Lambda Lambda Chapter initiates former ISU faculty

The Lambda Lambda Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi passed a resolution to initiate four former faculty members of Indiana State University as honorary members. Band directors William K. Wakefield (1983-1985) and George M. Graesch (1959-1983), Cynthia Wagoner, former graduate student of Graesch, and Gary E. Smith, former Marching Sycamores director were presented copies of the resolutions at Tuesday’s “Concert of Celebration.”

The concert, which began at 7:30 p.m. in Tilson Music Hall, honored Graesch as the longest serving band director of the ISU School of Music. Wakefield, Wagoner and Smith guest conducted the Symphonic Band. A pre-reception at 6 p.m. in Heritage Lounge, featuring piano music by Professor Emeritus John Spicknall, and the reception following the concert were sponsored by Kappa Kappa Psi.

The works that were featured on the program are “Fanfare for the Common Man” by Aaron Copland, “October” by Eric Whitacre, “National Emblem” by E.F. Bagley, “Symphonic Suite” by Clifton Williams, “Where the Highways Cross” by Harold Bright, “Esprit de Corps” by Robert Jager, “Irish Tune and Shepherd’s Hey” by Percy Grainger, “Pines of the Appian Way” by Ottorino Resphigi and “Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa.

During the second half of the program, chapter president Noah Leininger was invited to the stage to present the resolution passed by the chapter. After the resolution was read, the honorary initiates came onto the stage to receive copies of the resolution as well as membership certificates, cards, recognition pins, and bouquets of red carnations.

Honorary initiates Wakefield, Smith, and Wagoner with the chapter. Photo by Joe Ybarra.

Honorary initiates Wakefield, Smith, and Wagoner with the chapter after the concert. Photo by Joe Ybarra.

The text of the resolution is as follows:


Resolution Honoring George M. Graesch, et al.

WHEREAS, Mr. George M. Graesch, Indiana State University Director of Bands Emeritus; Dr. William K. Wakefield, past ISU Director of Bands; Dr. Cynthia Wagoner, ISU graduate and Assistant Professor of Music at East Carolina University; and Mr. Gary E. Smith, past ISU Associate Director of Bands; have all made enormous contributions to Indiana State University, our School of Music, and our University bands; and

WHEREAS, Mr. George Graesch graduated from Indiana State Teachers College in 1947; was president of the band and a charter member of ISU’s Gamma Omega Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia; served as Director of Bands at Indiana State University from 1959 until 1983, a span of twenty-four years, during which time the University bands swelled and gained national prominence; and continues to give to the University, including endowments to four scholarships that benefit students in Nursing, Linguistics, and Music;

WHEREAS, Dr. William Wakefield was Director of Bands at ISU from 1984 to 1985, having previously been Associate Director of Bands at ISU starting in 1980; and is an Honorary Member of Kappa Kappa Psi from the Beta Sigma Chapter at the University of Houston and the Delta Chapter at the University of Oklahoma; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Cynthia Wagoner was a student at Indiana State under George Graesch; directed instrumental music and served as department chair for Plymouth, Indiana Community Schools for seventeen years; is a distinguished director, adjudicator, and educator; and now serves as a professor of music education at East Carolina University; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Gary Smith directed the Marching Sycamores from 1972 to 1976; has been named Associate Director of Bands Emeritus by the University of Illinois; is an Alumni Member of Kappa Kappa Psi from the Alpha Beta Chapter at Butler University; and has received the Distinguished Service to Music Medal from the National Council of Kappa Kappa Psi for his contributions to American marching bands; and

WHEREAS, No Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi Fraternity was present at Indiana State University when these individuals were involved with the University and its band program; and

WHEREAS, These four individuals have displayed interest and concern for the work in the field of college and university bands; outstanding character; and a realization of the importance of Music above all other arts in its ability to breach the barriers of nationality, language, race, or religious persuasion; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, That we the Brothers of the Lambda Lambda Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, in accordance with the precepts of the National Council, hereby bestow upon George Graesch, William Wakefield, Cynthia Wagoner, and Gary Smith Honorary Membership in the brotherhood of said Fraternity, the title of “Brother,” and all rights and privileges accompanying such title.

At the Indiana State University Symphonic Band Concert

Founded in 1919 at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Kappa Kappa Psi is the leading fraternity solely dedicated to supporting and developing college and university band programs. Kappa Kappa Psi has affiliation with over 210 college and university campuses across the United States of America. Guided by our values, mission and ritual, Kappa Kappa Psi is purposefully working towards our vision: With a dedicated spirit of unity and cooperation, we are unequivocally committed to become the world standard of excellence for band fraternal organizations. Collectively, Kappa Kappa Psi members are inspiring one another and all college band members to Strive for the Highest.