Tau Beta Sigma
Initiation Rituals

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Instructions from the National Council
This Ritual supercedes all others now existing and is to be considered SECRET. It, therefore, must be treated in a highly confidential manner by all Sisters in Tau Beta Sigma. It should be carefully handled and never left where it can be seen by the uninitiated.
The importance of the Ritual to our Sorority cannot be overemphasized. It is part of the basic fabric of Tau Beta Sigma and with its performance, the ideals for which the Sorority was founded and by which it maintains itself are presented in a dignified and impressive manner. Without it, our organization becomes little more than a social club. With it, Tau Beta Sigma members are united by common ideals into a common cause.
So it is especially important that the performance of any Ritual Degree be carried out with a dignity and a solemnity befitting the occasion. This is a great moment in the fraternal life of the candidate. It is one she will always remember if her entrance into the bonds of the Sorority is made the impressive ceremony that it can be.
For this reason, it is strongly recommended that these Instructions be read by all those serving on the Ritual Team, prior to its performance. A thorough familiarity with the order of the Ritual can help immeasurably in understanding why the Ritual has evolved as it has. For it is a means of inducting properly prepared candidates into our membership through a succession of revealed secrets and voluntarily assumed obligations.
The Ritual Team itself is expected to rehearse the scheduled ceremony at least twice before its performance, so that all participants will be thoroughly familiar with their parts. This means that the entire Ritual Team (or those of its members required for any special presentation) must read their parts aloud or recite them from memory, in the presence of each other. The constructive criticism which comes out of such an effort can then result in a perfect performance by the entire Team.
All non-participating Sisters shall remain in ABSOLUTE SILENCE throughout the ceremony, responding only when called upon to do so. No smoking, whispering or unnecessary moving about is to be permitted once the ceremony has begun. At certain times, a Sister may see an opportunity to assist the Sister Conductress, especially with larger pledge classes. All are encouraged to voluntarily present themselves when such an opportunity occurs, or to take the initiative if it seems called for.
No picture taking or tape-recording is allowed during any part of the Ritual presentation and no part of the Ritual should ever be copied or reproduced on notecards, etc.
All members present at any Ritual service should rise during the recitation of the oaths and if desires, they may join Candidates in repeating them. The official Song maybe used at any point in the meeting or Ritual at the discretion of the Chapter, and its inclusion in the Ritual at any particular point is merely a suggestion by the Council.
Special attention must be given to the care, handling and sotrageof all Ritual regalia, robes, altar materials and Ritual books. All are of a highly confidential nature, and must be safeguarded as such.
All regalia items to be used at any given ceremony should be first checked by the person responsible for them, either the Vice-President or Ritual Teamleader, depending on the size of the chapter. If necessary, suitable repairs or replacements should be made in time for the ceremony. Traditionally, each Chapter designs and manufactures its own equipment, but standard items maybe ordered from the National Office should a Chapter elect to purchase them. Write to the Executive Secretary for further information on prices and ordering procedures.
Preparations for the Formal Opening Ceremony
General Comments:
This is a dignified and ritualistic way to open the Chapter's business session. Although an optional practice with many Chapters, it is recommended by the National Council where time and circumstances permit. It is definitely to be used whenever the Chapter meets to initiate new members into the Sorority.
This is an effective means of getting down to the serious business of meeting the Chapter's responsibilities to itself, its members and the band it serves.
The form of the ceremony is that of a dialogue between the Chapter President and various officers.
Room Arrangement:
The focus of the room should be the Sorority altar, a table covered with a white cloth sufficiently large enough to hold the symbols as shown on the diagram below, all of which are to be initially covered by a black cloth.
The President may elect to use a rostrum or speaker's stand, which may then be centered on the table or immediately behind it.
The Sorority crested banner should be hung on the wall immediately behind the President, high enough so that it maybe seen by all throughout the meeting.
The Formal Opening Ceremony
The President takes her place behind the altar, facing the chapter. With her gavel she raps smartly for order.
PRESIDENT: Sisters, the hour for our meeting has arrived. Let us come to order. Sister Officers ─ you will take your stations. Sister Guard, you will present yourself.
The Guard approaches from her chair and stands before the altar directly in front of the
PRESIDENT: Sister Guard ─ what are your duties?
GUARD: To guard our sanctuary from any intrusions and maintain that secrecy which is essential for the proper conduct of our business.
PRESIDENT: It is well. You will take your position even as you have said.
The President may present the Guard with a symbolic sword if one is to be used in the ceremony. The Guard then proceeds to the door, which she closes. Reporting to the
President, she says:
GUARD: Sister President ─ our sanctuary is now guarded.
PRESIDENT: Sister Conductress ─ you will determine if all present are members in good standing of Tau Beta Sigma Sorority.
The Conductress then approaches each member and collects the password and the hand clasp from each. At the end of her examination she approaches the President's station, gives the sign, and says:
CONDUCTRESS: Sister President, I have determined that all present are members in the bonds of Tau Beta Sigma.
If during her examination, the Conductress finds someone who cannot give the password and the clasp, she turns to the President and says:
CONDUCTRESS: Sister President ─ there is one present who knows not our signs of recognition.
