By HALEY NELSON, BY
This quarter we had a new event spearheaded by two lovely Psi alumni, Jason Scapa and Anthony Sanchez! They reached out and offered to host a small seminar focused on sharing their experiences and giving advice on preparing for, applying to, and getting through medical school and a career in healthcare.
On Tuesday, March 5, our group gathered in the Center for Health Sciences. There were brothers, sisters, candidates, and members of band not in either org there, and every year and stage of preparation were represented. The presentation was thorough and amazingly well put together, providing instructions, information, and tips for every stage of the process. The event finished with a healthy Q&A session.
When the seminar finished, we braved the rain and made a group trip down to De Neve Late Night, where discussion and questions continued over the famously delicious chicken tenders! I would like to thank Jason and Anthony again for putting on such a thoughtful and useful workshop--everyone found it immensely useful! It was amazing to get a chance to connect and learn from the experience of our talented alumni.
By OMER LAVIAN, BY
This year the Psi chapter introduced the Music Point to its participation point requirements. Like with all the other points the chapter has, members must have three music points by the end of the year per the Psi constitution. These points are acquired either by performing music or attending musical events (outside of those which fulfill one's Band requirement, of course, which are performing as part of a school ensemble and Band gigs). One of those events must be a UCLA music event such as a PsiEK concert or a Symphonic Band recital.
This year, the Psi chapter provided several incredible opportunities for its members to fulfill the Music Point requirement. Director of Music Emma Boone stated that Brothers could attain Music Points by presenting about the music with which they grew up in one of our weekly meetings. Brother Omer Lavian was the first to make such a presentation with his lecture about Mizrahi music, a genre of Israeli music that he listened to frequently during his childhood.
Arguably the most popular Music Point opportunity of the year so far was Battle of the Bands from this past quarter. For this event, Psi Director of Music Emma Boone and Epsilon Kappa Director of Service and Music Talia Fossa placed interested sisters, brothers, and candidates into groups. The groups all performed in a competition judged by one Psi brother (Ronnie Chase), one EK sister (Marcus Veal), a Psi candidate (Evelyn Coffey), and a special guest judge: UCLA Band Administrative Assistant Paul Addleman! Those who performed in the contest, as well those who came as spectators, received Music Points.
Battle of the Bands contained a variety of different performances. The genres of music performed ranges from acapella to jazz to folk to rock and roll. Furthermore, in the middle of the concert, a spontaneous jam session occurred in which many attendees came together to play "Dig Down" by Muse. While several awards were given out that night, such as "Best Band Name," "Most Valuable Performer," and "Fan Favorite," the judges chose the ensemble consisting of Brothers Jade McVay, Sean Ezenwugo, William Shu, and Justin Wolfman along with Psi Candidate Carrie Appel. This group, dressed in loose ties and extremely bright dress clothes, performed a powerful rendition of "Pressure" by Muse on a variety of strange instruments including melodica, glockenspiel, recorder, and kazoo. The most striking part of the whole performance was the impassioned yelling of the chorus by Jade McVay towards the end of the song. The lights went out and a spotlight shifted focus right to McVay's face, which highlighted the emotion in her voice.
Overall, the introduction of the Music Point to the Psi chapter has encouraged chapter members to become more closely acquainted with the art of music. We have Director of Music Emma Boone both for alerting the chapter about events that can fulfill these requirements and for putting together events, such as Battle of the Bands, that allow Brothers to get their Music Points.
By HARRY MITCHELL, BY
This quarter’s “get to know a line” is focused on one of the most elite squadrons in all of chapter: the E-team. Around the world, this highly specialized squad within the Effleurage army runs covert operations aimed at destabilizing hostile governments and taking down dictators.
The leader: Sean-E (BT)
The latest leader of the E-team after the departure of Christ-E-na. Sean-E is majoring in biology, and he puts his skills in the lab to good use creating bio-codes for any rebel groups the team is working with. Sean-E is also highly skilled at infiltrating various throne rooms, and has the targets call out themselves just by their raucous laughter.
The propagandist: Ronn-E (BΦ)
A third year communications major, Ronn-E puts his skills to good use creating anti-government propaganda to rile up the populace the team is working near. Before joining the E-team, he worked with the Calabasas PD as a narc planted in the high school (if you know, you know).
