Press Release: MENC Announces Tri-M Petition Contest Winners

Music Honor Society Students Rally to “Change Music Education … for the Better!”

MENC: The National Association for Music Education Announces Chapters from Connecticut and Virginia Winners in the “Tri-M Petition and Change Drive Contest”

RESTON, VA (May 14, 2009) — MENC: The National Association for Music Education has declared the first and second place winners in the Tri-M Petition and Change Drive Contest.

The Tri-M Music Honor Society is a program of MENC that rewards music students for achievement in music, other subjects, and community service. Recently MENC challenged its student members to collect signatures on the “Petition for Equal Access to Music Education” and spare change for the “Change Drive to Change Education.” Both initiatives are part of the “Three Ways to Change Music Education … for the Better!” campaign sponsored by MENC to raise awareness of the importance of supporting school music programs. The petition asks Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the new administration to remember that music is as important as any other subject. Change collected in the change drive will be used to support MENC’s music education advocacy programs.

The signed Petitions for Equal Access to Music Education will be presented to Department of Education officials at the Rally for Music Education on June 18 at noon at the Department of Education. Music educators, students, family members, and all school music supporters are invited to this event, part of Music Education Week in Washington.

In the contest, 33 Tri-M chapters submitted collected petitions; these 33 chapters collected a total of 9796 petition signatures.

The first place winner was the Danbury High School (Danbury, CT) Tri-M chapter. The chapter collected 838 signatures. Their advisor, music teacher Susan McKenzie, said “[Our] Tri-M students felt very strongly that all students should be required to study at least one music course during their high school years. Being an advocate for this program inspires our students to be their best and perform at their best levels.”

The Tri-M chapter at Tallwood High School in Virginia Beach, VA was the second place winner with 773 signatures collected. Advisor Timothy Rossettini is the music teacher at Tallwood.

The first place chapter received a Tri-M banner and Tri-M T-shirts for everyone in the chapter; the 2nd place winner received a Tri-M banner for their chapter.

MENC President Barbara L. Geer praised the activism of the Tri-M chapters. “Congratulations to all chapter members who participated in this exciting project,” she said. “I am very pleased to see that our young members recognize the importance of music education in our nation by being part of something that can motivate, educate, and inspire them to higher musical achievement.”

For more information on the Tri-M Music Honor Society, the Petition for Equal Access to Music Education, and this contest, visit

MENC: The National Association for Music Education, the world’s largest arts education organization, marked its centennial in 2007 as the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. More than 142,000 members and supporters include educators representing all levels of teaching from preschool to graduate school. Since 1907, MENC has worked to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. MENC’s activities and resources have been largely responsible for the establishment of music education as a profession, for the promotion and guidance of music study as an integral part of the school curriculum, and for the development of the National Standards for Arts Education. MENC is located at the National Center for Music Education in Reston, VA.