Retirement Announcement of Steve Nelson, National Executive Director of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma

Dear Members of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma:

We hope this message finds you well. Today, it is our duty to announce the retirement of Steve Nelson from his position as National Executive Director of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma. Steve’s dedicated service to our organizations has spanned nine years, leaving an indelible mark on both KKPsi and TBSigma.

Steve’s journey with Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma has been remarkable. His unwavering commitment to our shared values of leadership, musicianship, and service for greater bands has been an inspiration to us all. Before and throughout his tenure, he has played a pivotal role in advancing the missions of both organizations, ensuring their continued growth and success.

Under Steve’s leadership as National Executive Director, we have witnessed significant achievements and milestones that have strengthened our Fraternity and Sorority: celebrating the Centennial of Kappa Kappa Psi and the Diamond Anniversary of Tau Beta Sigma; expanding our National Headquarters property; purchasing a new facility to support our staff; and developing increasingly sophisticated technical tools to support members and leaders in their ongoing work. Steve’s passion for the arts and education has been a driving force behind numerous initiatives that have enhanced the collegiate band experience for students across the nation. His passion for honorary organizations such as ours led to his recent presidency of the Professional Fraternity Association. Steve’s legacy will undoubtedly continue to shape the future of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma, serving as a source of inspiration for generations to come. Steve himself will continue to be an important Brother and Sister, and he will cherish this opportunity to experience the organizations without the day-to-day responsibilities that our National Headquarters has.

Steve has shared these thoughts: “I have deep gratitude for my time as National Executive Director and I am very thankful for the many wonderful people that I met and worked with. Thank you for the opportunity to serve the organizations and I hope we can continue with the best spirits of brotherhood and sisterhood.”

Please join us in expressing our deepest gratitude to Steve Nelson for his leadership and service. We will be forever thankful for his passion, guidance, and commitment to our membership, and look forward to the ways that he will continue to contribute and be involved in the future. If you would like to send a personal message or share your thoughts with Steve as he embarks on this new chapter, please feel free to do so at

In the coming weeks, we will begin the search for a new National Executive Director who will build upon the important work of both organizations. We are committed to finding an individual who shares our values and dedication to the mission of our organizations.

Thank you, Steve, for your exceptional service, and we wish you a retirement filled with joy, fulfillment, and continued success in all your endeavors.


Bang T. Co, Kappa Kappa Psi National President
Siobhan Wilkes Bratcher, Tau Beta Sigma National President
Dr. Malinda Matney, Kappa Kappa Psi Board of Trustees Chairperson
Rosalyn McDonald, Tau Beta Sigma Board of Trustees Chairperson

Official Joint Announcement of the 2025 National Convention Host City

Sisters and Brothers of Tau Beta Sigma and Kappa Kappa Psi –

It is our honor and privilege to announce the host city and dates of our 2025 ΚΚΨ & ΤΒΣ National Convention. After ten years, we are excited to return to the scenic and charming city of Lexington, Kentucky on July 15-18, 2025. Lexington’s musical history is as rich and diverse as the notes that define our two organizations. From the classical pieces that fill the Lexington Opera House to the vibrant tunes that resonate from the various music festivals, Lexington’s musical legacy will add a unique and uniting touch to our convention.

Adding to the musical depth of our convention, we are thrilled to announce that the 2025 National Intercollegiate Band (NIB) will be conducted by Jason Fettig, a distinguished conductor renowned for his musical prowess who previously served as the 28th director of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, and is the incoming Director of Bands at the University of Michigan. Additionally, we are honored to feature the talents of Composer Kevin Day, one of the leading young voices in the world of music composition today, who currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Composition at Wilfrid Laurier University. We look forward to their partnership as they craft this vision into a reality for our members and performers. In the meantime, we invite all Brothers and Sisters to tune into our livestream where we will get to meet them and learn more about their musical journeys. This will take place on Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, at 6:00 PM CT on our national Facebook pages.

As we convene in Lexington in 2025, we will mark a decade since our last national convention in this city. The convention center, a cornerstone of our previous gatherings, has undergone a remarkable $300 million transformation, which was completed in January 2022. A comprehensive renovation and expansion has elevated it to new heights of sophistication and functionality, offering a stunning venue that perfectly complements the grandeur of our shared celebration. We are very excited to be in the re-imagined space of The Central Bank Center, which is within easy walking distance of over 75 restaurants, numerous theaters, shops, and galleries, and offers a small-town charm with big-city amenities. We extend our deepest gratitude to the city of Lexington for its warm embrace and commitment to making this convention a resounding success.