PRESIDENT: Is there anyone present who knows and can recommend this person?
If there is someone present who can vouch for the member, the President says:
PRESIDENT: Share with the member those signs by which a Sister in Tau Beta Sigma identifies herself.
If however, there is no one present who knows and can recommend the person, she is escorted from the room by the Conductress where she is closely examined. If she can prove to the satisfaction of the Conductress she is a member in good standing, she is allowed to re-enter and Conductress vouches for her.
After the examination, Conductress returns to her station. The President addresses the Conductress.
PRESIDENT: Sister Conductress, you will attend the altar and display the symbols of Tau Beta Sigma in their proper form.
The Conductress approaches the altar, removes the black cloth (if used) and opens the Bible, laying the Baton across it. Beyond the Bible is displayed ‘Death's Head’ and near it a Red Rose. After displaying the symbol Conductress steps back from the altar, gives the Sign, which is answered by the President and says:
CONDUCTRESS: Sister President, the symbols of our Sorority are now properly displayed.
The President raps three times with the gavel. All rise as she says:
PRESIDENT: Let us join in singing the Sorority Song.
After singing the Sorority Song, the President declares the chapter open for business as may be properly brought before it.
Preparations for the First Degree -- The Formal Pledging Ceremony
The purpose of this ceremony is to provide the Chapter with a formal pledging ritual, a dignified means by which the Sorority may induct its pledges into that probationary stage of membership which leads to eventual full membership. To make things run more smoothly, several things should be pointed out:
If a candidate should object to swearing on the Bible, kneeling or saying So help me God for personal and/or religious reasons, these actions are not to be considered mandatory. A simple affirmation will suffice.
During that portion of the ceremony when the Pledge's sponsor or Big Sister presents herself to witness the Pledge oath, she is to step to the remaining point before the altar which, together with the Conductress, the President, and Pledge will complete the four points of a perfect square. This member must be ready and prepared to move at the proper time, using cue words of the first part of the Oath, ...So help me God as a signal to take her position.
Sister Conductress should meet the candidates in an anteroom at sometime just before the ceremony begins. She should have the candidates select one of their number to represent the rest during the formal ceremony. The remaining candidates are then taken into the Chapter room and seated to observe the Ritual. The chapter may, however, elect to perform individual pledging ceremonies for each pledge.
Room Arrangement:
Place a table covered with a white cloth as an altar just off center of the room, on the side opposite the entrance. Upon the altar should be placed a reading stand or lectern, flanked by candles for illumination as needed.
The officer may or may not be robed as deemed appropriate by the Chapter. If robes are worn, President appears in blue; all others in white; with the Candidate in black.
The official crested Sorority banner should be hung on the wall immediately behind the President's position, high enough so that it maybe observed by all throughout the ceremony.
The Ritual of the First Degree
The room is darkened. Sister Conductress leads in the candidate or candidates and seats those
of a large class who are to observe. She then leads the candidates (or the representative of the larger class) before the altar.
PRESIDENT: Miss …, the members of Tau Beta Sigma are very much interested in you and your continued relationship with this band program. We fell it would be to our mutual advantage and interest were you to become a pledged member of our Sorority.
We also feel that there are certain Ideals to which each member of our Sorority should dedicate herself. We have determined these Ideals to be the basis for both the name and the Ritual of Tau Beta Sigma. In order to proceed further, we think it necessary for you to understand two elements of these Ideas ─ Friendship and Happiness.
Those factors that promote a true spirit of Friendship are based on the respect one must have for a true friend. Think briefly about them:
1. Physical and mental qualities of an attractive nature;
2. Demonstrated loyalty and dependability to those persons and institutions deserving of it;
3. A truthfulness and honesty which install a sense of trust in others;
4. Cheerfulness at all times and under all circumstances, even in the face of great trial;
5. A mutual interest in the Art of Music, in its performance and in the aesthetic qualities it can project to others;
6. Generosity of mind, hear, and hand;
7. Tolerance, tempered with kindness and a consideration for the needs of others;
8. Fortitude and courage to see and ideal, to seize upon it and follow it wherever it may lead you in Tau Beta Sigma.
These eight points may also be said to symbolize the eight notes of the musical scale.
The Sorority feels that there are five basic qualities which can contribute most to the  attainment of personal Happiness ─ one of the ultimate goals of Life. Think now about these:
1. Knowledge and development of your physical powers in the quest for good health and bodily perfection;
2. Recognition and development of your intellectual potential;
3. Appreciation for and the maintenance of the highest moral standard; Achievement of and the personification within you of lofty spiritual ideals;
4. Cultivation and maintenance of your emotional poise under all conditions.
For you, these five qualities are symbolized by the five bars on the Tau Beta Sigma pledge pin.
President picks up pledgepin.
PRESIDENT: Miss …, in my hand I hold the pledge pin of Tau Beta Sigma. Each part of it has a meaning which will be revealed to you later. The acceptance and the wearing of this pin indicated to all that we as members have placed out faith and confidence in you. It is a visible sign that someday you will become a member of our Sisterhood. Are you willing to accept this out trust, and to wear this sorority's pledge pin with dignity and honor? If so answer 'I am.'
