West Seneca high schools introduce Tri-M Music Honor Society

Music students from West Seneca East and West Senior High Schools will be able to further commit themselves to their craft and showcase their talents thanks to the Tri-M Music Honor Society.

“Each year at graduation we recognize many of our West Seneca students for their outstanding achievements during their years in our district,” said Nora Murnane-Robertson, district music coordinator. “Knowing what the Tri-M Music Honor Society has to offer our students, I hoped we could establish a chapter at each high school. Mr. Blickwedehl and Mr. O’Dell both volunteered to advise the chapters, and we were off and running!”

“The music department is a big part of my life,” shared Sarah Kociszewski, a senior at East. “I was excited I could be more involved with it.”

After doing some research, Scott O’Dell, band instructor at East Senior, found out the school had a chapter in the 1990s. “All we had to do was re-charter and we could re-introduce a chapter at East Senior. We re-applied at the end of last year and received our charter in September. We are Tri-M Chapter 2386.”

The students at West will be the inaugural honor society for Chapter 7156. “Our music department has so many great students who, in addition to being fantastic musicians, are also wonderful leaders,” said John Blickwedehl, band instructor at West Senior. “They are the type of kids who often ask, ‘What can I do?’ ‘How can I help?’ I think Tri-M will simply be a way to organize these students and give them the opportunity to work together towards some common initiative to help grow music in our West Seneca community.”

The Tri-M Music Honor Society gives music students the opportunity to provide service to the community and to receive recognition for their years of effort and success in the music departments of West Seneca.

“It recognizes us and all of the hard work we’ve put into music over our high school career,” said Carly Luksch, a senior at East.

Every chapter has their own set of requirements. Both schools require students to have at least a 90 grade point average overall and in all their music classes, and they all need to perform a solo at either Erie County Music Educators Association All-County (ECMEA) or at New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA). Once accepted, each student must maintain the above requirements until graduation. At East, students also have to perform a music-related service project each year benefitting the school, district or community of West Seneca.

“I hope these students are able to find new and different ways to give back to their school and community with the musical skills they have developed in our music program,” Blickwedehl said.