Week 5: Music Fraternities, what's the big deal?
Welcome back for week 5 of this [self-proclaimed] fantastic blog venture. The past 4 weeks has been super fun for me to take the time to type out ideas that I usually talk to myself about when I'm home alone and share them with the public. This week, instead of ONLY my own ramblings, I'm featuring an interview with a few executive board members of the 3 music fraternities that exist on my campus, UNCG, (Sigma Alpha Iota, Phi Mu Alpha, and Mu Phi Epsilon) in honor of their recruitment season getting kick-started within the coming weeks.
This blog features a series of questions that I remember asking as I was going through the recruitment process trying to figure out which fraternity would be best for me to join, but from the perspective of the current leading class of members who would LOVE to see more new faces this year! After that, I'll drop my own 2 cents on my personal experience.
One of the biggest questions that arise when someone is thinking of pledging is: What is so special about a music fraternity? What sets it apart from Panhellenic fraternity or sorority? The answer from Victoria B. is quite clear:
"The biggest difference between a music fraternity and Panhellenic fraternities/sororities is not only the specific emphasis on music, but the emphasis on professional development, leadership skills, and service. Music fraternities are considered professional or honorary organizations, not social. Despite this difference, both types of greek organizations value sisterhood/brotherhood in a similar way. I love my sisters in the same way that a member of a Panhellenic organization would, even though our purposes are different. Music fraternities do have a social aspect to them, but that is not the primary goal of our chapters and members. Professional fraternities work to build brotherhood/sisterhood among their members, cultivate their strengths in order to promote their profession, and provide assistance to one another in their area of study."
It's not all fun, but it sure is a whole lot of fun. We find the fun in creating opportunities for our members AND other music majors to interact with the community and spread the love and knowledge of music.
So which are the music fraternities? Where there are technically 7 total that are a part of the National Interfraternity Music Council:
Kappa Kappa Psi
Mu Phi Epsilon
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia
Sigma Alpha Iota
Tau Beta Sigma
The ones that I have bolded are the ones that exist on my current campus (The University of North Carolina at Greensboro) but for those of you who aren't here with me, there may be another combination of organizations that may fit for you (I'll attach links for you to gain more information at the bottom of this post!)
So between Mu Phi Epsilon, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Sigma Alpha Iota, what are the differences? Victoria B. answers once again:
"Although we are three separate organizations, we were all founded on the same principle; support and promote the art of music. In terms of membership, Sigma Alpha Iota is available to women who share a commitment to music and wish to encourage, nurture, and support the art of music. Mu Phi Epsilon is available to men and women who aim to advance music in the community, nation, and world through promotion of musicianship, scholarship, therapy, and education, with an emphasis on service through music. Phi Mu Alpha is available to men who seek the development of the best and truest fraternal spirit; the mutual welfare and brotherhood of musical students; the advancement of music in America and a loyalty to the Alma Mater."
Now before I set you free to ponder whether or not to learn more for yourself or to consider joining, let me be clear, I do have a bias toward Sigma Alpha Iota because I was a member of my school's Kappa Gamma chapter. HOWEVER, all of these organizations bring amazing unique qualities to the world that we're in and granted that you meet the requirements, any of these organizations would be an AMAZING thing to be a part of. Some of these fraternities may have gender-related specifications, but you can find those answers in the links below, or talk to your school's chapters!
For readers who may not have begun your college experience yet, talk to your band directors and choir directors. Chances are, they are members of these awesome organizations as well and can give you their insight!
Below are links where you can find more information about whether your school has a chapter of any of these organizations and how to join!
For my UNCG friends: keep your email inbox open to receive announcements regarding our own recruitment week full of great ice breakers and fun festivities for you to enjoy to learn about each chapter that we have. That recruitment week is happening the week of February 5th-8th. Social Recruitment will take place on February 5th at 7:30pm in room 110 of the music building. Individual Recruitment will take place on February 7th at 7:30pm and formal recruitment on February 8th at 7:30pm. After the conclusion of recruitment week, we will have our bid ceremony the following Sunday and Welcome Week the week after starting on February 18th. If you would like more information on any of the events listed above, join us for recruitment!
Here are UNCG's organization Instagrams to see what shenanigans we get into!
Organizations National Websites! Check these links to find your campus's organizations and their requirements!
Delta Omicron National Website: https://www.delta-omicron.org/
Kappa Kappa Psi: https://www.kkpsi.org/ (Happy 100th!)
Mu Phi Epsilon: https://muphiepsilon.site-ym.com/default.aspx
Phi Beta: http://www.phibeta.com/
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia: https://www.sinfonia.org/
Sigma Alpha Iota: https://sai-national.org
Tau Beta Sigma: http://tbsigma.org
**HAPPY DISCLAIMER: ALL OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS HAVE STRICT NO HAZING POLICIES**
Featured here are almost all the current members of UNCG's chapters of SAI, MPE, and PMA after a joint concert in the community!