Based on a description from the NEC yearbook from 1953, Mu Phi Epsilon was a "national music sorority which promotes musicianship and friendship among women undergraduates of American colleges and music schools throughout the United States." The sorority was founded in the Metropolitan College of Music, Cincinnati, Ohio, November 13, 1903. The Beta Chapter was installed at the New England Conservatory shortly after but dissolved. The chapter at NEC was reinstated on November 5, 1909. National projects include the Mu Phi Epsilon School of Music at Gad's Hill settlement in Chicago, contributions to several other settlement schools across the country, and contests in composition and research. The Triangle, its official publication appears quarterly. NEC's Beta Chapter awarded scholarships annually and presented public concerts as well as small musicales. It appears that the NEC chapter dissolved in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Today Mu Phi Epsilon still exists as an international professional music fraternity.
Today, Mu Phi Epsilon is an International Professional Music Fraternity whose purposes are the recognition of scholarship and musicianship and the promotion of friendship. Its aims are the advancement of music throughout the world, the promotion of musicianship and scholarship, loyalty to the Alma Mater, and the development of a true bond of friendship. The Fraternity is composed of Collegiate Chapters, Alumni Chapters and Allied Members. Currently, Mu Phi has 136 collegiate chapters including two in the Philippine Islands and one Canada, 74 alumni chapters and more than 75,000 members.
This collection consists of two manuscript boxes (15 folders) containing materials relating to the Mu Phi Epsilon sorority. Some of these now loose items were once part of a scrapbook. One folder contains materials that have survived in their original scrapbook format. The loose items have been organized by type into five folders. In addition to the loose materials, the first box contains three more folder with records also pertaining to NEC’s Beta chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon. Most of the records in the second box pertain to the national Mu Phi Epsilon organization.
The provenance of this collection of materials is not entirely clear. The scrapbook was located in a basement room in Jordan Hall during an inventory in 2002. The scrapbook was most likely assembled by a student member of Mu Phi Epsilon while she was at NEC in the early to mid-1950s, around the period of the 50th anniversary of Mu Phi Epsilon.
Access to this collection is through the permission of the NEC Archivist. Detailed information regarding the concert programs and personal memorabilia can be found here.
All copyrights to this collection belong to the New England Conservatory. Permission to publish materials from this collection is granted by the Director of Libraries. This collection should be cited as Mu Phi Epsilon collection, New England Conservatory Archives, Boston, MA.
Mu Phi Epsilon
This collection is organized into three series:
- Beta Chapter materials
- National chapter materials
The first box of the Mu Phi Epsilon records consists of nine folders relating to the Beta Chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon at NEC. Folders 1-4 contain four types of concert programs: Mu Phi Epsilon member solo recital programs, programs from student recitals in which Mu Phi Epsilon members participated, programs from NEC ensemble performances in which Mu Phi Epsilon members were prominent, and concerts presented by the sorority or other musical fraternities/sororities. The fifth folder contains personal memorabilia from members of the Beta chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon. The sixth folder contains a portion of a scrapbook from NEC’s Beta Chapter. The various types of programs, recital invitations, wedding invitations, clippings, etc. contained in Folders 1-5 are also found in the scrapbook. Since this is very fragile, a photo-duplication of this scrapbook has been included with this collection, in the seventh folder. More detailed information about the concert programs, personal memorabilia, and the scrapbook can be found here.
Folders 8 and 9 contain the rest of the materials from the NEC’s Beta chapter including by-laws, rules and regulations (1912), and minutes/news(1909-1913; 1947-1948), three photographs(including Mireya Arboleda and F. Otis Drayton), and a few other miscellaneous items.
The second box contains materials from Mu Phi Epsilon’s national organization. These records include: correspondence, articles about the sorority (some from the Musical Leader), 50th anniversary materials, the 1956 constitution and by-laws, brochures, instructional materials, and schedules. Also included are publications, mainly a bound volume and two issues of the sorority’s publication, The Triangle, as well as a manual and a Composers/Authors Index (1972). The last folder just contains a few items of ephemera relating to NEC, but not specifically to the sorority.
Series 1: Beta Chapter records
Folder 1: Solo recital programs of Mu Phi Epsilon members
Folder 2: Student programs involving Mu Phi Epsilon members
Folder 3: NEC Ensemble programs involving Mu Phi Epsilon members
Folder 4: Mu Phi Epsilon and other Sorority/fraternity sponsored programs
Sub-series 2: Personal memorabilia
Folder 5: Personal memorabilia
Sub-series 3: Scrapbook
Folder 6: Scrapbook, 1947-1952
Folder 7: Photocopy of Scrapbook
Sub-series 4: Other Beta chapter records
Folder 8: Beta Chapter records
Sub-series 5: Photographs
Folder 9: Photographs
Series 2: Mu Phi Epsilon National Records
Folder 1: Correspondence
Folder 2: Articles
Folder 3: 50th anniversary materials
Folder 4: Other records
Folder 5: Publications
Folder 6: Additional publications
Series 3: Ephemera
Folder 7: Ephemera