Students Inducted into Tri-M Music Honor Society

img_7312On Monday, November 7, 19 students were inducted into the Tri-M national music honor society at Saratoga Springs High School. These students join the 25 current  members bringing the total members in this chapter to 44.

Tri-M was founded in 1936 in Park Ridge, Illinois. The “three M’s” stands for modern, music, masters, The founder of Tri-M, Alexander Harley, said this about Tri-M’s mission:

If we strive to cultivate musical sensitivity and perception in our students, we must likewise give adequate recognition for their efforts and achievements, and we must inspire them to strive for higher goals. In what better way than by bestowing upon them life membership in a worldwide honorary organization for musical youth?

Saratoga Spring’s chapter was established during the 2014-15 school year with Ms. Erica Nirsberger as its advisor. Ms. Nirsberger covers a lot of territory teaching as an instrumental music teacher at Division Street, Dorothy Nolan, Greenfield, and the High School.

Officers Sam Epstein (President), Kristin Dutcher (VP), Michell Gerhardt (Treasurer), Maddie McCarthy (Secretary), and Collin Broderick (Media Specialist) welcomed the new members to the chapter. Ms. Nirsberger made a special point of acknowledging that the students did all of the organizing around the event. Everything from the ceremony script, certificates, program, and refreshments was orchestrated by our musician scholars.

After the induction ceremony, the attendees were treated to performances from:

  • Sonia Susi, Veronica Sih
  • Jared Hebner, Madison Snyder
  • Maddy Solomon
  • Ben Doern, Margo Moran
  • Anna Fear, Sara Eberlin, Michelle Zheng
  • Sequoia Cumming
  • Sofia Post, Ella Sampson
  • Anna Lansford
  • Abigail Getz
  • Maddie Messitt, Maggie Farr

img_7307Ms. Nirsberger was a Tri-M member during high school days wanted to share her positive experience with her students. “I was a dedicated band student at Shenendehowa High School. I always felt like the music department was home.” said Ms. Nirsberger. “The supportive dynamic in the department created a sense of loyalty among students making us want to contribute in any way we could. Band, choral, and orchestra students worked as a team to serve the music department, school, and community. Tri-M allowed me the opportunity to give back to a department I highly respected and appreciated.  It also provided professional experiences and leadership opportunities.”

When Ms. Nirsberger joined the Saratoga Springs City School District, she saw an opportunity to further expand the already strong department by bringing in Tri-M. “Being aware of the skill set Tri-M fosters in its members, I felt it was important to provide students at Saratoga Springs with the same opportunities that I had. Students have ushered,  set up for concerts, helped maintain instruments, organized the music library, and have conducted community outreach through programs like the instrument petting zoo at SPAC.

“The icing on the cake was the student created video winning a $25K instrument giveaway sweepstakes sponsored by the Buffet Group USA. The four new instruments were received by the school at last year’s induction ceremony.”

Mr. Milt Lee, head of the music department is very excited about the presence of Tri-M in the school district. “I never participated in Tri-M as a student, but I thought it would be a great opportunity for students to exercise leadership, support one another musically, and provide music related community service. Though Tri-M is only in its third year, the students have demonstrated group coordination, communication, and independence. And this is with very little adult assistance.”

Mr. Lee continued with this thought, “Even though Tri-M ‘landed a big fish’ by winning the $25K sweepstakes for new instruments from Buffet Group USA, they are making a consistent difference by offering assistance at school concerts, coordinating outside performance opportunities, and providing tutoring to up and coming musicians. Not quite as ‘dramatic’ as winning the big contest, but so vitally important to keeping the spirit of music alive and well in Saratoga Springs City Schools.”

We are so fortunate to live in a school district that has such motivated and focused teachers working for the success of our students. Scientific research (fMRI) has proven the connection between physiological stimulation of brain development as a result of making music. Sociological and medical studies have proven our deep and meaningful connection to music (e.g. studies around pain and stress reduction in chronically ill patients and memory stimulation in patients with Alzheimers.) The importance of the arts to make our students as prepared for the 21st century as possible is a large responsibility with potentially huge, positive impacts on our world.

We applaud the teachers, the administration, and the families for creating these opportunities for our students.