April 15, 2024

MSM student life focus:
Get to know three student organizations at MSM!

Manhattan School of Music has many active student organizations representing a wide selection of interests and activities. Here’s a spotlight on three of them: the Latine Student Association, MSM Womxn, and QueerPBS – learn a bit about who they are, and what they’ve been up to recently!


The Latine Student Alliance

The Latine Student Alliance is an organization intended to create a diverse, educational, and inclusive community of Latine Student within MSM. Classical voice student Samantha Sosa (MM ’25) is the president and she founded LSA this past September.

The organization holds events to celebrate Latine culture through music, history, traditions, literature, art, dance, food, and much more. LSA extends a warm welcome to all individuals, regardless of their background, to participate in the club and its events. They believe in fostering an inclusive environment where diversity is celebrated and cherished. They are committed to uplifting and empowering Latino voices, perspectives, and experiences.

LSA provides a broader knowledge about the Hispanic and Latine culture. Now more than ever, it is very important for musicians to have an understanding and respect for all cultures.

SLIDE SHOW of a recent event hosted the Latine Student Alliance at MSM

LSA “churros event” in the MSM Student Union Lounge

Earlier this spring in the Student Union Lounge, members of the Latine Student Alliance gave out churros – also known as Mexican doughnuts – to students who added a Spanish song or a song by a Latine person to the organization’s music Spotify playlist.

MSM Womxn

The student organization MSM Womxn is run by Karina Vartanian and Kayla Thomas

About MSM Womxn

MSM Womxn is the all-encompassing, all-inclusive feminist organization on campus. MSM Womxn strives to give all womxn both on campus and in the greater NYC community a place to feel safe and to have fun.

MSM Womxn runs many events on campus such as Breast Cancer Awareness month events, a Women’s History Month tea party and discussion, as well as various parties and community-building events. In the past, MSM Womxn has paired with another student organization, QueerPBS, to host events featuring women throughout history who were “just friends” for Valentine’s Day. They have also partnered with various organizations at MSM to provide outreach and to talk about womxn in music.

Currently, MSM Womxn is actively connected with various womxn’s shelters around New York City and gives them donations. The group is currently run by Karina Vartanian and Kayla Thomas, and hopes to add more Chair members within the year. The group was founded by Chira Bell (BM ’22), and its legacy continues on and inspires many within the group.

MSM Womxn’s celebrates Women’s History Month!

In March, the student organization, MSM Womxn, collaborated with the Office of Residence Life to celebrate Women’s History Month with the community. Students enjoyed a screening of the Barbie movie, which explores topics on womanhood and self-discovery. They also expressed their creativity in a paint-and-sip session, painting portraits that embrace the beauty of women. The event featured a lively Barbie-themed photo booth and a wall showcasing empowering women who have had an impact in the worlds of music, advocacy, education, and beyond.

Hosts: Residence Life (April Jenkins, Makila Kirchner, and Emily Milian); MSM Womxn’s (Kayla Thomas and Karina Vartanian)

SLIDE SHOW: Expressing creativity in a paint-and-sip (and eat!) activity at the MSM Womxn's event showcasing Women's History Month.


Queer PBS, or Queer People for the Betterment of Society, is a student organization at Manhattan School of Music designed to hold a safe space for queer students and create community for those under the LGBTQ+ umbrella.

Our biggest goal has been to provide a sense of belonging and community for queer students who often feel left out or unheard by creating an environment where they can be themselves and feel at home.

Over the past year, we have hosted several community events and just recently launched our very first LGBTQ Faculty Panel, where students were invited to attend and ask the faculty questions and learn about their experiences. Panel members included Aaron Ricchiardi, David Leisner, Jonathan Beyer, Andy Gale, Richard Baskin, Sasha Romero, and MSM President James Gandre!

We are hoping to continue strong throughout the last few weeks of the school year, and we have so many plans for next year, so stay tuned! Queer PBS is currently run by President Evelyn Lehmann, a sophomore classical voice student here at MSM. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to reach out to her via email at EL1249@msmnyc.edu.

SLIDE SHOW: The first QueerPBS-hosted LGBTQ Faculty Panel held in March 2024; students were able to ask faculty members about their experiences.

Learn more about MSM Student Organizations.

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