In the short time of less than three months, an inquiry regarding how to start a Phi Beta Mu (PBM) Chapter resulted in the installation of the Chi Chapter of Phi Beta Mu in New York!
Due in part to the connections made while judging and serving as a clinician across the United States, Beth Fabrizio, had become keenly aware of the value and importance of PBM to band directors everywhere. Finally, she decided to ask her longtime friend, Randy Greenwell (Gamma Chapter), for advice and direction on starting a chapter in the New York area. He quickly referred her to two Gamma members who are currently on the International Board of Directors: Martin Becker, Director, and Keith Rudolph, Vice President. The Executive Board quickly began planning with President Dwayne Sagen, Past-President Elva Kay Lance, and Executive Secretary David Lambert to move the project along.
The International Board had already been working on an initiative, both to establish new chapters and to revive others that were in need of a boost. President Sagen presented several induction possibilities for the new chapter, and with the New York group eager to get started, Vice President Rudolph was dispatched to do the honors.
At the induction meeting on May 16, 2022, as Ms. Fabrizio expressed her appreciation to everyone who had joined the initiative, it was evident that the establishment of a New York chapter of Phi Beta Mu fulfilled one of her longtime dreams. Together, she and the newly inducted chapter members were eager to hit the ground running to establish the Chi Chapter as a key player in the betterment of music education across the state of New York. Plans are already underway to provide clinics for young teachers, establish mentor relationships, and award scholarships, along with careful consideration for adding new members.
Chi Chapter is fortunate to welcome Dr. Rick Fleming, Director of Bands at Buffalo State University, as a member. Dr. Fleming is a PBM member originally from the Florida Omega Chapter. He shared his insight on the meaning of Phi Beta Mu and the impact the fraternity can have.
He is sure to be a positive influence in the chapter as he also expressed his desire to help less advantaged programs and directors. Additionally, due to COVID-19 protocols, one charter member, Dr. Paula Holcomb of Fredonia State University, was included in the induction virtually, and another charter member will be initiated at a later date.
A private room at Giancarlo’s Sicilian Steakhouse in Williamsville, New York, provided a very intimate setting for the event, as delicious food and beverages set the tone for a sincere and memorable beginning for the new chapter.