The Trailblazer Trading Cards began in 2022 as a way to feature a member who has made an important impact to the Sorority. Each year we hope to add a new “set” of cards to recognize the many impactful members of Tau Beta Sigma that we are so fortunate to have counted among us! Follow along on social media and this page to see the Trailblazers for 2023 announced each day.
Create your own Trailblazer Card to recognize a member of your Chapter – past or present – for how they live out our Values as an organization! Follow this link to a Canva template that is ready for your own pictures and text to be added. Be sure to share these Trailblazer Cards on Social Media with the hashtag #13DaysofTBSigma and tag Tau Beta Sigma.
Stay tuned for the 13 Days of Tau Beta Sigma 2023 to see the Trailblazer announcements each day!
Knowledge and development of your physical powers in the quest for good health and bodily perfection.
Dr. Kathryn Kelly served as the 36th National President of Tau Beta Sigma from 2015-2017 and is the first National President initiated at an HBCU. Kathryn is committed to health and wellness for herself and her community. As a Internal Medicine physician and owner of a private practice Kathryn serves her community through her work – bringing access to high quality care to those in need – and as President of the Howard University College of Medicine Alumni Association.
Recognition and development of your intellectual potential.
Shalyn Nystrom is a Midwest District Counselor and also serves as Chairperson of the Assessment Committee. She brings her education and professional background in data analytics to her leadership of the committee and has led the group to establish new data processes and create resources to support the National Leadership Team. Shalyn encourages creativity and questions within the committee to push Tau Beta Sigma forward.
Appreciation for and the maintenance of the highest moral standards.
Valerie Butler was the first President of the “Clef Club” at Texas Southern University and later the Beta Omicron Chapter of Tau Beta Sigma, the first to be installed at a Historically Black College. The group was largely comprised of music education majors with many commitments to the TSU ensembles. The Chapter displayed devotion to the band program and persisted through many challenges during the Civil Rights Movement continuing to represent their band program and Tau Beta Sigma.
Achievement of and the personification within you of lofty spiritual ideals.
Dr. Johnnie Vinson served as the National Vice President for Professional Relations from 1999-2005. Professionally, Dr. Vinson worked as the Director of Bands at Auburn University until his retirement and is an internationally recognized composer of music for band. In addition to his service to Tau Beta Sigma, Dr. Vinson received the Paula Crider Award in 2000 and was the first recipient of the Johnnie Vinson Award in 2003.
Cultivation and maintenance of your emotional poise under all conditions.
Patsy Hejl served as the 12th National President of Tau Beta Sigma from 1967-1969. Through her leadership the Sorority gained prominence in professional music organizations and greater recognition for our service to college bands. In addition to this growth Patsy also led the Sorority with calm, careful, considerate leadership through a period of financial challenge and brought the organization closer together as a force in the band world.
Physical and mental qualities of an attractive nature.
Barbara Griggs served as the President of Tau Beta Sigma at Texas Technical College from 1941-1943. During her presidency the organization persisted on the Texas Tech campus initiating new members. Barbara shaped the future of Tau Beta Sigma by moving forward with plans for nationalization including communications with A. Frank Martin and with the leaders of other bandswomen’s groups at other colleges.
Demonstrated loyalty and dependability to those persons and institutions deserving of it.
Janet West Miller served as the 6th National President of Tau Beta Sigma from 1955-1957.
As a female band director in the 1950s Janet faced some resistance as she began her career, but she persevered with support and encouragement from Tau Beta Sigma. As a lifelong leader and fixture in the Sorority, Janet was the first Past National President elected to serve on the Board of Trustees and later became a Lifetime Member of the Board where she served until her passing in 2020.
A truthfulness and honesty which instills a sense of trust in others.
Carolyn McCambridge served Tau Beta Sigma in many roles including as a Chapter Field Representative from 2002-2004, North Central District Counselor from 2006-2012, and as the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees from 2019-2021. In each of these roles Carolyn blends professionalism with fun creating an environment for members to push themselves to be their best and to have fun along the way.
A cheerfulness at all times and under all circumstances, even in the face of great trial.
Adrienne Rall served as the 38th National President of Tau Beta Sigma from 2019-2021 and currently serves on the Board of Trustees. Under Adrienne’s leadership the Sorority found new ways to serve, to connect, and to lead during the COVID-19 pandemic. While many interpret cheerfulness as being “bubbly” Adrienne embodies cheerfulness as being hopeful and optimistic about the future and maintaining one’s integrity through challenging times for the best of Tau Beta Sigma.
A mutual interest in the Art of Music in its performance and in the aesthetic qualities it can project to others.
Paula Crider is a distinguished music educator, conductor, lecturer, and adjudicator in the United States and abroad. She was the first female in Texas to serve as director of bands for a 5-A high school as well as a Past President of the National Band Association and American Bandmasters Association. Paula has received numerous awards and honors for her work, but she considers her greatest honor to be the privilege of working with all who share a passion for excellence in making music.
Generosity of mind, heart, and hand.
Cathy Miles has served the Sorority in many roles including as District Counselor from 1991-1997 and 2003-2006 and a Board of Trustees member from 1997-2001. She currently serves as the Sponsor of the Epsilon Omega Chapter. She is also a recipient of the Wava Award in 1989. Cathy shares her whole heart through her service to Tau Beta Sigma as she fiercely supports her fellow members of Tau Beta Sigma and is always at-the-ready with an outstretched hand, advice, and love.
Tolerance, tempered with kindness, and a consideration for the needs of others.
Christina (Chris) Gordon served as the Southwest District Counselor from 2002-2009 and as Vice-Chairperson of the Board of Trustees from 2011-2013. As Counselor, Chris touched many lives through her kind, yet professional, approach to leadership. She is known for helping others discover who they are and then letting them grow into the person they are meant to be. Chris has been described as being honest, sincere, caring, and funny, but the phrase most associated with her is that of being a “classy lady.”
Fortitude and courage to see an ideal, to seize upon it, and to follow it wherever it may lead you in Tau Beta Sigma.
Wava Banes Turner Henry is the Founder of Tau Beta Sigma. After being denied membership in the all-male Kappa Kappa Psi Chapter at Texas Tech at the time, Wava and two of her classmates set out a new idea to create a Sorority to serve the band program and provide social, educational, and other positive experiences needed by women in the band. Over the past 76 years the Sorority has grown from Wava’s vision into a force in the college band world.