Congratulations on 100 Years of Service to Music!

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity congratulates the members of Kappa Kappa Psi – National Honorary Band Fraternity on the occasion of their Centennial Celebration at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on July 20, 2019. Kappa Kappa Psi will be turning 100 years old on November 27th of this year.

For a century, Kappa Kappa Psi has dedicated itself to the service and support of bands, the encouragement of musical growth, and to provide lifelong educational experiences that have helped to shape band music in America.

Since 1953, Kappa Kappa Psi (alongside Tau Beta Sigma – National Honorary Band Sorority) has commissioned new works for wind band to be added to concert repertoire, which are typically premiered by the National Intercollegiate Band. This is one of the longest-running commissioning projects in the United States. A number of these commissioned works have received national acclaim, including Robert Russell Bennett’s Symphonic Song for Band, and Karel Husa’s Concerto for Trumpet and Wind Orchestra. Other notable works include Francis McBeth’s Seventh Seal, Claude T. Smith’s Symphony #1 for Band, and Fisher Tull’s Prelude & Double Fugue.

Immediately following the 2019 National Convention of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma, the Centennial Celebration Day will begin. The celebration will include a presentation of Kappa Kappa Psi’s Founder’s Day Ceremony, a rededication of the Kappa Kappa Psi National Shrine and a new Centennial marker, a homecoming picnic, historical tours and presentations, and a performance by the Centennial Alumni Band.

We congratulate National President Evan Thompson and the members of Kappa Kappa Psi on this important milestone in the organization’s history. Phi Mu Alpha salutes Kappa Kappa Psi for its significant contributions to the advancement of music in America and offers our best wishes for a successful Centennial Celebration.

“We, the brothers of Kappa Kappa Psi, believe that service to the college or university band program fosters responsibility, loyalty, and leadership; that a spirit of brotherhood is enhanced by the participation in a band program; that music is a universal language and truly the greatest of the arts; and that through fraternal participation, each member will strive for the highest.”

First National Intercollegiate Band - 1947

About the National Intercollegiate Band

One of the most exciting programs of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma, begun nearly seventy years ago, is the National Intercollegiate Band. This ensemble continues to make a significant contribution to the advancement of the collegiate band. Open to all qualified musicians, whether or not they are members of the Fraternity or Sorority, the NIB brings members face-to-baton with some of the most dynamically stimulating composers and respected conductors in America. Dr. F. Lee Bowling, Kappa Kappa Psi National President (Alpha Iota) from 1941-1947, is regarded as the Founder of the National Intercollegiate Band.

The NIB was Bowling’s cherished idea and through the years he worked to develop a plan that firmly established the organization as a national service project for the Fraternity and Sorority. Bowling had placed his belief in such an organization on the results of the intercollegiate band which had been held since 1933 by the colleges and universities of the Rocky Mountain area. Each college sent representatives to a chosen place where much time and effort was given to the preparation of a concert. These concerts were sponsored by the chapters of Kappa Kappa Psi. The success of this movement gained headway to some extent before the war and district intercollegiate band concerts were held in the states of Oklahoma and Ohio. He presented such a plan to the Tenth National Convention at Corvallis, Oregon, in August, 1941. It received the endorsement of the convention and a promise was made to have the first National Intercollegiate Band at the next National Convention.

However, due to the Declaration of War and subsequent changes in the nation, the national conventions scheduled for 1943 and 1945 were not held. In fact, ninety percent of all fraternity chapters became inactive and only five chapters were able to remain active throughout this period. After the close of the war Bowling revived his plans and started to build an intercollegiate band which would perform as part of the 14th Biennial Convention in 1947 at Oklahoma A and M College (now Oklahoma State University) in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The first NIB featured 125 select student musicians from more than 16 colleges. The program from this concert featured eleven musical selections and ten different conductors — including Bowling, Charles Wiley, Hugh E. McMillen, J. Lee Burke, William A. Scroggs, and Dr. Bohumil Makovsky. The concert opened with John Philip Sousa’s famous march, Semper Fidelis.

(Text on the NIB from