Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Tau Beta Sigma

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Recognition, Service

White     Blue


March 26, 1946; 70 years ago (1946-03-26)Texas Tech University

"Tau Beta Sigma for Greater Bands"

The "American Beauty" Red Rose, long-stemmed

Tau Beta Sigma, National Honorary Band Sorority (ΤΒΣ, colloquially referred to as TBSigma or TBS) is a co-educational service sorority dedicated to serving college and university bands, promoting diversity, and empowering women in bands and the community. ΤΒΣ sisters share the ideals of leadership, educational achievement, appreciation of music, and strong moral values. The Sorority, headquartered at the historic Stillwater Station in Stillwater, Oklahoma, numbers over 3,500 active members in 145 active chapters, and over 40,000 alumni. Since 1946, Tau Beta Sigma has been recognized by Kappa Kappa Psi as "an equal affiliated organization with a parallel purpose, function and role in the college and university band setting", and the two organizations hold joint conventions and Tau Beta Sigma administers an alumni association open to members of both organizations. The two organizations contribute to a national publication called, The Podium.


Tau Beta Sigma was founded at Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University) by Mrs. Wava Banes (Turner Henry). Due to corporation laws in the state of Texas at the time, however, the Texas Tech sisters surrendered their name, ritual, jewelry, constitution and Alpha Chapter designation in January 1946 to the local band sorority at Oklahoma State University. The Alpha chapter of Tau Beta Sigma was installed at OSU on March 26, 1946. This had the additional effect of locating both of the Alpha chapters of Tau Beta Sigma and Kappa Kappa Psi at the same school. The founding members of the Alpha Chapter were: Rosemary Wright, Frances Martin, Ebba Jensen, Mary Belle Reece, Margaret Stanffer, Bernice Friend, and Maribeth Crist. Later, on May 4, 1946, the Beta chapter of Tau Beta Sigma was founded at Texas Tech.

Ties to other organizations

In addition to the close relationship with Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma has historical and current relationships with several other organizations. One such relationship is with Sigma Alpha Iota, a international fraternity for women with a strong interest in music.

In 1999, joint statements were issued by the leadership of Tau Beta Sigma and Sigma Alpha Iota, along with Kappa Kappa Psi and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, affirming "that there are equally important roles for Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Sigma Alpha Iota, Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma to fulfill on any campus where our chapters mutually exist, now or in the future. Each organization possesses a distinct mission and, as a result, fulfills a unique and vital role in the musical environment of a college campus" and that "A member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia or Sigma Alpha Iota can hold simultaneous membership in Kappa Kappa Psi or Tau Beta Sigma, subject to his/her own interests and the eligibility requirements of the other organizations. The same holds true for a member of Kappa Kappa Psi or Tau Beta Sigma with regard to membership in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia or Sigma Alpha Iota."

Mission Statement

"We provide exceptional service to collegiate bands and promote equality and diversity, including empowering women in the band profession. We cultivate leadership, educational achievement, music appreciation and community development."

National headquarters

Originally located on the campus of Oklahoma State University, the National Headquarters of Tau Beta Sigma is housed in Stillwater Station, a retired railway station in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Open Monday to Friday, the headquarters carries out the day-to-day operations of the Sorority.

The headquarters staff includes:

  • National Executive Director: Steve Nelson
  • National Headquarters Office Manager and National Accountant: Diana Spiva
  • National Membership Services Coordinator: Debbie Morris
  • National Publications Manager/Multimedia Designer: Robert Bratcher
  • National Chapter and Colony Education Coordinator: Yvonne Daye
  • National Alumni Historical and Development Coordinator: Aaron Moore
  • National officers

    The current national officers of Tau Beta Sigma (serving a 2015-2017 term) are:

  • National President: Dr. Kathryn Kelly, Eta Delta
  • National Vice President for Colonization and Membership: Jonathan Markowski, Delta Delta
  • National Vice President for Special Projects: Adrienne Rall, Theta Mu
  • National Vice President for Communication & Recognition: Erika Pope, Theta Theta
  • National Vice President for Professional Relations: Beth Bronk, Beta Gamma
  • Board of trustees

    There are currently nine members of the Tau Beta Sigma Board of Trustees. The seven voting members comprise six elected Trustees and the immediate past National President. The six elected Trustees are elected at each biennial convention for a four-year term, with three seats coming open at each convention. The two non-voting members of the Board consist of the current National President and one life member: Mrs. Janet West Miller, past National President and long-time activist on behalf of the Sorority.

    The current Board consists of:

  • Kelly T. Eidson, Beta Sigma (Chair) [2011-2015 term]
  • Dollie O'Neill, Psi (Vice Chair) [2013-2017 term]
  • Lisa Croston, Alpha [2011-2015 term]
  • Kathy Godwin, Omega [2013-2015 term]
  • Carolyn McCambridge, Alpha Xi [2013-2017 term]
  • Kris Wright, Omega [2011-2015 term]
  • Dawn Farmer, Omega (Immediate Past National President) [2013-2015 term]
  • Dr. Nicole Sanchez, Delta Eta (National President) [2013-2015 term]
  • Janet West Miller, Iota (Life Member)
  • Tau Beta Sigma Alumni Association Executive Council

  • Chair: Justin Brady, Epsilon
  • Vice Chair: Chris Foster, Tau
  • Amanda Dickson, Gamma Nu
  • Katie Rixon, Theta Theta
  • Tyra Yiare, ETA Delta
  • René Mark, Beta Xi
  • Districts

    The sorority is divided into three basic levels - National, District, and Chapter. The sorority's business is handled hierarchically, so that an issue is handled in chapter meetings, district conventions, and then nationally. There are seven districts divided by geography: Northeast, Southeast, North Central, Midwest, Southwest, Western, and International (a hypothetical district comprising all chapters outside the United States). Each district is led by one or more District Counselors, as well as a council of elected student officers by the members of the Districts.

    District Counselors are regional advisors for the Sorority. They actively work with each district's student leadership and communicate with chapter sponsors. District Counselors are appointed by the National President for two-year terms, and are currently limited to serving three terms.

    The districts are as follows:

    Notable members

    Famous Tau Beta Sigma members include:

  • Debra Dene Barnes (Miss America 1968)
  • William "Count" Basie (musician)
  • Karen Carpenter (singer)
  • Richard Carpenter (singer)
  • John Denver (singer)
  • Maynard Ferguson (musician)
  • Wynton Marsalis (musician)
  • Alfred Reed (composer)
  • Carl "Doc" Severinsen (musician)
  • Red Skelton (entertainer)
  • Dionne Warwick (singer)
  • Pauline Oliveros (composer) Founding member of Tau Chapter
  • Velvet Brown (tubist)
  • Sheila E. (percussionist)
  • Roberta Flack (singer)
  • Queen Latifah (actress, rapper)
  • Cora Dunham (percussionist)
  • Rebecca Burns (musician)
  • Beth Brown (astrophysicist)
  • Deesha Dyer (White House Social Secretary)
  • Dianna Williams (dance instructor and star of Lifetime's Bring It!)
  • References

    Tau Beta Sigma Wikipedia