Yearly Newsletter


Mu Phi Epsilon

New York City Alumni Chapter

Newsletter / Summer 2015

Greetings from Monica! I hope you’ve all been enjoying the summer. Below is the Schedule of Chapter Events for 2015-2016 as well as other announcements. Please Note that business meetings are on Sunday – concerts are on Friday or Saturday. I hope that you will be able to attend some of these concerts. If any of you are interested in performing on the concerts on Dec. 12th, March 18th, June 4th, please do feel free to contact me at 212-663-7808 or 917-854-0960 (cell) or at – there’s lots of room!!


NYC Alumni Chapter Meeting/Concert Schedule

Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015   MPE-NYC Alumni Chapter Meeting

4:00 p.m.                        Place: Home of Monica Verona

                                       45 Tiemann Place – 5M, NYC

                                       212-663-7808 / 917-854-0960 

Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015  MPE-NYCAC Founders Day Concer

7:30 p.m.  Tenri Cultural Institute

43A W. 13th Str. @ 6th Ave. / (212) 645-2800 

Friday, Mar. 18, 2016                                    MPE-NYCAC All BEETHOVEN Concert

7:30 p.m.   Tenri Cultural Institute 

Saturday, June 4, 2016                                    MPE-NYCAC Members Concert

7:30 p.m.   Tenri Cultural Institute

Sunday, June 12, 2016                                    MPE-NYC Alumni Chapter Meeting

4:00 p.m.  Place: TBA


As you can tell from your dues sheets, I’m asking that you submit your dues by Sept. 13th so we can get them to the national office by Sept. 15th. Once again, I realize that this deadline isn’t ideal, however, if it’s possible to send your dues on time, it would be much appreciated.

Annual Beethoven Concert – March 18, 2016

Just an update that 2016 marks the 260th anniversary of Mozart’s birth. Yes, our Mozie would be the grand old man indeed. So, since this is a landmark event with a “0” at the end, I’d like to suggest adding Mozart to the Beethoven concert menu for this year. Mira Gill has already agreed to perform the C Minor Sonata. If any of you are interested in performing on this concert specifically, please contact me asap at the numbers listed above or at

Mu Phi Epsilon International Website

Just a reminder that you don’t need to register with a personal login/password to access the items on the menu – hooraaayyy! I encourage you to check out the “Mu Phi Epsilon Fraternity Contests and Awards” in addition to the scholarships and grants offered by the MPE Foundation. Also, see “Affiliations” in the About Mu Phi Epsilon tab for other professional music associations.

MPE Dues and Applications for Foundation Grants/Scholarships

Welcome to my yearly reminder about the MPE Foundation grants/scholarships!! The only requirement is to pay yearly dues and demonstrate active participation in the fraternity. Please consider applying for a grant or scholarship if you have a project that needs financial subsidy. Even if the award doesn’t cover the entire cost of your enterprise, it still contributes and as we all know in this economy, every little bit helps. Through the years, our chapter has been lucky to have a number of members receive various awards from the MPE Foundation including our own chapter. I urge you to review these awards to see if you’re interested in applying for any of them. The Foundation is truly eager to support Mu Phi members in every possible endeavor with funds, i.e. $$!! Copied below is the link to the MPE Foundation’s Grant/Scholarship offerings as well as the MPE Fraternity Contests and Awards.

As I’ve noted in the past: Be aware of Dates & Deadlines

**Dues Deadline for Grants/Scholarships**

In order to be eligible for any grants or scholarships, you must be a member in “good standing.” This means that the International Office must receive your chapter/international membership dues by DECEMBER 31, 2015 to be eligible to apply for any of the Foundation grant or scholarship awards in Spring 2016. The deadline in this case applies to dues being in hand at the International office in Colorado, not in our chapter account.

Please be aware that the Int’l Exec. Sec’y/Treasurer’s office is closed the week of Christmas and New Years. Therefore, if you plan to apply for any of the grants or scholarships in 2016, I’m assigning a final dues deadline of December 15th to our chapter.

**Application Deadlines**

Postmark March 1, 2016: All Grants and Scholarships

Postmark April 15, 2016: Summer Scholarships

I hope this information is helpful. Remember that the Foundation wants to give these awards away – so why not let your dues work for you? If there are any changes in the near future, I will send an updated email, but I also recommend that you consult the Mu Phi Epsilon website before Dec. 15th to make sure of all pertinent information.

MPE Grant/Scholarship Applications – Some “Tips” for materials submission

This year, I had the privilege of judging the summer scholarship applications and doctoral grants, most of which were very impressive. If any of you decide to apply for one or more of the MPE Foundation awards (which I sincerely hope you will), please make sure your package of materials is “complete.”   Follow instructions exactly and think seriously about your proposal. I spent over 60 hours reviewing and re-reviewing nearly 20 applications. I assume the other judges who reviewed different award applications spent as much time if not more. The awards that I approved were not only well-deserved, but reflected seriousness, imagination, and clearly organized material to accompany a well-written and concise proposal.

So, here are some of my observations and suggestions:

*Grant/Scholarship Descriptions: Read these very carefully. If the award is to be given to a project that is in the “ready to go” stage and not the early planning stage, please don’t send a proposal that is more conceptual than concrete.

*Proposal: Explain “exactly” what your project is; what the money will be used for; when the project will begin/end; how this will impact your work/career; and if applicable, how this project will impact musicians you are directly in contact with or the music world at large.

*Budget: Provide a “detailed” budget of the expenses of your project. If it’s a recording project, provide the dates of the proposed recording, the recording space, a projected timeline of the recording process.

*CDs: Make sure that your CD represents its association with your project as well as your ability.