Recognizing the importance of accessibility, we want to reaffirm to you our commitment to ensuring that the 2025 ΚΚΨ & ΤΒΣ National Convention in Lexington remains an affordable and convenient experience for all our members. With a focus on affordability, we have secured discounted accommodations and budget-friendly dining options, allowing members the opportunity to partake in our 40th Joint National Convention. Notably, Lexington’s central location is a key highlight, serving as a convenient hub accessible to nearly 80% of our chapters. In addition to prioritizing affordability and convenience, we are actively exploring innovative ways to enhance the convention experience. We believe in creating an immersive and well-rounded experience that goes beyond the convention venue. As we look ahead, we are excited about the opportunity to work closely with the city of Lexington and our convention hosts to identify and secure other great options and opportunities for our members.

In the context of the ongoing uncertainties in the world, it’s important to emphasize our unwavering dedication to providing a platform for member concerns. It is crucial to note that conversations and decisions regarding each national convention commence years in advance. This meticulous planning involves entering negotiations and signing contracts with hotels and convention sites early on, strategically seeking the best deals available. This proactive approach significantly contributes to our overarching efforts to ensure both the affordability and security of our national conventions. While the future landscape by July 2025 remains uncertain, our commitment to transparency and member engagement remains resolute. We encourage you to share your thoughts and questions through our Building Our Best Convention: Member Feedback Form for NatCon25. Your invaluable input will be instrumental in shaping the convention as we approach this significant event.

Be sure to mark your calendars for July 15-18, 2025 the 2025 ΚΚΨ & ΤΒΣ National Convention in Lexington! Further details, including dates, venues, and registration information, will be shared in the upcoming months. Stay connected with us on social media and our official channels for the latest updates and announcements. We invite you to share your excitement on social media using #NATCON25 and let the world know that we are bringing the spirit of music, leadership, and service to the heart of Kentucky!

Looking ahead to 2025 in Lexington, we’re excited to join together for another convention filled with music, learning, and camaraderie.

Yours in the Bond,

Steven C. NelsonNational Executive Director
Kappa Kappa Psi & Tau Beta Sigma
Bang T. CoNational President, Kappa Kappa Psi
Life Member, Alpha Zeta Chapter
Siobhan Wilkes BratcherNational President, Tau Beta Sigma
Life Member, Beta Zeta Chapter

In Loving Memory of Jean Newman

Brothers of Kappa Kappa Psi, 

It is with heavy hearts that we extend our deepest condolences on the passing of one of our beloved Sisters and an Honorary Member of the National Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, Jean Newman. As we come together with Tau Beta Sigma in mourning, we recognize the profound impact she had not only on the Sorority but within Kappa Kappa Psi as well.

Jean was the 25th National President of Tau Beta Sigma, presiding over the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Sorority from 1993-1995. A Life Member of the Zeta Xi chapter at San Diego State University, Jean also served as Vice Chair and Chair of our Board of Trustees. With all her heart, Jean loved Tau Beta Sigma and unselfishly gave her time, talents, and gifts to our organization for more than 40 years. Jean was a true mentor who inspired others with her independence, strength, and consistent leadership. She will forever be remembered for her kindness and loyalty and for living the ideals and principles of our organization in every aspect of her life.

To share remembrances, photographs, or notes of gratitude with the Joint  National Chapter please use the following form: The Tau Beta Sigma National Council plans to use submissions for the Sorority’s 2025 National Convention Memorial Ceremony. If you plan to share your memories via social media, please include the hashtag #TBSigmaRemembers.

Recognizing the significance of personal reflections and stories that illuminate the essence of Jean’s influence on Kappa Kappa Psi, I asked Past National President Tim Greenwell to share his personal experiences with Jean and the impact that she had on him as a Brother and leader of our Fraternity.

“Jean Newman saw no boundaries or limitations in nurturing the joint relationships of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma. She continually modeled the shared opportunities possible to all of us through open communication, inclusiveness, collaborative discussions, and thoughtful planning. I knew during my service as a national officer, and ever since, that Jean was someone I could go to for perspective and empowerment to be the best Brother and Sister in working with others to move the organizations forward. She personally encouraged me to stay on the pathway of service on the national level and celebrated each achievement as if we were related by blood. For her, there was never a question of the Bond being strong and personal. I always admired her honest, straightforward, tell it like it is, get it done demeanor; and I will now miss those traits and her presence in our lives.”

— Tim Greenwell, Past National President, Kappa Kappa Psi

As we navigate this period of mourning, let us draw strength from the bond that unites us as Sisters and Brothers of Tau Beta Sigma and Kappa Kappa Psi. Together, we honor Jean Newman’s memory, celebrating the life of a remarkable leader, friend, and mentor.

