By Catherine Marfin
After a brief orientation and tour of the facilities, the sisters were ready to get down to business. The jobs were divided amongst the active members of the Beta Gamma Chapter and the membership candidates alike, and while it was a chilly and early morning for volunteering, the sisters were happy to do the work that would improve the lives of the pets in the shelter.
Some sisters worked in the “Cattery,” or the cat adoption center, and cleaned cages, provided fresh food, and washed bedding for the cat’s living areas. At the other end of the shelter, the sisters cleaned dog bedding, toys and made peanut-butter filled treats for the pets to enjoy. Additionally, sisters socialized with dogs and cats alike, stopping by the Leukemia Cattery, where leukemia cats played in a serene shelter as they eagerly awaited adoption. It was hard and often dirty work, but the sisters walked away with full and happy hearts, knowing their work made a huge difference in the lives of animals in need of some tender love and care.
By Emily Saunders
Last Sunday, the sisters of Beta Gamma (and some of our new Membership Candidates) joined the fantastic team of volunteers at Mobile Loaves and Fishes to bring food, necessities, and a bit of Texas spirit to those in need. We spent the morning making sandwiches and packing them in lunch bags with snacks and goodies like cookies and fruit. Several loaves of bread, at least three packages of ham, and a lot of peanut butter and jelly later, the team of volunteers loaded up the Mobile Loaves and Fishes van and headed downtown to hand out lunches to the homeless community. While a few volunteers handed out lunches, some handed out socks and other little necessities, and some manned the lemonade station, the remaining sisters got out our instruments and spread a little Texas cheer the best way we know how- with Texas Traditionals! Almost every instrument was represented by our mini-Longhorn Band, playing Deep in the Heart, Texas our Texas, and even Wabash Cannonball in the spirit of brightening the day of the people we were serving. Hearing Texas Fight ring out into the parking lot brought smiles to many of the faces waiting in line for food, and it warmed our hearts to see people clapping, singing, and dancing along, showing us their best hook ‘ems. The uplifting power of music is an ideal that the Beta Gamma chapter holds near and dear to our hearts, and we love to spread it around every chance we get.
Serving the community is a cornerstone of Tau Beta Sigma, and we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to get out into our city and help people in any way we can. Mobile Loaves and Fishes is an inspiration to us with their tireless work at feeding the bodies and souls of the Austin community. The fact that we get to share our love of music as we do this important work only improves the experience for us!
As they join us in our volunteering endeavors over the semester, our 2017 Membership Candidates get to experience firsthand the joys of working with our community, practicing generosity of heart and hand as we share our love of music and service with our beloved city of Austin. We are so excited to help them continue their journey as the MC season keeps rushing by!
Beta Gamma will be participating in many different kinds of service events as the semester goes on, from helping out at Austin Pets Alive! to working with the Austin Food Bank, and even assisting Eastside Memorial High School with their concert season sectionals. Stay tuned for more updates on our activities as we strive to lift up the community through music and sisterhood!
By Catherine Marfin
On January 29, the Beta Gamma Chapter of Tau Beta Sigma welcomed its newest 33 membership candidates in our First Degree Ceremony, one of the first steps the new class will take in becoming active members of the organization.
RELA, the newest class of our chapter, started the ceremony with our big/little reveal, and had the chance to introduce themselves to both their TBS “big sisters” and their KKY “big brothers.” Because the membership candidate class is so large, some “families” had more than just two “big sisters” and one “big brother” — in fact, some of the families were as large as seven people! Still, the active members of Tau Beta Sigma enjoyed meeting their families and congratulating their littles on taking the first step of the awesome process of becoming actives.
Once the bigs and littles were revealed, the active members of Tau Beta Sigma gathered in the Byrd Room, or study room, of the music school, holding hands right over left as we waited for RELA to enter and complete the first step of initiation into our chapter. Meanwhile, the big brothers of KKY waited in the band hall, where each family had previously set up a picnic for their little - bringing their favorite meal and a few gifts to celebrate the completion of First Degree.
