Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America (also known as Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Phi Mu Alpha, or simply Sinfonia) (ΦΜΑ) is an American collegiate social fraternity for men with a special interest in music. The fraternity is open to men "who, through a love for music, can assist in the fulfillment of [its] Object and ideals either by adopting music as a profession, or by working to advance the cause of music in America." Phi Mu Alpha has initiated more than 260,000 members, known as Sinfonians, and the fraternity currently has over 7,000 active collegiate members in 249 collegiate chapters throughout the United States.
|Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America|
|Founded||October 6, 1898|
New England Conservatory of Music
|Object||"The Object of this Fraternity shall be for the development of the best and truest fraternal spirit; the mutual welfare and brotherhood of musical students; the advancement of music in America and a loyalty to the Alma Mater."|
|Philanthropy||Mills Music Mission|
|Headquarters||10600 Old State Road|
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia was founded as the Sinfonia Club at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts on October 6, 1898, by Ossian Everett Mills, bursar of the conservatory. Exactly two years later, on October 6, 1900, a delegation of members from the Sinfonia Club visited the Broad Street Conservatory of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a group of students there petitioned to form a chapter of the club, thus establishing the organization as a national fraternity. By 1901, two additional chapters had been formed and the 1st National Convention was held in Boston to establish a national constitution.
Phi Mu Alpha operates independently from any of the major governing councils for collegiate fraternities in the United States such as the North-American Interfraternity Conference, though it is a member of other interfraternal organizations such as the Association of Fraternity Advisors, the Fraternity Communications Association, and the National Interfraternity Music Council. Since 1970, Phi Mu Alpha headquarters are located at Lyrecrest, an estate on the northern outskirts of Evansville, Indiana.
Membership in Phi Mu Alpha is divided into four classes: probationary, collegiate, alumni, and honorary. Probationary members are those who are participating in an educational program of between four and 12 weeks in length in preparation for initiation as full, active collegiate members. Collegiate members transfer to alumni membership after they graduate. Honorary membership can be bestowed under guidelines established by the National Constitution.
The fraternity has local, regional, and national levels of governance. The most fundamental local unit is the collegiate chapter chartered at a college or university. Phi Mu Alpha also charters local alumni associations, which are issued to groups of alumni members in a particular geographic area. Chapters and alumni associations are grouped into provinces. A National Executive Committee, elected by a National Assembly at each triennial National Convention, governs the national organization.
Phi Mu Alpha has several identifying symbols, including a membership badge (pin); the colors red, black, and gold; a coat of arms; a flag; and an official flower, the chrysanthemum.
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia was founded as the Sinfonia Club by Ossian Everett Mills at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Ossian Everett Mills, bursar of the conservatory, had been holding devotional meetings with a small group of male students since 1886. Mills was profoundly interested in the physical, mental, moral, and spiritual development of the conservatory's students. Mills sought to encourage the personal development of the young men at the conservatory through wholesome social interaction among them. This led Mills to suggested that the "Old Boys" of the conservatory invite the "New Boys" to a "get acquainted" reception on September 22, 1898. Several of the men who attended the reception began to discuss the possibility of organizing a more permanent social club, and a meeting was planned for October 6, 1898, for that purpose.
The origin of the name "Sinfonia" is attributed to George W. Chadwick, the director of the New England Conservatory at the time the Sinfonia Club was founded. Chadwick was elected as the second honorary member of the club after Ossian Mills, and he suggested the name "Sinfonia" after the name of a student organization he was a member of in Leipzig, Germany. Prior to 1947, the legal corporate name of the fraternity was Sinfonia Fraternity of America, though the Greek letters Phi, Mu, and Alpha had been associated with the fraternity since at least 1904. The delegates to the 29th National Convention in 1946 approved changing the corporate name to Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, which it remains today.
