Board of Directors


Richard Shaw, President

One of the founders of the Chorale, Dick is a long-time board member and current board president with a long history of strong financial support of the Chorale.  He has extensive experience with not-for-profit board membership (currently Cornerstone Chorale and Brass, The Sheldon Arts Foundation, and The Chamber Music Society of St. Louis) and with obtaining grant funding for the Chorale.  Dick is strongly committed to ensuring quality performance of women's choral music and to creating awareness regarding social justice issues.


Cynthia Deffenbaugh, Secretary

Cindy has sung in church choirs since age 4 and currently sings in the First Presbyterian Church Kirkwood Chancel Choir.  Her interests center around music, reading (mostly history or historical fiction), volunteering, grandchildren, and friends.

Cindy graduated from Millikin University with a BA and sang in Millikin's Choir while there.  She taught Physical Education and then stayed home with her children.  She went on to receive her MA in Counseling from Webster University and worked at Parkway North and Rosati-Kain high schools as a college and general counselor.  After retirement, Cindy was hired at Block Yeshiva High School as the AP Psychology teacher.


Peggy Hemphill, Member

Peggy’s love of music began at an early age with piano lessons and church choir.  She had the joy of singing in high school, college choir, and madrigal groups.  She is currently a member of the Chancel Choir at First Presbyterian Church in Kirkwood and has performed with the Chorale for 2 years.

Peggy’s background includes design (with a degree in Human Service) and owning and operating an art sales/picture framing business for 18 years with her husband of 34 years, Adley.  She also worked many years in the field of customer service at several companies.  Early retirement has allowed Peggy to be more involved in giving back to church and community.  She currently serves as a deacon, a Stephen Minister, and a facilitator for the Grief Support Group at her church and is delighted to have the opportunity to serve on the Chorale Board.

Peggy and her husband have two children, Christine (husband Charles), and Adley (wife Shannon), and a precocious cat (Lucy) and grand dog (Stella).

 Veronica McGee, Member

By day Veronica is an IT Auditing Manager.  In her spare time she enjoys pursuing her passions in nonprofit work.  She has been a past volunteer with the Animal Protective Association of Missouri, CHADS Coalition for Mental Health, The HFLCS (a dog and cat sanctuary), Historic Riverboat Preservation Association, CreativePAW, and United Services for the Handicapped.  Currently she also servers as the social media and publicity manager for the Chorale.  In addition to her volunteer work, Veronica is a Soprano with the Chorale, participates in training activities with one of her dogs, and enjoys camping, and traveling.

Veronica is a graduate of Sanford Brown and St. Charles Community College (English/Lit) and holds a Bachelor's in Management from Webster University.  She is married with two canine children and resides in Jefferson County, MO.


Irene Schulze, Member

Irene Schulze is a scientist and teacher, having joined the faculty of the Saint Louis University School of Medicine in 1970.  One of her responsibilities as a faculty member was to teach medical students about the properties of viruses, including information about how they cause disease, how these diseases can be treated, and how the human host gains resistance to specific viral infections.  In addition, she obtained financial support for her laboratory’s research and one group of viruses—the influenza viruses—and advised the National Institutes of Health about the funding of research projects proposed by other scientists.

Dr. Schulze considers music essential to her day-to-day life and is concerned about the political and social conditions of our society.  She is an active supporter of groups that provide music to the St. Louis community.  She has traveled widely, including accompanying the Chorale on its 2003 concert tour in Italy.  She has been a Chorale Board member since 2005.


Mary Ann Shaw, Member

One of the founders of the Chorale, Mary Ann has been a singing member throughout its existence.  She has fulfilled other board positions in the past and recently retired as long-time executive director of a large public not-for-profit organization, U City in Bloom.  Mary Ann has served on other not-for-profit organization boards and for many years has exhibited undying commitment to women's choral music and passion for creating awareness of social justice issues involving women and girls worldwide.


Mary Wittry, ex officio, Chorale President

Mary comes from a family of musicians and singers.  She grew up in Iowa and has lived in the St. Louis area for the last 30-some years.  In addition to being a 3-year member of the Chorale and its newest president, Mary sings with the Ethical Society Chorus and with Bel Canto.

In addition to singing, Mary has been a Girl Scout leader and a nursery school board member and president and has served on the boards of the Ethical Society of St. Louis and of the American Ethical Union.