Members of the E-team all together! Left to right: Sean Ezenwugo, Harry Mitchell, Ronnie Chase, and Ivy Kwok.
By SEAN EZENWUGO, BT
On February 26 th , Psi and EK held their first ever Battle of the Bands. The first of its kind,
this event took place in a classroom in Schoenberg and was spearheaded by the Psi’s Director of Music Emma Boone and EK’s Director of Music and Service Talia Fossa. Teams were formed
through a google form, asking members to pick their favorite genres. The officers then
proceeded to pair members accordingly, and teams had a month and a half to practice their
At the event, there were five judges. Three were active members (Ronnie Chase, Marcus
Veal, and Kaitlyn Walkins), one candidate member (Evelyn Coffey), and one guest judge (Paul
Addleman). The first performance was an A capella group who called themselves Anyway,
Here’s Wonderwall, consisting of Talia Fossa, Sarah Jensen, Omer Lavian, and Gabrial Ramirez.
Their performance of “Somewhere Only We Know,” by Keanu, was beautiful, chilling, acoustic
honeydew. The next group was a Recorder Ensemble that was deemed 3snW – The Lean Mean
Meme Machine, consisting of Jade McVay, Carrie Appel, William Shu, Sean Ezenwugo, and
Justin Wolfman. Their arranged performance of “Pressure,” by Muse, was filled with all kinds of
toy instrument renditions, consisting of kazoos, harmonicas, bell sets, and keyboards. A-
HAcoustic, a Rock Band made up of Kevin Reidy, Michie Leccese, and Emma Atkins, performed an arrangement A-HA’s “Take on Me.” The mixture of light guitar chords and Kevin’s timbre was a wonderful fruit blend. Teezer was another Rock Band, with Emma Boone on keys, Harry Mitchell on electric guitar, Jacob Hambalek on drums, and Randy Reza on bass. Their rendition of “Mr. Brightside,” by The Killers, was amazing. I personally enjoyed their surprise
performance, because it was a cover of Weezer’s cover of “Africa” by Toto. This was evident by
Hambalek’s tasty (and nutritious) drum licks, almost identical to Weezer’s drum patterns.
Classic American Foursquare, a Folk Group consisting of Kyle Reidy and John Lassetter,
performed a Folk Melody. This acoustic duo performed some American folk classics, including “Strasbourg St. Denis,” by Roy Hargrove, was literal fruit salad.
The debut of the group 3snW, comprised of brothers Jade McVay, Justin Wolfman, Sean Ezenwugo, William Shu, and candidate Carrie Appel!
By DAVID THORNE, BΦ
As the current treasurer of Psi, I got the opportunity to help some of the committees of the new Beta Chi candidate class with their fundraising and social event efforts. I observed excellent foresight and planning with a creative approach to several events which speak to the quality of the candidates and their ability to work together in committees.
The Beta Chi class fundraiser was to design and sell pins with UCLA marching band inside jokes. “Beat Ducc”, “UCLA Boot”, “You’ll feel it” and several other notable phrases which are used among the band were sold for $3 individually or two for $5. The fundraising committee advertised to the whole band through the current facebook page and the PsiEK! Facebook page. The entire fundraiser was able to raise approximately $70 and successfully funded the other candidate class projects, while remaining unique and exciting to the band. The committee struck the difficult balance of running an engaging and profitable fundraiser, one of the greatest challenges I see in my own fundraisers.
The candidate brotherhood committee held a movie/game night event. The committee was
successfully able to gather all the candidates and start building the brotherhood that I find is unique among a candidate class. This event was similar to events put on by previous candidate classes but nonetheless introduced many of the candidates to each other.
The candidate brotherhood-sisterhood committee held a friendship bracelet making activity.
Each candidate was given the materials and instructions necessary to create a bracelet and together they helped create each unique product. This was their first event with the candidates from EK and many of the candidates for Psi found the opportunity to introduce themselves to the new members of our sister organization.
Through the social events, the candidates got the opportunity to begin building the friendships that so many of us define our PsiEK experience by. I personally remember talking to members of my own class at our first candidate brotherhood event and I believe the Beta Chi class have an excellent foundation to experience the same kinship that I and so many in Psi have felt before.