PRESIDENT: It is well. You will (all) raise your right hand and repeat after me the Oath of Pledgeship in Tau Beta Sigma.
President presents pledge pin to Conductress, then raps three times with gavel. All rise. All candidates should take the oath, and all Chapter members present may recite the oath with them if the Chapter wishes.
OPTIONAL PRACTICE: The Candidate's sponsor moves to a position to the left of the altar facing in. The Conductress faces the Candidate with her left side to the altar, and stands opposite her holding the Holy Bible upon which the candidate is made to rest her hand. President remains behind altar, facing candidate's sponsor. There must be two witnesses, one of which should be the President, to each pledging and they stand opposite the Conductress and the Candidate, facing each other, this forming a square.
Candidates may be pledges individually or in a group, according to the wishes of the Chapter. If the pledges are taken as a group, the President should instruct the other Candidates to rise and come forward at this time. Class sponsors assume their positions as above.
President raises her right hand while administering oath.
PRESIDENT: I, state your full name, ─ being in full accord with the Ideals of Tau Beta Sigma ─ do voluntarily offer myself as a candidate ─ for full rights of the Order.
I give my solemn promise ─ to master the teaching, ─ maintain the traditions ─ and keep the honor of the Sisterhood inviolate, ─ so help me God.
PRESIDENT: In assuming this Pledge Degree, you are taking the first step in Tau Beta Sigma. Before you can be formally pledged, however, it is necessary that you assure us of your sincerity, loyalty, and willingness to obey those in authority in our Sisterhood. This obligation has been taken by each Sister before you, and should it still be your desire to proceed, you will repeat after me:
PLEDGE: I, state your full name, ─ do hereby signify my desire to become a Pledge of the Tau Beta Sigma Sorority. ─ As a pledge I promise upon my word of honor ─ to keep such secrets as are revealed to me, ─ to obey all instructions given to me ─ by proper authorities in the Chapter ─ and otherwise to conduct myself as a gentlewoman ─ so as to reflect honor, ─ not only upon myself, ─ but upon my associates.
CONDUCTRESS and WITNESS: We accept your promise.
President raps once, and all are seated.
Candidates remain standing before altar to observe the following action.
Conductress holds out the pledge pin.
CONDUCTRESS: I hold in my hand the pledge pin of Tau Beta Sigma. It is of gold and in the shape of a bar of music, embellished with a treble clef and two notes. The five tines embossed on the pin refer to the five basic qualities which contribute to personal happiness and which we hope you will develop as you grow in our Sorority. The four cardinal points on the pin itself represent the four positions we have just assumes: I, as Conductress before the altar; you, as the pledge beside it; and by our sides, our Sisters as witnesses.
The two notes appearing on the bar of music are to remind you of the two major points in your pledging obligation:
To keep oar secrets as they are revealed to you; and to obey proper instructions, so that you may make due progress in our Sorority.
The treble clef as a musical sign is to remind you of the elevating effects of sweet melody. Pause.
The entire pledge pin typifies the pledging obligation you have just assumed, and should remember you of this ceremony. This pin serves as an outward sign of you dedication to the Ideal of Tau Beta Sigma. You are charged by this Chapter to wear it with pride and honor until such time as you prove worthy of exchanging it for another.
PRESIDENT: Sister Conductress, you are now authorized to place the Sorority's pledge badge on the Candidate.
The President can extend her hand to the Pledge and express her appreciation and congratulations. All members present come forward to shake hands with the Candidate(s) and offer congratulations.
If appropriate, light refreshments are served or some social function held to honor the occasion.
The Ritual of the Second Degree
Preparation of the Candidate(s)
Should there be more than one Candidate, only one is usually selected to talk the Station, but all may participate at the discretion of the Chapter. The others are seated according to the floor plan so that they may witness the ceremony, taking no part until the oath is administered.
If the Candidates not going through each Station are to observe, they are to be brought to the Chapter Room at this point, seated, and addressed as follows:
PRESIDENT: You are seated to observe the initiation of your associate. This Candidate will represent you and everything that is said to her and all answers given by her are the same as if you stand in her place. She represents each of you. You will remain quiet, alert, watching closely all that takes place and listening well to all that is said.
The President may be seated.
The Candidate, properly prepared and accompanied by the Conductress approached the door of the initiation room. Conductress gives the secret knock. She is answered by the same signal from the other side given by the Guard, who then open the door and inquires of the Conductress:
GUARD: Sister Conductress, your presence has been made known by our secret signal. What business brings you here?
CONDUCTRESS: You will inform our President and the Sisters assembled that I am accompanied by a candidate, Miss …, who wishes to join Tau Beta Sigma.
GUARD: Has she been suitably prepared?
GUARD: You will wait here until I have made your presence known to our President and received her instructions.
The Guard leaves door open, advances directly to the altar, faces the President, gives the Sign, which the President answers, and says:
GUARD: Our Sister Conductress stands at the door of our Chapter Room with a candidate, Miss …, who desires initiation into our obligations and who wished to share in the ideals and the association of Tau Beta Sigma.
PRESIDENT, standing: Has she been prepared?
GUARD: I have been assured by our Sister Conductress that the candidate has been suitably prepared.
