Rhonda Juliano

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 Artistic Director of MUSE, Rhonda currently holds the position of Director of Music Ministries at Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church.


Lois Shegog

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.

Melissa Stephens

Managing Director, Melissa Stephens holds degrees in Philosophy from Georgetown College and Theology from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. She has served in several positions in churches including women's, youth and children's ministry. Most recently she was the Executive Director of Shoulder To Shoulder, Inc., a poverty relief ministry providing food, clothing, furniture and diapers in Northern Kentucky's urban core. Melissa's serendipitous route to her position as Managing Director of MUSE has been a journey from Bloomington, IN to Princeton, NC and back home again to Greater Cincinnati. Her many leadership roles in faith communities have provided experience in volunteer recruiting, fundraising and organizational dynamics. Melissa's mother was an original feminist with no self-awareness who raised a generation (and now a second generation) in a bold awareness of the significance of our femininity. Melissa sings a strong alto in church choirs. Melissa enjoys gardening, cooking, and listening to books while walking.

Stephen Variames

Stephen Variames, Resident Accompanist, is currently a graduate from Cincinnati Conservatory University with an Artist Diploma in Opera Coaching, studying under Marie-France Lefebvre. His other academic institutions include Oklahoma City University (M.M. in Vocal Coaching, studying with Brian Osborne) and Baylor University (B.M. in Composition, studying with Scott McAllister). He has been a pianist with summer operatic programs like Opera in the Ozarks, Cincinnati Opera and Opera Breve. Over the past year, he has continued to pursue his love of composition, and he is currently working on his second opera.

Ruth Rowan

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 as well as interpreting for women’s music festivals and events. She interprets for the Martin Luther King Chorale, occasionally for the World House Choir as well as for 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.


  • Amy Arnold - Membership Coordinator
  • Catherine Clay - Social Media Manager
  • Kristina Johnson - Social Change Coordinator
  • Robin Madden - Music Librarian
  • Mary Manera - Archivist
  • Kathy Nolan - Advertising Sales Rep
  • Maggie Panyko - Web Coordinator
  • Jill Silvers - Social Media Manager
  • Jonah Yokoyama - 5th Section Coordinator

MUSE Board of Directors

  • Amy Arnold
  • Mary Chaiken, President
  • Mollie Jimmar, Secretary
  • Rhonda Juliano, Ex-Officio
  • Dana LaCoste
  • Mary Manera
  • Diana Martens
  • Sarah Meisch
  • Charmaine Moore, Vice President
  • Janet Neidhard, Treasurer
  • Kate Roberton
  • Melissa Stephens,Ex-Officio
  • Ramona Toussaint
  • Heather Wiggins

Click here for a Board Nomination Form

MUSE Emerita

MUSE Founding Mothers

  • Angie Denov
  • Diana Porter
  • Dr. Catherine Roma
  • Rhonda Whitten