Handbook Contents

            Constitution and By-Laws for Nebraska Chapter of Phi Beta Mu

*          Definition and Objectives
*          Membership
*           Obligations/Privileges of Membership
*          Chapter Meeting
*         Attendance at Meetings
*           Chapter Quorum
*          Chapter Dues
*          Constitutional and By-Laws Amendments
*          Election to Chapter Membership
*          Active Membership Requirements
*          Advice to Active Members
*          Retired Membership
*          Honorary Membership
*          Change in Professional Status
*          Transfer of Membership
*          Reinstatement of Membership
*           Membership Recognition Pin

           Chapter Organization and Procedures

*          Chapter Officers and Election
*          Duties of Chapter Officers
*          Chapter Committees
                                   Executive Board Committee
                                   Constitution and By-Laws Committee
                                   Membership Committee
                                   Project and Objectives Committee
                                   Ritual and Program Committee
                                   Award Committee
*         Membership Committee Procedures
*          New Members Nominating Process


*          Chapter Officers and Committee Assignments
*          Charter Members of the Alpha Theta/Nebraska Chapter of Phi Beta Mu
*           History of Phi Beta Mu International


Constitution and By-Laws

Definition and Objectives of Phi Beta Mu

Phi Beta Mu is a nonpolitical, not-for-profit fraternity organized (1) to promote good fellowship among its members, (2) to encourage the building of better bands and the development of better musicians in schools throughout the world, and (3) to foster a deeper appreciation of good music and more widespread interest in it on the part of the lay public.


Membership shall be restricted to band directors who are at the time of their initiation, members in good standing of the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association and the Nebraska Music Educators' Association.   A prospective member must have been in the profession at least eight years at the time of nomination.

Obligation/Privileges of Members
Each active member has pledged to help every other member of the Fraternity in whatever way  is possible and to respond promptly to all communications concerning Phi Beta Mu business. Action by any member to use  the fraternity  for personal gain is unethical.   All discussions held in all meetings shall be in the strictest confidence among the members of the Fraternity. 
Violation of any of the above obligations shall be grounds for expulsion of the violating member from this Fraternity at the discretion of a majority of a quorum vote at any regular meeting, upon substantiated proof of such violation.


Chapter Meetings

The official chapter business and yearly installation meeting will be held at the same time and in the same city as the regular meeting of the Nebraska State Bandmasters  Association Annual  Convention.  At no time shall there be called a meeting of the Fraternity to transact business other than herein specified.  The Chapter will also meet for social purposes at other times specified during the year, such as the summer convention of the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association and the annual Nebraska Music Educators Conference in November.

Attendance at Meetings

Members who are absent without acceptable excuse from two regular meetings shall be suspended and dropped from active membership.   To be excused from attendance at a meeting, a member will present a written excuse, if possible, to the Chapter Secretary-Treasurer prior to the scheduled chapter meeting.  This excuse will be passed on to the Fraternity at the regular meeting.

A suspended member may petition the chapter for reinstatement.   In cases involving personal emergency, the Membership Committee may suspend the attendance requirement on a case-by-case basis so that a member may retain membership in spite of unavoidable absences.


Chapter Quorum

A quorum shall consist of those members present at the regular chapter business meeting.

Chapter Dues

The membership dues of the Alpha Beta Chapter of Phi Beta Mu shall be set by the Executive Committee prior to the Annual Chapter Business Meeting.   Membership dues are to be paid in full by the annual meeting in March (NSBA Convention), and any member is delinquent if their dues have not been paid by June 1st of the same year.

Constitutional and By-Laws Amendments

The Constitution and By-Laws may be altered, amended or repealed at any regular business meeting of members by a two-thirds (2/3/) vote of the members present.


Election to Chapter Membership

To be elected to membership, a prospective member must be sponsored by an active member in good standing, who shall be held responsible for the prospective member, providing he/she is accepted for membership in the Fraternity.  In the event that a member should be expelled from the Fraternity, it shall be the duty of the sponsoring member to inform said member of his/her expulsion.
The names of any prospective members must be submitted by an active member for consideration by the Membership Committee. (See Membership Committee Procedures.)
In no case are prospective members to know that their names are being considered by the Membership Committee, unless they have requested an opportunity for application for membership.
If a chapter member has valid reasons for objecting to the initiation into membership of anyone, it is that member's privilege to notify the Membership Committee of these objections in writing by April 15th to the Chairperson of the Membership Committee.
After receiving the Membership Committee vote of acceptance into the Fraternity, the prospective member is voted upon by the membership.    If the prospective member is voted into the membership then he/she is eligible to take the Oath of the Fraternity.


