2007-2008 Tri-M Chapter of the Year Winners

About the National Chapter of the Year Award

The Tri-M National Chapter of the Year program is designed to motivate and reward chapters that develop active service projects, encourage chapter officers to perform their duties properly, and bring about more awareness and interest in what other Tri-M chapters are doing. Winning chapters receive scholarship funds for summer music study. This year’s Chapter of the Year Winners and Runners Up are:

Senior Division

  • Winner: Nazareth Academy High School, Chapter #2096 of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, advised by Margaret Lafferty
  • 1st Runner Up: Villa Maria Academy, Chapter #1227 of Malvern, Pennsylvania, advised by Joyce Prichard
  • 2nd Runner Up: John L. Miller – Great Neck North High School, Chapter #2605 of Great Neck, New York, advised by Joseph Rutkowski

Junior Division

  • Winner: St. John’s School, Chapter #4154 of Upper Tumon, Guam, advised by Allan Nazareno
  • 1st Runner Up: Conyers Middle School, Chapter #5030 of Conyers, Georgia, advised by Christine Bruns
  • 2nd Runner Up: Ranney School, Chapter #4410 of Tinton Falls, New Jersey, advised by Lillianne Torrente


The winning chapters have lived up to Tri-M’s values by working hard all year in their schools and communities. Here’s some of what they’ve been up to.

Senior Division Winner: Nazareth Academy

The chapter at Nazareth High School is a two-time Senior Chapter of the Year Winner! This year, the Tri-M students organized and attended a number of school, community service, and musical events.

The Nazareth chapter used their meeting times to plan events for the year and to host guest speakers such as Mr. Shields, a college professor who spoke about the use of music in film. He presented informational packets to the students and showed several movie clips to give examples. The students said, “Mr. Shields said it was a pleasure to be in the company of such dedicated and hard working musicians.”

Tri-M members spent much of their time organizing music events at their school, from holding auditions to the fall musical to hosting a summer music program for students from surrounding schools. The members enjoyed offering a variety of music for their school and community, including Harry Potter tunes, The Sound of Music, a Black and White Dinner concert, and a Singing Around the World Concert. “The [Singing Around the World] concert was meant to show the unity music provides with in our world and that the beauty of music, particularly through song, is internationally understood and appreciated,” members noted in their scrapbook.

Outside of school, the chapter traveled to over 20 concerts, plays, and musicals, including Into the Woods, Beauty and the Beast, and Seussical. They traveled not only to nearby New York City for these events, but they also supported arts performances at local schools. Many of Nazareth’s Tri-M members also performed solos or in small ensembles at school and local concerts, weddings, and religious events. One student performed selections on the harp at an Italian restaurant.

When they weren’t attending or organizing musical performances, the students were helping out people in need in the Philadelphia community. One trip involved the students bringing music and crafts to children at the nearby Saint Chrisopher’s Hospital for Children. During the winter holidays, Chapter 2096 adopted a family through the Salvation Army. After two bake sales and a loose change drive, they were able to raise over $500 for the family to buy games, clothes, and other gifts for their eight children. One of the members donated a Playstation as an additional special holiday gift.

Learn more about Nazareth Tri-M by visiting their Web site.

Junior Division Winner: St. John’s School

This year, St. John’s School focused on developing its Tri-M members as global citizens. This was an especially memorable year for these students as they embarked on a humanitarian tour of Southeast Asia. Advisor Allan Nazareno said, “Inspired by the success of last year’s tour to Cebu, Philippines, the performing arts committee decided to conduct a tour project that would promote humanitarianism and at the same time provide worthwhile performance experiences for the students.”

During the tour, members of Chapter 4154 performed It’s a Broadway World: A Musical Revue Celebrating the Global Citizen at the Esplanade Centre Singapore, making the group the first international school to be featured in a full-length show at this venue. Other performances took place in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, including one at the East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools (EARCOS) conference. Advisor Nazareno mentioned that a highlight of these performances was that they generated interest in Tri-M.

Students worked diligently and continuously to fund the trip by organizing several fundraisers, including bake sales, car washes, a flea market, movie premieres, raffles, show tickets, and a fashion show. Students also appealed to corporations for additional sponsorships. A total of $8,000 was raised and donated to four organizations in Southeast Asia, including Erica’s House, a family visitation and intervention center in Guam; Bantay Bata 163, a social welfare program for needy and abused children in Manila; The Pathlight School for Autism in Singapore; and the Rohingya School Organization for refugees in Kuala Lumpur. Nazareno commented, “Meeting the Rohingya refugees was very moving for our students who are so used to luxuries and there, they saw a school with hardly anything.”

While not on tour, Chapter 4154 hosted guest speakers such as renowned conductor Chino Toledo and operatic baritone Nomer Son. These guests also assisted the group with preparing their fall musical, The Mikado. As experts on the Philippine opera scene, Toledo and Son helped train the cast to prepare for the vocal demands of opera. Members also performed at school events such as the all-school chapel and the Donor Recognition Ceremony for the school’s Board of Trustees.

Click here to watch a video of Tri-M member Ashley Bonanno’s speech at the EARCOS teachers’ conference in Kuala Lumpur.

Click here to watch part of a documentary by the Buddhist Tzu-Chi Foundation regarding a visit to Kuala Lumpur by St. John’s Tri-M chapter. The video features chapter members Sierra Sevilla and Hazelle Ko.
–Anne Wagener, June 12, 2008, © MENC: The National Association for Music Education