Chapter History

Dallas Alumnae Chapter History

The Dallas Alumnae Chapter was installed on November 15, 1943, at the home of then President Gertrude Munger Garrett, starting with 19 charter members and 2 patronesses. We mourned the loss of our last surviving Charter Member, Patricia Peck Swank, in February, 2006.

Since our installation, the chapter has initiated many innovative musical events. The Contemporary Music Program (1943), the "Stock-the-Stacks-With-Music" drive to increase the collection for the Music Lending division of the Dallas Public Library (1955), a Recital series at the Dallas Public Library (1957-86), University of Texas at Dallas "Twilight Musicale" series at the Jonsson Performance Hall (1978-80), Texas Woman's University Recital Series held at TWU Presbyterian Center, Dallas (1980-87), and the Annual Young Artists Program (1978-2013) are a few of the community musical service projects undertaken by the chapter.

The "Service to Music in Dallas" award was instituted in 1958. This award recognizes and honors a person for outstanding service to the musical life of the city. To date there have been 18 recipients of this award.

The Marion Flagg Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by the Dallas Alumnae Chapter and the Dallas Music Educators Association, was founded in 1968. One scholarship per year is awarded to a member of the music staff of the Dallas Independent School District for use in advanced study. Annual awards are also given to an outstanding music student from Southern Methodist University, Texas Woman's University and the University of North Texas. The Dallas Alumnae Chapter Scholarship, which incorporates memorial gifts and other contributions, was first awarded in 1994. This scholarship is available to active Dallas Alumnae members for summer study financial help upon application and approval.

Nationally the Chapter makes annual financial contributions to SAI Philanthropies, Inc. Many members have served, or are serving, as Project/Fraternity Directors, Province Officers, and National Board Members giving of their time and talents.

Locally the chapter lends its financial support to The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Dallas Opera, Friends of WRR, and Public TV/Radio Station KERA. Other local projects have included ushering for the Youth Concerts of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, assisting with The Dallas Opera Symposium in 1980, 1988, 1990, and as docents and monitors for The Dallas Opera School Performances.

Since 1979, Dallas Alumnae Chapter members have presented monthly musicales at a number of local retirement, assisted living and nursing homes providing live musical experiences to the residents and raising funds for our many philanthropic projects and scholarships.

Some other chapter traditions include the Annual Kappa B Incorporation/Founders Day gathering, a joint musicale with the Dallas-area Mu Phi Epsilon Alumnae Chapter and a Summer Luncheon.

The Dallas Chapter has hosted the Sigma Alpha Iota National Conventions in both 1978 and 2000. (Read the 2000 Convention Proclamations from former Dallas Mayor, Ronald Kirk and former Texas Governor and U.S. President, George W. Bush.) At the 2000 Convention, the National Executive Board initiated the first Member Laureate, Dr. Laurie Shulman, nominated by the Dallas Chapter.

Get to know us!

In 1979, the chapter distributed a "Who's Who" to help the members get to know each other better. The following is a list of quotes collected from members about what SAI means to them.

"SAI has meant a chance to keep up the level of performance that I maintained in college--among other professionals and those who appreciate the performer." -- Jackie A.

"SAI has meant fellowship with SAI sisters (instant friendship, especially when moving to a new city). I always enjoy the lovely programs given by SAIs." -- Lois B.

"SAI has been my main source of contact with other professional musicians. It has served to challenge me, to encourage me, and given me another outlet of expression." -- Martha B.

"In my field it is easy to get caught up in the psychology, therapy, and overall medical emphasis and lose sight of specialness of the music. SAI brings me back to my musical roots and lets me share and grow with others." -- Anne B.

"SAI has meant friendships with a mutual love of music. It was a memorable moment to me when Ezio Pinza came to our SAI Tea at Fair Park Art Museum in 1949." -- Juanita C. 

"SAI has been a bond, a way of meeting people with similar interests and backgrounds. I first became really aware of this when I attended "State Day" for the first time in Philadelphia, PA while a college member." -- Adelle D.

"I came to Dallas not knowing anyone. Joining the Dallas Alumni of SAI immediately gave me a circle of interesting musical friends which meant a great deal to me." -- Jean D.

"It is a great opportunity for fellowship with other SAIs having common interests. It's a good source for community involvement--betterment of the arts! SAIs have always been so fun, too. Initiation is moving for me." -- Nancy D.

"SAI has meant new friends, fellowship, an increased knowledge of music, and an opportunity to share this knowledge of and love of music with others." -- Jane E.

