“One of the national service projects that the Fraternity has taken upon itself is that of recognizing the extraordinary accomplishments by those actively supporting the college and university bands. During the 1963-65 biennium, Kappa Kappa Psi became the first national band oriented organization to honor those who have contributed “above and beyond” of themselves and their talents to help bands and band music grow in both performance and purpose. Since that time, many other organizations have followed our lead in conferring long overdue honors on the pioneers of the band world. The Kappa Kappa Psi “Distinguished Service to Music Medal” was established at the 1963 Biennial Convention. It was authored and first administered during the administration of Grand President Jack K. Lee (Eta, ’42; Omega, ’53).
The “Distinguished Service to Music Medal” is designed in the form of a star surmounted by the harp of Music, representing our Fraternity ritual. The star is surrounded by a golden wreath, symbol of achievement. The gold medal enameled in the Fraternity colors of blue and white, is supplied with a neck cravat and badge ribbon secured on a wooden plaque suitable for mounting. A certificate, appropriately inscribed to the recipient, completes the award.
The first awards were given in late 1964 and early 1965 to the following men, thus establishing the framework of the award and the standards to be used in evaluating candidates for the DSMM.
Morton Gould, for distinguished services to the band’s repertoire;
Frank Simon and William D. Revelli, for outstanding contributions to the development of the modern concert band; Eugene Weigel, who might be considered “the father of the Modern Marching Band;” Sigurd Rascher, for outstanding virtuosity on the alto saxophone and for the clinics he conducts to promote that instrument; Earl Kent, of the Conn Corporation, for extensive wind-instrument research; Meredith Wilson, for the “Music Man” and its important contribution to creating a wholesome impression of Music and bands; Herman B. Wells, internationally known Chancellor of Indiana University, UNESCO delegate and Fraternity alumnus; Frank Martin and Grace F. Martin, for over twenty-five years of dedicated service to the National Offices of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma.”