Chapter History

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The history of the Iota Pi chapter starts in the Spring of 1991. It was during that quarter that the Symphonic Band went on tour to Arizona and played a concert at Arizona State University. While the band was there they met members of the Beta Omicron chapter and decided to start the colonization process at Cal Poly with sixteen colonizing members. The officers were:

  • Erin Burke – President
  • Brian Parker – Vice President
  • Tiffany Harris – Secretary
  • Matt Lerner – Treasurer
  • Amy Alger – Historian
  • Mark Degenkolb – Historian

Two of the colonizing members, Heidi Heber and Chris Zielke, left the school but Chris continued with the colonization process after he had graduated and became Iota Pi’s first Honorary Member. This colonization process was a yearlong project that included the creation of the Petitioning Document. This involved researching the history of Cal Poly and the history of the Bands and writing backgrounds for each of the colonizing members. The group also had to create a constitution and by-laws. During this time the group met with the National Secretary, Tim Greenwell, and met their big bros from the Iota Alpha chapter at CSU Fresno. The brothers of Iota Alpha were also in charge of the education and initiation of the Iota Pi chapter. Iota Alpha was also in charge of the Western District Convention that year in which five of the colonizing members attended. That summer, two of the colonizing members attended the National Convention at the University of Maryland.

The following Spring the group finally finished the colonization process and were officially chartered the Iota Pi chapter on April 5, 1992, what is known as Founder’s Day, with fourteen members plus one honorary. The installation was done by the then National Vice President for Colonization and Membership, Melvin Miles Jr. That same Spring the new Iota Pi chapter traveled to the Gamma Kappa and Alpha Chi chapters at Northern Arizona University for the Western District Convention. At this convention the chapter won the bid for the Accent and Erin Burke won District Secretary-Treasurer.

The next year began the recruitment process for the Beta class. The Beta class had seven prospective members led by Dave Reuterskiold as class President, Eric Lorenzen as Vice President and Susan Wian as Secretary-Treasurer. The Chapter Field Representative, Casey Blankenship also paid a visit that fall. In the Winter quarter the chapter held a retreat in Lake Tahoe and expelled one member for one year due to intra-chapter problems working with this member. The six members of the Beta class were then initiated on Jan 31, 1993. That Spring the Western District Convention was at Utah State University and the Iota Pi chapter won the bid to host the District Convention in 1994 and Brian Parker won the office of District President. Erin Burke also received the J. Lee Burke Student Achievement Award. Upon their return, the chapter initiated Alyson McLamore as an Honorary Member on April 5, 1993.

In the Summer of 1993, the National Convention was held by the Gamma Pi and Beta Sigma chapters at Purdue University. Four members of the Iota Pi chapter attended the event and all four of them were seated as delegates which is the first and only time that that has happened. The chapter also received the Delegate Distance Award. In the fall the one expelled member returned and the search for the Gamma class began yielding eight prospective members. The class was led by Dan Harrelson as President and Shelly Schweigerdt as Secretary. In the winter of 1994 there was a severe intra-chapter personality struggle that caused a lot of tension and loss of membership. In the end only nine active members and two prospective members were left. After another visit by the Chapter Field Representative, Casey Blankenship, the chapter initiated the Gamma class on February 7, 1994. That Spring has been called “Hell Revisited” and in the end only four active members were left and Brian Parker was appointed Executive Officer. So with only four members and four alumni the Iota Pi chapter hosted the Western District Convention and initiated William V. Johnson as an Honorary Member at the convention on April 9, 1994. That Spring also saw the initiation of the Delta class on June 5, 1994 with one member, Doug Mayer. Doug Mayer was elected Executive Officer four days later.

Doug Mayer returned that Fall as the Executive Officer and in the Winter of 1995 there were five prospective members in the Epsilon class. Iota Pi was supposed to host California State Days that year but it was cancelled due to massive flooding. In the Spring the chapter traveled to the Theta Pi chapter at Brigham Young University for the Western District Convention. It was there that the Epsilon Class was initiated on April 8, 1995. That Summer, National Convention was hosted by the Alpha Eta chapter of University of Florida and the Gamma Nu chapter of Florida State University. Only one alumnus attended the convention.

