Chapter History

The first organizational meeting of the Richmond Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity was held on Sept. 13, 1988, at the home of Peg Shaw. Regular meetings were during that school season, continuing into the fall of 1989. On Nov. 11, 1989, the chapter was officially installed by the province president, Mrs. Shelby MacFarland, and Dr. Brenda Ray, National Vice President for Extension and Fraternity Development.

The tenth anniversary of the chapter was celebrated on Nov. 13, 1999. A highlight of this event was the installation of local composer Allan Blank as a National Arts Associate of SAI. The tenth anniversary year also saw the publication of the “Richmond Area Volunteer Directory: A guide to musical service opportunities.” For this contribution the Richmond chapter received the Annelle Chandler McAdams Community Service Award.

In June 2002, the chapter hosted its first SAI Founders’ Day celebration. This annual gathering is an opportunity to invite and meet family, friends and other SAI members in the area.

In October 2005, the members of the Richmond Alumnae Chapter were pleased to initiate Robert Spiers as a Friend of the Arts.

The twentieth anniversary of the chapter was combined with the Iota B Province Day and celebrated on November 14, 2009. The event was held at CenterStage, the newly renovated performing arts venue for the Richmond professional arts groups. Highlights of the day included an open rehearsal of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Award Ceremonies for the 2009 Diamond Sword of Honor recipient Beatty Ann Spiers’ and the 2009 National Treasurer’s Award recipient Kristin Holberg, guest speaker remarks from SAI member and associate conductor of the Richmond Symphony Erin Freeman, a memorial ceremony for Member Laureate/charter member/composer Dika Newlin and a beautiful Province musicale/sing-a-long.

Our chapter is a rich mix of musicians who represent private teachers, public school teachers, university professors, church organists and vocalists, Orff-Schulwerk specialists and composers, all joined by the bond and support of our membership in SAI.

Charter members
Renee Dolfini
Tracia Gayle Everton
Wanda Sauley Fennell
Elizabeth Bivins Fleenor
Maria Whitehead Grove
Melissa Wuslich Marrion
Dika Newlin
Margaret Krimmel Shaw
Elizabeth Rex Spiers
Joanne Anderson Turner
Patricia Susan Werrell

Former presidents
Peg Shaw, 1988-91
Betty Ann Fleenor, 1991-94
Betty Ann Spiers, 1994-96
Ellis Dunton, 1996-98
Kristin Holberg, 1998-01
Tracia Austin, 2001-03
Betty Ann Spiers, 2003-05
Ellis Dunton, 2005-06
Beatty Ann Fleenor, 2006-2009

Information and upcoming events about the Richmond Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota.

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