The Sinfonia Club became a national fraternity in 1900 with the admission of a group of men at the Broad Street Conservatory of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, under the direction of Gilbert Raynolds Combs. The traditional date given in fraternity resources for the founding of Beta Chapter at Broad Street Conservatory is October 6, 1900. However, while the petitioning letter submitted by the men from Philadelphia is dated October 6, a notation made by Ralph Howard Pendleton, secretary of Alpha Chapter at the New England Conservatory, at the bottom of the letter indicates that the petition was not approved until October 8. Phi Mu Alpha continued to grow and to maintain an emphasis on the development of high character among male musicians through the next two decades. Percy Jewett Burrell, sixth Supreme President (1907–1914), was very influential during the fraternity's early years, both because of his long tenure in office and because of his extensive writing. Burrell wrote many articles calling for members to develop within themselves the noble virtues espoused by the fraternity's exoteric and esoteric teachings.
The professional period
As the fraternity continued to grow in both the number of members and chapters, so did its emphasis on the advancement of music. In 1927, the original Object statement was altered so that "to advance the cause of music in America" was put in a place of prominence. After the American victory in World War II, the young men who returned from battle to re-enter the nation's universities through the benefits of the G.I. Bill were less interested in an organization devoted to upholding noble ideals—ideals that seemed naive given the men's war-time experiences—than they were in the practical matter of finding civilian employment. This, combined with the fact that many of Phi Mu Alpha's national leaders at the time were heavily involved in state and local music educators' professional organizations, led the fraternity to become increasingly concerned with the advancement of its members in the music profession (especially in music education) in addition to the advancement of music in general. The professional period of the fraternity's history culminated in 1970 when its leaders began marketing it as "The Professional Fraternity for Men in Music" and when a new statement of purpose was adopted that began, "The primary purpose of this Fraternity shall be to encourage and actively promote the highest standards of creativity, performance, education, and research in music in America."
Title IX and coed membership
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, enacted on June 23, 1972, prohibits discrimination based on gender in educational programs receiving federal funding. This prohibition extends to professional societies for students enrolled at universities that receive federal funds for student financial aid or other programs. However, social organizations, such as social fraternities and sororities, are specifically exempted. Phi Mu Alpha's initial response to Title IX was to allow chapters, beginning in 1976, to initiate women on a case-by-case basis as universities began questioning Phi Mu Alpha's single sex membership policy. In 1983, the fraternity successfully petitioned for an exemption from Title IX from the U.S. Department of Education on the basis of its historical existence as a social organization, but some members felt that the fraternity should continue as a professional organization and fully embrace a coed membership policy. The issue came to a head at the 45th National Convention in 1985 when the fraternity's National Assembly voted to restore Phi Mu Alpha to its original status as a male-only social fraternity. Despite this action, the fraternity did not change its statement of purpose (now known as the Object) to reflect the change in status until 2003, and it remained a member of the Professional Fraternity Association until 2007.
Into the 21st century
Since its centennial in 1998, Phi Mu Alpha has re-embraced the vision of its founders as an organization devoted primarily to the character development of its members. The aim of the fraternity is to build "musicianly men" into "manly musicians" who will go out into the world and advance the cause of music in their individual fields of influence, whether that be as music professionals, through other professions, or through philanthropy and advocacy in support of the musical arts. The number of collegiate members and active chapters has steadily grown since 2000.
Phi Mu Alpha's national philanthropy is the Ossian Everett Mills Music Mission. Created in 1998, the Mills Music Mission is a modern-day revival of a practice originated by the fraternity's founder, Ossian Everett Mills, in the late 19th century. Mills was organizer of a "Flower Mission" in Boston in which musicians and assistants would go to Boston's hospitals on Christmas and Easter to sing, play music, and give recitations. The activity was referred to as the "Flower Mission" because prior to going to the hospitals the participants would collect flowers from churches after the morning services and distribute them to the patients they visited. The Mills Music Mission was adopted as Phi Mu Alpha official national philanthropy in 2003. The focus of this project is rare among fraternity philanthropies since, instead of raising funds to support a selected charity, the fraternity uses the unique talents and interests of its members to personally interact with and lift the spirits of those in need.
Probationary membership is a prerequisite for initiation as a collegiate member. A man becomes a probationary member by accepting an invitation to membership extended to him by a collegiate chapter and by participating in the fraternity's official Ceremony for Pledging. A chapter may pledge a man as a probationary member if he meets the following requirements:
- He is at least 18 years of age.
- He is a student, faculty member, or staff member at the chapter's sheltering institution (i.e., the university or college at which the chapter is chartered).
