MuAlpha News November 2020

MuAlpha conducts First Meeting of New Executive using ZOOM

MuAlpha Chapter NEWS —Trish Howe

To say that 2020 has been a different year may well be the biggest understatement of our time! That said, MuAlpha and it’s members have been finding great coping strategies and doing solid advocacy work to keep music safely in our schools and encourage band music in every capacity that we can safely do so, to help build better, healthier, more well balanced students. With every challenge that we’ve faced, our members have found new opportunities and new ways to keep music alive! As with most chapters, there were activities and events that we had to change, cancel, or postpone. MuAlpha took the opportunity to move to more virtual meetings and update some internal functions, to further our chapter’s goal of being seen doing the good work of PhiBetaMu within the community by joining with collaborative groups and coalitions, and to further the NAMM Foundation’s work in using chamber work to keep instrumental music in our schools until we can do band more safely. Some of our members took leadership roles in creating virtual spaces for teachers to gather and plan first in our province, then sharing ideas across the country and with our friends across the continent. As all of us go back into the band room and the classroom with our students, we wish our Brothers and Sisters much love, strength, and music, and leave you with the reminder that you serve a greater good by serving the young people of this world.

Stay safe, stay well, stay sane !

MuAlpha sponsored Katie Griffith to attend Conn Selmer Institute 2019

Katie Griffith is in her second year of teaching at Kenilworth Junior High in Edmonton. She is doing great work and her program is growing. – Darwin Krips, MuAlpha Board MemberMy experience at the Conn Selmer Institute was unlike any music PD I have ever experienced and the amount of knowledge, exposure, and inspiration that I gained over three days was extraordinary. The program is tailored to your needs based on where you are in your career. There are specific tracks for new versus experienced teachers, administrators, marching band directors, or orchestra conductors with the option to go into any of the classes not offered in your “track.”  You are given the opportunity to meet prominent musicians in our community and I was able to play in a sight-reading session with Michael Sweeney. Sessions that I went to included a course on fearless composing that you can take into any level of music class, something I have now gotten to do with my own students. We also got the chance to tour the Conn Selmer woodwind and brass factories where they make the instruments. Beyond the sessions, you get the opportunity to network with music teachers from all over the world. I have contacts now across North America and as far as Australia and Korea, all of whom have proven to be invaluable sources of information and help. CSI is a singular experience that every music teacher should participate in and one that can help to take any music program to the next level. – Katie Griffith

MuAlpha awards National Youth Band Scholarship 2019

The 2019 recipient of the NYB Scholarship is Juanita Hohm (French Horn) of Camrose, Alberta. Bob Bailey of the MuAlpha Board is pictured above presenting the scholarship cheque to Juanita Hohm.

Juanita was a finalist in the 2019 Northern Alberta Concerto Competition. In the fall of 2018, She was awarded the Harry Farmer Scholarship in Music Performance at the UofA. In 2018 She represented Alberta in the National Music Festival Brass Class. In 2016, She won the Alberta Music Festival Senior Brass Class. She also won scholarships for Best Instrumental Solo Performance at the Camrose Music Festival from 2013-2017. Juanita attended the National Youth Band of Canada in the summer of 2019 and is presently making plans for her first solo concert. After completing her final year of a performance degree, She plans to enroll in an education degree and pursue a band teaching career.

The MuAlpha NYB Scholarship of $300 is awarded annually to a deserving Alberta resident who has successfully auditioned for the National Youth Band of Canada. Applications are accepted until March 31st of the current year.

PhiBetaMu-MuAlpha Special Project Report 2019

Here’s a brief report on the Special Project that was partially funded by Mu Alpha…

Who:  Scott Lang (    What:  Student Leadership Workshop    Where:  St. Joseph High School – Red Deer    When:  Saturday, September 21, 2019 from 1-4 pm

Target Audience:  Band & Choir students from Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, Leadership Team and senior members from the Red Deer Royals Marching Show Band, and students and teachers representing 14 Central Alberta schools.

Summary:  During his three decades as a music educator, Scott has made advocacy for music and student leadership development his personal and professional mission. Scott spent two hours with everyone, and offered an extra hour to those who wished to stay behind in a smaller, more intimate group. His energy and enthusiasm were boundless as he entertained, educated and challenged the students to rise up and be their best selves. Huge thanks to Phi Beta Mu – Mu Alpha, Long & McQuade, Opus Music, and Music Direct for sponsoring this amazing event!

Jennifer Mann,  Director of Bands,  Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School,  Red Deer, Alberta

MuAlpha supports the Howard Cable Memorial Prize in Composition

The Canadian Band Association is facilitating a consortium of ensembles that together will create a fund used to finance the CBA Howard Cable Memorial Prize in Composition for the purpose of encouraging the creation of high quality works for band from emerging Canadian composers.

MuAlpha is part of the Howard Cable Composition Competition Consortium whose winner this year is Danny Choi of Vancouver for his composition “Remembrance”.

Harry Pinchin inducted into the MuAlpha Hall of Fame May 2, 2016


(l-r) Armand Baril, Rita Burns, Rob Speers, Ray Baril, Harry Pinchin, Fordyce Pier, Larry Schrum

On Music Monday May 2, 2016 Harry Pinchin was inducted into the PhiBetaMu-MuAlpha Hall of Fame.  The presentation was made by MuAlpha Board Member and PhiBetaMu International Past President Sheryl Bowhay during the New Edmonton Wind Sinfonia concert, “Invitation to the Dance”.

Many of the MuAlpha “old guard” were in attendance: HARRY PINCHIN, Barry Valleau, Frank Dunnigan, Larry Schrum, Rita Burns, Tommy Banks, Armand Baril, Mike Achtymichuk, Neil Corlett, Joyce Howdle, Rob Speers, Roy Townend, Ray Baril, Duke Pier, Darwin Krips, Roberta Baril, Doug Zimmerman.

Please read more about Harry Pinchin and the presentation of the Hall Of Fame award on page 5 of the May 2016 edition of the PhiBetaMu International Newsletter which can be found on the PhiBetaMu International Website at  and click on Newsletter.


National Youth Band of Canada Scholarship

Phi Beta Mu – Mu Alpha Chapter provides an annual scholarship in the amount of $300 to an Alberta student that has applied to and been accepted into the National Youth Band of Canada.  All accepted Alberta students are candidates for the Phi Beta Mu Scholarship.

Interested students may apply directly to the Secretary of PhiBetaMu – MuAlpha Chapter.

For more information, please download the following document:

PhiBetaMu-MuAlpha ­ National Youth Band Scholarship