The Beta Gamma Chapter of Tau Beta Sigma is excited and ready for a fun semester of initiating our newest class, and teaching them how to be the best actives they can be for the years to come!
By Emily Saunders
As the semester comes to an end and finals week approaches, there’s no better way to destress than getting together for some festive celebration at the annual TBS/KKY Holiday Party! It’s the perfect time to emerge from the piles of exam reviews and essays, get all dressed up, and spend time with friends. Every year, the sisters of Beta Gamma extend an invitation to the newest membership candidate class to join in the festivities. We’re so excited to welcome this fantastic group of people to our family and we can’t wait to help them through their candidacy process next semester!
The night kicks off with everybody sitting down to a fancy dinner, followed promptly with cake and hot chocolate (what else?). After dinner, there’s time for everyone to mingle, catch up, and of course, take lots of pictures! Our Social Ritual Committee did a fantastic job getting us all in the holiday spirit with plenty of festive decorations and an adorable photo booth featuring Santa hats, reindeer antlers, and even Bevo horns! Every class was sure to get a picture together, from our seniors in XELU to our youngest class of actives in LANU. In addition to class pictures, members of TBS and KKY got together to get section pictures. Our sections are our families in Longhorn Band, and even more so when we share a common love for service and sister and brotherhood! Looking at all of our sisters and brothers spread across every section in the band is a fun reminder of just how many people in Longhorn Band are also members (or future members) of one of these great organizations committed to serving our band and our community. Seeing our family get bigger and bigger, not only in TBS but also in KKY, is one of my favorite parts of holiday party, as it’s one of the first events the most recent class of KKY gets to attend as active members!
Of course, the night wasn’t just for pictures and food! Everyone had the option to stick around after the festivities for a white elephant holiday gift exchange. The gifts are always hilarious, creative, and full of holiday cheer. From hot chocolate sets and festive scented candles to coloring books, funny socks, and even a four-foot-tall Stormtrooper action figure, everyone’s gifts were enjoyed by all.
Holiday Party is the perfect time to look back fondly on a successful marching season and get excited for the spring! The spring semester is a busy one for Beta Gamma as we look forward to welcoming our new membership candidates officially into our chapter as well as continuing to serve LHB and the Austin community. We’re so excited to get started!
By Emily Saunders
Alumni Weekend holds a special place in the hearts of many members of the Longhorn Band. Some get to march with old friends, some with parents, aunts, uncles, or even grandparents. And while not all of us are related by blood to members of Alumni Band, we all share a bond that transcends family ties: a bond of love for and dedication to the Longhorn Band. Hearing stories from people who were in the band thirty years ago that had the same experiences as we have is nothing short of surreal. It is easy to forget how long the Longhorn Band has been around; when we're in it, it seems as though our years in the band are all that matters. But every year we are reminded that this band has touched the lives of thousands of people across the nation and the world, and this weekend we were fortunate enough to share the field with one of those thousands.
The weekend kicked off as it always does at Scholz Garden, where the active sisters of Tau Beta Sigma (as well as many prospective sisters) helped to set up and run the alumni rehearsal, along with the brothers of Kappa Kappa Psi. The ladies of Beta Gamma set up the rehearsal room, sorted out merchandise and name tags, and helped facilitate check in as the crowds of excited alumni began pouring in. There was plenty of logistic work to be done, as the rehearsal was attended by hundreds of alumni members looking to get ready for the big marching rehearsal the next day! It was so fantastic for our sisters to see the wide variety of people who come to Austin for Alumni Weekend, and the common bond that ties us all together, regardless of graduation year, instrument, or affiliation!
The next day saw the Bubble filled to the brim with band members of all ages as we prepared together for halftime. It was especially exciting for TBS to see women from generations back rocking their TBS letters as they marched along to the classic sounds of the Alumni Band performing March Grandioso and the March of the Longhorns. We as a chapter are so lucky to have such a long and proud history of service to the band, and it is easy to see on Alumni Band day. A lot has changed since Tau Beta Sigma first came to the Longhorn Band, but our core principles of music, service, and sisterhood are as special to us today as they were in 1957 when our chapter began.
