MUSCATINE, Iowa–Whether its singing in the choir or playing in the band or orchestra, many students find studying music one of the most enjoyable parts of their education. Along with developing their interests, music allows students to build good practice or studying schedules and grow comfortable performing in front of others, skills that help them succeed in other areas of their lives as well. To honor student musicians’ dedication, both to their art and their academic studies, Orchestra Director Jon Thoma and Associate Director of Bands Lee Plumber founded a chapter of the Tri-M Honor Society at Muscatine High School.
The only national honor society focused on student musicians, the Tri-M Honor Society has rigorous requirements for new members. Anyone interested in joining must maintain a 3.0 GPA and have As in their music classes. They must also currently take at least one music class and must have taken at least one the previous year as well. Students must also write an essay explaining their interest in Tri-M and how their skills will benefit the club and have two adult references willing to write on their behalf. The full music department staff then reviews applications before selecting the year’s inductees.
This year, the Tri-M Honor Society inducted its first 44 members. Over the course of the school year, they will come together at least once a month to plan special concerts and fundraisers to benefit the school and community. “Every event, performance, fundraiser, etcetera will be determined by the students who make up this chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society,” said Thoma. “Community service through music will be the biggest focus of this group, both in our schools and throughout the community.” Tri-M students will also assist with concert set up, clean up, and ushering at school concerts.
As the first Tri-M inductees begin shaping their organization and their school, Thoma reports these students have big dreams for what they can accomplish. “They have been very excited and eager to get this going; they have already come to us with some great ideas they have for Tri-M, even before we had inducted them,” he shared.
Thoma and Plummer have high hopes for this talented group of students as well: “We feel very excited to get this organization up and running. Not only are we excited to see how the students will positively affect the community, but we feel that leadership is one of the great things fostered in our music classes. It’s great to create an organization that gives the students a chance to emphasize this part of their education even more.” Thoma and Plummer also value the opportunity to recognize the students for their achievements and desire to grow their leadership skills.