September 23, 2020

Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha returns

By Morgan Lubner
Staff Writer

With the return of spring, the foliage and flowers are not the only things coming back to life on campus. The College’s chapter of Phi Mu Alpha, a specialized music fraternity, was rechartered on Sunday, April 3.

The College’s chapter was last active when the last pledge class was accepted in 1977, according to Phi Mu Alpha Secretary and sophomore music education major Erik Johnson. After spring of that year, no additional members were added due to a lack of interest, which led to the disintegration of the chapter, he said.

The rechartering of Phi Mu Alpha has been in the works for about a year and a half, but Phi Mu Alpha President and senior music education major Michael Barbieri spent an additional year making phone calls and filling out documents to get the process started, according to Johnson.

The actual rechartering time was spent “juggling paperwork, fulfilling event requirements and interacting with other chapters in the region,” Johnson said. “I can personally say it has been very rewarding and has definitely built very strong bonds between our brothers.”

The fraternity currently has 21 members, five of whom are seniors and will be graduating this May. New member and freshman chemistry major Trevor MacKinnon said he joined Phi Mu Alpha for the camaraderie he found among the brothers.

“I rushed because I was looking for a social group of close guys, and I was already close with a lot of them,” MacKinnon said. “My favorite part is being so close with a bunch of diverse guys who all love music and can just mess around and hang out.”

Since being initiated, new members have participated in a few concerts, conventions, community service opportunities and a music mission — when the members sing to senior citizens.

“Our ultimate goal is to advance music in America, and so we sponsor music-related events throughout the academic year,” Johnson said.

These events include an annual concert featuring the music of American composers, as well as working to improve the conditions of the music libraries in the Music Building. On Saturday, April 23, Phi Mu Alpha was going to host a Music-a-Thon that featured six hours of continuous chamber music to fundraise for its philanthropy — the VH1 Save the Music Foundation. However, the event was canceled due to the inclement weather and a GoFundMe page was set up in its place.

“(The organization is) a unique blend between a specialized fraternity and a social fraternity that puts us in a special place in TCNJ’s Greek community, allowing for a fresh perspective on what Greek life really stands for,” Johnson said.

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