Wake Forest University’s bands have a rich history full of change and growth, which first began with 11 founding students in 1903. These foundations are still strong today in The Spirit of the Old Gold and Black (SOTOGAB). Many innovative people have shaped this outstanding athletic program:
Mrs. Barbara Trautwein (affectionately known as “Mzez Tee”) came to Wake Forest in 1982 to teach general music education and was appointed Director of Bands in 1985. She held this position for 2 years and, in that time, changed and strengthened the program immensely. Mrs. Trautwein is responsible for the current arrangement of the Fight Song and the Alma Mater. Additionally, she created the first Basketball Pep Band for women’s games and has been a mentor/Advisor for SOTOGAB for numerous years. MzezTee was also the assistant Band Director to Dr. Kevin Bowen after his arrival at Wake Forest as Director of Bands in 1994. Today, Dr. Brandon E. Robinson is Associate Director of Bands for SOTOGAB and leads the growing professional staff who serve the band, many of which do so with minimal compensation.
Mzez Tee, Dr. Bowen, and Dr. Robinson make a great team and have dedicated themselves wholeheartedly to this program. Dr. Bowen helped initiate a Color Guard for SOTOGAB and has started many fun traditions — such as playing “Hot Time”– at games. The name SOTOGAB was coined by former Associate Director Mr. Philip Morgan, who served at Wake Forest from 2007-2014.
Over time, the SOTOGAB has become a close-knit family of students that perform the best of music and depend on one other. In fact, just recently, the directors and staff felt that a group dedicated to assisting SOTOGAB was needed. Under the guidance of Ron Payne, the Kappa Zeta Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi (a national honorary band fraternity) was recharted in 2010 after it became inactive in 2000. This great service fraternity has assisted SOTOGAB in many ways and will continue to further the band program’s progress for years to come.