Active Membership Requirements

Active Members who are to remain members of the Fraternity must attend at least every other Annual Business Meeting or present in writing, prior to the meeting to be missed, a statement through the Secretary to the Board of Directors justifying the absence.  

Active Members who are to remain members of the Fraternity may not be more than one year delinquent in payment of dues. Members who do not pay their dues in full by the second business meeting from the date of the previous payment of their dues will be dropped from the chapter roster.  

Active Members who do not remain members of the Fraternity will be requested not to wear their pin when their name is dropped from membership.

Advice to Active Members

Stop at the admissions desk when entering a meeting, check address, pay dues and see that attendance is recorded. Notify the Chapter Secretary immediately of an address change.


Retired Membership

*Retired Active - An active member in good standing may be designated a Retired Active Member and shall carry all of the privileges of an active member.  Such a Retired Active Member shall pay only local dues, have local chapter privileges only, and not be entitled to the regularly published International magazines.

*Retired Inactive - an active member in good standing may be designated a Retired Inactive member with no dues required.  Such a member may attend chapter meetings and enjoy Fraternity affiliation, but will not have voting privileges in chapter proceedings at any level or receive regularly published International magazines.

      A "retired member" is defined as one who receives a pension and/or social security.


Honorary Membership and Honors

Any chapter may bestow honorary membership upon an individual outside the Fraternity by a unanimous vote of the chapter's membership at any regular chapter meeting. This membership shall be considered international in scope and shall be listed in the International Membership Roster.
An honorary member may participate in all activities except to vote or hold office and may petition any chapter for active membership.
Honorary membership may be bestowed upon an active member as a special recognition by a unanimous vote at a regular chapter meeting. Upon receiving this honor, the member will retain all active membership privileges but will not be required to pay annual dues.
A member may be further honored by a Lifetime Chapter Presidency by unanimous vote of the chapter. No special pin will be given.
A Chapter Past-President pin will be given each Chapter President at the conclusion of the term of office. This pin shall be the regular membership pin with a row of five (5) half pearls bordering the top and bottom of the pin.
Change in Professional Status

A change in professional status does not alter membership. Memberships may be continued by paying dues and by attending the official annual meetings regularly.  Individuals must also maintain membership in good standing with the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association.   Dues may not be delinquent past the close of the official business meeting following two years in arrears. Absence from official chapter meetings may not exceed two consecutive meetings without Chapter Board approval. A Chapter Board action is required to cancel a membership either by suspension, expulsion, or resignation.

Transfer of Membership

An Active Member may remain associated with the chapter in which he/she holds membership regardless of where he/she may live so long as he/she continues to comply with the active membership requirements. It is recommended that an individual transfer to the state chapter (if a chapter exists) in the state to which he/she has moved. This transfer can be effected by writing his/her original Chapter Secretary, who will in turn notify the International Office verifying his/her good standing. The International Office will request the new chapter to invite the transferee to membership, verifying that the individual was in good standing at the time of his/her move.   The individual may continue membership in his/her original chapter by regularly paying dues if there is no chapter in the state where he/she resides.

Reinstatement of Membership

An Active Member who has relinquished membership for any reason may petition to be reinstated. The individual must write a letter addressed to the Chapter Board in care of the Chapter Secretary requesting reinstatement. The letter must give the date and reason of separation and the reason for requesting reinstatement.
The Board will act on the request in the following manner:
            1. Approved reinstatement without conditions 
             2. Approved reinstatement with conditions:
                        Partial payment of back dues or Payment of all back dues
            3. Disapproved reinstatement

Membership Recognition Pin

The Gold membership Pin represents a bass drum with a baton placed diagonally across the drum, over which the Greek letters for PBM are superimposed.  The drum and baton signify leadership.  The Greek letters for PBM signify Life, Love and Music.


Chapter Organization and Procedures 

Chapter Officers and Election
There shall be elected by a majority of a quorum vote the following officers, who will serve two years, or until their duly elected successors have qualified: President, President-Elect, and Secretary-Treasurer.   Only the Secretary-Treasurer shall be eligible to succeed himself/herself.