 *Recommendations: These letters should have a verifiable letterhead that describes who the person is that’s recommending you. Recommendations should be from people that have direct contact with you either as one of your professors or a colleague that works with you or as an employer. They are not primarily character references and should not be essentially “reviews” of your performances by friends or associates. Have confidence in your CD to demonstrate your artistry.

NOTE: Please don’t leave your judge in a quandary re: supportive information about your proposal. Judges don’t have crystal balls and they don’t make decisions by clairvoyance. Having to research specifics on the internet – i.e., looking up recommenders to find out who they are, price checking about instruments or teaching materials, researching music festival fees, etc. – is very time consuming and diminishes the overall strength of your proposal package. In the final analysis, it definitely factors into how your proposal “competes” with other applicants.

I hope these tips are helpful and I do certainly hope you’ll consider applying for one or more of these awards – they’re here for You!

Members’ Announcements

MPE-NYCAC Facebook Page

Please check out our chapter’s facebook page and “Like” us! And keep everyone posted about your performances, activities, etc.!

Pianist MIRA ARMIJ GILL, performed recitals during August in Lubec, Maine at the Summerkeys Concert Series; Eastport, Maine at the Eastport Arts Center; and the St. Andrews Arts Council 2015 Festival of the Performing Arts (All Saints Anglican Church) in New Brunswick, Canada. The Saint Andrews Film Society also presented a documentary film about her life story “From Talking to Playing” before her formal recital. Her program included works by Granados, Mozart, Prokofiev and Liszt.   Mira will also be performing this program at Beethoven Pianos – 211 W. 58th Street (btw. B’way and 7th Avenue) on Friday, Oct. 2nd at 7 p.m. For more information about Mira, go to

Violinist JORGE AVILA will perform with pianist Steven Huter and cellist Arthur Fiacco at Weill Recital Hall/Carnegie Hall on Saturday, November 21st at 8 p.m. in an all Beethoven program including the “Kreutzer” Sonata and the “Archduke” Trio. Tickets: $35. For more information see Carnegie Hall

Cellist SUZANNE MUELLER, performed on August 2nd with ELINOR ABRAMS ZAYAS, piano and Sandy Tepper, clarinet at Old Westbury Gardens as Artist in Residence. The program included works by Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, Rebecca Clarke, George Gershwin, James Grant, and Beethoven. Suzanne performs regularly with duo partner, Elinor Abrams Zayas, known as Cross Island. For more information about upcoming concerts, go to

Actor/soprano/music director/pianist CYNTHIA SHAW appeared this summer at the Schreiber Studio’s production of Tennessee William’s “Summer and Smoke” and at the Fresh Fruit Festival’s production of “After Tartuffe” by Judy Klass. For more information about many other productions that Cynthia has appeared in and for future events, go to

Congratulations to pianist MENG YANG who graduated from NYU this past spring with a Masters Degree in Piano Performance!


A native of Salt Lake City and of East Indian descent, pianist Mira Armij Gill received Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees from the Juilliard School where she studied with Joheved Kaplinsky and John Browning. She has been a fellow at the Tanglewood Institute and has studied at the Gnessin Institute in Moscow, and at the Mozarteum Sommer Academie in Salzburg. In 1997, Ms. Gill made her debut at Weill Recital Hall/Carnegie Hall as winner of the Artists International Young Artist’s Piano Award and has also performed recitals at the Temple Square Concert Series/Salt Lake City, Sprecher Hall in Lancaster, PA, the Wiener Saal/Salzburg and the Mozarteum’s concert series in Radstadt, Austria, the John Jay Recital Hall/Katonah, NY, Alice Tully Hall and Steinway Hall. Ms. Gill has been awarded top prizes by the Utah Symphony Guild, the Midland-Odessa National Concerto Competition, the Kawai America National Competition, and the Joanna Hodges International Brahms Competition. Her performance of Liszt’s Piano Concerto in E-Flat Major with the Utah Symphony under the direction of Joseph Silverstein was hailed “a bravura performance with confidence and flair.” Ms. Gill has also appeared as guest artist with the Brigham Young University Chamber Orchestra/Salt Lake City, the Murray Symphony/Utah, the Oberlin Conservatory Orchestra, the Midland-Odessa Symphony/Texas, the Jefferson Symphony and Fort Collins Symphony/CO, and the Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony. She has appeared on KSL Radio and Television and KBYU Radio. Her playing has been described as “spectacular, poetic and so inspiring” (Le Jeudi – Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg) and reviewed as having “a remarkable technique and, more important, a genuine musical feeling” (Cyprien Katsaris, pianist). She performed the inaugural piano recital at the Consulate General of India – Hon. Pramathesh Rath – in New York and was the featured cover story for the The Urban Indian and reviewed in Desi Talk. She was also featured artist for the Bi-Annual Gala of the Luxembourg-American Chamber of Commerce in the presence of H.R.H. Crown Prince Guillaume and Princess Stephanie of Luxembourg. Ms. Gill was a contributor to the documentary “Memories of John Browning, the Lhevinne Legacy Continues,” produced by Arkatov Productions, which includes excerpts from her CD demonstrating his influence on her playing. In 2013, Ms. Gill was featured in a short documentary about her life as a pianist and teacher entitled “From Talking to Playing,” produced by Agricolamedia. Since 2004, Ms. Gill performs annual solo recitals each summer in Maine and Canada. She performs each year on Mu Phi Epsilon concerts and in 2012, was presented in recital as the NYC Alumni Chapter’s Distinguished Artist. A resident of New York, Ms. Gill served on the piano faculty of the Turtle Bay Music School for 12 years and served as Resident Teaching Artist at SAYA! (South Asian Youth Action) where she established and developed a thriving piano program in Elmhurst, New York. Currently, Ms. Gill is a member of the piano faculty at the Third Street Music School in lower Manhattan while maintaining a busy private studio.

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