One of the landmark contributions of Tau Beta Sigma to the world of the college and university bands has been that of creating a unique national award, especially designed to honor women. This "Outstanding Service to Music Award" recognizes the contributions made by distinguished female conductors, composers, educators, administrators, artists, and clinicians, all of whom have helped focus attention on the band as a musical art form. The award was created by a student organization, to honor those close to or actually engaged in band work, and whose achievements might tend to be overlooked in a profession traditionally dominated by men.
At the Eleventh Biennial National Convention held at Indiana University in 1965, a resolution was presented to the delegates, encouraging the Sorority to offer some form of recognition for women in the band, to be disignated "The Tau Beta Sigma Outstanding Bands Woman Award." During the administration of National President Mary Lu Brooks (1965-67), nominations were called for and objectives further defined for the award. Response from the chapters during this biennium, however, was poor, and the National Council decided not to offer the award during the 1967 Convention as planned.
The Twelfth Biennial National Convention at Texas Christian University in 1967, however, elected to continue the award and asked that its title be changed to more fully reflect its significance, as did Kappa Kappa Psi Fraternity's "Distinguished Service to Music Medal." National President Patsy Hejl (1967-69) was given the mandate to further deine the requirements of a potential candidate, refine nominating procedures, and initiate all other methods to be used in selecting a recipient for this new "Tau Beta Sigma Outstanding Service to Music Award."
Mrs. Hejl set up a working plan that involved the assistance of a nationwide committee of "electors," consisting of members of the National Council and the Presidents of each district. Each elector screened the nine nominations sent to Mrs. Hejl and the National Headquarters by interested chapters. From these nominations, Miss Barbara Buehlman (Gamma Rho) of Round Lake, Illinois, proposed by the sisters of the Gamma Rho chapter at Eastern Michigan University, was announced as the recipient of the Sorority's first "Outstanding Service to Music Award." Miss Buehlman attended the 1969 Convention, where she was presented to the Convention Delegates and recieved her award before a standing-room-only audience during the final concert of the National Intercollegiate Band.
At Mrs. Hejl's request, the 1969 Convention Appeals Committee reviewed the procedures that she had set up for the award, and was asked to make recommendations concerning its future within the Sorority's struture. The findings of that committee are paraphrased below, so that each member of Tau Beta Sigma may become familiar with what is the first award of its kind ever established for women in the band field.
ESTABLISHMENT: The Outstanding Service to Music Award will be presented to a woman in the instrumental music field periodically with the frequency and occasion being determined by the National Council.
QUALIFICATIONS: The nominee should be a woman who has made a definate contribution to bands in some way through any of the following mediums: outstanding musicianship, composition, direction, or by means of some other distinguished service. She should be well recognized in the professional music or music education worlds and have no less than five years experience working with band programs.
NOMINATION PROCEDURE: Any member of Tau Beta Sigma may submit a nomination. Nominations may be submitted at any time; however, to be onsidered for the current biennium, they are due by January 15 of the convention year. Information is available from the National Headquarters. The National Council and Board of Trustees will be provided with the resumes of all nominees. The Nationa Council and Board of Trustees shall determine the recipients of this award.
PRESENTATION: The award will be presented at some appropriate time, possibly at National Convention. Her involvement in all convention activities will be cencouraged, including the NIB if she so desires. The recipient of the award will recieve a medalion and a boquet of twelve long-stemmed red roses.
PUBLICITY: The National President will arrange for an appropriate article of announcement and information to appear in The Podium and other professional journals.
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