In the Bond,

Bang T. Co
National President, Kappa Kappa Psi
Honorary Member, National Chapter of Tau Beta Sigma
Life Member, Alpha Zeta Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi

From the Desk of the National President: November 2023 Updates

Brothers – 

On behalf of the National Leadership Team, I would like to extend warm greetings and wish you a happy start to your November! October was an incredibly eventful and productive month, and I’m delighted to take a moment to share with you a few highlights to recap the fantastic progress we made. In addition, I’m excited to provide you with a preview of some exciting developments to look forward to this month. Please take a moment to read through the rest of this message below.

November Highlights

Highlight #1: Fall Activity Report

The first report through the new OPUS membership portal is in the books! Many thanks to all the chapters that submitted their Chapter Personnel Reports (CPR) and dues/fees on time. As of today, we have 74.6% of all CPRs in and our HQ staff are hard at work making sure everything is processed correctly. If you are still having issues with your CPR, please reach out to HQ as soon as possible to get everything submitted. Now, it’s time to focus on the Fall Activity Report (FAR), which is due by December 1, 2023. Be on the lookout for more information, resources, and office hours for assistance with the FAR.

**Note: I would like to also extend my deepest appreciation to our HQ staff members, particularly Aaron Moore, Nicole Brooks, and Debbie Morris, for their support and guidance to our students and Chapter Sponsors/DoBs during the CPR process. We could not have gone through this as smoothly without their help and leadership.

Highlight #2: Chapter Field Representatives Applications

We are pleased to announce the launch of our Chapter Field Representative (CFR) Hiring Process for the 2024-2026 term. The application will be open from November 1st through December 1st with phone interviews anticipated to take place mid-December and in-person interviews in early January. If you or anyone you know is interested in this role, please visit our application site for more information.

*Note: I would like to extend my profound gratitude to our current CFRs, Jake January and Kennedy Struck, for their unwavering dedication and guidance in this process. Their remarkable service to the Fraternity over the past three years has been nothing short of exceptional, and their support has been an invaluable asset in my journey as a national officer.

Highlight #3: Celebrating our Month of Musicianship

In keeping with tradition, November is designated as our Month of Musicianship, and this year, we are channeling our enthusiasm toward the celebration of one of our most profound and impactful programs, the National Intercollegiate Band (NIB). We are actively working to provide you with different opportunities to engage, participate, and celebrate in this special event. Stay tuned for more details on how you can help uplift the NIB and celebrate our dedication to musicianship. 

Highlight #4: Celebrating our 104th Founders’ Day

I am excited to celebrate Kappa Kappa Psi’s 104th Founders’ Day on November 27th, 2023! This special occasion is a cherished time for Brothers spanning generations and geographic locations to unite once again in celebration of our illustrious history, the vibrancy of our present, and the promising journey that lies ahead. I extend a warm invitation to all Brothers to dedicate a moment for self-reflection on their own fraternal journey and the profound impact that Kappa Kappa Psi has had on their lives. Furthermore, on November 27th, I encourage all Brothers to actively participate by sharing their personal Kappa Kappa Psi stories and posting pictures of their most memorable fraternal experiences. Please use the hashtags #KKPsiFoundersDay and #104YearsofKKPsi as we come together to honor our remarkable journey.

Highlight #5: Fraternal Law Conference

We are looking forward to continuing our presence at the annual Fraternal Law Conference in Cincinnati, OH this year. Dr. Rorrer (NVPME), Nicole Brooks (National Chapter Support Coordinator), and I will be there to represent Kappa Kappa Psi between November 2nd-4th. This is an example of one of the many behind-the-scenes activities the National Council works on throughout the biennium. While this may not be considered as “sexy” as the more public-facing work that we do, our participation at this event is essential to our work as a national organization. Staying at the forefront of trends, legal matters, and current affairs is our commitment to safeguarding Kappa Kappa Psi against potential challenges and fostering its continued growth.

October Recap

Update #1: KKPsi Giving Program Town Hall

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to our Alumni Association Board of Directors for organizing the Kappa Kappa Psi Giving Program Town Hall. This took place on October 3rd and it was a fantastic opportunity for Dr. Matney and me to engage with our existing donors. Our Giving Program is open to all members (active & alumni) and friends of KKPsi to participate in and as you are thinking about your end-of-year giving, please check out the site for more information (Learn More about the Giving Program). 

Update #2: Virtual Workshops & Sessions

With over 100 unique attendees, our virtual workshops and sessions throughout October have been a great success! Many thanks to all those who attended and to our presenters on creating a productive learning environment. You can use the following link to access the recordings: October 2023 Virtual Workshops & Sessions

Update #3: Iota Theta Chapter Installation

I am thrilled to share the wonderful news of the successful rechartering and installation of the Iota Theta Chapter at Morehouse College. This exciting journey began in early September of this semester, with a petitioning group of 19 dedicated band members from Morehouse, led by Phillip Redden and supported by their Director of Bands, Dr. Chad Hughes. The official installation ceremony took place on Morehouse’s campus on Sunday, October 22nd, 2023. You can read more about this exciting news here: Iota Theta Recharter.

