Rho Chapter | Alabama, USA

  • Founded: April 13, 1960
    −Phillip’s Restaurant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    −Robert Barr, band director from Columbus, Georgia and member of Phi Beta Mu, was charged with establishing the Alabama chapter. It was decided that the next meeting would held at the reading clinic at the University of Alabama in December 1960.
  • First initiates/Charter Members of ‘Epsilon Chapter’:
    Name was later changed to ‘Rho Chapter’, as the name Epsilon had been taken by another state.
    Truman Welch; Bodie Hinton; Dewey Countryman; Lacey Powell; Julian Stephens; Rip Reagan; Johnny Long; Yale Ellis; James McKelvey; Ken Hennessey; Clem Tocca; Frank Wilkerson
  • Charter Officers:
    President: Truman Welch
    Vice President: Bodie Hinton
    Secretary Treasurer: Dewey Countryman

Current Membership

  • 49 active; 56 active retired; 2 honorary
  • Robert W. Smith is our newest Honorary Member. Robert was the 2018 Outstanding Contributor for Phi Beta Mu International.
  • 2012: Truman Welch, Dr. Bodie Hinton, and Dr. Johnny Long were unanimously voted to a Lifetime Honorary Status of Phi Beta Mu, Rho Chapter.

Annual Business Meeting:

  •  Each year in April at Alabama All-State Band Festival
  • Since Covid-19, meetings will be held each January at Alabama Music Educators Association Conference in Montgomery, Alabama.
  • A second meeting each year will take place at the annual Alabama All-State Band Festival.


Presented to directors each year at Alabama All-State Meeting:

  • One Outstanding Band Director
  • One Outstanding Young Band Director with fewer than 10 years’ experience
  • Alabama Hall of Fame: One or two inducted each year
  • Lamar Triplett Scholarship: To a senior high school student and future band director

ABA/PBM Hall of Fame

  • The Alabama Hall of Fame was established in 1975 through ABA and Phi Beta Mu.
  • Is located on the campus of Troy University in John M. Long Band Hall
  • 54 members
  • Each of the charter officers from 1960 are in the Hall of Fame as well as many of the charter members.
  • In 1976 the first class of inductees to the Alabama Bandmaster/Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame had the largest class of any year.
    HoF inductees were: Col. Carleton K. Butler; Pasquale Fransico Bria; James “Jimmy” L. Cowart; Claude Dahmer (Deihmer); Yale Ellis; Dr. Mort Glosser; Williams “Billy” Hrabe; Dr. Wilber “Bodie” Hinton Jr.; Herman Helfrich Mohl (Moll); George Van Meter Printz; Carl Schwuchow; James Lamar Triplett

Service to the Band Community

  • Members of Rho Chapter turn in statements called “Helping Hands” which are dates and times that they have helped band directors in their community or the state.  More than half of our members take part in Helping Hands or helping our fellow directors. The act of filling our a form draws attention to our directors who give of themselves for the advancement of bands in Alabama.
  • Rho Chapter is also raising money to commission music by an Alabama composer. This band piece will reflect the love and passion our directors have for band and band music.