by Dawn Farmer, National President, TBΣ |
As we celebrate the 2013 National Convention this summer, we will be heralding the Sorority Motto, For Greater Bands, and also exploring multiple other avenues in which we can better ourselves as students, band members, Sisters, and more. We will celebrate 67 years of Tau Beta Sigma history, and in the process reinforce our Ideals and Purposes. In the time leading up to National Convention 2013, I urge all Chapters and Members to reflect on aspects in which they could be better and then implement steps for change and improvement. As we work individually to be better, as a whole we become greater.
For Greater Students
As Active members of the Sorority, we are first and foremost students. We attend school to get a quality education and enrich our lives. We are lucky enough to also have amazing band and Sorority experiences as part of that path. However, we must remember that our priority at school is to be a student FIRST. This academic year, let us all have goals regarding our performance as students. Academic achievement and mental qualities are important components to the Sorority’s Ideals. We have multiple awards that highlight academic pursuits of both individuals and entire chapters. If you have the highest GPA of your chapter, you are eligible for the Top Chapter Scholar Award. Even if you do not have the highest GPA in your chapter, any member earning a GPA of 3.5 or higher can be a recipient of the Outstanding Scholarship Award. These two individual awards are easy to apply for, can be great lines on a professional resume, and highlight strong academic achievement. Chapters whose members maintain an average GPA of 2.75 can receive a Chapter Certificate of Excellence. I would like to see an increase in applications for these awards, and to have more focus for greater students.
For Greater Band Members
As members of college band programs, we always strive to contribute in positive ways. Tau Beta Sigma members are leaders, with or without a title. Some members may be a drum major or section leader, but most of us will not hold a title in our band program…and that is okay! We can still lead and contribute to our bands without having a title. Remember to set the standard and lead by example at all times. Sometimes it is a struggle to navigate relationships with band directors, chapter sponsors, Brother chapters, and fellow members, but ensuring those positive relationships through good conduct as band members and leaders will yield rewards. This year, let us all make goals regarding our role as a band member, and find ways to strengthen and improve that role. These changes can take place at both the chapter and individual level. Document how you plan to better yourself as a band member, and keep track of your growth. It is rewarding to be able to measure positive changes. Such improvements can culminate at National Convention 2013 when you attend workshops and sessions aimed for greater band members.
For Greater Sisters
In all of our efforts to serve our bands and our communities, we sometimes forget to serve each other, too. As Sisters in the Bond of Tau Beta Sigma, we must continuously work on maintaining and improving our bonds of Sisterhood. Becoming a member of the Sorority gives you a label of Sister, but to understand the weight and significance of that label takes more than “crossing over.” Fostering the Sisterhood takes a commitment to one and other and to the Sorority itself. Those who take the time and initiative to develop the Sisterhood for themselves, their chapter, or district are met with heartwarming success that is inexplicable to outsiders. Working on positive relationships within your chapter and between chapters is how our Sisterhood thrives. Everlasting friendships are made at the local level, but also through meeting people at regional events, social gatherings, conventions, and sporting events. This year, take advantage of workshops and presentations at State Days, regional events, District Conventions, and National Convention in order to preserve the special bond that is for greater Sisters.
For Greater Everything
As the National Council outlined programming for this year and the 2013 National Convention, we made an effort to refer back to the Five Purposes of Tau Beta Sigma. It was a good foundation on which to build and shape our plans for the next year. We urge all of you to reflect upon those said purposes, and evaluate how you, your chapter, and your district reflect the Ideals drawn from these Five Purposes:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
As your year unfolds, make efforts to improve some aspect of yourself or your chapter. Not all major changes happen with a single swoop, but rather occur over a series of smaller steps. We all have the potential to do great things for our chapter, school, band, community, and self, but it is the planning and implementation that seem to restrict us from meeting such goals. And perhaps even more important, make sure to take the time to celebrate growth and accomplishment, even on a small scale. We need to take the time to acknowledge our improvements and growth, as much as we need to continue to take steps forward.
Good luck to everyone this fall, as we navigate through homework, football season, membership classes, and everything else that we do. Take time to reflect on your situation, and acknowledge what is remarkable, and also define areas for growth. If we all make small adjustments to be better, Tau Beta Sigma becomes greater. This year, work towards a greater everything, but always For Greater Bands!