Update #4: Celebrating our 100th Day in Office

The National Council celebrated our 100th Day in office, marking a significant milestone in our biennium. It was an excellent occasion to reflect on the progress we’ve made so far. As we are taught in our fraternal experience, I encourage all Brothers to take a moment to appreciate their individual contributions to our collective journey as Brothers of Kappa Kappa Psi. We are always excited to celebrate your successes and journey so please submit your story to The Podium!

Update #5: Board of Trustees Appointment

After a thorough process, I am excited to welcome Brother Franklin “Frankie” Johnson-Norwood, Life Member of the Zeta Psi Chapter at Virginia State University, to the National Leadership Team and Board of Trustees! If you missed his installation ceremony and Q&A session, which took place on October 25th, please check our Facebook page for details.

Update #6: Share Your Bandtober Activities

Throughout the month of October, my heart filled with joy as I saw so many posts celebrating the unifying spirit of band and our profound love for music. From inspiring joint performances to the heartwarming reunions of alumni bands, I was thrilled to witness the unity of Brothers and musicians from across the nation. Whether it was during DCI Finals Weekend, the National Battle of the Bands, the Collegiate Marching Band Festival, homecoming events, or countless other occasions, it was heartwarming to see everyone come together to share their passion for this unique and cherished activity that we fondly call “banding.” We are eager to showcase these remarkable Bandtober moments and invite all Brothers to share their experiences with us, allowing us to highlight them on our social media platforms! You can easily submit your photos here: Submit Your Photos.

As we venture into the promising month of November together, I would like to share my heartfelt gratitude for your unwavering commitment to Kappa Kappa Psi. I am truly excited to witness the remarkable contributions and achievements that lie ahead for our Brotherhood. Like any voyage, we understand that it will come with its own set of challenges and triumphs. Yet, it is in these moments that we find opportunities for growth and the pursuit of excellence. Let’s navigate this journey together, forging ahead to elevate our fraternity to unprecedented heights, secure in the knowledge that our collective efforts will shape a brighter and more inspiring future for Kappa Kappa Psi. AEA.

Yours in Brotherhood & Service,

In Solidarity,



Bang T. Co (He/Him/His/他)
National President & Ex-Officio Board of Trustees Member,
Kappa Kappa Psi, National Honorary Band Fraternity, Inc.

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Our Mission: Kappa Kappa Psi is a diverse fraternity dedicated to advancing college and university bands for the benefit of its members and society through: Meaningful musical experiences and enrichment, Transformational leadership development, Purposeful service to bands and support to band members, Lifelong fellowship and community.



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Fall 2023 – Announcement of Chapter Installation

Brothers –
On behalf of the National Council, I am proud to announce the successful re-chartering of the Iota Theta chapter at Morehouse College! The process started in early September of this semester with a petitioning group of 19 band members for Morehouse and was led by Phillip Redden with the support of their Director of Bands, Dr. Chad Hughes. I had the honor of serving as the Installing Officer for their installation, which took place on Morehouse’s campus on Sunday, October 22nd, 2023.

This process would not have been possible without the help of our dedicated Advising Team, which was led by SED Governor, J.P. Davis. The Advising Team also consisted of several Brothers, who are listed below. Thank you to these Brothers for their guidance and leadership in this process. We are deeply grateful for their service and support.

Morehouse College Advising Team

  • Marina Peña Guiot (ΚΚΨ Life Member – Kappa Mu and Nu Alpha, KKΨAA BOD Chair)
  • Shawn McNeill (ΚΚΨ – Theta Tau)
  • Callie Christiansen (ΚΚΨ – Mu Nu) 
We would also like to extend our appreciation to the Iota chapter (Georgia Tech) for lending their Ritual gear for the Morehouse College installation

Lastly, we would like to give thanks to all the chapters and alumni members who made the trip to provide support in the installation ceremony for the Iota Theta chapter, including previous members of the Chapter. It was extremely heartwarming to see everyone come together to welcome our new Brothers. Please help us congratulate and welcome them to the Brotherhood! AEA.

If you or anyone you know has questions about our petitioning process, please visit our Expansion page or email me at

Board of Trustees Appointment

Brothers of Kappa Kappa Psi –

I hope you are doing well and enjoying all the changes that October has to offer! I am writing to share with you an exciting update on one of the National Council’s priorities this quarter. 

Following the 2023 National Convention, we left with a vacancy on the Board of Trustees. In alignment with our National Constitution (2.109), the National Council announced a call for applications on August 11th, which resulted in a strong response that reflects our Brotherhood’s unwavering dedication to service and leadership. Due to the high number and quality of applications, we extended the process by two weeks to facilitate a comprehensive review, in-depth interviews, and careful deliberations.