- If he is a student, he has met the academic standards for successful continuation as a student in good standing as defined by the sheltering institution.
- He is able and willing, through a love of music, to assist in the fulfillment of the fraternity's Object and ideals either by adopting music as a profession or by working to advance the cause of music in America.
- He is not a member of any other secret national fraternal society in music, namely Delta Omicron or Mu Phi Epsilon.
It is not required that a candidate for probationary membership have an academic major or minor in music or be enrolled in a music course, though most chapters have traditionally had a majority of their members come from the music major ranks of their sheltering institutions.
Probationary members participate in a membership education program for between 4 and 12 weeks. During this program, probationary members learn basic information about the organization such as officer duties, rules, procedures, and traditions, and they are also instructed in the values and ideals of the fraternity. The purpose of the membership education program is to prepare probationary members to assume all of the duties and responsibilities of full membership in the fraternity.
Probationary members who successfully complete the membership education program, who pay the prescribed initiation fee, and who are approved by a vote of the chapter are eligible to become collegiate members through participation in the fraternity's Initiation Ritual. Collegiate members hold voting rights in their respective chapters and may hold fraternity offices specifically reserved for collegiate member. They are also eligible for the many financial assistance programs of the Sinfonia Educational Foundation, such as scholarships, study abroad grants, and travel reimbursement grants for attendance at national fraternity events with educational components. Collegiate members are required to pay national per capita taxes (i.e., dues) to the fraternity, to pay local dues assessed by the chapter, and to attend all chapter meetings and activities.
Unlike most collegiate fraternities, the vast majority of chapters of Phi Mu Alpha do not provide communal housing for their members as a means to accomplish the goals of social development and character building.
Upon leaving the chapter's sheltering institution (e.g., through graduation, transfer, etc.), collegiate members may transfer to alumni membership. Faculty and staff members of the sheltering institution who are initiated as collegiate members may transfer to alumni membership at any time. Alumni members retain all the rights and privileges of membership in the fraternity except for voting rights in a collegiate chapter and eligibility to hold offices specifically reserved for collegiate members. Alumni members are under no further financial obligation to the fraternity or to any chapter insofar as they remain members of the fraternity in good standing regardless of financial contributions. However, alumni members are encouraged to make regular contributions to the Sinfonia Educational Foundation, and if an alumni member chooses to join an alumni association he may assume an obligation to pay dues to the association.
Chapters may initiate men into honorary membership. Non-Sinfonian candidates must be distinguished male musicians, music educators, or patrons of music, and upon initiation they are considered honorary members of both the chapter and the fraternity. A Sinfonian may be initiated as an honorary member of a chapter for long-standing support and outstanding contributions. The National Executive Committee may initiate men as national honorary members into the honorary Alpha Alpha Chapter. While there is a significant level of prestige that accompanies honorary membership, this class is equivalent to alumni membership with regard to the rights and obligations of membership. It is not possible to confer honorary membership posthumously.
Term of membership
Probationary membership may be terminated by the probationary member through resignation or by the chapter through a retention vote in which the probationary member fails to receive the support of at least three-fourths of the chapter's members. Once initiated, membership in the fraternity is for life. An initiated member may not resign his membership in the fraternity, though he may be suspended or expelled from membership for misconduct. Transfer between collegiate, alumni, and honorary membership is possible as provided for in the fraternity's governing documents.
According to the national policy on transgender membership eligibility, an individual must be considered both "legally and medically male" at the time of probationary membership and initiation. The policy further defines "legally" as having a male gender marker on the probationary member's ID (driver's license, state issued non-driver ID, passport, etc.), and "medically" as being designated male by a physician or on medical records.
Over a century old, Phi Mu Alpha has admitted men from all walks of life, some of whom have achieved notability in fields such as music, television, film, science, government, and literature.
Among these famous Sinfonians are famous composers such as Frank Ticheli, John Philip Sousa, John Mackey, and Clifton Williams, television personalities Fred Rogers (of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood) and Andy Griffith, jazz musicians Bill Evans, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Maynard Ferguson, Wayne Bergeron, Gordon Goodwin and Cannonball Adderley, rock musician Bo Diddley, Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart, philanthropists Andrew Carnegie and George Eastman, politicians including 1948 Presidential candidate Thomas Dewey and New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia, folk singer and actor Burl Ives, tenor Luciano Pavarotti, and American Idol winner Ruben Studdard.