The candidate service committee put on an ice cream social for the whole band. This event
happened at the end of finals, which is an obvious service to us all. Most often, candidate classes focus on how they can service the marching band and this event successfully brought together many non PsiEK members who do not get the opportunity to interact after football season. I was personally involved in the planning of this event and observed that the committee had to consider many of the logistical challenges of putting on any event that are not normally noticed. Specifically, they managed to mobilize the band very successfully for a non-mandatory event at the end of finals which can be very challenging. They succeeded with thorough planning and an active advertising campaign.
The candidate class committees met the requirements of the events which they were tasked
with organizing, but they did so with a refreshing enthusiasm and unique approaches. I see many leaders in their class who will not only lead our chapter and band in the coming years, but also take their experience into the rest of their lives and hopefully apply what they gain from our organizations as so many others have before. The events organized by the committees of this class focused on actively involving the whole band, and if this class can maintain their ability to engage with the entire band they can successfully continue and build upon the image and status that our organizations hold. This group of candidates are very charismatic and creative, with many strong leaders who will successfully guide our fraternity forward in the coming years.
By JUSTIN NGUYEN, BY
Once upon a time, a bunch of lovely people from PsiEK got together one rainy Saturday to volunteer for the LA Food Bank, specifically by helping to create all of the food packages that go to feed people in need. The day we went, we were preparing boxes of food for an underserved elderly home. While it wasn’t directly related to music, if you think about it in an abstract way, the assembly line of volunteers putting these packages together was its own sort of music, with all sorts of off-tempo banging, clanking, taping, and grunting noises that came together to form a sort of hyper-experimental operatic banger.
When we arrived, we were given a quick presentation about the importance of food banking, and we were then assigned to various groups. I was assigned to the “BOXES” group, while others received fun labels like “JUICE” or “TAPE.” Being part of the “BOXES” group was pretty fun though, because it was essentially a free workout. We were at the end of the food box assembly line, and once the boxes were taped up by other volunteers, we hoisted these boxes onto pallets and stacked them up high in a stable, alternating pattern. And that’s how it went for roughly 3 hours, stacking boxes and regretting wearing a sweater inside this huge warehouse.
Once our time was up, we were all called together again and told how many food boxes we had assembled for this elderly community. While I can’t quite recall the exact number, it was
shockingly large. The work that day was really tiring, yet simultaneously incredibly rewarding,
because everyone was constantly doing something, and it was all for a great cause. Hopefully
we’ll return to the LA Food Bank as a yearly thing. And maybe next time we’ll bring our
instruments or something and play PRESSURE.
The brothers and sisters who volunteered at the Food Bank! Top row (from left to right): Matthew Chin, Justin Nguyen, David Thorne, Harry Mitchell, John Lassetter, Kyle Reidy, William Shu. Bottom row (left to right): Andy Nguyen, Joshua Horita, Casey Armstrong, Talia Fossa, Sarah Jensen, Daniela Hernandez.
By EMMA BOONE, BΦ
On Wednesday, February 13th, the Psi chapter of UCLA engaged in a new event and competition, the first ever Psi Baking Competition/Sale! That night, the three classes met together and at separate apartments to engage in a baking frenzy (which bled quite late into the night I might add). I am a part of the Beta Phi class, so I’ll speak from our point of view mostly. Since we are the youngest class, we had no one in our group who lived in an apartment—yet we were the biggest group of bakers! Thankfully, some sisters graciously lent us their apartment for the night. The day before, we went all around Westwood shopping for our ingredients, as our item was very difficult. But we had a blast! Then when we baked, we put on some jams, and went away! We made cookie dough/brownie bites that were dipped in fudge, so you could see how we needed many ingredients. We split up into teams, each conquering a different aspect of the goodie! Surprisingly, we all fit into the small kitchen! At about the stroke of midnight, we ran to the hill to deliver our goodies to the judges—yes, there were judges! Sadly, we got a penalty for our tardiness. In the end, despite the penalty, we did end up winning! Beta Upsilon made beautiful heart shaped cookies, and Beta Tau made mochi brownies! We planned to sell the goodies the next day on Bruinwalk, however the rain ruined our plans. But we made do! We bagged up the goodies and advertised our sale and were able to sell them through pickup on Valentine’s Day. Despite the last minute damper on our situation, we were able to have a great time bonding and complete the bake sale! And all in all, the best part was getting to bond with my Psi class, and get stuffed with yummy baked goods!
The winning team of bakers from BΦ (from top to bottom), brothers Christiana Gutierrez, Katie Osborn, Emma Boone, Sara Acosta, and Brandon Free.