The Fall of 1995 marked the appearance of the Zeta class led by President Jason Frey. Then in the Winter that class of seven was initiated on February 21, 1996. That Winter also saw the second California State Days cancellation at Iota Pi due to rain.

The Fall of 1996 the Chapter initiated its fourth Honorary Member. David Rackley was initiated on November 15, 1996. The Eta class was then initiated on February 2, 1997. Next came the Theta class represented by their Speaker, Brian Pietsch. The chapter was then visited by the Chapter Field Representative and Iota Pi alumnus Brian Parker before heading to San Diego for the District Convention. The convention was attended by all eighteen actives and six of seven prospectives. Once there, the chapter won the Chapter Distance Award and Mark Searby won District Secretary-Treasure but the chapter lost the bid for the Accent. Once the chapter returned the seven members of the Theta class were initiated on May 19, 1997. The chapter then held the first ever Spring Formal on May 23, which soon became the annual Musician’s Ball. That Summer, the National Convention was hosted by the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University. The Iota Pi chapter won the Chapter Participation Award.

That Fall the ten prospective members of the Iota class gave each member an officer based on chess pieces. The class was initiated on November 30, 1997. That Spring, District Convention was held at the University of California Los Angeles. At this convention, Mark Searby ran for District President but was elected Member at Large and the chapter lost the bid for the 1999 Convention.

The Winter of 1999 marked the first ever Western District Leadership Conference, held at Arizona State University. The conference was attended by four prospective members of the Kappa Class. The class of thirteen, led by Co-speakers Leslee Derahian and Carolyn Soderberg and Secretary Heather Jensen, was initiated on February 28, 1999. That Spring the District Convention was hosted by the Iota Gamma and Theta Delta chapters of Washington State University but was held in Coeur d’Alene. At the convention, Diana Puig won Western District Secretary-Treasurer and the chapter won the bid for District Convention 2000.

That Summer, National Convention was in St. Louis Missouri hosted by University of Missouri Rolla. In San Luis Obispo, though, the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) was having its big conference and the Iota Pi chapter was there to help.

In the Winter of 2000, the Iota Pi chapter continued to take prospective members to the Leadership Conference. This time the Lambda class had twelve prospectives who used ancient Greek gods as their officer structure. The ten members of the class, led by Kelsey McCarty as Zeus, Rachel Grunsky as Hera and Katie Day as Hermes, were initiated on March 5, 2000. At the District Convention that Spring, held by Iota Pi, Diana Puig ran for District President and Secretary-Treasurer and won Secretary-Treasurer and Ryan Phillips won Member at Large.

In the Winter of 2001, Iota Pi finally got the chance to hold California State Days and it was not raining. The Mu class used buttons of the keyboard to denote the officer structure and the fourteen member class, led by Ethan Larson as Ctrl, Elizabeth Ketterer as Alt and Krysta Johnson as , were initiated on March 4, 2001. That Spring marked the first ever District Convention for Colonization held in Portland, Oregon to try to start new chapters in the state. National Convention was held that Summer in Corpus Christi, Texas. At this convention, the Iota Pi chapter received the Chapter Leadership Award which put the chapter in the running for the Founder’s Trophy, the highest award a chapter can receive for excellence.

In the Winter of 2002, the Nu class was ten members strong led by Representative Myles Bostwick. The class was initiated on March 10, 2002. That Spring the District Convention was held by the Gamma Kappa chapter at Northern Arizona University. At the convention, in addition to being honored with the chapter leadership award, Iota Pi won the bid for the District website, being the first chapter to win it.

Fall of 2002 displayed successful active recruiting methods, as the Xi Class was the first ever to be invited to an exclusive rush event and service project. As a result they were the most successful class in completing their assignments on time. They were represented by a superhero theme with Aaron Azevedo as powdered toast man and Lyndsey Krutein. In the spring Heta Mu and Zeta Xi joint chapters hosted the Western District Convention in San Diego. Here Iota Pi celebrated another year of success in winning the bid for Convention for Colonization Host Chapter, another Chapter of The Year award, and two officer positions. Krysta Johnson was elected Western District President, and Corey Downum was elected Western District Vice President. Also Jeralee Anderson received the AEA scholarship for her outstanding contributions to the organization.

