After fourteen years, the spirit of charity and competition that fostered the Tri-M (modern music masters) Dinner is still alive and well, as evidenced by the more than 120 participants in this year’s quest for the Tri-M Cup on November 20.

Much has changed in that time, from the now-much larger venue of Smithtown High School West’s library to the more elaborate decorations employed. Yet, over the same time, much has stayed the same.

From the beginning, the entry requirements to the Tri-M Games were a monetary donation to cover the costs and a non-perishable food donation to the Smithtown Food Pantry – that has remained. The fun times shared by students across Smithtown Central School District’s music program have also remained unphased, if anything growing stronger, through the years.

The Tri-M Dinner has always occurred prior to the Thanksgiving holiday when food donations are needed most.

Participants from Smithtown High School East’s Tri-M Chapter #4958, under the direction of Brian McCoy, fought to bring home the Tr-M Cup back to High School East after a four-year drought to the Smithtown High School West’s Tri-M Chapter #1338, under the direction of Joseph Cotignola. Both schools’ chapters competed in three games: musical chairs, a toy instrument battle, and music trivia – with music trivia deciding the victor.

In an exclusive interview with High School East’s chapter president, Emily Lam, and West’s chapter co-presidents, Matthew Lasher and Anabelle Kreitzman, each team spent time in preparation for each event, with high hopes all around.

“We feel that we’re prepared,” said Lasher, after going through the preparations taken for each event, including the five-person musical jeopardy team that had been “independently studying.”

Both Lasher and Kreitzman agreed the pressure was mounting to retain the trophy after such a long run.

Lam outlined Chapter #4958’s preparations, “cycling between games,” at their most recent Tri-M meetings, answering “no” to if they felt the pressure mounting before the competition. 

West’s preparation also included transforming the library and creating a performance space employed by the Jazz Band and Woodwind Ensemble under the direction of Mr. Frank Scheno, stated Kreitzman.

Ultimately, Smithtown High School East’s Chapter #4958 won the day, setting the stage for next year’s eagerly anticipated Tri-M Dinner.

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News Editor for The Messenger Papers.