Duties of Chapter Officers
Chapter President
The President shall be the Chairperson of the Board of Directors, preside at all meetings of both the Executive Board Committee and the Fraternity, appoint all committees, and serve on the same committees as an ex-officio member.
Chapter President-Elect
The chapter President-Elect shall act as the Chairperson of the Membership Committee, and preside in the absence of the President.  In the event of the President's departure from office, the President-Elect shall assume the office of the President with all of its rights and responsibilities. A vacancy in an office may be filled by the Executive Board  for the unexpired portion of the term.
Chapter Secretary-Treasurer
The Chapter Secretary-Treasurer shall take and keep on file minutes of all meetings and keep accurate records of membership and of monies collected for the treasury.  This record will be available at the annual meeting for all members.  He/she may expend monies from the treasury as authorized by the voting of the Fraternity or Board of Directors if necessary.   The Executive Board shall submit to the Fraternity all expenditures of monies which they deem proper to be spent, but only by a majority of a quorum vote shall said monies be expended.


Committee Personnel and Procedures

All necessary committees, including the chairperson and all its members, shall be appointed by  the Chapter President.

Chapter Committees
            Executive Board Committee
            Personnel:  This committee shall consist of the President, President-Elect, Secretary-Treasurer, Past-President, and the Chair of the Project and Objectives Committee.
            Duties:  It shall be the duty of this committee to administer the activities of the Alpha Theta Chapter for the good of all those in this honorary bandmasters fraternity.  The Executive Board shall submit its recommendations of these activities to the membership for its approval at the annual meeting in March.

           Constitution and By-Laws Committee
            Personnel:  There shall be a Chairperson and four additional committee members.
            Duties:  It shall be the duty of this committee to study the content and application of the Chapter Constitution and By-Laws with the intent of suggesting such amendments and revisions necessary to keep it applicable to the present and changing conditions.  The finding of this committee shall be passed on to the Chapter Board of Directors.

            Chapter Membership Committee
            Personnel:  The President-Elect shall be the Chairperson of the Membership Committee.  The Membership Committee shall consist of a minimum of three additional chapter members; the current Board of Directors and other past-presidents are recommended.
            Duties:  It shall be the duty of this committee to follow the Membership Committee Procedures as stated in this document.

            Project and Objectives Committee
            Personnel:  There shall be a Chairperson and two additional committee members.
            Duties: It shall be the duty of this committee to use initiative in submitting yearly, definite aims and objectives that will enhance the worth of membership in Phi Beta Mu.

           Chapter Ritual and Program Committee
            Personnel:  There shall be a Chairperson and two additional committee members.
            Duties:  It shall be the duty of this Chairperson to administer the oath of membership to the incoming candidates of the chapter at its annual installation and to charge them with their responsibilities for the proper functioning of the oath.  It shall also be the duty of this committee to assist with making the arrangements for all chapter meetings and gatherings.
            Chapter Award Committee
            Personnel:  The Chapter President and two additional committee members shall  make up the  Award Committee
            Duties:  It shall be the duty of this committee to develop and recommend to the Executive Board awards to honor and recognize Alpha Theta members and others that contribute to the development of bands and band music within the state of Nebraska.


Membership Committee Procedures
1.  Nominations for new members are to be made verbally from the floor during the annual Alpha Theta/Nebraska Chapter meeting  of Phi Beta Mu with a vote for the nominee(s) occurring during the following year.  The nominator shall be prepared to address the ways in which the nominee meets Phi Beta Mu membership standards.   AT NO TIME IS THE NOMINEE TO KNOW HE/SHE IS BEING CONSIDERED FOR MEMBERSHIP.
2.  The nominator shall  complete an nominee information sheet and it will be given to the Membership Chair, the day of the annual meeting.   The Sponsor and Co-Sponsor(s)  must write letters of recommendation for the nominee and send them to the Membership Chair  by April 15th of the same year  the date of the nomination.  Other letters of recommendation for the nominee can be considered at the discretion of the Membership Chair.

3.  If a chapter member has valid reasons for objecting to the initiation of anyone on the nominee list,  it is that member’s responsibility to notify the Membership Chair of these objections in writing  by April 15th.  No protests will be considered at any other time.

4.  Sponsors of candidates or their proxies may  attend the November (NMEA) Phi Beta Mu Membership Committee meeting  to represent their candidate. 

