Algonquin Tri-M presents fifth fundraiser for scholarship fund
By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Northborough/Southborough – A cafeteria full of students, faculty and three generations of family members were entertained May 13 when the Algonquin Regional High School (ARHS) chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society presented 22 acts in its fifth annual Open Mic Coffeehouse.
As is the custom with Tri-M, the students totally ran the show, noted co-advisors Kathrine Waters and Amy Collins, who is also the chair of the fine and performing arts department.
“They divvied up all the duties and worked on it themselves,” Waters said.
Collins added, “The five officers really took charge and formed subcommittees. They worked with their peers and put together a successful night. That’s a great skill for them going forward, especially all being seniors going off to college next year.”
Emily Wu, Tri-M secretary, supervised the subcommittee handling the setup.
“I wanted to join Tri-M because I’ve been involved in music through school since I was really young,” she explained.
The other officers are Linnea Henningson, president; Thea Hickey, vice president; Cassidy Youngberg, treasurer; and Brittany Price, historian.
Preparing for the coffeehouse, Tri-M members corresponded with the event’s sponsors: Armeno Coffee Roasters and Lowe’s Variety and Meat Market. That evening, they sold tickets and pastries, perused the room with beverage carts, manned the lights and sound, introduced acts, and in many cases performed songs. They also invited students to perform who aren’t typically involved in the music program.
“They’re a ‘take charge’ type of group,” Collins said of this school year’s Tri-M members. “I enjoy seeing them taking what we’ve advised and running with it.”
“Not that I don’t enjoy guiding them,” Waters added, “but it makes you proud to see that they can do it themselves. That’s the goal of a teacher: to get them to the point where they can do things on their own.”
This school year, 50 students in grades 10 through 12 were inducted into Tri-M at a ceremony Jan. 8. A requirement was for them to perform in a vocal or instrumental solo, duet, or larger ensemble during the ceremony. The membership form stated: “Group performances are preferred.” The students independently organized rehearsals and presented only group performances.
Inductees must also perform community service relating to music. In addition to entertaining at area senior centers, the Tri-M members have volunteered for music festivals hosted by ARHS, and for concerts of the Assabet Valley Mastersingers staged throughout the Metrowest area.
Proceeds from the Open Mic Coffeehouse go to the Dennis Wrenn Memorial Scholarship Fund. Wrenn was the chair of the fine and performing arts department, and Tri-M advisor, who passed away in 2009 while in Greece with the school’s jazz band. That’s when Collins became the department chair and Tri-M advisor.
“We were looking for ways to honor and remember Dennis,” Collins explained. “A scholarship fund was established that year and we needed to find an appropriate way to support it. The officers and I met, and came up with the idea of the Open Mic Coffeehouse. The Dennis Wrenn Music Education Scholarship is for a student who will major in music education. Other scholarship categories are for students who have had a great impact on the performing arts.”
Those scholarship recipients were announced May 19 at the Senior Scholastic Awards Night. The Dennis Wrenn Music Education Scholarship of $1,000 was awarded to Linnea Henningson, Tri-M president. Receiving a Performing Arts Scholarship were Scott Abrams, Emma Becker, Shannon Brits, Veronica Green-Gott and Zachary Teplansky.
A plaque and two benches placed in the foyer of the ARHS auditorium are dedicated to Dennis Wrenn.
“We still feel his impact here,” Collins said.
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