By DANIEL FERNANDEZ, BY
This quarter, chapter was able to participate in various Western District Monthly Active Challenges (MAC). The themes for the various months were Outstanding Service October, Thankful 4 Music November, and Secret Santa December. These challenges included writing what service means to you for October, attending three concerts for November, and participating in a district-wide Secret Santa for December. Our chapter’s participation in these activities allowed us to be more involved in the District’s events, in addition to appreciating various aspects of our fraternity’s values.
As we continue to do the challenges for the rest of the year, we hope to promote fraternal values to as many brothers and sisters as we can. It has been a great period of correspondence; the opportunity to collaborate with other chapters and share our own experiences has been a great way to get more involved with the district. Brothers appreciated the chance to reflect on their ideals of service, the emphasis on engaging with music, and the opportunity to spread some joy across different campuses. We look forward to future MAC’s and Western District Correspondence.
By SOFIA ALEMANIA, BY
Welcome to Get to Know a Family, which will feature a different Psi Family and it’s members each quarter!
This first spotlight will feature Wu-Tanj. Small but mighty, its current members include Emily Liu (BΦ), Emma Davis (BΦ), Sofia Alemania (BY), and Tia Liu (BT).
The name Wu-Tanj comes from a combination of the name of its founder, Christian Tanja (BH), and Wu, the lovable blue plush penguin who joined the family as a result of the efforts of Eric Kveton (BΛ). Since joining the family, Wu has been passed down from generation to generation of Wu-Tanj littles and has been incredibly well loved throughout the years. In addition to their mascot, old and new members of Wu-Tang alike are most recognizable by their iconic navy blue letters.
Apparent in its strong connections and rich traditions, Wu-Tanj is a family that is built upon genuine appreciation and love for one another.
(PC: Tia Liu Photography)
By HARRY MITCHELL, BY
As is usual during marching season, the Psi chapter did almost all of its service either for or regarding the band this quarter. The first thing we did was fix the steps leading up to Gordon’s tower. This actually started back in Spring, but some logistical issues meant it got done over the course of the summer as well and was completed in early September. We didn’t touch the metal frame, but Gordon spent this season walking up all new planks to the tower. Some other things we did before band camp were more aimed at welcoming new members to the band. These included sending postcards to all of the incoming freshmen in late August and then stationing people on the hill during their move-in times to help with any questions they might have. Our big summer project, however, was mostly unrelated to UCLA’s marching band: volunteering at local high school band camps. Towards the start of break, we sent some people over to Venice High to help out with their newly restarted program; and later, in August, we had some brothers and sisters help out at Long Beach Poly’s camp.
Once school started, our service focus continued to be mostly on the band. Starting with band camp and running all the way until daylight savings time ended, our organizations provided the band with water coolers at almost every rehearsal. Even before band camp, though, we got started on snack packing for visiting bands. This year, bands from Fresno State, Washington, Utah, USC, and Stanford visited the Rose Bowl, and all of them (except SC) got goodie bags courtesy of Psi and EK. Most of those schools have chapters of KKPsi or TBS, too, so we got a lot of pictures with their chapters. We also sent snacks to our band at the USC game (which may have propelled our team to victory), and to Yell Crew towards the end of the Stanford game just as a thank you for their strong respect for our work and a gesture of our respect for theirs. Our final band-related activity was the second annual band food drive, led on our end by Nathan Cai (BT). After a month of collections, we ended up with over 50 donations to take to a local women’s shelter.
Outside of band-related service, we still managed to have a productive quarter. We performed at the Lab School open house once again, and ended “Mighty Bruins” while a pair of stilt walkers juggled over the head of drum major Jacob Hambalek (BT). We also operated two concert receptions for the School of Music wind bands, and two brosters led a campus tour for a high school band visiting UCLA for a clinic with Dr. Cross. Our one off-campus project was volunteering at the Bands of America SoCal Regional. Brothers Tia Liu (BT) and Harry Mitchell (BY), and Talia Fossa and Daniella Hernandez of EK, left campus at 6 a.m. for Van Nuys, then arrived to find minimal other help and all did the equivalent of 3 people’s work each. We had to leave early for a gig, but we hope to be able to send a larger cohort next year. Now that marching season has ended, we look forward to another exciting quarter of service in the Winter!