New music honor society aims to boost participation, student recognition


Photo via Tri-M

Baldwin’s music department has gotten approved to join the Tri-M society.

Amanda Booth and Ava Bell

With a goal of increasing participation in Baldwin music programs, the high school has started its own chapter of the national Tri-M Music Honor Society. 

Tri-M is available to students in honors choir, orchestra, honors stage band, and honors wind ensemble. This includes the seniors, even though they will be graduating in May.

Though interested students have not yet heard back about their applications, they are excited for the chance.

“I’m really glad they’ve given seniors the opportunity, because there is just an immense amount of musical talent, especially in the Class of 2023,” senior Alyssa Holby said.

Students are able to join the society if they participate in at least one extracurricular student ensemble, maintain an “A” average in their music courses and a “B” average in all of their other courses, and participate in community service within the Baldwin-Whitehall community, music teacher Marissa Virgin said. 

“I think the requirements are fine – nothing too difficult,” junior Katie Weber said. 

At a future date, the society will have an induction ceremony for members.

Belonging to Tri-M gives students recognition for their musical achievements, and they are provided opportunities to earn scholarships. Students who maintain a membership up until graduation will receive a Tri-M cord to wear at commencement. 

“I’m really excited about the graduation rope that we get, but I’m also just happy to be giving back to the community through what I love the most,” Holby said.

Founded in 1936, Tri-M was known as Modern Music Masters until the 1980s, when the name became the Tri-M Music Honor Society.

Holby said membership in Tri-M would particularly look good on her resume since she plans on majoring in music education. 

Music teachers hope the addition of the music honor society will get more of the student body involved with Baldwin’s music department. 

“I think that having an honors society, with opportunities for recognition and scholarship, will encourage student musicians to strive for excellence from year to year,” Virgin said.

Choir director Kris Tranter agreed.

“We certainly hope Tri-M has the power to encourage more students to join our mission to pursue excellence while using music to make a difference,” Tranter said. 

Students who have applied for Tri-M think positively about the honors society.

“I think it’s nice to have a new way to enhance my quality of playing,” sophomore Donny Busche said. 

Weber also has a positive outlook on the addition of the Tri-M Baldwin chapter. 

“I think there should be a music honors society because our music department often gets overshadowed by sports,” Weber said. 

Holby is grateful to be able to participate in its first year at Baldwin. 

“I feel like I wish I had more years, but I’m also just thankful that I got the opportunity to even be a part of it,” Holby said. “I’m hoping for it to kind of boost my music experience a little bit, and hopefully look good on my college stuff.”