PRESIDENT: You will return to the door and instruct our Sister to present herself and the Candidate before this station.
The Guard returns to the door, faces the Conductress and Candidate(s), and says:
GUARD: Sister Conductress, you may not conduct the Candidate(s) before the President and the Chapter here assembled.
Soft music-- The Guard remains at the door, giving the Conductress her candle. The Conductress, candle in had and candidate at her right side, enters and approaches directly to the base of the altar in front of the President's Station. The Conductress guides the candidate by locking arm-in-arm as they go from Station to Station, with the candidate on Conductress'
right side.
CONDUCTRESS: Sister President. may I present Miss …, a Pledge of this Chapter who desires initiation i.to the mysteries of Tau Beta Sigma. She has been prepared for this moment by a suitable training period in the customs and traditions of the Sorority.
PRESIDENT: Miss …, it pleases us that you have presented yourself to share in these, the formal initiation ceremonies of our Sorority. But, before you can go further, it will be necessary for you to voluntarily signify your intention to meet the additional requirements of our initiation ceremony.
The requirements of which I speak will consist of visiting several Stations and being challenged at each as to your worthiness to become one of our members. These requirements provide further that you obligate yourself to maintain the secrets of our Sorority; to uphold the ideals which will be revealed to you; and to strive to exemplify these ideals in your daily life. There is nothing you will be asked to undergo which has not been experienced by all Sisters who have gone before you.
Do you still desire to proceed? If so, answers 'yes.'
PRESIDENT: Sister Conductress, you will now conduct the Candidate to the Station of Desire.
The President may be seated after they turn away.
The Conductress, guiding the Pledge, turns to the left and walks slowly following the floor plan; turning to the left by the Station of Sacrifice; turning again to the left by the Station of Achievement; and again turning to the left, arriving at the Station of Desire. Soft music is always played when Conductress is leading the Candidate.
Before speaking, she extends her lighted candle to Desire so that Station may light her own candle.
CONDUCTRESS: I am directed to present Miss …, at your Station of Desire, in order that she might learn of our Sisterhood and be challenged as to her worthiness.
DESIRE: Miss …, you have been presented before this Station of Desire in order that you might both learn and be examined. If found worthy and we are satisfied of your worthiness, you may share with us the deeper meaning and the beauty of our association in Tau Beta Sigma.
It is well that you should desire association in Tau Beta Sigma, but often-times undisciplined desire becomes a snare and a delusion.
Membership in Tau Beta Sigma must be characterized by a dignity and a discipline of one's personal desires which will win the admiration of your associates and acquaintances. A desire to advance in knowledge, in musical accomplishments, and in social relationships coupled with the discipline needed to do so is worthy of great honor.
Can we be assures at this time that it is your desire to go forward in our Sorority with these principles in mind? If so, answer 'yes.'
DESIRE: It is well. Sister Conductress, you will escort the Candidate to the Station of Sacrifice.
Soft music as they march. Conductress leads to the left, passing the Station of Objective; left again to the Station of Sacrifice. Offers Candle to be lit before speaking.
CONDUCTRESS: I have been instructed to bring Miss …, a candidate seeking further knowledge in Tau Beta Sigma, to your Station of Sacrifice.
SACRIFICE: Has the Candidate been properly instructed at the Station of Desire?
SACRIFICE: Miss …, progress in social accomplishments, in Music, and in Life itself are initiated in the special kind of Desire deemed necessary by members of our Sorority.
However, Desire is only the initial step. The way to achievement and to one's objective is beset with obstacles and discouragements.
It is not easy to make progress toward one's ultimate goal. In order for you to reach your goal, you must be prepared to make many Sacrifices.
But beware of needless Sacrifice! Good judgment must at all times accompany your sincere willingness to sacrifice both your time and effort. That progress we seek comes only when we are able to carefully weigh our choices.
At no time are you to compromise your integrity with a useless sacrifice which might jeopardize your moral or intellectual standing with your associates. For progress of any kind demands the sacrifice of time, dedication, and whole-hearted application of yourself before you can reach your goals.
Are you willing to make reasonable sacrifices in order that you might go forward to reach the fullest expression of your ideals? If so, answer 'yes.'
SACRIFICE: It is well. Sister Conductress, you will escort the Candidate to the Station of Achievement.
Soft music as they march. They turn to the left. Candidate is conducted to the Station of Achievement. Conductress extends candle so that Station may light her own.
CONDUCTRESS: I have been instructed to escort Miss … to your Station of Achievement.
ACHIEVEMENT: Has she been properly challenged by the Stations of Desire and Sacrifice?
ACHIEVEMENT: Miss …, you have been both instructed and challenged at the Stations of Desire and Sacrifice. Such a trial is necessary before one can achieve any great goal And so it is with Tau Beta Sigma as well. You now stand before the Station of Achievement. For many, the Desire which initiated their progress lacked the strength and vitality to carry them over the many obstacle which barred their way. They lacked the depth of Sacrifice needed to overcome the discouragements which confront all of us in our daily lives.
There are rare satisfactions that come to the person who achieves the goal of her heart's desire. Part of this achievement is the recognition and the acclaim of her fellow women.
