ORANGEBURG, SC (WACH) - A fraternity that has represented South Carolina State University for more than 30 years has been recognized for its service and achievements.
The Zeta Eta chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity received two of the highest honors awarded at the fraternity's Southeast District Convention. The president of the chapter also took home a prestigious award. The convention provides an opportunity for brothers in the Southeast to come together, share ideas and celebrate achievements. This year it was held the last weekend in March at the University of Central Florida.
The group received the Raymond D. Shannon District Leadership Award for reinstating the SC State University Honor Band Clinic; a four-day clinic held in Florence, S.C., for high school students in the Southeast.
"We reinstated a clinic predominately for African-American students amongst South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. We are presenting students with the opportunity to become better musicians and helping to keep music in schools," said Alphonso Counts, a senior music education major at the university.
The chapter also recieved the Outstanding Service Award for their committed service to the Orangeburg community. The group hosts various high school band events and a band appreciation day.
LaTondrick Hunter was awarded the J. Lee Burke Student Achievement Award, an award given to student leaders who have made an outstanding contribution to college bands and Kappa Kappa Psi. It is the highest national award a student can receive.
"I was shocked and at a loss of words when I received this award," said Hunter, who serves as the president of the Zeta Eta Chapter. "It is great to know that my name will always be a part of the history and legacy of Kappa Kappa Psi."
According to the university, Hunter has served in several leadership capacities at SC State University. He has served as a former drum major for the Marching 101 Band, overseeing more than 300 students, and he is also a 2010 alumnus of the Conn-Selmer Institute for Music Educators, one of the most elite manufacturers and distributors of band and orchestral instruments. After graduation from to SC State University, Hunter plans to attend graduate school.
â??The Zeta Eta Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi has evolved and is becoming more visible on campus and in the community. Members of Kappa Kappa Psi have been elected to serve as presidents and vice-presidents in other organizations on campus. We are an organization of leaders. It feels great to be recognized for all of the dedication and commitment that we have for the Universityâ??s Band Program,â?? said Avery Daniels, Zeta Eta Chapter advisor.
The bond of brotherhood extends throughout the fraternity, and the Zeta Chi Chapter at the University of South Carolina is excited for the accomplishments of the Zeta Eta Chapter.
"I feel the awards were well deserved. The entire chapter did a lot to set themselves apart from the rest, as seen by their success at the district and national level. It was nice to see a South Carolina school receive so many awards because we all know South Carolina is the best," said Brandon Armstrong, a brother with the Zeta Chi Chapter.
To learn more about the purpose and achievements of the chapter, click here to watch a video they created.