Phi Mu Alpha has chartered 451 collegiate chapters at 445 colleges and universities across the United States in its history, of which 249 are currently active. Alpha Chapter at the founding New England Conservatory was active from 1898 to 1977. It was reactivated in 1991 but subsequently became inactive again in 1995 and remains so today. Delta Chapter at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York was chartered on January 28, 1901 and is the oldest continuously active chapter of the fraternity.
Chapters are formed by the granting of charters to petitioning groups at qualified institutions of higher education. The only basic qualification for an institution to house a chapter of Phi Mu Alpha is that it offer a four-year degree in music. Prior to receiving a charter, petitioning groups must seek recognition as a colony. After being recognized as a colony, the petitioning group must complete the fraternity's Colony Program, which consists of numerous activities designed to help the group organize itself as an effective and viable branch of the fraternity. Once chartered, collegiate chapters have the authority to conduct activities in the name of the fraternity for the purpose of furthering its Object.
The fraternity's collegiate chapters participate in a broad range of activities emphasizing brotherhood, service, and music. In addition to purely social activities for the benefit of their members, chapters typically conduct activities such as:
- taking music into the community through the Mills Music Mission.
- sponsoring concerts of American music.
- sponsoring jazz and choral festivals.
- sponsoring all-campus sings and Broadway-style reviews.
- organizing members into performing ensembles ranging from big bands to barbershop quartets.
- commissioning new musical works.
- bringing prominent music performers and clinicians to their campuses.
At a minimum, chapters are required to annually sponsor at least one program devoted exclusively to the music of American composers and to celebrate Founder's Day (October 6) and Chapter Day (the chartering date of the chapter). Chapters are also encouraged to meet the requirements of the fraternity's Chapter Citations program, which recognizes chapters annually for achievement in the areas of Chapter Operations, Membership Development, Alumni Relations, Musical Achievement, Province Interaction, Special Projects, and Fraternal Tradition.
Membership in Phi Mu Alpha is for life. While the core values of the fraternity are taught during probationary and collegiate membership, Sinfonians are expected to live out those values throughout their lives in support of the fraternity's Object. In order to organize its alumni for that purpose, Phi Mu Alpha charters alumni associations. There are currently 19 active alumni associations scattered throughout the United States. As stated in the fraternity's National Constitution,
Alumni associations shall encourage and enable alumni members to retain identity with the Fraternity, shall maintain a continuing spirit of brotherhood among men of music, shall act in support of collegiate chapters, shall engage in or support such musical projects in the community as promote the ideals of the Fraternity, shall aid deserving students of music in whatever way possible, and shall encourage and support local music programs.
Alumni associations may elect to membership any alumni or honorary member of the fraternity in good standing. Membership in an alumni association is voluntary and is not required for an alumnus to remain a member of the fraternity in good standing. Alumni associations cannot initiate men into the fraternity.
The structure and activities of the alumni associations are left almost entirely to their members. Unlike collegiate chapters which must adhere to the fraternity's General Regulations for Collegiate Chapters, alumni associations are free to choose their own governance structures, including what officers they have, how often they hold meetings, etc.
From 1922 to 1948, chapters of Phi Mu Alpha were grouped into regional units called districts that were assigned geographically descriptive names such as "Southern District" and "Northeastern District." Starting in 1949, the districts were replaced by provinces, each of which was given a numerical designation. Since that time, new provinces have been formed by the merging and splitting of former provinces, with province numbers being issued in chronological order. There are currently 38 active provinces, yet the highest-numbered province is Province 40. Province 31, which is made up of the states of Wyoming and Utah, has no active collegiate chapters or alumni associations and is therefore considered inactive. Province 10 was vacated in 1990 and its remaining chapter assigned to Province 7 so that there no longer exists a geographical region with the designation "Province 10". No chapter have ever been established in the states of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Alaska and Hawaii.