Throughout the selection process, our focus was on identifying the most suitable candidate to further the Board’s objectives while ensuring fairness and efficiency. We extend our sincere gratitude to all Brothers who dedicated their time and effort to apply for the Trustee position. We look forward to engaging these individuals in meaningful ways throughout the biennium.

On behalf of the National Council, I am honored and excited to share that Brother Franklin “Frankie” Johnson-Norwood, a Life Member of the Zeta Psi Chapter at Virginia State University, has been appointed to the Board of Trustees. We congratulate him wholeheartedly on this remarkable achievement and look forward to his service and leadership as a Trustee.

We invite all Brothers to join us for Frankie’s virtual swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday, October 25th, at 6:30 PM CT, live-streamed on our National Facebook page. In the meantime, you can learn more about Frankie here:

Once again, I want to express my most sincere gratitude to all who participated and contributed to this selection process. I am grateful for this Fraternity and look forward to the journey ahead with you all. Let’s continue to strive together for college and university bands!

Much Love and AEA.

In Solidarity,
Bang T. Co (He/Him/His/他)
National President & Ex-Officio Board of Trustees Member,
Kappa Kappa Psi, National Honorary Band Fraternity, Inc.

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Our Mission: Kappa Kappa Psi is a diverse fraternity dedicated to advancing college and university bands for the benefit of its members and society through: Meaningful musical experiences and enrichment, Transformational leadership development, Purposeful service to bands and support to band members, Lifelong fellowship and community.
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From the Desk of the National President: October 2023 Updates

Brothers –

I trust this message finds you in high spirits as we embrace the excitement of Bandtober! On behalf of the National Council and Leadership Team, I want to extend a huge CONGRATULATIONS on successfully navigating the first couple of months of the biennium and school year. It’s incredible to see the dedication and hard work that our chapters have already put forth, and we are excited to see all the incredible things that you will achieve this year. With that said, I am writing to share some important updates to ensure that our Active members are in the loop. Please review the following:

Update 1: National Vice President for Student Affairs

It is with regret that I announce Brother Tar-Shae` Odom’s decision to step down from his role as National Vice President for Student Affairs for personal reasons. While I am saddened by the departure of a team member, I respect and understand the difficult decision that was made. I wish him the very best in his future endeavors and trust that the rest of the Brotherhood will respect his decision as well. Rest assured that we are fully committed to ensuring the smooth transition of NVPSA duties.

A call for applications will be discussed during our Winter Council Meeting in January 2024. Until then, I will leave the position vacant so that we can focus on supporting our chapters and ensuring the success of our programs and initiatives.

Update 2: Upcoming Virtual Workshops

As announced on September 1, I am excited to share a fantastic lineup of virtual workshops for our Active members this month!

  • Oct. 4: Join the Chair and Vice Chair of our National Committee of Curriculum Development for the VPM+RTW Training Workshop at 7pm CT. Register here:
  • Oct. 11: Don’t miss the Chapter Officers Workshops presented by our National Committee of Chapter Operations Chair and Vice Chair. Register here:
  • Oct. 23: Get ready for the Ritual Training Workshop hosted by our National Committee on Ritual Performance & Education Chair and Vice Chair. Register here:
These workshops are open to all Active members, and I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity for growth and development.
Update 3: National Committees

Our National Committees play a crucial role in shaping the future of Kappa Kappa Psi. While committee appointments are still being finalized, we will begin with alumni members in this first phase. Active members’ appointments to join these committees will occur in our second phase (December 2023-January 2024). The intention behind this phased approach is to allow our Active members to prioritize their academics, band commitments, and home chapters/committees before dedicating more time to national committees. In the meantime, I highly encourage all our Active members to review the committee charges, which can be accessed here:

Update 4: National Constitution & RTW Manuals

I strongly encourage all members to stay informed with our updated national documents and resources. Please bookmark these for future reference.

Update 5: Chapter Field Representatives (CFR) Program

Are you interested in serving as a Kappa Kappa Psi Chapter Field Representative (CFR) for the 2024-2026 term? Our application window will be opening soon, so please join us for our informational calls on October 15 and November 12. Register here: to learn more about this incredible opportunity to make a lasting impact within Kappa Kappa Psi!

I’d like to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude for the exceptional work and dedication shown by our current CFRs, Jake January and Kennedy Struck. Though they have been back on the road for just a few weeks, their invaluable insights into the well-being and sentiments of our chapters, along with their insightful feedback, have been instrumental. Their contributions enable the National Council to remain well-informed and make informed decisions that benefit both our chapters and our fraternity as a whole. Please be sure to send them your love and support!