Summer of 2003 the National Convention was held in Norfolk, Virginia. Iota Pi represented the school and the District very well with a nomination for a founder’s trophy, 2 committee chairs, and two delegate seats. Their sponsor William Johnson was appointed Vice President for Professional Relations.

Winter of 2004 brought about the initiation of the Omicron Class, complete with a Transformers theme. The Service Project was headed up by Amanda Witko, Fundraising by Harrison Wolf, and History by Amy Schultz. The chapter continued in tradition by road-tripping to District Leadership Conference (Dealy) in Logan, Utah, hosted by Iota Iota and Theta Eta.

Iota Pi hosted the Western District Convention for Colonization in Spring 2004, in Santa Clara, California. This experimental event was not as successful in terms of recruiting as had been anticipated, but helped the District refine its methods of acquiring colonies.

In Winter 2005, the Pi Class was initiated. Road trips included Boise State University for District Leadership Conference and University of Arizona for District Convention shortly after the start of spring quarter. To serve the bands, they overhauled the instrument room, headed up by Adam Brover. Adding to the wealth of ways to make money at Iota Pi’s disposal, the Pi class started the TV taping audience participation fundraiser, organized by Andrea Sisk. In an ambitious, much anticipated, and long time coming DVD, the workings and history of the Pi class were forever immortalized, led by Steve Becraft.

At the 2005 National Convention, Cal Poly sent six people to the National Intercollegiate Band, four of which were members of Iota Pi. This strong turn out led to Cal Poly receiving the “National Intercollegiate Band F. Lee. Bowling Award.” Iota Pi had received the Chapter Leadership Award for the third biennium that year, but was not awarded the William Scroggs Founder’s Trophy.

The Tau Membership class was initiated on March 9,2008 with 9 members. The class traveled to Arizona for DLC and to Boise State University for District Convention that year. Their projects included selling "Cal Poly Music" sweatpants as a fundraiser and hosting the very first Musical Carnival at Sunshimer Elementary School. Inspired by previous classes' themes. the Tau class adopted a "Finding Nemo" theme and nicknamed each member of the class accordingly.

In Spring of 2009 Iota Pi hosted Western District Convention at which the Upsilon class was initiated. The National President at the time, Malinda M. Matney, gave the new class the membership charge. The Upsilon class raised over $900 with their Lincolns for Lincolns fundraiser. The class also hosted a day long music camp for the Gonzales middle school and high school in coordination with director and Alpha member Brian Parker.

In Spring of 2010 the Phi class was initiated. A band leadership conference was held as a service project for high schoolers. Additionally, the first Applebee’s Pancake Breakfast was held.

In Spring of 2011 the Chi class was initiated.

In Spring of 2012 the Psi class was initiated. This class nicknamed themselves the 'Brosidons' and consisted of twenty new Bros. The 2011-2012 school year marked the second year in which Iota Pi decided to initiate a relatively large class, and thus these new Bros encompassed a fairly large portion of the chapter. The Brosidon's history project consisted of a 'scrapbook' that portrayed an unforeseen and nifty fact about each new Bro. A cool fundraising project sparked, also by the Brosidons, that consisted of blue wristbands with the words 'Peace.Love.Music' engraved in white. This was a pretty cool project because this left Iota Pi with the opportunity to portray and share their love for music with fellow Chapters during conventions and gatherings. A major service project Iota Pi accomplished this year was remodeling and organizing Cal Poly's music library. This was huge project that required months of planning and dedication from the chapter, and therefore this project led to Iota Pi receiving the 'For Service Sake' award at WDC that Spring. Iota PI also had the opportunity to re-vamp the music booth for Cal Poly's Open House weekend.

The Spring of 2013 saw the Omega class initiated. Choosing the title of Omegaladons, they undertook the projects of sorting the Choral Library at Paso Robles High School, designing a new Mustang Band logo, as well as monogramming it to backpacks, as well as a new trivia night. This year, Iota Pi hosted a very successful DLC, under the leadership of Chloe Cruz. Additionally, many members braved the frozen north to attend WDC, held in Boise. Despite all these happenings, the biggest event this year was the Run For Music, a 5k fun run that raised money for not only Iota Pi, but local children's music programs. In the 2013-2014 academic year, Run For Music was held again at Cal Poly under the leadership of Daniel Henry. The Alpha Alpha class was initiated into the chapter this year, nicknamed the “Alfalfas.” WDC took place in Los Angeles, CA. At the end of the year, the event attendance requirement was lifted from the bylaws. The chapter felt that passion, quality, and enthusiasm were better reasons to attend events held rather than quantity of attendees.