The fullest measure of Achievement is characterized by a sincere friendliness with one's associates, lending counsel and assistance to those worthy of encouragement, giving praise where it is die, helping and encouraging wherever necessary ─ conduct which truly characterizes the gentle woman. Let this be your ideal of Achievement.
Miss …, have we your assurance that should Fortune favor you and one day you might indeed achieve the heights of your ambition, that the members of Tau Beta Sigma might take pardonable pride in your achievements? If so, answer, 'yes.’
ACHIEVEMENT: It is well Sister Conductress, you will escort the candidate to our altar, there to lean of the Station of Objective.
Soft music as they march. The Conductress turns left; past the Station of Desire and left to the Station of Objective. Because of candles at altar, again there may be no need for Station to light her candle. Chapter may use own discretion here by having Station present an addition unlighted candle to be lit to assist her in reading her part of she wishes.
CONDUCTRESS: I have been instructed to escort Miss … to you Station of Objective.
OBJECTIVE: Miss …, you have met the challenges at the Stations of Desire, Sacrifice, and Achievement. You are now deemed suitably prepared for further knowledge of Tau Beta Sigma.
Before you can make further progress, however, it will be necessary that you kneel before our altar and assume a solemn obligation. This obligation will not conflict with any duty that you owe yourself, your family, or your nation, but will make it possible for you to enjoy more intimately our confidence. Do you still wish to proceed?
OBJECTIVE: Sister Conductress, you will assist the candidate as she kneels at the altar and places her hands upon the Holy Bible.
The Candidate kneels, placing both hands upon the Bible. Should there be more
Candidates, Objective instructs the Conductress to bring them to the front of the altar. Have them kneel with their right hand on the shoulder of the one in front of them, all forming a semi-circle from Sacrifice to the altar and from Desire to the altar, with at least one with her right hand on the right shoulder of the Candidate kneeling before the Bible.
Objective (President) raps three times. All members rise. Chapter members may repeat the oath with the pledges if they wish.
CONDUCTRESS: You will say I, pronounce your name, and repeat after me:
I, …, ─ in the presence of these members of Tau Beta Sigma, ─ do solemnly promise; ─ that I will not reveal the secrets of Tau Beta Sigma, ─ to anyone except a member of the Sorority ─ and then only ─ after I have been fully satisfied ─ that she is worthy.
I further promise ─ that I will like to the best of my ability ─ according to the idealism revealed to me ─ during my initiation into Tau Beta Sigma.
I further promise ─ that I will so all within my power ─ to advance the interest ─ and support the objectives ─ of Tau Beta Sigma and of my many sisters, ─ as a gentlewoman ─ so as to bring honor and respect; ─ not only to myself, ─ but to my associates. ─ If I should violate this my solemn obligation, ─ I understand that I will lose ─ my privilege of membership in Tau Beta Sigma, ─ so help me, God.
Objective raps once for all to be seated.
OBJECTIVE: You have taken the Oath of the Second Degree of Tau Beta Sigma. The secret symbols revealed to you later as you are proven worthy. The knowledge of these symbols will enrich your association of the Sorority as they have enriched the lives of others before you.
NOTE: At this time, the ceremony may either end or continue immediately to the Third Degree. If no recess is taken at this point, the President should continue reading with the Third Degree at President, skipping the intervening portion of the Ritual.
PRESIDENT: Miss …, you have been invested with an explanation of the Ideals of Tau Beta Sigma. The Conductress will escort you from the Chapter room and you will be prepared for the next Degree wherein you will receive further instruction in Tau Beta Sigma.
The Conductress then escorts the Candidates directly to the entrance door. The Guard closes the door. Soft music as they march.
In those instances where other Candidates are taking their initiation through observation, each now follows the Conductress out of the room.
The President raps once with her gavel. She then announces a recess until time for Third Degree ─ or ─ proceeds to close the meeting
NOTE: It is not always possible (or even necessary) to hold Degree work concurrently. If the Third Degree is given following the Second, there is usually only a short recess as the Team rests and the Ritual objects are checked. The Chapter reconvenes without the necessity of the Opening Ceremony.
It is suggested that, should the Ritual proceed to the Third Degree right away, the Rule of Silence be enforced by Sister Conductress in the anteroom as she waits with the Pledges. She might suggest to them that they reflect on what they have just seen and taken part in, and that they attempt to find some meaning therein for their own lives and actions as members of both this band the unique fraternal society that deserves it.
The Ritual of the Third Degree
NOTE: The third and last initiation Degree consists of the revealing of the secret work and a series of lectures dealing with the symbols of Music as principles of living.
If the Third Degree is given on a night succeeding the Second Degree, it will be necessary to open the Chapter with the Opening Ceremony, omitting the order of business and going straight into the Degree work if the meeting is held for that particular purpose.
PRESIDENT, raps four times for order: Officers, you will assume your stations.
When all is in readiness, the President continues:
PRESIDENT: Sister Conductress, you will retire and prepare the Candidate(s) for presentation and for the Third Degree of our Ritual.
The Conductress retires, prepares and presents the Candidates. The Candidates may be blindfolded if the Chapter wishes. Gives the secret knock at the door.