As we embark on this exciting journey together through October, I want to extend my deepest appreciation for your unwavering dedication to Kappa Kappa Psi. I’m eager to witness the remarkable contributions and achievements that await our chapters on this path. Just as every journey has its challenges and triumphs, so too shall we encounter opportunities for growth and excellence. Together, let’s navigate these experiences and elevate our fraternity to new heights, knowing that our collective efforts will shape a brighter future for Kappa Kappa Psi. AEA.

Yours in Brotherhood & Service,

Bang T. Co (he/him)
National President & Ex-Officio Board of Trustees Member
Life Member of the Alpha Zeta Chapter
Kappa Kappa Psi, National Honorary Band Fraternity

A. Frank Martin Award Presented to Prof. Heidi Sarver

On August 26th, 2023, Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity presented the A. Frank Martin Award to Ms. Heidi I. Sarver, Professor of Music and Director of the Marching Band at the University of Delaware. Ms. Sarver was presented this award at the University of Delaware by Adam Cantley, a past National President of Kappa Kappa Psi, Dean of Students, and Assistant Vice President for Student Support and Advocacy at the University of Delaware. Ms. Sarver received this recognition in Delaware Stadium at the “Family and Friends” show at the end of the University of Delaware Marching Band’s band camp.

Kappa Kappa Psi presents the A. Frank Martin Award to honor individuals, whether band directors or laypeople, who have made significant contributions to the band field in their region. This award is named after A. Frank Martin, who was the first Grand National President of Kappa Kappa Psi (1919-1921), later served as the Fraternity’s National Executive Secretary and Earned the nickname of “Mr. Kappa Kappa Psi” through his dedication to the Fraternity and college bands. Through this award, Kappa Kappa Psi shows its gratitude to individuals like Ms. Sarver for their service to bands and music, as such service aligns with the Fraternity’s efforts to promote the success of college and university bands across the nation and, to honor outstanding band members and leaders through membership and recognition.

Quotes from Heidi Sarver’s Nominating Materials

From Mark Clodfelter, Interim Director of the School of Music, University of Delaware:

“Prof. Heidi Sarver consistently demonstrates excellent teaching in a variety of courses within our School of Music. Students are motivated and challenged by her curricular choices and feel empowered and inspired by her. Prof. Sarver demonstrates a sustained commitment to student-centered teaching and delivery of educational content at a high level.”

“Heidi Sarver is an exemplary part of our academic community by any measure. She inspires each of us through her unyielding standards of excellence and her warm collegiality. I believe that, because of the global reach of her position, she may well impact more students across the university than any other single faculty member at UD. I wish to extend my highest, most enthusiastic support on her behalf.”

From Dr. Lauren Reynolds, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Concert Bands at the University of Delaware:

“Professor Sarver has been at the top of her professional game for three decades . . . .”

“Her professional contributions to the band field are varied, consistent, and admirable. For over three decades, Professor Sarver has been a central figure in the success of the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy, through which she has come into contact with and had a profound positive effect on the lives of literally thousands of high school band leaders. In fact, I can think of countless students who chose to matriculate at the University of Delaware because they met and worked with Professor Sarver at DMA. She is most certainly regarded nationally as an expert in marching bands and marching band leadership, and she has authored numerous articles and co-authored a book on the subject.”

“In addition to her work with the Drum Major Academy, Professor Sarver is in her twenty-seventh year at the helm of the University of Delaware athletic band program. Her work with the marching band is nothing short of tremendous. In her first few years, she grew the program from fewer than 100 members to the approximately 300-member ensemble it is now, and each year she pushes the level of artistic achievement and creativity to new levels. The band has received countless honors, including featured performances at the Bands of America Grand National Championships and the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Parade, among many others. A huge percentage of students in her program came to the university for the band. This alone speaks volumes to her level of excellence. Further, she is widely sought-after as a show designer, creating dynamic productions for high school and college programs across the country.”

“In short, Heidi Sarver is a tireless leader in the field of American bands . . . .”

Heidi Sarver’s Biography

Heidi I. Sarver is a professor of music at the University of Delaware, where she has been a member of the faculty of the School of Music since 1995. Ms. Sarver is director of the 300-member Fightin’ Blue Hen Marching Band, co-conductor of the Symphonic Band, and instructor of two Marching Band Techniques courses. She also oversees the administrative operations of the Basketball Pep Bands and provides other smaller pep bands for a variety of athletic teams and events.

Ms. Sarver attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she received a bachelor of music education and a master of music in trumpet performance. Her teachers included George N. Parks, Walter M. Chesnut, Malcolm W. Rowell, and Seymour Rosenfeld.

Active throughout the Northeast as an adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor, Professor Sarver is best known across the country for her work with the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy (DMA). With more than forty years at the organization, she is now the educational director and lead clinician. She also serves as a guest clinician to educate as many students as possible.