Each province is led by a Province Governor (PG) who is appointed by the National President and approved by the National Executive Committee. The PG acts as the representative of the National President in all matters pertaining to activities of the collegiate chapters, colonies, and alumni associations in his province. At his discretion, the National President may also appoint a Deputy Province Governor (DPG) for a province.
Each PG is responsible for organizing an annual Province Workshop for the collegiate chapters, colonies, and alumni associations in the province. The Province Workshop usually includes chapter officer training sessions; cooperative province projects; discussion of matters of national, province, and local concern; interaction and communication between chapters; and consideration of other business matters. Insofar as the collective chapters present at the Province Workshop can pass resolutions and conduct other business, the Province Workshop is a form of convention, and each chapter in good standing within the province is entitled to five voting delegates. Colonies and alumni associations do not have voting rights at the Province Workshop.
The only item of business that must be transacted by the voting delegates at each Province Workshop is the election of collegiate members to the offices of Collegiate Province Representative (CPR) and Assistant Collegiate Province Representative (ACPR). The CPR and ACPR serve as representatives of the collegiate membership of their province to the national organization and provide support to the chapters in their province.
A province may choose to establish a province council, which at a minimum would consist of the PG, the CPR, and equal representation from each collegiate chapter in the province. A province council could also include other province officers and representation from any alumni associations in the province. Province councils organize themselves to plan activities and make decisions affecting the welfare of the province, membership education within each chapter, and chapter and alumni association interaction
National conventions and the National Assembly
The first national convention of Phi Mu Alpha was held April 16–20, 1901, during which the fraternity was officially founded as a national organization and its first national constitution was adopted. From 1901 through 1920, conventions were held annually except in 1906 (scheduled but not held), and 1917–18 (due to World War I). From 1920 through 1964, conventions were held biennially except that no convention was held in 1942 or in 1944 due to World War II. From 1926 to 1948, the majority of national conventions were held simultaneously with those of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). Since 1964 national conventions have been held triennially.
National conventions traditionally include seminars on fraternal tradition and leadership, forums with candidates for national office, gala banquets, musical performances by Sinfonian ensembles, and numerous other social events. One of the most important functions of the convention is to facilitate business sessions in order to make changes to the fraternity's governing documents, set national policies, and elect national officers for the following triennium. The delegate body that makes these decisions at the national convention is known as the National Assembly, which consists of the members of the National Executive Committee, the PGs, and the CPRs.
|1st||Boston, Massachusetts||April 16–20, 1901|
|2nd||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||April 21–23, 1902|
|3rd||Ithaca, New York||May 18, 1903|
|4th||Ann Arbor, Michigan||May 18, 1904|
|5th||Cincinnati, Ohio||May 9–10, 1905|
|6th||Syracuse, New York||May 1906 (scheduled but not held)|
|7th||Boston, Massachusetts||May 16, 1907|
|8th||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||May 7–9, 1908|
|9th||Syracuse, New York||April 15–17, 1909|
|10th||Ithaca, New York||May 10–12, 1910|
|11th||Ann Arbor, Michigan||June 22–24, 1911|
|12th||Boston, Massachusetts||May 29–31, 1912|
|13th||Chicago, Illinois||December 29–31, 1913|
|14th||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||November 30 – December 2, 1914|
|15th||Cincinnati, Ohio||December 28–30, 1915|
|16th||Cincinnati, Ohio||December 28–30, 1916|
|17th||Evanston, Illinois||May 29–30, 1919|
|18th||Ann Arbor, Michigan||December 21–23, 1920|
|19th||Chicago, Illinois||December 29–30, 1922|