CONDUCTRESS: Sister Guard, you will inform our President that Miss is ready and awaits further instruction in the mysteries of Tau Beta Sigma.
Guard approaches altar, gives the Sign which is answered by the President, and addresses the
President as follows:
GUARD: Miss is now ready for her entry into the Final Degree of our ceremony.
PRESIDENT: You will instruct Sister Conductress to bring the Candidate in.
The Guard gives the Sign and returns to the door, opens it to admit the Conductress and the Candidate(s). Soft music as they Conductress leads the candidate to the altar.
PRESIDENT: Sister Conductress, you will remove the blindfold(s) so that the Candidate(s) might behold the symbols of Tau Beta Sigma.
Conductress removes the black cloth or blindfolds. President addresses all candidates standing before the altar.
NOTE: Begin here if continuing from Second Degree.
PRESIDENT: Please (arise if kneeling for 2nd Degree) come forward and stand before the altar so that all may see that of which I speak.
PRESIDENT: Before you are the symbols of Tau Beta Sigma. You have already obligated yourself not to reveal any of the secrets which are to be disclosed to you. It now becomes my pleasure to explain to you the symbols displayed on the altar, symbols which mean so much to the Sisters of Tau Beta Sigma.
Conductress takes the Baton from the altar and plaints to each object as it is described by the President.
This is the Holy Bible. The lessons which it contains form the basis of our moral code. Here the gentlewoman finds those rules laid down for our conduct by He who may be referred to as our Great Leader.
This is the Baton. It is the symbol of the leadership needed for concerted musical effort. It reminds us of the need to subordinate one's part in life as well as in Music, to achieve the harmony of cooperation. The principles for which it stands must be observed in our daily lives, in relation each to the other as well as in those special occasions when we strive for exquisite musical harmonies.
This is Death's Head. It represents deathless Music. It also refers to the termination of our lives. This symbol admonishes us to do conduct ourselves and to make such progress here on earth, that when we are no longer able to do our part in creating the melody of daily life, our good influences will live after us in the encouragements we have given to others, as well as in our material achievements.
This is the Red Rose. Its beauty and fragrance are symbolic of the beautiful and elevating effects of fine Music. It is this Sorority's official flower, and is to be displayed on all official and social occasions.
This is the American Flag. It is the flag of our country, which symbolizes liberty, freedom, and human dignity.
This is our Official Sorority Flag, representing the five bars of a staff of Music: red for the rose, our official flower; white and blue, our official colors; green indicating continuous growth; black secrecy. In the center of the flag is shown the Lyre, the universal symbol of Music.
This is the Tau Beta Sigma Crest. It is composed of the Lyre, the Baton, the four Stations, and the Star. This crest forms your recognition pin and you are encouraged to wear it often so that you may recognize and be recognized by your sisters of Tau Beta Sigma.
The last of the Sorority's symbols is the Gold Star, whose five points represent each of the qualities we wish to develop as expressed in the Pledging Ceremony of the First Degree.
The Conductress picks up the representation of the Badge from the altar and holds it where it can be observed by each Candidate. The President moves around the table and calls the Candidates' attention to the fact that the picture the Conductress is holding is of the same design as the Badge that she, (the President) is wearing. She does not remove her pin but continues:
PRESIDENT: This is our Official Badge. You will observe that it is briolette in shape. The four corners of our official Badge represent the four stations of Desire, Sacrifice, Achievement, and Objective encountered in the Second Degree.
The President again turns toward the picture of the Badge which the Conductress is holding, as she proceed with her description, pointing out the various symbols as she comes to them ─ making clear what each symbol in the badge stands for.
The center panel of the badge is black enamel (again the President calls attention to the pin she is wearing); black being the symbol of night and of your secrecy, and to remind you of your responsibility to keep the secrets of Tau Beta Sigma forever.
PRESIDENT: Upon this panel space is shown the Lyre, the symbol of Music. It stands for our common interest in life. Whenever you see it, you are to be reminded to strive daily to improve yourself musically. At the base of the panel is a five pointed star. Its five points symbolize the five qualities whicb you, as an individual, are encouraged to develop.
1. Knowledge and development of your physical powers in the quest for good health and bodily perfection.
2. Recognitions and development of your intellectual potential.
3. Appreciation for and the maintenance of the highest moral standards.
4. Achievement of and the personifications within you of lofty spiritual ideals.
5. Cultivation and maintenance of your emotional poise under all conditions.
In the center of the panel are the three Greek Letter symbols for the name of our Sorority ─ Tau, Beta, Sigma.
These are the initials of three Greek words whose meaning the Sorority requires that you keep secret: Tau is the initial of TELOS, meaning to have accomplished all wished or prayers or achievement.
Beta is the initial of a secret Greek work BASILIS, meaning a queen of priestess. It also refers to BAPSITON, which is translates as a musical instrument of many strings, the Lyre.
Sigma is the first initial of the Greek word SALNIZO, meaning, 'to sound the trumpet.'
The Sorority's true name can then be translated to mean 'Queenly Achievement in Music.'
The pearls which ornament the border of the Badge seem to further beautify the idealism symbolized in it.