Professor Sarver is an avid show designer and has written for many universities and high schools across the country. Her background lies in the world of drum corps and the marching arts. Staying on top of the evolution of the activity is one of her passions.

Before her appointment at UD, she was a high school band director in New York and the assistant director of bands at Temple University. Ms. Sarver is a member of the Delaware Music Educators Association, the National Association for Music Education, and the College Band Directors National Association. She is an honorary member of both Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity and Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority. She is currently serving as the Delaware state chair for the National Band Association and College Band Directors National Association.

The Kappa Kappa Psi Journey: A Vision for the Road Ahead

Brothers of Kappa Kappa Psi,

The honor to serve as your National President, backed by the invaluable trust that you have placed in me, is not one that I take lightly. Reflecting on the 103-year-long journey of Kappa Kappa Psi – a fraternity built on love, passion, and servant leadership – it is clear that our past illuminates our path forward. The start of a new biennium represents more than a passage of time. It signifies the continuation of our pursuit of wisdom, a journey we take together as Brothers of Kappa Kappa Psi. At the 2023 National Convention, we not only celebrated our storied legacy but also carved a shared vision for our future. By reaffirming our ritualistic values, we reinforced our commitment to the principles we uphold, ensuring that our service to college and university band programs across the country is unwavering and impactful. This is the “AEA Way“. It’s our belief, our identity, and our mission. To see Kappa Kappa Psi thrive for another century, we must manifest these principles and purposes into tangible actions.

Brothers, we stand at a pivotal moment – an opportune juncture where our shared history, present opportunities, and future potential converge. As we stand at this crossroads, I invite each one of you – Active and Alumni alike – to not just look forward but also glance backward. In our history lies not only our legacy but also the blueprint for our future. But our legacy, while rich and robust, is not just a reflection of what we have achieved. It is also a testament to what awaits us on our journey ahead. We have so much to be proud of, from our contributions to the band community to our presence across the country. The true spirit of Kappa Kappa Psi, however, lies not just in what we’ve done but in what we are about to do. Our journey ahead requires a collective effort, a symphony of voices coming together to create a harmonious and impactful melody. Together, we march towards the foothills of success, undeterred by challenges, united by purpose. Let us be inspired not only by the prospects of our own growth but also by the impact we have on others. Let us embrace our role not just as spectators but as catalysts for change. By embodying the “AEA Way” – marked by an unwavering dedication to our Ritualistic vows, our new mission, and each other – we can inspire a new era of excellence. We are called not to merely embrace complacency or uphold the status quo, but to embody a similar spirit as our Founders had, leveraging the legacy of our past triumphs and cherished traditions to propel us confidently through the second century with the same fervor and momentum that ignited our journey in 1919.

This statement serves as a call to action, urging us to seize the mantle of leadership in the distinctive “AEA Way” and to create a lasting impact on college and university bands nationwide. I am both honored and excited to share with you the vision that will guide our journey forward for the next two years. As your National President, my commitment is to inspire each of you to take ownership of our collective path as a Fraternity.

The Kappa Kappa Psi Journey Unfolds

Our journey is a rich tapestry of our foundational ethos, trials, triumphs, and aspirations. It’s a dynamic dance between respecting our past and evolving for our future.

  • Our Roots: Born from a desire to cultivate leadership amongst band members and music enthusiasts, Kappa Kappa Psi emerged as a beacon of excellence and service in the world of music.
  • A Time of Reflection: Pausing occasionally to reminisce and reflect is as important as forging ahead. It’s these moments of introspection that ground us, ensuring our journey ahead stays true to our core.
  • Seizing the Present: Our journey’s present phase calls for an embrace of opportunities, pushing boundaries, and solidifying our role as leaders and influencers in the band community.
  • The Legacy We Build: It’s our responsibility to ensure that our legacy doesn’t just dwell in our past achievements but also paves the way for a future of significance.
  • Towards a Bright Future: Our vision is clear – a Kappa Kappa Psi that thrives on service and continues to influence the college band movement, even as the landscape of the music community evolves.

The Biennium Plan

To ensure that this vision is realized, we’ve framed out a year-long initiative and have branded the months of the academic year as follows:

September: Month of Service – Engage and promote the virtue of service, with local community projects and seminars on altruistic growth. Chapters can get involved with this by:

  • Hosting virtual panel discussions with key figures in the college band movement.
  • Organizing service projects at local levels for members to engage with their community.
  • Participating in workshops focusing on healthy ways of being selfless and avoiding burnout.
  • We encourage our ‘quarter system’ schools to take some of these practices into October.

November: Month of Musicianship – Enhance individual musicianship, focusing on contribution’s significance in an ensemble. Chapters can get involved with this by:

  • Hosting instrument-specific virtual masterclasses with professional musicians.
  • Participating in webinars on the role of individual contribution in an ensemble setting.
  • Organizing peer-reviewed practice sessions to foster a culture of feedback and growth.

