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New Choir Fraternity Approved

Danielle Kloap
Around Campus Editor

Photo by Eric Bell

Founders - Alpha Psi Gamma founders pose for a picture after the choir concert. Front row (left to right): Lauren Bollinger, Ashley Couch, Regina Vaughn and Janay Kolen. Back row: John Gladden, Robert Webb, Brandon Simmons, Drew Gladden, Cody Pierce and David Vaughn.

   A new choir and theater service fraternity became official Wednesday, Nov. 28, when the University of Arkansas-Monticello Board of Directors approved it.

   The 10 founding members of Alpha Psi Gamma comprise Lauren Bollinger, Ashley Couch, Drew Gladden, John Gladden, Janay Kolen, Cody Pierce, Brandon Simmons, David Vaughn, Regina Vaughn and Robert Webb.

   John Gladden, president of Alpha Psi Gamma, said they started the fraternity for brotherhood.

   “(The founding members) were looking for brotherhood that was lacking in the choir,” John said.

   Drew Gladden, chaplain of Alpha Psi Gamma, said choir and theater students expressed interest in a fraternity the past few years.

   “(The founders) thought ‘why not?’ We need (a choir and theater fraternity),” Drew Gladden said. “We can provide a lot of service to the choral department.”

   David Vaughn, vice president, said he thought starting the fraternity was a good idea but did not have access to the same resources John did.

   “(Alpha Psi Gamma) took on a life of its own when John took over,” David Vaughn said.

   The founders started the long paper work process for the new organization Oct. 5. John Gladden said they took their idea to the music department for approval. Then they asked Kent Skinner, director of choral activities, to advise the new organization. After he accepted, they wrote out their constitution and bylaws. After completing the bylaws and constitution, the Student Affairs Committee approved the fraternity before the matter went before the Board of Directors.

   John Gladden said the members used basic guidelines for creating the constitution and bylaws, and added rules specific to the organization including dues and elections.

   During the planning stages for Alpha Psi Gamma, John Gladden said some of the founders thought about trying to recolonize Phi Mu Alpha. Phi Mu Alpha, a social fraternity for male musicians, used to have a chapter at UAM, but closed.

   “We kicked around the idea of bringing (Phi Mu Alpha) back to campus, but decided not to since it’s a social organization,” John Gladden said.

   John Gladden said the founders wanted to make sure that women could be included in the new fraternity.

   “We wanted to incorporate all into one group,” John Gladden said.

   The founding members chose the Greek letter designation Alpha Psi Gamma for musical reasons. John said the “A” in Alpha and the “G” in Gamma signify musical notes. Music notes start with A and end with G. The Psi signifies the musical staff, horizontal lines music notes are written on.

   Drew said two officer positions unique to the fraternity include the chaplain and the magister. The chaplain closes each meeting in short prayer and offers any spiritual guidance that may be needed. The magister, which is Latin for teacher, educates the new members.

   The founders are creating a badge and shield for the fraternity. The group chose black, Kelly green and silver as the club colors. John Gladden said he is working on writing the ritual for the fraternity and it will be completely original. Webb wrote the fraternity hymn.

   John said Alpha Psi Gamma will hold its first formal interest meeting and start a new member class no later than the third week of January.

   The requirements for joining Alpha Psi Gamma include maintaining a 2.5 cumulative grade point average and must participate in choir or theater. John said the new member education period lasts six-eight weeks.

   “Prospective members must show character, brotherhood and education,” John Gladden said.

   Drew Gladden said they hope that by creating this fraternity, they will promote choral and theatrical arts, improve brotherhood in the choir and give better exposure to the choral department.

   David Vaughn said, “I hope (Alpha Psi Gamma) is here forever.”

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©The Voice 2007
09/17/2007 09:07:11 PM —


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