Beta Mu is the highest honorary international band director’s
fraternity. It was organized to encourage the building of
better bands and the development of better musicians in schools
world and to foster deeper appreciation of good music and more wide
|Phi Beta Mu was established as a result of the
respect and appreciation its founder, Colonel Earl D. Irons, had for his
professional associates, school band directors. He envisioned an organization
that would honor outstanding band directors whose dedication and devotion to
their profession was paramount, but whose admirable traits and services were
not necessarily known nationally. In order to do this, Col. Irons sought to
honor deserving individuals on a state level. The fraternity was named Phi
Beta Mu with the subtitle National Bandmasters Fraternity,
as the name of the organization. Phi
Beta Mu was interpreted to mean Life, Love, and Music.
The colors chosen to represent the Fraternity were blue and white.
|The first official meeting was held at the Rice
Hotel in Houston, Texas in February, 1939. The first initiates
were R.C. Davidson, Jack H. Mahan, Lyle Skinner, Alfred Wiley, Vergne Adams,
and Holmes McNeely. Dr. Cothburn O'Neal was the first individual to be made an
Honorary Member in recognition of his work with Col. Irons in developing the
Fraternity Constitution and Oath.
|Dr. Milburn Carey was initiated in 1942 as a
member of Alpha Chapter. In 1944, Dr. Carey chartered Beta Chapter in Enid, Oklahoma.
In 1946, Harold L. Walters, who had become an honorary member of Beta Chapter,
invited Dr. Carey to charter Gamma Chapter in Indiana
Chapter of Phi Beta Mu was organized and the charter members initiated
on November 27, 1953, at the state convention of the Indiana Music
Educators Association. There are presently
over 100 active members in the state of Indiana.
|With an International Office, the Fraternity
grew to include additional state chapters and began expanding into foreign
countries. New chapters were established chapters in Graz,
Austria and Alberta, Canada
in 1975, and Japan
in 1978. International growth continues today as Phi Beta Mu's
ideals are recognized as valid and important to the development of bands
throughout the world.
Phi Beta Mu is:
The only national
or international bandmasters' fraternity in the world;
bandmaster-organization to be organized because of one's love and respect for
his fellow man;
bandmaster's organization that provides a forum, by oath, for a closer contact
between leading members of the profession;
organization that acts as a liaison between all bandmaster organizations; and
organization which, through the American Bandmasters Association, has as its
heritage the greatest bandmasters of all time.