Music fraternities work together to support the arts

Chris Wallace photo

Marybeth Moore, a dance major from Alabaster, Alabama, and a senior in the spring, helps a student register for the 46th annual Southeastern Clinic for high school honor bands on Jan. 31, 2019.


Sarah Jones

Music has always been a big part of Erin Baum’s life. While she was growing up in a military family, music was her way of connecting with other people, especially when she moved to Enterprise in high school.

Baum was able to join Enterprise High School’s marching band, and her love for music and her new friends grew. 

She was faced with the same challenge during her first semester at Troy, but found that she could join the Sound of the South band — along with Sigma Alpha Iota, where she could share love for music with even more new friends. 

Meeting people

“I started out in the process of Sigma Alpha Iota not knowing a single person and being nervous about it,” said Baum, a graphic design major who was a junior in the spring. 

“As I developed through the process, I learned how to communicate to people and get to know them more consistently without fear.”

Troy University is home to five music Greek organizations: Phi Mu Alpha, Sigma Alpha Iota, Tau Beta Sigma, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Phi boota roota. Each one offers a different way for its members to support the arts. 

Phi Mu Alpha is an all-male social organization whose purpose is to develop fraternity in music. Members work to promote awareness for their national philanthropies, such as Mills Music Mission and the Lyrecrest Retreat Program. 

Troy’s chapter of Phi Mu Alpha is Iota Nu. Its local philanthropy is Project Missing Pieces, a nonprofit organization that provides music education for children in disadvantaged areas. 

Reed Bailey, director of bands and choir at Brooks County High School in Quitman, Georgia, and former Phi Mu Alpha president, said that the missions of music organizations go past their home campuses. 

“In Phi Mu Alpha, our mission is the advancement of music in America,” Bailey said. “So sure, helping our campus is important and advances music in our tiny section of America, but doing things that affect people with different backgrounds, that live in different places and have different needs is the ultimate outreach.”

Sigma Alpha Iota is an all-women’s academic fraternity in the field of music. 

Delta Zeta, Troy’s chapter, is active within the John M. Long School of Music and works to raise funds for local philanthropies such as the Steinway Initiative, a project to raise money for pianos in the School of Music; national philanthropies such as People to People, an organization that allows students to travel internationally; and Bold Notes, a program that arranges music for people of all ages to make it easier to read and understand. 

Last year, a member of Sigma Alpha Iota was diagnosed with brain cancer. The expenses for her treatment started to pile up, and her sisters wanted to find a way to relieve some of the stress. 

Penny fundraiser

Sigma Alpha Iota held a Penny Wars competition between sections of the Sound of the South marching band and raised over $300 to donate toward treatment costs. 

Each participant would donate pennies toward his or her section, which would be considered a positive amount. Any money that was not a penny would be a negative amount and deduct points from the section. 

Tau Beta Sigma is a coeducational honorary sorority that operates within collegiate bands. Epsilon Xi, Troy’s chapter, works with the Sound of the South marching band to provide support and service. 

TBS works to promote diversity and empower women through participation in marching band.

Kappa Kappa Psi is a coeducational honorary fraternity that also operates in collegiate bands. KKPsi works alongside TBS to support the Sound of the South by moving band equipment, providing members with water, and setting up chairs and stands for concerts throughout the year. 

Everyday values

Andrew Womack, an accounting major who was a junior in the spring from Henegar, Alabama, said that Kappa Kappa Psi’s motto of “Strive for the Highest” motivates him. 

“Why strive for mediocrity when you can go higher?” Womack said. “Though KKPsi has a focus in music, our values apply in everything I do.”

Phi boota roota is a coeducational national percussion fraternity. Its goal is to promote and teach the art of percussion to those within and outside the organization. 

Aaron Ward, a music education major from Geneva, Alabama, who was a senior in the spring, said Phi Boota roota’s largest impact is in the John M. Long School of Music. 

“Phi Boota roota shares its love for percussion with other members throughout the community by going to local schools and teaching students about percussion,” Ward said. 

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