5.   A  list of fully documented candidates (information sheet and letters of recommendation on file with the Membership Chair)  shall be mailed to the entire membership prior to the annual meeting.  The ballot vote of each member shall be  e-mailed or mailed back to the Membership Chairperson postmarked no later than 14 days prior to the first scheduled day of the convention at which the Chapter meeting is held.
6.  The Chairperson of the Membership Committee shall prepare a composite report of the ballots for the Membership Committee’s evaluation.
7.  Based on the recommendations of those making the new member nomination, the vote of the membership, and taking into consideration the objections of members to the candidates, the Membership committee shall have sole authority to determine the candidates, which shall be invited into membership into Alpha Theta/Nebraska Chapter of Phi Beta Mu.  In the event that there is a tie vote of the Membership Committee concerning the membership of a candidate, the Chapter President or the president’s proxy shall be present to cast the tie-breaking vote.

The Membership committee shall base membership decisions of new candidates for Phi Beta Mu on the following consistent set of criteria:
            a)  have a minimum of eight (8) years of experience as a successful band director.
            b)  currently hold or formerly have held a position as conductor of a consistently superior band.
            c)  contributes to the profession through service on the Executive Board or committees of the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association and/or the Nebraska Music Educators Association;  has contributed professional service through research, clinics, outstanding performances at state conventions, publications, compositions, etc.
            d)   has established a reputation for high standards of moral and ethical behavior, both as an individual and as an educator.
8.  Only those candidates receiving support of the voting members and the majority vote of the Membership Committee shall be invited to membership in Phi Beta Mu.

10.  Each accepted candidate shall be notified and invited to membership by his/her nominator or designee.  If the candidate to Phi Beta Mu accepts, it shall be the obligation of the nominator and co-sponsor to purchase lunch for the new candidate.  The Alpha Theta Chapter will cover the first year chapter dues.  The nomination of any candidate not attending the installation ceremony shall be tabled and voted on again the following year unless the nominator withdraws his/her name.      



            1.  First, consider Nebraska band directors who should be honored with membership  in Phi Beta Mu, making a list of those you consider worthy.
            2.  Make sure that your potential nominee(s) meet(s) the standards for being inducted into Phi Beta Mu.
                        a.  A minimum of 8 years as an active successful director.
                        b. Produces consistently superior bands.
                        c.  Contributes to the profession through service on the Executive Board and/or committees of the NSBA and/or NMEA or other professional service such as research, clinics, judging, performances at in-service conferences, etc.
                        d.  Displays high standards of moral and ethical behavior, both as an individual and as an educator.

            3.  Contact fellow Phi Beta Mu members to enlist as co-sponsors.
            4.  Present your nominee to the general membership at the annual business meeting.  Be prepared to address  the ways in which the nominee meets Phi Beta Mu membership standards.
            5.  The Sponsor and Co-Sponsors must write letters of recommendation for the nominee and send them to the Membership Chair  by April 15th  following the annual business meeting.  The letter should include why the nominee meets the standards listed above to be honored with membership to Phi Beta Mu.  Failure to send letters by the deadline will remove that candidate from consideration.
            6. The membership committee will meet and review the recommendation letters.  If the letters are not strong enough to support a candidate for membership, the membership chair will ask for a meeting between the sponsors and the committee during the fall NMEA conference.  At that time, the sponsors can present more supportive background about the nominees to the committee.
            7.  The membership committee will convene in January at the executive board meeting to decide on the final nominee slate.
            8.  A ballot will be sent to all members of Phi Beta Mu to vote on new members.  If a NO vote is placed by a member, that member must include a letter describing why they chose to vote NO for a particular candidate which  includes how the  candidate fails to meet the criteria for membership.          