In the 2014-2015 academic year, the Alpha Beta class was initiated into the chapter. Some of the class projects included an Applebee’s Pancake Alumni Breakfast, a brotherhood bonfire, and a class scrapbook. The All-State Festival was organized by Alex Jacobius and Rose Doylemason for high schoolers across California to perform high-level pieces of music. In the Winter, Aidan Thurling and Aaron Jacobs organized the 3rd Run For Music event. Due to financial demands with UPD, events in SLO, and potential weather risks, that would be the last RFM event. Spring retreat took place at Lake Santa Margarita. Iota Pi was additionally nominated as a Chapter Leadership Finalist for the 9th biennium in a row! Kayla Pedrani and Katelyn Dietz traveled to NatCon in Lexington, Kentucky that summer to represent the chapter and present our bid for the Chapter Leadership Award.

The 2015-2016 year was a busy one for Iota Pi. The chapter held DLC under Katelyn Dietz and Paul Alvestad’s leadership with much success. Following DLC, Iota Pi hosted the American Bandmasters Association conference. Talented band directors and composers (including Johan de Meij and National Executive Director, Steve Nelson) came to San Luis Obispo from across the country for this conference. Rose Doylemason and Kayla Pedrani took charge of organizing the huge event at the Embassy Suites. Rose also worked with Nicholas Leal to organize the All-State Festival that year. In the Winter, the Alpha Gamma class was initiated into the chapter. In the spring, Michael Schuster, CEO of Mustang Band at the time, was granted Honorary status.

In 2016-2017, Iota Pi hosted Calivada State Days under the leadership of our Correspondence Secretary, David Horwitz. Chapters went to local eateries and scenic places to bond as Brothers. In the Winter, the Alpha Delta class was initiated into the chapter. Mustang Band Penny Wars, under the leadership of Aidan Thurling, made a record $1100! In Spring, Sarah Wattenberg organized the chapter’s most successful Band Leadership Conference to date! Band Leadership Conference invites local high schoolers to Cal Poly to learn musicianship and leadership skills as a bandsman. During spring break, Brothers who were in town put together the new Band Booth, which was designed by Noah Scanlan and Paul Alvestad. WDC was held in Boise, Idaho. After WDC, Micky Welther was elected as the District Secretary-Treasurer, and Sean Gonzales was appointed as District Webmaster. In the summer, service committee’s plans for new Guard and Drumline shelves in the armory went to fruition and were built by Lauren Becker and her family.

In 2017-2018, one of Iota Pi’s largest initiate classes, the Alpha Epsilon class was initiated with 22 members. During the school year, Dr. Andy McMahan left Cal Poly, leaving Professor Woodruff as the Interim Director of Bands, and eventually, the Director of Bands. Thanks to the many efforts of the brothers this year, at WDC in Fresno, Iota Pi was awarded the For Service’s Sake Award for hosting Band Leadership Conference in 2017.

In 2018-2019, the Alpha Zeta class was initiated with 13 members under Vice President Brittany Woolley. The Alpha Zeta class made some very successful 807 stickers. At WDC at ASU, Iota Pi was elected to host WDC in 2020, where Emma Gracyk served as district publisher. Iota Pi was very busy, as service committee built a percussion ramp, created a digital archive, and hosted the Big Band Bash with the swing dancing club. Most importantly, Food committee was founded by Nathan Walker bringing food to various events.

2019-2020 was a tumultuous year for Iota Pi. The first pumpkin carving was held for the bands, along with many other social events. In the spring, the Alpha Eta class was initiated with 14 members! After the initiation of the Alpha Eta class, Matt Lerner, member of the alpha class and his son Davis Lerner revived family 4, forever changing the Iota Pi family tree. Iota Pi was slated to host Western District Convention, hosted at the Raddison hotel in Santa Maria. A week before WDC was supposed to be held, it was unfortunately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic saw Cal Poly close all in person classes, and as a result Iota Pi’s meetings shifted online.