|20th||Lincoln, Nebraska||December 27–29, 1924|
|21st||Rochester, New York||December 29–31, 1926|
|22nd||Evanston, Illinois||December 28–29, 1928|
|23rd||St. Louis, Missouri||December 29–31, 1930|
|24th||Washington, D.C.||December 28–30, 1932|
|25th||Milwaukee, Wisconsin||December 26–27, 1934|
|26th||Chicago, Illinois||December 30–31, 1936|
|27th||Washington, D.C.||December 27–28, 1938|
|28th||Cleveland, Ohio||December 29–30, 1940|
|29th||Ann Arbor, Michigan||December 27–29, 1946|
|30th||Chicago, Illinois||December 28–30, 1948|
|31st||Cincinnati, Ohio||July 7–9, 1950|
|32nd||Cincinnati, Ohio||July 10–13, 1952|
|33rd||Cincinnati, Ohio||July 8–10, 1954|
|34th||Cincinnati, Ohio||July 12–14, 1956|
|35th||Cincinnati, Ohio||July 10–12, 1958|
|36th||Cincinnati, Ohio||July 7–9, 1960|
|37th||Cincinnati, Ohio||July 19–21, 1962|
|38th||St. Louis, Missouri||July 16–18, 1964|
|39th||Chicago, Illinois||June 28–30, 1967|
|40th||Interlochen, Michigan||July 10–12, 1970|
|41st||Interlochen, Michigan||July 13–16, 1973|
|42nd||Evansville, Indiana||July 9–11, 1976|
|43rd||Evansville, Indiana||July 13–15, 1979|
|44th||Urbana, Illinois||July 15–18, 1982|
|45th||Atlanta, Georgia||August 7–11, 1985|
|46th||Kansas City, Missouri||August 10–14, 1988|
|47th||New Orleans, Louisiana||August 7–11, 1991|
|48th||St. Louis, Missouri||August 10–14, 1994|
|49th||Cincinnati, Ohio||July 23–27, 1997|
|50th||Dallas, Texas||August 9–13, 2000|
|51st||Washington, D.C.||July 15–20, 2003|
|52nd||Cleveland, Ohio||July 19–23, 2006|
|53rd||Orlando, Florida||July 15–19, 2009|
|54th||Orlando, Florida||July 11–15, 2012|
|55th||New Orleans, Louisiana||July 8–12, 2015|
|56th||New Orleans, Louisiana||July 17–22, 2018|
|57th||St. Louis, Missouri||July 21–25, 2021|
National Executive Committee
The National Executive Committee (NEC) is Phi Mu Alpha's primary governing body. The members of the NEC are the National President, the National Vice President, two committeemen-at-large, a National Collegiate Representative (NCR), the Chairman of the Province Governors' (PGs') Council, and the Chairman of the Collegiate Province Representatives' (CPRs') Council. Each of these officers holds office for three years except for the committeemen-at-large who hold staggered terms of six years each, one being elected every three years. The officers are elected by the National Assembly at each national convention, except that the PG's Council and the CPR's Council elect their own chairmen in caucus meetings at the national convention.
|Name||Initiating chapter, year||Years in office|
|Ossian Everett Mills||Alpha, 1898||1901–1902|
|Gilbert Raynolds Combs||Beta, 1900||1902–1903|
|George C. Williams||Delta, 1903||1903–1904|
|Ossian Everett Mills||Alpha, 1898||1904–1905|
|Winthrop S. Sterling||Eta, 1901||1905–1907|
|Percy Jewett Burrell||Alpha, 1899||1907–1914|
|Gilbert Raynolds Combs||Beta, 1900||1914–1915|
|F. Otis Drayton||Alpha, 1912||1915–1918|
|Burleigh E. Jacobs||Epsilon, 1914||1918–1919|
|Chester R. Murray||Zeta, 1909||1919–1920|
|Justin E. Williams||Alpha, 1914||1920–1922|
|Peter W. Dykema||Phi, 1921||1922–1928|
|Aubrey W. Martin||Alpha Theta, 1923||1928–1932|
|James Thomas Quarles||Delta, 1924||1932–1936|
|Herbert Kimbrough||Chi, 1921||1936–1938|
|Norval Church||Phi, 1923||1938–1942|
|Alvah A. Beecher||Alpha Lambda, 1925||1942–1946|
|Albert Lukken||Alpha Chi, 1927||1946–1950|
|Archie N. Jones||Alpha Mu, 1929||1950–1960|
|William B. McBride||Omega, 1928||1960–1964|
|Harry Robert Wilson||Tau, 1924||1964–1967|
|Carl M. Neumeyer||Gamma Delta, 1938||1967–1970|
|Robert C. Soule||Beta Gamma, 1944||1970–1973|
|J. Eugene Duncan||Epsilon Nu, 1950||1973–1976|
|Lucien P. Stark||Alpha Beta, 1947||1976–1979|
|Emile H. Serposs||Beta Gamma, 1944||1979–1982|
|Maurice I. Laney||Beta Iota, 1940||1982–1985|
|William B. Dederer||Rho Chi, 1967||1985–1988|
|T. Jervis Underwood||Gamma Theta, 1954||1988–1991|
|Robert L. Hause III||Epsilon, 1955||1991–1994|
|Richard A. Crosby||Eta-Omicron, 1975||1994–1997|
|Terry Blair||Beta Mu, 1979||1997–2000|
|Darhyl S. Ramsey||Lambda Omega, 1967||2000–2003|
|Richard A. Crosby||Eta-Omicron, 1975||2003–2009|
|John A. Mongiovi||Upsilon Psi, 1994||2009–2015|
|Mark R. Lichtenberg||Delta Nu, 1993||2015–Present|
Other national officers