February: Month of Leadership – Harness the Founders’ Circle program to cultivate leadership and drive a culture of continuous improvement. Chapters can get involved with this by:

  • Leveraging the Founders’ Circle program and speakers for leadership training sessions.
  • Hosting roundtable discussions on leadership challenges and solutions with other chapters.
  • Provide personal leadership assessment tools for members to reflect upon.

April: Month of Brotherhood – Emphasize the vitality of forging meaningful connections and valuing the human essence of our Brothers. Chapters can get involved with this by:

  • Attending district events, such as district conventions, with the entire chapter.
  • Collaborating with other chapters to host brotherhood events to foster deeper connections.
  • Hosting workshops on the importance of humanizing titles and treating each member with respect and dignity.

June: Month of Celebration – Honor our accomplishments, our graduates, and lay down a marker of our organizational evolution. Chapters can get involved with this by:

  • Hosting graduation ceremonies for seniors.
  • Creating announcements to introduce newly elected chapter officers.
  • Hosting an awards night to recognize the outstanding contributions of members.
  • Hosting reflective sessions for members to share their progress and rejuvenate.

During the intermittent months, our national committees will be actively engaged in providing a series of impactful virtual events and activities, tailored to enhance the journey of each Active member. These sessions are designed to equip our members with practical skills and knowledge that will foster success within Kappa Kappa Psi, in their academic pursuits, and in their future endeavors. Here’s what you can expect from these enriching experiences:

  • Chapter Operations: Sessions aimed at setting up chapter officers for success, covering efficient planning, effective organization, and strategic execution.
  • Communications: Workshops focusing on helping chapters strengthen their marketing and story-telling strategies, enabling them to effectively communicate their impact and value.
  • Curriculum: Dedicated sessions to enhance chapters’ membership education and continuing education processes through The Road to Wisdom.
  • Data Assessment: A focus on understanding what Kappa Kappa Psi truly looks like and how chapters can leverage membership data to inform decision-making processes.
  • DEIA: Meaningful conversations that explore the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion, promoting a more inclusive fraternity, and cultivating culturally sensitive leaders.
  • Expansion: Guiding members on how they can contribute to Kappa Kappa Psi’s growth and expansion efforts by sharing its impact story and value proposition with directors and students who don’t have a KKPsi chapter.
  • Programs: Exploring how chapters can leverage and benefit from our national programs to enhance their member experience and overall growth as a Brother.
  • Ritual Performance & Education: In-depth guidance on how chapters can deepen their understanding and performance of our Ritual, fostering a stronger connection to our foundational principles and lessons.
  • Sponsor/DOB: Focusing on how chapters can build better relationships with their Sponsors and DOBs and contribute to our mission of serving college and university bands.

By intertwining these skill-building opportunities with the larger narrative of the Kappa Kappa Psi Journey, we aim to foster a profound connection between individual growth and the collective advancement of our Fraternity. Through these tailored experiences, we’re dedicated to empowering each member to not only succeed within Kappa Kappa Psi but also to excel as resilient leaders in their personal and professional lives.

Let us not forget, however, that at the heart of Kappa Kappa Psi’s essence lies a profound and unbreakable bond – a tapestry woven with threads of service, leadership, musicianship, and brotherhood. It is this affinity for service, our shared passion for band, and the genuine love we hold for one another that imparts depth and purpose to our journey, rendering it not just meaningful but vital. This love stands as our hallmark, shaping our identity and driving our pursuit of excellence. As we traverse this path together, let us recognize that nurturing this love is pivotal; it’s through the care we extend to each other that we ensure the continuity of our journey’s melody, a symphony woven with the notes of unity, compassion, and unwavering support.

Our journey ahead beckons us to march forward, unified in purpose and resolve. This biennium presents both challenges and opportunities. But if history has taught us anything, it’s that Kappa Kappa Psi thrives in the face of adversity. Our values and purposes, tested by time, have grounded us. Yet, we must not become complacent. We must adapt, evolve, and strive for even greater heights. Now, more than ever, we need to play in unison, translating the “AEA Way” into a melody that echoes for generations to come. This vision for the biennium is not merely a proclamation – it is a call to action, a rallying cry that resonates with our shared ideals. Let us embrace THE KAPPA KAPPA PSI JOURNEY with passion, celebrate our past with pride, and steer our Fraternity toward a future that stands as a testament to our dedication. Let’s compose a masterpiece that leaves a positive impact on the world of college and university bands. The time to lift our batons is now. In harmony and rhythm, let’s march toward success.

Journeying with you,

Bang T. Co (he/him)
National President of Kappa Kappa Psi (2023-2025)
Life Member – Alpha Zeta Chapter, Indiana University