Iota Pi Founding Fathers

Alpha Class

  1. Erin Burke (President)
  2. Brian Parker (Vice President)
  3. Tiffanie Harris (Secretary)
  4. Matt Lerner (Treasurer)
  5. Amy Alger (Historian)
  6. Mark Degenkolb (Historian)
  7. Guy Elliott
  8. Krista Katusha
  9. Len Kawamoto
  10. James Loesch
  11. Audrey Nissen
  12. David Pott
  13. Maureen Quintana
  14. Doug Sandy

Honorary Member

  1. Chris Zielke

Active Families

Family #1

Sweatshirt: Pirate Line - Brown sweatshirt with skull print letters outlined in red, gold, and black. Gold "Iota Pi" script monogrammed above heart
Founding Father: Erin Burke

Family #2

Sweatshirt: Shore Line - Navy crewneck with solid white letters outlined in grey. White “Iota Pi” script above heart.
Founding Father: Brian Parker

Family #4

Sweatshirt: Hot Chocolate Line - Navy sweatshirt with paisley letters outlined in pink. White "Iota Pi" script monogrammed above heart.
Founding Father: Matt Lerner

Family #6

Sweatshirt: Gryffindor Line - Black sweatshirt with maroon letters outlined in silver. Silver "Iota Pi" script monogrammed above the heart.

Strugglepuff Line - Carolina Blue sweatshirt with white letters outlined in dark blue. Gold "Iota Pi" script monogrammed above the heart.

Slytherin Line - Black sweatshirt with green letters outlined in silver. Silver "Iota Pi Family 6, Slytherin" monogrammed on left sleeve.

Space Line - Black sweatshirt with space print letters outlined in blue. Blue "Iota Pi" script monogrammed above the heart.

Founding Father: Mark Degenkolb

Family #9

Sweatshirt: Lemon Line - Grey sweatshirt with blue letters outlined in white. Blue "Iota Pi" script monogrammed above the heart.

Beer Line - Grey sweatshirt with solid blue letters outlined in white. Blue “Iota Pi” script monogrammed on pocket.

Classy Line - Black sweatshirt with black letters outlined in white. White "Iota Pi" script monogrammed above heart.

W(h)ine Line - Black sweatshirt with black letters outlined in white. White "Iota Pi" script monogrammed above heart.

Changes Line Name Every Meeting Line - Royal blue crew neck with flamingo pattern letters outlined in glitter pink.

Founding Father: Len Kawamoto

Family #11

Sweatshirt: Line of Extraordinary Gentlemen - Letters are customized based on each individual's favorite superhero
Founding Father: Audrey Nissen

Western District Officers


  1. William V. Johnson (1991-93)


  1. Brian Parker (1993-94)
  2. Krysta Johnson (2003-04)
  3. Michael Juner (2005-06)

Vice President of Membership

  1. Corey Downum (2003-04)
  2. Neil Jansen (2006-07)
  3. Adam Brover (2008-09)
  4. Abe Lamontagne (2021-2022)


  1. Erin Burke (1992-93)
  2. Mark Searby (1997-98)
  3. Dianna Puig (1999-01)
  4. Alexis Howell (2012-13)
  5. Micky Welther (2017-18)