Chapter Officers and Committee Assignments         2009-2011
                        Alpha Theta/Nebraska Chapter of Phi Beta Mu

            President - Dr. Jay Gilbert, Doane College

            President-Elect -Kathy Dalby, Lincoln, NE

            Secretary/Treasurer - Dr. Carolyn Barber, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

            Past-President - Dr. Brian Anderson, Fremont


                        Alpha Theta Committee Assignments

            Executive Board Committee
                Dr. Jay Gilbert, Kathy Dalby, Dr. Carolyn Barber and Dr. Brian Anderson

            Project and Objectives Committee
Dr. Jay Gilbert, Dr. Carolyn Barber, Stan Johnson
and Linda Donohue; others to be determined

            Ritual and Program Committee
                        Royce Schweitzer, Chair; others to be determined

            Award - TBD

            Constitution and By-Laws Committee
                        Linda Donohue, Chair
                                    Dr. Bill Winkle, Bryan Johnson, Rex Barker, and Terry Rush

            Membership Committee
                         Kathy Dalby, Chair
                                    Dr. Jay Gilbert, Dr. Carolyn Barber and Dr. Brian Anderson


Alpha Beta/Phi Beta Mu Nebraska Chapter

Charter Members - 1998

Dr. Brian Anderson, Fremont, NE
Rex Barker, Omaha, NE
Byron Braasch, Bellevue, NE
Dr. Rod Chesnutt, Relocated
Ann Davis, Relocated
Dr. Gary Davis, Kearney, NE
Linda Donohue, Omaha, NE
Dale Duensing, Hastings, NE
Dr. Jay Gilbert, Crete, NE
Dr. Bill Hall, Blair, NE
Deb Jenkins, Omaha, NE
Jim Johnson, Omaha, NE
Cathy Keiser, Omaha, NE
Dick Keiser, Omaha, NE
Jay Kloecker, Lincoln, NE
James Kordik, NE
Bob Krueger, Lincoln, NE
Dean Maxwell, Relocated
Bob Palensky, Deceased
Terry Rush, Lincoln, NE
Dr. Jim Saker, Omaha, NE
Royce Schweitzer, Henderson, NE
Matt Sheppard, Omaha, NE
Jack Snider, Lincoln, NE
Scot Thompson, Elkhorn, NE
Christine Tucker, Omaha, NE
Michael Veak, Relocated
Brad Weber, Wayne, NE
Carola Winkle, Chadron, NE
Dr. William Winkle, Chadron, NE
David Young, Lincoln, NE 


History of Phi Beta Mu

Phi Beta Mu was established as a result of the respect and appreciation which our Founder, Colonel Earl D. Irons, had for his professional associates. Col. Irons was a Bandmaster and Chairman of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Arlington, then known as North Texas Agricultural College. He envisioned an organization that would honor outstanding band directors whose dedication and devotion to their profession were paramount, but whose admirable traits and services were not necessarily known nationally. Col. Irons sought to honor deserving individuals on a state level similar to the manner in which he and Honorary Life President, D.O. Wiley, had been honored by the American Bandmasters Association in 1936.

During the summer of 1937, Col. Irons was performing as a guest conductor and cornet teacher at the Texas Tech Summer Band Camp.  During this time, he had discussions about his plan for this special organization with Dr. D. O. Wiley, Director of the Tech Band Camp. These two men decided that the time was right to start such an organization, and "Prof" Wiley assembled a group of prominent band directors at the camp for a meeting with Col. Irons.

Among those Texas directors present at this early meeting were: Carl Cochran of Marlin, Texas, Russell Shrader of Sweetwater, Texas,  George Rucker of Bowie, Texas,  Sanford Eskridge of WInk, Texas,  H. A. Anderson of Lubbock, Texas,  and Clyde Rowe, who later taught in Borger Texas. Cochran, Shrader, and Rucker were especially interested in creating the framework for the organization.

A number of meetings were held in the University's Textile Building during that summer. The final decision to organize was reached during a watermelon feast in Professor Wiley's backyard.   At this time it was decided that the organization should be structured to be a national bandmaster's fraternity with the details to be worked out during the ensuing year.

Col. Irons received advice and help from Dr. Cothburn O'Neal in working out details of the organizational structure.  Dr. O'Neal was a former student of Irons' in 1925 and was on the faculty of North Texas Agricultural College, serving as an English professor. Together they selected Phi Beta Mu, with the subtitle of 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 original member recognition pin was the five lines and spaces of the staff in a vertical position, closed at each end, with the Greek letters for Phi Beta Mu inset across the center.

With the ideas gleaned from the earlier meetings at Texas Tech, the Constitution and membership oath were written an approved in the summer of l938.  The first official meeting was held at the Rice Hotel in Houston during the Texas Music Educators Association meeting in February of l939.

All members of Phi Beta Mu are encouraged to check out the International Phi Beta Mu website at http://www.phibetamu.org for further information about our honorary band directors organization.