The Badge is worn over the heart as a token of the esteem and affection in which you hold your Sisters in Tau Beta Sigma.
The President steps back and makes the Sign, and then Conductress gives the answer.
The Sign is made by placing both hands in the position used in playing the flute.
PRESIDENT: This is 'The Sign of Tau Beta Sigma.' The two movements are made to represent the two principles or stations of our order, Desire and Sacrifice. Its answer is a similar sign, given to represent those principles of Achievement and Objective.
The President and the Conductress demonstrate the Clasp. They join right hands in the traditional handshake. However, the little fingers are first hooked and bent into the palm.
This grip is then explained to the Candidates:
PRESIDENT: This is the Clasp of Tau Beta Sigma. It is the be given as a means of making one's self known to a Sister in our bond.
This Password, which is never to be repeated above a whisper (Music of the Spheres), is a further means of making one's self known to an associate.
The Password and the Clasp are now given to each Candidate. If there are a number of Candidates, the Conductress should assist the President in giving the Clasp and the Password.
PRESIDENT: The knock, used in gaining entrance to the Sorority's Chapter Room, is given in this manner; one short knock pause, two short knocks pause, two short knocks pause. Interpreted as Tau Beta Sigma.
The President knocks as she demonstrates the above knocks.
Conductress leads all Candidates except the Class Representative back to their chairs. She then accompanies the Candidate once around the room slowly, following the floor pattern to the left, saying as she walks:
CONDUCTRESS: You have been initiated into all of the secret work of our Sorority. Before you may be accepted into our Sisterhood, there remains only the privilege of sharing with you messages from the four great Priestesses of Music, ─ Melody, Harmony, Counterpoint, and Unison.
Conductress stops with the Candidate before the first station, the Priestess of Melody. She extends her candle so that Melody may light hers from it, and says:
CONDUCTRESS: Priestess of Melody, may I present Miss …, who has been initiated into many of our mysteries, but who now seeks knowledge of Melody.
PRIESTESS OF MELODY: It is will and you are to be complemented on the excellent progress which you have made so far.
However, Tau Beta Sigma requires much more of us than the outward symbols of our Sisterhood ─ our bade, the Sign, and hand clasp.
This Sorority's strength and joy lies in our deep and abiding understanding of the great principles of instrumental Music.
I am the priestess of Melody. Melody is a joyful and inspiring succession of sounds that has the power to elevate Man's soul.
As Melody's sweet sounds move you, so should you conduct your life and your relations with the Sisters within our bond, that you inspire them with your cheerful spirit and willingness to move with all in sweet concord, like the beautiful melody we know in Music.
You will now be conducted to the Priestess of Harmony for further instruction. I wish you well on your journey.
The Conductress and Candidate move slowly to the left, accompanied by soft music, to Station Two, the Priestess of Harmony. She extends her candle to Harmony, who lights it. She then says:
CONDUCTRESS:  Priestess of Harmony, may I present Miss …, who continues in her quest to learn of our ideals.
PRIESTESS OF HARMONY: My Sister, the Priestess of Melody has told you of the necessity of building a beautiful melody of action on your life. It is for me to stress the necessity of the harmony you must create in all your relationships with others.
Because Harmony is so important to the blending of sound in making sweet Music, we as Sisters in the bend, must also give and take, to blend our actions into one perfect whole. Just is discord mars perfect Music, unthinking actions mar our perfect personal relationships. You will, therefore, do your part to avoid all forms of discord within the Sorority.
In Tau Beta Sigma, there is a beauty and strength in blending our actions. We count on you to do your part to reserve the harmonious relationships which make our Chapter and effective force within this band.
You will now be conducted to the Priestess of Counterpoint. I wish you well on your journey.
Conductress conducts the Candidate once around the room and stops at Station Three.
Priestess of Counterpoint. Lights candle, and says:
CONDUCTRESS: Priestess of Counterpoint, may I present Miss …, who seeks further enlightenment in the ideals of our Sorority.
PRIESTESS OF COUNTERPOINT: Miss …, you have already been instructed in both the beauties and the necessities of Melody and Harmony in the great composition of Life. It is now my pleasant duty to explain that the greatest richness in Music comes in the counterplay of melodies. As in great compositions where the main theme is paralleled at times with counterpoint, so in Life those things which you must do with pardonable selfishness must be paralleled with deeds of kindness and generosity for others.
The reputation of our Sorority is made each day through the actions of each of our members. I counsel you to make your life more worthwhile and enjoyable with the counterpoint of good deeds. Never forger the important symbolism of Counterpoint to our Sorority.
You will now be conducted to the Priestess of Unison. I wish you will on your Journey.
To the accompaniment of soft music, the Conductress leads the Candidate once around the room, stopping at Station Four, the Priestess of Unison. At Chapter option, Unison may or may not extends her own candle, due to those already lit at the altar.
CONDUCTRESS:  Priestess of Unison, may I present Miss …, who has made great progress in learning the symbolism of Tau Beta Sigma. She now seeks further enlightenment at your Station.
PRIESTESS OF UNISON: You have just leaned of the beauties of Melody, Harmony, Counterpoint, and their deeper meanings to those of us in Tau Beta Sigma. It is now my responsibility to point out that all these things are lost if there be no Unison. To Sisters in our Bond, unison means all together – all at the same time – in concord.
