The first practical idea for establishing a “band sorority” for college and university bandswomen came about during the spring semester of 1939. Wava Banes, along with two of her classmates (Emily SoRelle and Ruth La Nell Williams), took the idea to director D.O. Wiley of the Texas Technological College Band. The idea, patterned after Kappa Kappa Psi, began to come together the following semester and resulted in the campus organization Tau Beta Sigma. Much like the Fraternity, Tau Beta Sigma’s purpose at Tech was to serve as an honorary service and leadership recognition society, but was designed especially to provide the important additional social, educational, and other positive experiences needed by women in the band.
As band enrollment changed due to participation in World War II, the girls of the Tech Bands continued to develop the fledgling organization. By October 1941, TBS had begun communications with the National Executive Secretary of Kappa Kappa Psi for assistance in becoming a national organization. In June 1943, the Tech women petitioned the Grand Council of Kappa Kappa Psi to become an auxiliary 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. With World War II in progress, it was unsure as to when the National Chapter would hold their next convention where the issue could be brought to debate. Rather than postponing action on the women’s request indefinitely, the women at Texas Tech approached A. Frank Martin, Grand Executive Secretary of Kappa Kappa Psi, in January 1946 to provide assistance in forming their own 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.
Through the assistance of A. Frank Martin, the ritual and National Constitution were completed. Likewise, the Balfour Company completed designs for the sorority badge and pledge pin. When applying for a national charter, D.O. Wiley and the girls at Texas Tech again turned to A. Frank Martin and offered to turn over their work and the name Tau Beta Sigma to the women’s band sorority at Oklahoma A&M, known as Kappa Psi, to submit the articles of incorporation in Oklahoma. Through this act, the chapter at Oklahoma A&M would become the Alpha Chapter. As part of this agreement, the chapter at Texas Tech, Beta, would be known as the founding location of the Sorority and the members stipulated that Wava Banes would be known as the Founder, the agreement also specified that the 1st National President would be from the Beta Chapter.
Tau Beta Sigma
"It's an honor to be selected to serve."
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.
Tau Beta Sigma is a highly respected pre-eminent music organization comprised of over 160 collegiate chapters and more than 3,800 collegiate members with a balanced representation of women and men. Strong leadership thrives throughout our organization and we have a solid financial foundation. We cultivate and sponsor a variety of music education programs for our diverse membership and work closely with collegiate band directors. Our alumni association is an integral part of Tau Beta Sigma, promoting diversity efforts, social networking and assisting members in enhancing their professional leadership and employment possibilities after graduation from college. We are actively engaged in the community through music.
Be it known that Tau Beta Sigma, National Honorary Sorority for members of the college band, is an organization operating exclusively in the field of the college and university bands, for the following purposes:
1. To promote the existence and welfare of the collegiate bands and to create a respect and appreciation for band activities and achievements among the listening public everywhere.
2. To honor outstanding members of the band through privilege of membership, in the Sisterhood, extended in recognition of musical achievement, demonstrated leadership, and an enthusiastic approach to band activities.
3. To develop leadership through active participation with the band, and through it, to strengthen those traits of conduct, thought, and idealism which characterize the responsible membership of the band.
4. To encourage a close relationship between collegiate bands and promote a high average of attainment by the performance of good music and selection of worthwhile projects.
5. To provide a meaningful and worthwhile social experience for all engaged in collegiate band work, and to cooperate with other musical organizations and societies in every manner consistent with our mutual purposes and those of the institution at which chapters are located.
The "Five and Eight"
The “Five Qualities” to be observed by Tau Beta Sigma members at all times:
1. Knowledge and development of your physical powers in the quest for good health and bodily perfection;
2. Recognition and development of your intellectual potential;
3. Appreciation for and the maintenance of the highest moral standards;
4. Achievement of and the personification within you of lofty spiritual ideals;
5. Cultivation and maintenance of your emotional poise under all conditions.
The “Eight Essential Factors” which promote friendship and respect among Sorority members:
1. Physical and mental qualities of an attractive nature;
2. Demonstrated loyalty and dependability to those persons and institutions deserving of it;
3. A truthfulness and honesty which instills a sense of trust in others;
4. A cheerfulness at all times and under all circumstances, even in the face of great trial;
5. A mutual interest in the Art of Music in its performance and in the aesthetic qualities it can project to others;
6. Generosity of mind, heart, and hand;
7. Tolerance, tempered with kindness and a consideration for the needs of others;
8. Fortitude and courage to see an ideal, to seize upon it, and follow it wherever it may lead you in Tau Beta Sigma.