Who We Are


     Tau Beta Sigma National Band Honorary Band Sorority provides service to collegiate bands, encourages the advancement of women in the band profession, and promotes and enriches an appreciation of band music through recognition, leadership development, and education of it's members.

Information obtained from the TBE national website page: http://www.tbsigma.org/missionstatement.html

Sorority History

     The first practical idea for establishing a "band sorority" as a national entity to meet the expressed needs of the growing number of women in college and university bands was presented by band member Wava Banes (Henry), along with her classmates, Emily So Relle and Rose Nell Williams, to director D.O Wiley of the Texas Tech University Band in the closing months of 1937. This discussion led to a group of bandswomen at Texas Tech University founding a local organization known as "Tau Beta Sigma," Modeled in the principle on the example of Kappa Kappa Psi. Much like the Fraternity, Tau Beta Sigmas purpose at Tech was to serve as an honorary service and leadership recognition society, but it was designated especially to provide the important additional social, educational, and other positive experiences needed by women in band. 

     In June of 1943, the Tec women petitioned the Grand Council of Kappa Kappa Psi to become an integral part of the national fraternity as an active chapter. Accepting the group under these circumstances, however, would have entailed a complete revision of the Kappa Kappa Psi constitution. Because of the war, doubt was expressed as to just when the next fraternity convention would be held so that the issue could be brought to debate. Rather than postponing action on the women's request indefinitely, a suggestion was made that Tau Beta Sigma form it's won national organization, just as the National Fraternity had done in 1919. Until a national convention of Kappa Kappa Psi could be held and the matter clarified, Tau Beta Sigma could be considered the "sister organization" of the fraternity. The Grand Council of Kappa Kappa Psi agreed that Tau Beta Sigma could share in all fraternal publications.

     While applying for a national charter, the Tech Chapter encountered difficulties involving certain Texas state corporation laws. In 1945, A. Frank Martin, National Executive Secretary of Kappa Kappa Psi, was invited to meet with women and work out a plan that would bring the Sorority the national status the Tau Beta Sigma women were seeking. Mr. Martin then suggested that the local band sorority currently in existence at Oklahoma State University apply for the charter, since fewer difficulties would be encountered in Oklahoma. In January of 1946, the women of Texas Tech Tau Beta Sigma Band Sorority, through their director, D.O. Wiley, graciously surrendered their name "Tau Beta Sigma", their constitution, ritual and jewelry designs to the local band club at Oklahoma State University, in order that the national organization could be established. By doing so, the Tech women understood that they were permitting the Oklahoma State group the title of "Alpha", or the "Mother Chapter", and accepted the status of "Beta Chapter", the second chartered chapter. On March 26, 1946, a charter was granted by the Department of State for the State of Oklahoma legally establishing "Tau Beta Sigma, National Honorary Band Sorority", later amended to "Tau Beta Sigma". On May 4, 1946, the members of the Alpha Chapter traveled to Lubbock, Texas, to officially install the women of Texas Tech as the Beta Chapter of the National Sorority.

Information obtained from the TBE national website page: http://www.tbsigma.org/history.html

Zeta Nu Chapter History

     After a few years at UNI, Dr. Shepherd identified a deficiency in the band program: there was no organization designed for the purpose of supporting the bands. Phi Mu Alpha, a music fraternity, and Sigma Alpha Iota, a music sorority, were active organizations on campus; however, these organizations were built to support the School of Music in general and could not devote themselves exclusively to the band program. In the fall of 1978, a group was formed specifically to serve the bands. After formal education of sorority traditions, the Zeta Nu chapter of the Tau Beta Sigma honorary band service sorority was chartered at the University of Northern Iowa on March 3, 1979.           

     The Zeta Nu chapter was one of over 15 chapters across the country chartered between 1977 and 1981. Two years later, the Eta Pi chapter of the Kappa Kappa Psi honorary band service fraternity was chartered. Both organizations serve the UNI bands in a variety of capacities: assisting with the needs of the marching band, servicing the concert band and wind symphony performances, and jointly sponsoring the annual Northern Festival of Bands held at UNI in early February.

     It is not uncommon for members of these organizations to also serve in formal leadership positions within the bands, because their need to serve is rooted in a love of the bands. It is the aspiration that a true leader in the band is a servant to the band. The members of both Tau Beta Sigma and Kappa Kappa Psi typify that sentiment.

     Mr. Shepherd served as sponsor to both organizations until 1992 when he stepped down as the director of the marching and symphonic bands. Next, Dr. Rod Chesnutt, the director of Marching and Symphonic Bands sponsored both groups. After leaving in 2006, Mr. Shepherd served as the sponsor until Dr. Gaylan became the director of Marching and Symphonic bands at UNI as well as both organizations sponsor.

Sorority History was obtained from: " A History of Bands at the University of Northern Iowa: 1892-2005 " by Tab Langis.




This page is updated and maintained by Anthony Schons (schons@uni.edu)
This page last updated: Wednesday November 21, 2007