The Alumni Band halftime show never fails to wow the crowd in DKR. There is nothing quite like seeing an six hundred member strong army of orange vests execute such a classic show to the traditional sounds of the Longhorn Band, and when the current members curled on to join them, filling out the already full ranks, the energy in the stadium was palpable. When the "hey, up!" was called and the Eyes started ringing out into the stadium, it was easy to see how special our band is. I could feel the love of a hundred and sixteen years of band members filling up our sound, and with a thousand musicians playing their hearts out, I'm sure they could feel it all across Texas.
By Emily Saunders
This past weekend saw members of the Longhorn Band for the annual Red River Rivalry in Dallas, Texas against the Oklahoma Sooners. After a long Friday of charter-bus travel, an open rehearsal at the local Richardson High School, and traditional section dinners at neighboring restaurants, members of the Longhorn Band got up bright and early – with a 5 a.m. call time –ready to cheer on the horns at the long-anticipated Cotton Bowl.
Before the 11 a.m. kickoff, the sisters of the Beta Gamma Chapter of Tau Beta Sigma were busy filling up water jugs for the members of the band and organizing med-kits. Additionally, the sisters were excited to carry out another tradition – singing the Affirmation Song with the members of the University of Oklahoma’s Delta Chapter of TBS. LHB’s Ladies of Tau Beta Sigma spent their previous meeting rehearsing parts and ensuring that the Affirmation Song would be sung beautifully come game day, and our chapter was eager to meet the ladies of OU.
By Catherine Marfin
Sunday, September 4 marked the first game of UT’s 2016 football season! There was a lot of excitement leading up to the much anticipated opening game against Notre Dame. From a slew of new football recruits ready to make their debut on the field to the unveiling of Bevo XV, longhorns across campus flocked the stadium on game day to cheer on the horns. With over 102,000 fans packed into the seats of Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium — 102,315, to be exact, a record-breaking attendance — fans cheered the longhorns to an eventual 50-47 win, after an exciting and suspenseful double overtime.
No one was more excited for the season opener than members of UT’s very own Longhorn Band. After several years spent physically disconnected to the crowd in the south end zone of the stadium, just underneath the jumbotron, the band debuted their new home, proudly playing Texas Fight from the northeast corner of the stadium.
After many hours and workdays spent in the weeks leading up to the start of the semester, members of Tau Beta Sigma were ready to do what they do best — lend a helping hand to the members of LHB through sisterhood and service. Everyone was eager to help out; volunteer signups for the game filled up almost immediately after they were posted! The girls enjoyed carrying med-kits, helping out with water, and selling T-shirts and merchandise before the game during our annual hall sales.
But with all these new changes came a few challenges — none of which were too large for the members of Tau Beta Sigma to handle. Carrying the water jugs from the field up to members of the band turned out to be much more difficult than originally anticipated, but the sisters worked around these challenges together — everyone was flexible and cooperative and lent a helping hand wherever it was needed to ensure that the same level of service was provided to our band members. A few extra sets of stairs was a small feat for the dedicated members of this group!
The newest members of our chapter, who were inducted last spring, were eager and excited to officially help out as active members of the organization. The older members were equally excited for them, and it was truly awesome to watch the older members of the group teach, mentor and work together our newest members to provide a much-needed service on game day.
The next weekend, the September 10 game against UTEP, ran exponentially smoother. The band was used to our new location, the younger girls had a handle on the routines and effort needed to serve the band, and the members of Tau Beta Sigma were back in the swing of our usual game-day routine.
As always, serving the band and working alongside our sisters was incredibly fun and rewarding. I think I speak for everyone in this chapter when I say that we are all eager, willing, and ready for the next game-day, another opportunity to give back to an organization that has given us so much.
Our BG Blog posts are written by our very own sisters in Tau Beta Sigma!
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