Benefit concert strikes a chord with young musicians

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The University of Indianapolis Beta Psi Chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon is working with the Butler University Kappa Chapter of the fraternity to hold a benefit concert for The New World Youth Orchestra. The Mu Phi Epsilon Benefit Concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. on March 27.

According to junior violin performance major and current president of the Beta Psi Chapter Sarah Page, there will be a wide variety of music, including, but not limited to, a small chamber orchestra, percussion duet, flutes and cello. This benefit is free and will be held in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, with a reception to be held at Butler University.

Mu Phi holds a benefit concert every year for a different organization. This year, according to Page, the benefit is special because Mu Phi will be working closely and playing with high school students, and it also is the first time UIndy’s fraternity chapter has worked with Butler’s fraternity chapter.

“What’s special about the benefit this year is that usually it is just members of the UIndy Mu Phi performing. But this year, I am really excited that we have high school students joining us. So we are taking the idea of ‘education for service’ and reaching out to high schoolers, hoping to share our musical talent with them and encourage them along the way and also give them a chance to perform,” Page said.

According to its website nwyso.org, NWYO’s mission “is to develop the musical talent and nurture the personal growth of young people in Indianapolis and central Indiana through the rehearsal and performance of orchestral masterworks, both traditional and contemporary.”

As an alumna of NWYO, Page knows how special the organization is to the community and to young musicians. She started out in the organization when she was in seventh grade and continued until her high school graduation.

“It [NWYO] is really a chance to build a community of musicians in high school, when you don’t necessarily have that in the school you attend. It encourages you musically,” Page said. “… It is kind of a boost for a lot of people.”

Located in downtown Indianapolis, NWYO was founded by Susan Kitterman in 1982.  The organization is open to minors 18 years old or younger. NWYO is divided into levels of orchestras. The beginning orchestra is the concert orchestra, which is open to string players entering a grade no higher than eighth grade. Next is the philharmonic orchestra, which is open to intermediate players of string, brass, woodwind, percussion and harp instruments. The highest level, the symphony orchestra, is open to advanced players of strings, brass, woodwind, percussion and harp instruments. NWYO is a tuition-based program with scholarships available.

Mu Phi Epsilon, according to its website muphiepsilon.org, is a coeducational, professional music fraternity whose mission is to advance music in the community, nation and world. Its mission includes promoting musicianship, scholarship, music therapy, and music education—with emphasis on service through music—and enhancing loyalty to the alma mater and developing true bonds of friendship.

The goal of UIndy Mu Phi for this benefit is to get a good crowd, not only from the school but also from the community.

“We just want to share with people how great some of these high school students are and what they do,” Page said. “If people are interested in enjoying a really fun concert and showing support of the arts, they should come out.”

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