The History of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia is the world’s oldest and largest secret national fraternal society in music. Sinfonia was born on October 6, 1898, at the New England Conservatory in Boston, when a group of thirteen young men under the guidance of Ossian Everett Mills "to consider the social life of the young men students of that institution and to devise ways and means by which it might be improved." Sinfonia became a national fraternity on October 6, 1900, with the admission of a group of men at the Broad Street Conservatory in Philadelphia.
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 150,000 members, known as Sinfonians, and the fraternity currently has over 6,600 active collegiate members and the fraternity currently has more than 242 Collegiate chapters, 7 Colonies, and 17 Area Alumni Associations throughout the United States.
For over a century, Sinfonians in nearly every field of study and professional endeavor have transformed music in America. The opportunity of becoming a Sinfonian is offered to as many men as possible who, through a love for music, can 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.
The Most Honorable and Beloved Founder,
Ossian Everett Mills
February 16, 1856 - December 26, 1920
The History of the Rho Delta Chapter
"Our business is the making of men."
-Ossian E. Mills, Founder of Phi Mu Alpha
SINFONIA has been a long time coming to Albany State University. The idea of a chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia at the campus of Albany State University was first proposed in 1998, however, due to lack of interest and ignorance of the purpose of the organization, the idea was quickly quelled.
A resurgence of interest in the organization occurred in August of 2003 with the transfer of Brother Torre C. Goodson, a Spring 2003 initiate of the Kappa Beta Chapter at Morris Brown College. Noting the amount of interest in a brotherhood of musicianly men, Brother Goodson along with 23 interested men petitioned Lyrecrest in hopes of colonizing.
The resulting group was the Georgia Gamma Colony of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia being recognized in November of 2003. However, turbulence in the music department and logistical issues with the Vice President of Student Affairs regarding the social aspect of Phi Mu Alpha itself hindered progress.
Twenty-three men became eighteen; eighteen men became twelve; twelve men became four; each time, the colony shrinking because these "men" grew weary and disheartened, pursing other organizations. Four however, remained. An eight month battle with Student Affairs soon ended with the dissolving of the Georgia Gamma Colony in early Spring 2005. All was not lost however, because due to their hard work and dedication to the cause, it was allowed that four men: Kenneth F. Grace, Jonathan C. Moody, Michael Parrish, & Dominique Turner were granted the opportunity to become Sinfonians on April 23, 2005, known collectively as "The PHInal Four Tears". That very same day, the five Sinfonians on the campus of ASU set forth to bring change.
In Fall 2005, the five conducted an interest meeting and welcomed 14 young men to join them in, once again, petitioning Lyrecrest for Colony Status. Brothers Moody and Goodson had submitted changes to the Student Activities Handbook, which had been adopted and now allowed for social Fraternities outside of the NPHC to be recognized as such. The group was once again given the designation of "Georgia Gamma" and the colony set forth about the Fraternity's work.
The young men exhibited uncanny zeal for the Fraternity's work and accomplished a lot in a small amount of time. They spent time studying the history of the Fraternity, interacting with Alumni of various Chapters, and traveling to interact with various collegiate Sinfonians under the guidance of Mentor Chapter Zeta Gamma at Valdosta State University, The PHInal Four Tears, and Brother Goodson.
Even though the second colonization definitely had its high and low points, the colonization came to its culmination on October 1st, 2006, with the initiation of 12 collegiate Sinfonians and 2 faculty Sinfonians. Those 12 men were Dominique Lane, Marcus Gunn, Craig Bogle, Phillip Wright II , Joseph Martin, Corey Bronson, Keith Heard, Coravious Cowart, Michael Torregano Jr., Roy Mitchell Jr., Brian Caldwell, and Edwin Gilliam. The 2 faculty members were Jesse "Doc" Walker and Dr. Christopher Walker.