The corporate officers of the fraternity in addition to the National President and National Vice President are the National Secretary-Treasurer and the National Historian. The National Secretary-Treasurer is designated by the NEC from among its members. The NEC may also designate an Assistant Secretary-Treasurer from among its member or among the members of the national staff who is empowered to fulfill all of the duties of the National Secretary-Treasurer. The National Historian is appointed by the National President subject to ratification by the NEC.
As established by the fraternity's first national constitution, the highest governing body within the fraternity was known as the Supreme Governing Council, the members of which were the supreme (national) officers and one supreme councilman from each chapter, usually its president. This was the body that conducted business at each national convention, and it could also conduct business by mail ballot between conventions if necessary. The fraternity moved to the present National Assembly format with delegates being the members of the NEC, the PGs, and one collegiate member from each province (now the CPR) in 1964 at the same time that it moved from biennial to triennial conventions. The National Council as a governing body was retained, but only for actions required between conventions that are outside the jurisdiction of the National Executive Committee (e.g., amending the National Constitution). The National Council in its present form consists of the members of the NEC, the PGs, and the president or his designee of each collegiate chapter.
Province Governors' and Collegiate Province Representatives' Councils
The PGs and the CPRs organize themselves into respective councils for the purposes of advising the NEC on the operations of the fraternity and facilitating communication among themselves. Each council elects a chairman and a secretary during caucus meetings at each national convention. The chairman of each council serves as a member of the NEC, and the secretary assumes the chairmanship should it become vacant. The chairmen and the secretaries of the CPRs' and PGs' Councils hold their positions until the next national convention, even if they cease to be a Province Governor or Collegiate Province Representative.
The CPRs' Council meets from December 27–31 of each year, and the PGs' Council meets during the summer of each non-convention year. These meetings are referred to as convocations and are usually held at Lyrecrest. At the convocations, the chairmen conduct training sessions for the members of their respective councils, facilitate discussions about topics of concern regarding the fraternity, and chair business sessions for the purpose of adopting formal resolutions recommending actions to the NEC. In convention years, members of the PG's Council arrive at the national convention site a day early for a brief meeting to prepare for their duties as members of the National Assembly but a full convocation is not held.
Commission on Standards
The COS is responsible for all aspects of the fraternity's Colony Program, including establishing the guidelines of the program, approving petitioning groups for colony status, and approving applications for chapter installation or reactivation that are submitted by colonies. For good cause, the COS may dissolve a colony at any time.
The COS also oversees the operational well-being of chapters and alumni associations. If a chapter or alumni association is not meeting certain standards, the COS may take corrective actions. Should such actions fail, the COS may place a chapter or alumni association on inactive status.
Additionally, the COS serves as the fraternity's national judiciary. It enforces national policies, especially the fraternity's Risk Management Policies, by conducting investigations into alleged violations and imposing disciplinary actions on individual members, chapters, or alumni associations as it deems appropriate. The COS may also discipline individual members, chapters, and alumni associations for general misconduct that is harmful to the best interests or good name of the fraternity. All disciplinary actions taken by the COS are appealable to the NEC.
Members of the COS are appointed for three-year terms by the National President subject to ratification by the NEC. The COS must include in its membership at least one Province Governor and at least one collegiate member, though these statuses must only be held at the time of appointment and not for the entire term. A member of the NEC is also appointed to serve as a non-voting member of the COS.
