Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mu Phi Epsilon concert lets students shine

By Kelli Breland, A&E Writer

"So cozy, calm and peaceful, heaven for a mouse like me, with quiet by the lease full" senior Erin White sang during her performance of Jeanine Tesori and Dick Scanlan’s song "The Girl in 14G."
She performed the song as part of Pacific Lutheran University's Mu Phi Epsilon concert on Sunday in Lagerquist Concert Hall.

White, like seven other music students at Pacific Lutheran University, is part of Mu Phi Epsilon, a professional music fraternity.
The organization’s mission is to "promote musicianship and appreciation of music through service to music and through community involvement," sophomore Kristin McCarthy, Mu Phi Epsilon’s treasurer, said.
McCarthy said Mu Phi Epsilon holds meetings to plan events, both for the PLU community and the Tacoma community.
Mu Phi Epsilon organizes everything from concerts in Lagerquist to performances in retirement homes.
"It gave me a real feeling of belonging within the music department." McCarthy said. "I’m just really glad for a chance to give back and plan these events."
Senior Stephanie Bivins, who has served as Mu Phi Epsilon’s secretary for the past two years, said a particular performance at a local retirement home stands out to her above the rest.
"There was this little old woman sitting in the front row, and as soon as I finished singing she leans over to her friend and goes ‘she was really good’ like, out loud, and everyone could hear her," Bivins said. "It was really cool because I knew then that my music had had some sort of an impact on her."
Junior Nicole Laborte, Mu Phi Epsilon’s historian, also said she found the retirement home performances to be both impactful and rewarding experiences.
"I think it is really important to share the joys of music with the community, especially amongst people who might not have the means to come watch a concert in Lagerquist," Laborte said.
The performance aspect of Mu Phi Epsilon is just one of many aspects that draws members to the organization.
Through a shared love of music, the members said they have also gained cherished friendships.
"Through Mu Phi I’ve made a lot of lasting friendships with people who I otherwise would never have met," Bivins said.
The Mu Phi Epsilon members are all involved in the music department, but within the group there is a diversity of majors and class standings.
McCarthy said she first became involved with Mu Phi Epsilon as a first year and enjoyed meeting the older music students she would not have met without the organization.
While the group is part of the international Mu Phi Epsilon fraternity, they are also a part of the local PLU chapter, Mu Phi Epsilon Sigma. The organization recently received donations from an alum of the PLU Sigma chapter.
The Mu Phi Epsilon board plans to use the funds toward scholarships to lower membership fees, Bivins said, and to send a representative of the Sigma chapter to the 2014 national convention in Los Angeles next summer.
Mu Phi Epsilon is always looking for new members and hopes to expand in the future.