Preserving the art of music

Tammy Tran

(Photo by Emma Moss)

Sigma Alpha Iota is the professional music fraternity for women aiming to encourage, nurture and support the art of music. Founded in 1903, SAI strives to encourage all women musicians, while supporting innovative educational programs in music for all stages of life.

Lawrence’s own SAI chapter was chartered in 1917, and its primary focus has since been to share music both throughout campus and around the Appleton community.

“We do a variety of things,” shares Sigma Alpha Iota President Emily Bodensteiner,”but one of our main focuses is outreach to the community through music.” Among the many undertakings of SAI, members have committed to weekly service trips at a local hospital. There, they put on musical performances in the lobby for the hospital’s youth patients.

“I think we do a good job of sharing music with the community and spreading that to kids or people who might not get a chance,” said Bodensteiner.

The sisters of SAI have also started a program where they introduce elementary school students to all the instruments. They have worked with not for profit community organizations such as the Boys and Girl Club and the YMCA to increase music education through enrichment programming. Annually, SAI also works to provide a scholarship for one non-conservatory student to have music classes.

In addition to participating in community-based projects, SAI is also centered on sisterhood. The group spends time together in fun activities, including apple picking and music recitals.

“We are a singular group on campus,” said Cayla Rosché, membership chairman. “No other group offers the opportunities that we do through musical expression, sisterhood and traditions, while still being a manageable time and financial commitment.”

SAI is made up of singers, string players, wind players, music education majors and non-music majors. To join or find out more information, email the membership chairperson at