As great Music achieves its most inspiring effects when well rendered in unison, so our actions as members of Tau Beta Sigma must be in Unison, to advance the best interests of our organization and the band of which it is a part.
In the great bands of today are woodwind, percussion, and brass instruments. All of these must be brought into unison. So each of us in our own stations, both within the Sorority and in Life itself must ad in unison under cherished ideals for the common good. And it was for this purpose that our Sorority was founded – to serve in unison the band of which we are members. If you accept this responsibility, you will now exchange with me a simple handclasp.
The Priestess of Unison steps from her station, takes the new Sister by the hand and with a
Simple handclasp says:
PRIESTESS OF UNISON: I greet you now as a sister in Tau Beta Sigma. You will now turn to face your Sisters in the Bond.
If there are other candidates, the Conductress should usher them forward to stand with the one who has just been through the degree so the President can give the handclasp to each.
Turning and addressing the Sisters, the Priestess of Unison continues:
PRIESTESS OF UNISON: Behold (this/these) Sister(s), now (a) member(s) within our Bond.
The Priestess of Unison returns to her stations and addresses the Candidate(s):
PRIESTESS OF UNISON: Before you are seated in our circle of Sisters, it is my solemn duty to charge you with words which have inspired all Tau Beta Sigma members who have lone before you. Listen well to these closing words of obligation:
The four Priestesses of our orders have introduced you to the four great fundamentals of Music. They have interpreted those fundamentals into symbols for both Sorority action and daily living. You should know that each Stations also represents the four great principles of ladylike conduct – integrity, purity, knowledge, and loyalty.
You have heard the words that spell out the ideals and goals of Tau Beta Sigma. But these words hold no meaning without the sisterly love that full us with the desire to make them live. Each Sister is an integral part of the Sorority and our love for each other pulls these parts into a whole. This love that is so important to the growth of our Sisterhood must be lasting, accepting, and uncompromising in the face of adversity and conflict. It must create a mutual respect for each other, formed in our mutual consent to give love unselfishly to each other, and to appreciate the uniqueness of one another.
In the Tau Beta Sigma bond, the spiritual is exalted over the mental and physical. In our hearts, the symbolic seat of love and every spiritual quality, we must always find resources of friendship. Our friendship must be characterized by a true sisterly love and esteem. It cannot be based on our reason and judgment alone, but on emotion which transcends both. For love survives the loss of all over virtues, even the keenest wrongs inflicted by a loved one. Love in our Sorority is unselfish. It does not require charity for its servant as does esteem. Rather, it exalts charity, until love and charity, one to another, are one and inseparable.
This previous love in our Sisterhood united us in common goals, common ideals, and in a common quest to serve those about us.
PRIESTESS OF UNISON: I greet you now as Sisters (or Sister) in Tau Beta Sigma.
All members stand and sing the Tau Beta Sigma Loyalty Song.
Sister Conductress, you will please present to our new sister(s) her (their) membership card(s) and recognition pin.
NOTE: If desired, roses or other tokens may be also be presented at this time.
If the Chapter has received the shingles (membership certificates) they may be presented with the membership cards and recognition pins. These presentations maybe made by the Big Sister or others designated for the task.
If the Closing Ceremony is to be used, the Conductress will escort all new members to their chairs. Otherwise the President's gavel will signal all to rise, and formal adjournment follows.
The Formal Closing Ceremony
The closing is exactly the reverse of the opening ceremony. All business on the secretary's desk having been disposed of, the chapter proceeds to close.
PRESIDENT: Sister Conductress, you will approach the altar and conceal the secret symbols.
The Conductress conceals the symbols with the black cloth or places them beneath the altar.
She stands before the altar while the Guard is being instructed.
PRESIDENT: Sister Guard, you are instructed to watch that there be no interruptions or disturbances as we close this Chapter.
The Guard takes her place at the door.
PRESIDENT: Sister Conductress. you will offer our parting prayer.
Upon being advised that a prayer is on order, Conductress bows before the altar as the President raps three times with the gavel, bringing all those present to their feet.
CONDUCTRESS: Father, we join now in a parting vow that in reality speaks of a beginning. For the love that we hope to share as Sisters truly flows from your unselfish gifts.
We thank you for the gift of living each day in the deepest ties of friendship, and ask that you might bless us with your guidance and direction. Forgive us, Father, for our regression to the all-too human emotions of envy and conceit. Fill us rather, with a portion of the Spirit of your giving and kindness that can create for us an inner peace. Help us to see your way for us both as individuals and as Sister joined together in common cause.
Bless this bond of Sisterhood with a sense of giving that can fill, strengthen, and sustain our every day. Go with us now into the world as independent individuals, as accepting Sisters and as attentive children to all we may see. Open our eyes to the knowledge that you indeed are the Father of all and that we may be constantly renewed by your love. Amen.
After the Prayer, the President exhorts the sisters to:
PRESIDENT: Live daily by the expression of love we experience as friends, and by the obligations of these vows of Sisterhood which are the essence of Tau Beta Sigma.
You are adjourned.