The MUSE staff members are hard-working individuals with rich experience that guides the choir through it's future. While they all share similar visions, each staff member influences the choir in a unique way. Always changing. Always growing.
Artistic Director, Rhonda Juliano is a Northwest Native and comes from Seattle, Washington, where she has resided for the past 22 years. She received her Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Arizona, Tucson, her Bachelor of Music in Education from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, and her School Administration credentials at City University in Bellevue. Rhonda is a member of Chorus America (CA), American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and Music Educators Association (MENC). She has worked in school leadership positions and has taught in the public education arena for over 25 years. She is active as a choral adjudicator and presenter of sacred music at regional conferences.
Most recently Rhonda has held the position of the Assistant Conductor of the Seattle Women’s Chorus (a 180 + member community chorus) and has served there since it was founded in 2002. During her time with the Seattle Women’s chorus, Rhonda founded and directed a nine voice outreach performance ensemble called Sensible Shoes. Rhonda is the founder of Diverse Harmony, the nation's first gay/straight alliance youth chorus. In addition to her community chorus work, she has served in numerous churches and most recently as the Director of Music at Newport Presbyterian Church in Bellevue, WA.
Valerie Pool joined MUSE in the fall of 2013 as Resident Accompanist. A talented pianist with degrees in Chamber Music and Accompanying, and Music Piano Performance, Valerie also recently completed her Artist Diploma in Opera Coaching at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Valerie currently serves as pianist for the Resident Artist Studio of the Wagner Society of Cincinnati. She spent the summer 2013 as Apprentice Coach at Opera Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, New York. Valerie has participated in the collaborative piano and opera programs at SongFest at Pepperdine, the International Performing Arts Institute (Germany), Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Asolo Song Festival (Italy), the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz (Austria), and Brevard Music Center. She has served as pianist and music director for the Nashville Opera Mary Ragland Young Artist Program and the Atlanta Opera Studio Tour.
Haley B. Elkins
Managing Director, Haley B. Elkins is a writer, feminist activist, and native Texan currently residing in Cincinnati with her husband, Luke Brockmeier, and their three wily rescue dogs. Both she and her husband are devoted members of the Cincinnati arts community; she has worked for New Stage Collective, Cincinnati Ballet, Know Theatre of Cincinnati, and the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. She specializes in board development and strategic planning for small-to-midsized nonprofits, with an emphasis on institutional memory and organic growth.|
Haley also currently serves as the Online Chair for the Junior League of Cincinnati, who's signature projects are currently refugee resettlement and oral pediatric health. Concurrently, she serves as a Board Officer for the Junior Leagues of Ohio State Public Affairs committee, where she focuses on the issues of foster care in Ohio. She recently chaired the Madisonville Community Engagement Committee for the neighborhood's recent visioning process. She is Trustee Emeritus of the Texas Equal Access Fund, and has previously worked for and with the Feminist Majority Foundation, the National Council of Women's Organizations, Planned Parenthood, Younger Women's Task Force: D.C. Metro. One of her proudest accomplishments is spearheading a fundraising effort for Dallas Parkland Rape Crisis Center to build a play therapy room for children.
She's a contributor to xoJane, The Good Men Project, Indian Country Today, and Rue89, and recently appeared on "UP with Chris Hayes" on MSNBC to discuss gun culture in America. Haley earned her degree in English literature and feminist theory at the University of North Texas.
Lois Shegog, Assistant Director of MUSE since 1995, taught music in the Cincinnati Public Schools until her recent retirement. She received her Bachelor of Music Education at Miami University (Ohio) and continued her studies in vocal performance and counseling at The Ohio State University. Lois sings and helps direct the Martin Luther King Coalition Chorale, and works as a choir clinician teaching singing in the African-American tradition.
Ruth Rowan, Interpreter, has been delivering the music of MUSE to the hearing impaired at MUSE concerts since 1985. She has a Bachelor's degree in Speech Language Pathology and a Master's degree in Deaf Education from the University of Cincinnati. In June of 2006, Ruth retired from teaching deaf students in Cincinnati Public Schools. She is now busy freelance interpreting, substitute teaching, interpreting for the
Cincinnati Men's Chorus, the Voices of Freedom, as well as her first love, MUSE. Ruth is also an active board member for Women in the Arts, the producers of the National Women's Music Festival. She will always be an Alto I at heart and continues to be honored to be able to be a part of this inspiring organization. For the seventeenth year, Ruth is thrilled to be sharing the stage with her beautiful daughter, Tammy.
Haley B. Elkins - Managing Director
Kristina Bowen - Social Change Coordinator
Catherine Clay - Social Media Manager
Robin Madden - Music Librarian
Vacant- Advertising Sales Rep
Sally Neidhard - Membership Coordinator
Maggie Panyko - Web Coordinator
Janet Phillips- 5th Section Coordinator
Diana Porter - Social Change Coordinator
Mary Manera - Archivist
Jenn Whitehurst - 5th Section Coordinator
Jonah Yokoyama - 5th Section Coordinator
MUSE Board of Directors
Mary Chaiken, President
Haley Elkins, Ex-Officio
Amy Foust, Vice-President
Mollie Jimmar, Secretary
Rhonda Juliano, Ex-Officio
Sarah Meisch, Treasurer
for a Board Nomination Form
MUSE Founding Mothers
Dr. Catherine Roma