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NFHS Works with NAfME to Launch New Chapters of Tri-M® Music Honor Society

By Nate Perry on February 21, 2020 nfhs news Print

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) recently collaborated with the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) to present 11 schools with grants to form new chapters of the Tri-M® Music Honor Society (Tri-M®).

Tri-M, a NAfME program, is designed to recognize and reward middle school and high school music students for their academic and musical accomplishments, community outreach and service projects. Since its inception in 1985, Tri-M has grown to include more than 8,500 chapters and about 92,000 students across the country.

Dr. James Weaver, NFHS director of performing arts and sports, traveled to David Douglas High School in Portland, Oregon, in October to announce the newly added schools and their endowed grants.

“The NFHS is excited to help launch these schools’ participation in Tri-M,” Weaver said. “We join NAfME in this excitement for these students to become leaders in their music programs, schools and communities.”

This is the first time the NFHS has worked with NAfME to provide financial assistance for new Tri-M chapters. Going forward, the NFHS and NAfME are planning an annual initiative for schools that traditionally have not been involved with the honors program.

In addition to David Douglas High School, other grant recipients included Roeland Park (Kansas) Bishop Miege High School; Douglasville (Georgia) Chapel Hill High School; New Orleans (Louisiana) De La Salle High School; McLeansboro (Illinois) Hamilton County Junior/Senior High School; Dandridge (Tennessee) Jefferson County High School; Silver Spring (Maryland) Northwood High School; Springfield (Nebraska) Platteview High School; Roosevelt (New York) High School; Gresham (Oregon) Sam Barlow High School; and City of Industry (California) William Workman High School.

Prior to being selected for a grant, each school had to meet five requirements for eligibility:

  1. Have a willing faculty member able to fulfill the duties of the “advisor” role.
  2. Have never chartered a chapter, or have been without a chapter for the past 10 years.
  3. Be in good standing with its state association.
  4. Plan to or currently participate in NFHS state music contests and/or programs.
  5. Plan for student leadership development.

“Tri-M offers students the opportunity to gain skills in leadership and community service,” said Mike Blakeslee, NAfME Executive Director and CEO. “As we believe all students should have the opportunity to participate in a high-quality music education program in their schools, we also believe all students should have access to leadership programs like Tri-M Music Honor Society. And so, we appreciate the generosity of the National Federation of State High School Associations to help make that opportunity available to more students.”

Perhaps the largest and most important component of Tri-M is student involvement in community service projects.

To generate momentum for her program’s new membership, David Douglas band director Jennifer Muller has partnered with other service organizations in her district to coordinate several service activities, including winter clothing and canned food drives, a holiday music performance at a retirement center and “Heavy Metal Day,” where the band’s low brass players hold clinics for elementary students to promote interest.

“I work in a low socio-economic school district and so many of my students receive special services because of it,” Muller said. “I had no idea how civic-minded these students would be and just how interested they would be to give to others the way they've been supported growing up.”

Grant applications are available for the 2020-2021 school year: https://www.musichonors.com/nfhs/