Chapter History

In June 1935, F. Lee Bowling, future Founder of the National Intercollegiate Band and Grand President, sent a survey under the banner of Kappa Kappa Psi to colleges and universities across the country to gather information about their bands. One of the colleges included in the survey was the Indiana State Teachers College, and ISTC Director of Bands Harold Bright replied to the survey asking for more information about Kappa Kappa Psi. No further correspondence between Bright and Bowling exists in either the National or University Archives, but no colony ever started at Indiana State under Harold Bright. By the time Bright’s successor, Joseph A. Gremelspacher, was initiated into the National Chapter as an honorary member in 1952, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia had had a chapter at State for five years.

Fast-forward nearly seventy years: In January 2003, a colony information packet was sent to Indiana State University in response to a request for information made at the Midwest Clinic, International Band and Orchestra Conference, in Chicago. In late 2003, Dr. Doug Keiser, Associate Director of Bands, and several exemplary band members at the time began to plan and assemble members to establish a chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi at Indiana State University. On November 23, 2003, the prospective colonists elected their first executive committee, with junior Dan Peo serving as President.

On January 6, 2004, notice was sent to Dr. Doug Keiser that the request to establish a colony, or probationary chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, at Indiana State had been approved by the National Council. The January 7, 2004, edition of NewsNotes On-Line, the electronic newsletter of Kappa Kappa Psi, held the first public mention of the Lambda Lambda chapter, which was known at the time as the Indiana State University Colony of Kappa Kappa Psi. The colony comprised eighteen members, with Dan Peo assuming the colony presidency.

One month later, the Alpha Beta chapter from Butler University administered the Ritual of First Degree to the colony, which was then seventeen members strong, on February 7. Just over a year after the charter class went through the Ritual of First Degree, the Lambda Lambda chapter was installed on the afternoon of February 27, 2005 by Dr. Rod Chesnutt, National Vice President for Colonization and Membership. Members of the Nu (Michigan), Alpha Beta (Butler), Alpha Zeta (Indiana), Beta Tau (Wichita State), Gamma Nu (Florida State), Gamma Pi (Purdue), Eta Delta (Eastern Illinois), and Kappa Nu (Northern Illinois) chapters were in attendance, as were North Central District President Marco Krcatovich II, District Vice President for Programs Michelle Webster, District Secretary-Treasurer Sarah Newton, District Governor Dr. Malina Matney, and past District President Rod Whiteman.

The chapter made plans to initiate Frederick Fennell, founder of the prestigious Eastman Wind Ensemble and friend and colleague to ISU Director of Bands Dr. John Boyd, when Fennell was to visit the university in April 2005, but this was sadly made impossible when Fennell passed away in December 2004.

In 2013, as part of the George Graesch Concert of Celebration, the chapter conferred honorary membership to Mr. George Graesch, the longest-serving Director of Bands in University history; Dr. William Wakefield, past Director of Bands; Mr. Gary E. Smith, past Director of Athletic Bands at ISU and Associate Director of Bands Emeritus from the University of Illinois; and Dr. Cindy Wagoner, ISU graduate and Assistant Professor of Music Education at East Carolina University. These four distinguished members were conducted through the Ritual the evening before the concert and were presented with red carnations, membership certificates, and pins during the concert.

Other honorary members of the chapter have included Mr. Gary Wallyn, Interim Associate Director of Bands; Mr. Joseph Corey Francis, Director of Athletic Bands 2011–12; Dr. Terry Dean, Assistant Professor of Musicology and alumnus of the Omicron chapter; Kelly Fallon, Instrument Repair Technician; and Mr. John Williams, Director of Athletic Bands 2012–13.