Musical Timeline


  • 1882: Tchiachovsky’s “1812 Overture” debuts, making him a household name. He later went on to score The Nutcracker, which debuted 1892.
  • 1885: “The new fraternity was introduced to the public by a Musical Soiree given by Dean Howe in honor of its members, and he further honored the chapter by dedicating to it his “System of Piano Technique.”  - excerpt from The Lyre, 1897
  • 1887: Alpha Chi Omega’s open motto, “Ye daughters of Music, come up higher!” was selected. Also in the running: “Musical culture, first and last!” and “Strive for the highest.”
  • 1887: The national whistle of the Fraternity was first recorded officially May 24, 1887.


  • 1891: Carnegie Hall opens in New York City.
  • 1896: Paving the Way for Women in the Field of Music – Amy Cheney Beach’s “Gaelic Symphony” is the first symphony composed and published by an American woman.
    She became an initiated member of Alpha Chi Omega in 1899, at the invitation of the Alpha chapter.
“The best means of culture is singing. Music is at home a friend, abroad an introduction, in solitude a solace, in society an ornament.” - excerpt from The Lyre, 1897
  • 1897: “Musical Progress in America”
    “Music is a fad, no doubt, with many people, but it is a harmless one and will keep its devotees from worse things. So if we must have a fad, we can heartily advise the adoption of the music fad.” - excerpt from The Lyre, 1987
[Music is] “…the expression by means of sound or poetical fancies or deep emotions, which the most gifted writer cannot express in words, but which finds its way without interpretation to thousands of human hearts.” – excerpt from The Lyre, 1897, “Musical Progress in America”

1900s: ­­

  • The vaudeville musical theater format begins to take shape.
  • 1902: At the 1902 National Convention, “It was determined that Alpha Chi Omega would be a musical-literary Fraternity in order for chapters to invite students to membership without requiring them to carry a course in music.” – from The History of Alpha Chi Omega, 1885-1910: The First 25 Years
  • 1909 - Est. of a relationship with and support of the MacDowell Colony let to the Star Studio built by the Fraternity in 1911.



  • 1922: Come Singing! 1922 National Convention in Colorado Springs announcement
  • 1924: “Rhapsody in Blue,” by George Gershwin, premiers in New York.
  • 1924: Musical member profile- The Beta Beta Quartet, excerpt from The Lyre 1924-25


  • 1935: “Crystal Orchestra” – Each attendee at the 1935 National Convention in White Sulphur Springs, WV was given a glass and instructions to accompany seven songs, resulting in a performance
  • 1930: “Long Have I Cherished in My Heart a Sacred Spot” – Founder, Olive Burnett Clark; from a toast given at the 1930 National Convention about the music store at DePauw University
  • 1936: Musical member profile - Kathleen Bowdan Lowance, Psi
  • Country music became popular in the 1930s and 40s when singing cowboys began appearing in Hollywood movies called “Westerns.”



  • 1956: Elvis Presley emerges as one of the world's first rock stars.
  • 1956: Twelve chapters won first place for their highly-competitive song fests at their respective schools.


  • 1960: The Pageant, “Alpha Chi Omega, Written on My Heart,” was performed as part of the 75th Diamond Jubilee Anniversary National Convention in French Lick, Indiana.
  • 1967: Miss America via Alpha Chi Omega - Jane Anne Jayroe-Gamble, Gamma Tau, won Miss America in 1967 with her talent of singing and conducting an entire orchestra. She had no prior pageant experience prior to the university pageant she entered through Alpha Chi Omega.


  • 1977: Saturday Night Fever was released and became one of the greatest selling movie soundtracks of the time.
  • 1976: The Founders’ Bell Tower was constructed by Alpha Chi Omega a part of DePauw University’s new Performing Arts Building and was dedicated to the memory of our seven Founders.
  • 1979: Three Alpha Rhos, University of Idaho, Take First at Greek Week
  • 1979: Alpha Chi Omega Song Contest (ahead of the 1980 convention)


  • 1980: The Alpha Chi Omega Song Contest’s (1979) winning entry, “Harmony,” written by Nancy Meyers (Iota) was premiered by the Convention Chorus in New Orleans
  • A 1980 initiate of Epsilon Pi, Pippa Winslow, appeared in many Broadway and off-Broadway productions throughout her career.
  • 1981: MTV, the first television channel devoted entirely to music, was launched.
  • 1984: Madonna’s Material Girl was released which made her one of the most successful pop stars of the time.
  • 1985: Gamma Nu Gamma alumnae chapter commissions a commemorative lyre for Alpha Chi Omega in honor of the Centennial Celebration, which was played by chapter president Jane Holt at its dedication.


  • Compact discs surpass cassette tapes as the preferred medium for recorded music
  • The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum opens in Cleveland.
  • A Violin Virtuoso at Five – Living Her Best Life Every Day Since: Janet Hsieh, a 1997 initiate of Theta Omicron, is a Taiwanese-American television personality, violinist, author and model based out of Taipei, Taiwan.
  • 1998: Lorna Dallas, Alpha Mu, “made a stunning Carnegie Hall debut with Skitch and the New York Pops to rapturous response from a New York audience.” – excerpt from The Lyre Spring 2018


  • Apple Computer introduces Apple iTunes Music Store, which allows people to download songs for 99 cents each.
  • 2007: DJ $krilla’s “Alpha Chi Omega Anthem” becomes popular on college campuses


© 2020 Alpha Chi Omega.  All Rights Reserved.
Alpha Chi Omega Headquarters
5939 Castle Creek Parkway N. Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46250

Phone: 317.579.5050
Fax: 317.579.5051