  1. Mark Searby (1998, left halfway through term)
  2. Ryan Phillips (2000-01)


  1. Jeffrey Brown (2010-11)
  2. Sean Gonzales (2017-18)


  1. Hillary Tung (2013-14)

Chapter Field Representative

  1. Brian Parker (1996-98)

Hosted WDC

  1. 1994-95
  2. 2000-01
  3. 2004-05
  4. 2008-09
  5. 2019-20

Hosted DLC

  1. 2006-07
  2. 2012-13
  3. 2015-16

Western District Awards

Chapter of the Year

  1. 2002-03
  2. 2005-06
  3. 2010-11

Strive for the Highest

  1. 2022-2023

Chapter Participation

  1. 2022-2023

Best Display/Scrapbook

  1. 2007-08

For Music Sake

  1. 2009-10

For Service Sake

  1. 2011-12
  2. 2017-18

National Awards

Chapter Participation

  1. 1996-97
  2. 2012-13

Chapter Distance

  1. 2004-05
  2. 2012-13

Honorary Members

  • 4/1992: Chris Zielke
    • Chris Zielke graduated during the colonization process but continued to assist the colony after he had graduated. This led the chapter to initiate him as Iota Pi’s first Honorary Member.
  • 4/1993: Alyson McLamore
    • Alyson McLamore is a member of the Cal Poly Music Department, and was the Director of Bands at Cal Poly at the time. Her service as the Mustang Band director inspired the chapter to grant her Honorary status.
  • 4/1994: William V. Johnson
    • William Johnson became a member of the Alpha Zeta chapter at Indiana University in 1959. He served as a member of the National Alumni Association, is currently part of the KKPsi Alumni Association as a Life Member, served as the National VP for Professional Relations in the 2003-05 biennium, and was Governor of the Western District from 1991-1993. In 2010 he received the Distinguished Service to Music medal in Conducting. He was granted Honorary Membership into Iota Pi in 1994 a few years after stepping down as Director of Bands.
  • 12/1996: David Rackley
    • David Rackley wrote “Overture Calafia”, which was written for and premiered by the Cal Poly State University Wind Orchestra for the inaugural dedication concert of the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center. The Cal Poly Wind Orchestra performed his work, “Third Stream Bridge” for Jazz Piano and Wind Orchestra, in the Sydney Opera House in 2000. Rackley is currently Music Director for Grace Baptist Church, Santa Maria, CA.
  • 5/2000: Paul Rinzler
    • Paul Rinzler serves as the Director of the Cal Poly Jazz Bands. His dedication to the university jazz programs inspired the chapter to grant him Honorary status.
  • 4/2006: Clifton Swanson
    • Clifton Swanson is a Professor Emeritus at Cal Poly who taught with an emphasis on music appreciation and music history. He worked with Cal Poly’s orchestra and became active as a conductor with the Cal Poly Chamber Orchestra and San Luis Obispo Symphony. In 1971 he co-founded the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival (now Festival Mozaic).
  • 5/2009: Terrence Spiller
    • Terrence Spiller is a member of the Cal Poly Music Department who has performed across the U.S. and Europe as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and accompanist.
  • 10/2010: John Lowe II
    • The Lowes received status for their amazing support of the bands and their dedication to music in general. They often sub in pep band during academic holidays, host the band pizza dinner at the Big West tournament every year we go, come to homecoming every year, started scholarships in the band program, and both regularly play in ensembles through the year.
  • 10/2010: Kathlyne (Mohn) Lowe
    • The Lowes received status for their amazing support of the bands and their dedication to music in general. They often sub in pep band during academic holidays, host the band pizza dinner at the Big West tournament every year we go, come to homecoming every year, started scholarships in the band program, and both regularly play in ensembles through the year.
  • 5/2012: Christopher Woodruff
    • Professor Woodruff earned Honorary status in 2012 for his continued service as Director of Mustang Band. In that year, he also took on the role as chapter sponsor, and continues to advise the Iota Pi chapter.
  • 5/2012: Andrew McMahan
    • Having taken on the role as Director of Bands, Dr. McMahan was granted Honorary membership to Iota Pi in 2012. Previously, he was granted Honorary status of the Iota Pi chapter of Tau Beta Sigma in 2010. He now serves as the Director of Bands at Lamar University, where he oversees the Gamma Zeta KKPsi chapter and Alpha Upsilon TBS chapter. He directed the bands with both of his hands.
  • 5/2012: Craig Russell
    • Dr Russell is a Professor of Music History and Music Appreciation at Cal Poly and has been since 1982. He is a proud supporter and advocate of the music programs (especially the bands) at Cal Poly. His accomplishments in music (see and his love for the bands inspired the chapter to grant him Honorary membership.
  • 6/2014: Scott Charvet
    • Scott Charvet was granted Honorary status in 2014 for his dedicated service to the Cal Poly bands. Scott went on every band trip, conducted the band and helped the Mustang Band staff in any way needed. Scott also arranged drum features and served as the drumline instructor.
  • 5/2016: Michael Schuster
    • In 2016, Michael Schuster earned Honorary status from Iota Pi for his above and beyond dedication to the concert bands and marching band as CEO. In the bands, he was a dedicated tuba player, and also served as tuba section leader in Mustang Band.
  • 6/2023: Nicholas Power Waldron
    • Dr. Nicholas Power Waldron earned honorary status in 2023 for his continued service as Director of Mustang Band