"SAI has meant that wherever I have studied or worked professionally, I have had very special friendships with very special people." -- Julia E.

"SAI has meant close friendship and professional understanding." -- Mary E.

"Since I commuted to college, being a member of SAI gave me a feeling of being a part of the on-campus life. I have made many friends wherever I have lived thru SAI membership." -- Sylvia E.

"SAI has meant friends and an incentive to keep playing." -- Myra G.

"SAI is a great part of my life as a lot of my schedule is planned around the meetings and concerts. Also, because of SAI I have many friends all around the U.S. Professionally SAI and its members are most helpful in making connections for both jobs & programs." -- Elizabeth G.

"I joined SAI as a Senior while in college, and really met some wonderful girls, both personally and professionally." -- Sharon G.

"SAI was an important association in college, but has meant even more through the years as an alumnae. It is an excellent opportunity to perform & hear others perform serious works." -- Marilyn H.

"SAI has meant an instant circle of friends when I have moved to a new city. One of the most memorable moments occurred when my daughter was initiated into SAI, one day short of my 40th anniversary as a member. I wish for her the same pleasures in association with other members, in performing for other members, and in listening experiences as I have had." Evelyn H.

"SAI has been an important part of my every day life since 1928." -- Lottie H.

"SAI has meant mainly friendship, the opportunity to stretch myself and my sense of responsibility, imagination, ability to work with people in harmony and to inspire them to stretch themselves." -- Anne J.

"SAI has broadened my friendships and given me appreciation for all SAIs." -- Carolyn J.

"My roommate in Austin was Mildred Sale's stepsister. We visited Mildred here in Dallas when we were Juniors in college. I will always recall Mildred's many extra acts of love and attention as we attended the Met performances here. SAI has meant a 'home' in a new home many times. We have always met the very nicest people--people with whom we shared musical interests--upon moving to an area. I have always appreciated the 'fruits of the spirit' so beautifully typified by my SAI sisters!" -- Jonelle J.

"SAI means cherished sisterhood, frieds, support in my efforts and wonderful inspiration!" -- Betty K.

"SAI has been important as I have shared in both the 50th and 75th Anniversaries of SAI, first as college president--Chicago, 1953, and as a Dallas member, 1978." -- Marian K.

"SAI has meant a cherished relationship with women active in, or interested in advancing, the music profession." -- Ruth R.

"My most memorable moment was being initiated into SAI at the national convention in Dallas." -- Betsy L.

"SAI has meant friends." -- Patricia M.

"SAI has meant friends in the profession." -- Luise M.

"SAI means more to me all the time." -- Nelta O.

"It is an honor to be able to say I am an SAI. It has been pleasant to recall my friendship with particular SAIs through the years who have made outstanding contributions, musically, to the communities in which they lived and to the public." Mary O.

"SAI is lasting friendship with others of like interests." -- Georgia P.

"SAI has provided me with very meaningful friendships and acquaintances at a very challenging time of my life. It has given me contact with other women in my profession in various cities that I have lived in. Coming to Dallas and meeting sisters who were so genuinely and sincerely interested in me." -- Carol R.

"SAI has meant a close fellowship with other women with similar interests. It was one of the things that I missed most when I lived in Midland." -- Sandra S.

"Association with other musicians--this has meant a great deal to me. Having a chance to perform occassionally, etc." Barbara S.

"SAI has helped in establishing group rapport as I move from place to place." -- Emily S.

"SAI provided me an opportunity to have close sisterhood with others in the field of music while I was in college, as well as lasting friendships after I graduated." -- Suzanne T.

"When I learn from a new acquaintance that she's an SAI, it's like a character reference! I believe the SAI founders were truly inspired to formulate an organization with such high and noble ideals." -- Sue T.

"SAI, for me, has meant the opening of doors to musical friendships I might otherwise have missed." Jane T.

"Being initiated into Alpha Chapter with [fraternity founders] Elizabeth Campbell and Nora Crane Hunt present was very special." Florence V.

"SAI is the only sorority I ever joined in college and it seemed like a very worthwhile organization with good purpose." Ruth V.

"SAI has meant professional association with musicians across country, the forming of many dear friends, performances for national conventions." Joan W.

"In my transient life it has been rewarding to meet and know 'sisters' around the country." Anna W.

"SAI has meant a way to continue music enrichment amidst raising a family!" -- Gail W.

"SAI has meant a wealth of new friendships in a new city, an outlet for expressing myself, musically, and a chance to keep up with what is happening in music today." -- Karla W.