Sigma Alpha Iota celebrates women interested in the art of music. Working closely with faculty, administration, campus and community groups, music professionals and patrons, this organization promotes interaction among those who share a commitment to music.
SAI recently celebrated its 95th birthday at The University of Tulsa on April 23. In celebration of this important milestone, two members of Sigma Alpha Iota shared about why they joined, why others should, and how the fraternity is shaping them to succeed in the future. Rachel Wallis and Jesica Santino are just two of SAI’s members who are extremely passionate about their organization. They explain what it’s like holding office positions and what SAI has done for them personally.
Hitting the right key with SAI
Growing up, Wallis can’t remember a time when she wasn’t surrounded by some sort of music. Wallis is a junior vocal performance major at the College of Art & Sciences and the Music Director of SAI with a background in dance, piano and choir. “I started dance classes when I was three years old, and then I did piano at nine and started choir at 10 and so I’ve always been doing some sort of music,” said Wallis.
Something truly special about Wallis is that she came to TU because it had a chapter of SAI. “I really wanted to go to a college that had SAI because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to join a traditional Greek organization, but I knew I wanted to be a part of something that incorporated sisterhood,” she said.
Wallis found her home away from home within SAI at TU. She’s able to showcase her skills and abilities when it comes to music and give back, too. Wallis explains that SAI is a very philanthropic group as well, winning several national service awards. Last year the organization donated funds and instruments to a Houston school that suffered from the effects of Hurricane Harvey.
“A lot of women that are in SAI are different majors; they aren’t just music majors, but they are in one of the ensembles, the band or the orchestra,” Wallis explained. What makes SAI unique is it welcomes students from all fields of study and any musical background. Non-music majors with a passion for music are encouraged to join. “If you want to do something that you don’t normally get to do, like sing in an acapella group or ensemble, or play an instrument you don’t normally get to play, SAI is a great opportunity to let loose and do things with no pressure,” said Wallis.
On a major note
Santino is a senior vocal performance major in the Kendall College of Art & Sciences and the treasurer of SAI. Santino found her passion for music when she was only in elementary school. “I knew from a pretty young age that I wanted to do music,” she said. This passion for music drove her to join SAI and hold multiple positions over the years.
She believes her current position as treasurer is benefiting her tremendously for future endeavors. “It has been an incredible experience in figuring out money, handling finances and budgeting for this great group,” explained Santino. SAI enhances its members’ abilities to do more than just music. Santino is learning numerous other skills that will benefit her throughout her career.
Learn more about TU’s school of music.
“I really loved the idea of a group of women from all majors and degrees who have this shared interest of loving music and can build a friendship,” said Santino. “I wanted to join right away.” Santino’s passion for SAI is evident as she speaks about what the organization has done for her while at TU. She has been able to find her sisterhood through her love of music.
Rachel Wallis and Jesica Santino discuss the importance of being involved on campus and how Sigma Alpha Iota helped them do so by offering numerous leadership opportunities, personal growth opportunities, ways to give back and a sisterhood.
Interested in joining SAI? See more information on TU’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota here.