had never heard an opera singer before,” while another stated that the performance “reminded her of life before she was in prison.”  Community outreach is such an important component in music making.  This concert really reached an audience that does not have access to high quality classical music and hopefully brought them a sense of joy and entertainment.”




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Treasures from the DC Alumnae Chapter Archives, February Edition

Posted by saiofwdc on February 15, 2016

This flyer for a concert performed by Ann Schein at Constitution Hall was presented by Patrick Hayes and The Friday Morning Music Club (which many SAI sisters have been a member of). The concert was a scholarship benefit concert, helping to further the careers of young American artists who show promise of becoming performing artists.

This flyer is significant because the previous year Ann Schein had been initiated into Sigma Alpha Iota as an Honorary Member by the Gamma Epsilon chapter. She has had an impressive career. Schein studied at the Peabody Conservatory at age 13 under Mieczyslaw Munz. In 1959, she released her first recording, “Miss Ann Schein: A Truly Brilliant Pianist”. This recording was sent to Arthur Rubinstein, and also started her career and study on Rubinstein.

Two years later, Ann Schein performed her debut concert at Carnegie Hall, and performed at the White House for President John F. Kennedy a year later. While continuing to perform, she became faculty at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore in 1980, and taught there for 20 years. She has played with the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, the National Symphony, the London Philharmonic, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra,, and still continues to perform in a variety of settings!

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Here Comes 2016!

Posted by saiofwdc on December 16, 2015

As 2015 comes to an end, I wanted to update everyone on some of the activities the DC Alumnae Chapter has been involved with during the last few months.

1.) We had our annual Manor Care Musicale and it was a great success. Allison Hughes, our VP of Programs, performed a great set of songs for the enjoyment of the residents at Manor Care.

2.) December brought our Formal Meeting and Affiliation. Plenty of fun was had by all, including a festive sing-a-long and our annual silent auction.

3.) We affiliated two sisters to our chapter, and are looking forward to more affiliates in the spring!

It truly has been a wonderful year for the DC Alumnae Chapter, and we can’t wait to see what is in store of us in the coming year!

      Our affiliates: Carolyn Freel and Tiara Ballard

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Treasures in the DC Alumnae Chapter Archives, October Edition

Posted by saiofwdc on October 20, 2015

Below is the program from the 1960 Iota Province Day at the University of Maryland – College Park. It was hosted by Gamma Epsilon (University of Maryland – College Park), Beta Phi (Catholic University) and the Washington DC Alumnae Chapter. It was an eventful day. Some specific activities of note included a “Get Acquainted Coffee Time” hosted by the DC Alumnae Chapter, a welcome from Helen May (Iota Province President), and Honorary Member Initiation of Ann Schein. There was also a talk by Rose Marie Grentzer (Director of the American Music Awards) titled “Sigma Alpha Iota’s Role in American Music”, followed by a musicale performed by the collegiate chapters in attendance.

Stay tuned for the next “Treasures of the DC Alumnae Chapter Archives” in December!

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SAI Potluck

Posted by saiofwdc on September 20, 2015

On September 20th, we were able to enjoy our annual SAI Potluck! There was a lot of great food, and a great turn out from the Iota A collegiate chapters and Baltimore Alumnae Chapter! We also enjoyed a lovely musicale performed by Michele Fegeas (which also happened to be a little preview for her first doctoral recital!). Michelle was accompanied by Mary K. Traver.

Here’s a photo of all of us at the end of the potluck!

Everyone at the annual DC Alumnae Chapter Potluck!

Everyone at the annual DC Alumnae Chapter Potluck!

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