National headquarters and staff
Phi Mu Alpha is headquartered in a converted house located at 10600 Old State Road in Evansville, Indiana known as Lyrecrest. The headquarters contains the working offices of the fraternity's national staff, and an adjacent building known as Lyrecrest North contains the fraternity's national museum and archives. The national headquarters property also includes the Robert H. Bray Cottage, a lodge-style building with 24 beds used for housing for retreats and national committee meetings.
Sinfonia Educational Foundation
The Sinfonia Educational Foundation (SEF) is the philanthropic arm of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity. The mission of the SEF is to enrich the lives of collegiate Sinfonians and to advance music in America by supporting scholarship, education, and the development of leadership and noble ideals among future generations of musicians and supporters of music in America.
Insignia and symbols
The essential design of Phi Mu Alpha's official membership pin was adopted at the 1st National Convention in 1901. The design consisted of an upward-pointing equilateral triangle with a gold old-English S on a field of black enamel, surrounded by twelve pearls and six rubies. The pattern of the jeweling was three pearls at each tip, with two rubies separated by one pearl on each side. The design was modified slightly in 1910 by reducing the size of the old-English S to allow room for the Greek letters Φ, Μ, and Α, with Φ in the top corner, Μ in the lower left corner, and Α in the lower right corner. This design remains in use today, though garnets are used instead of rubies. The official membership pin is only worn by initiated members of the fraternity (collegiate, alumni, or honorary).
Probationary members are required to wear a special probationary membership pin "at all reasonable times". The design of the probationary membership pin is an upward-pointing equilateral triangle of black enamel surrounded by a border of red enamel, with a thin gold border separating the red and black enamel and another thin gold border around the outside of the pin surrounding the red enamel.
The official colors of Phi Mu Alpha are red, black, and gold. The Sinfonia Club adopted the colors red and black on March 7, 1900, and used them as the color motif of the decorations for its first club room As a national fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha adopted red and black as its official colors at its 1st National Convention in 1901. Gold was adopted as the third color of the fraternity at the 10th National Convention in 1910
Phi Mu Alpha's official flower is the chrysanthemum, adopted at the 1st National Convention in 1901.
Coat of arms
Phi Mu Alpha's coat of arms was adopted at the 10th National Convention in 1910. The escutcheon (shield) consists of a red saltire (or Saint Andrew's Cross) on a field of gold. Centered is a symbol similar to the fraternity's membership pin, though differing in that instead of 7 red and white circles/stones along each side of the triangle, there are 13 monochromatic circles along each side. The saltire divides the escutcheon into four sections. In the dexter section (bearer's right or viewer's left) are clasped hands, in the sinister section (bearer's left or viewer's right) are panpipes, and in the base section (bottom) is a lamp. The chief section (top) contains no charge but the point of the centered triangular symbol crosses into it. Two fanfare trumpets crossing behind the escutcheon with the bells at the top and mouthpieces at the bottom serve as supporters. Above the escutcheon is decorative mantling and a lyre as the crest. Below is a scroll divided into three sections by the leadpipes of the fanfare trumpets. In the center section is the word Sinfonia, and the left and right sections display the numbers 18 and 98, respectively, representing the founding year of the fraternity: 1898.
In addition to the numerous manuals, guides, and policy documents produced by the fraternity, historically, Phi Mu Alpha has issued the following major publications:
- The Sinfonian, the official publication of the fraternity in the form of a semi-annual magazine sent to all collegiate members through their chapters and to alumni who have purchased a subscription.
- The Red & Black, a newsletter sent to all collegiate members and available on the fraternity's web site.
- Sinfonia Resonance, a free electronic newsletter sent to all alumni members with valid e-mail addresses on file with the fraternity.
- Themes for Brotherhood, a manual for probationary members.
- Sinfonia Songs, a book of fraternity songs for members published since 1908; currently in its sixth edition.
- Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia: A Centennial History, 2nd Edition, is a detailed history of the fraternity from its founding through 1998.
Since spring 2014, none of the Fraternity's periodical publications have been released.
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