2018 Convention Wrap-up


First of all, welcome to the improved Province 5 website! We have moved platforms in order to be more budget conscious but also to allow for easier access to information and to resources for the whole audience. Going forward, we will be incorporating more links and files, as well as more writing from not only me, but other members of the province as well.

July 18-22, 2018 were very important dates for our Fraternity’s history. Not only do they mark the transition into a new triennium, but they also served as a chance for Brothers from across the country and generations to come together to meet, laugh, sing, learn, grow and explore the wonderful city of New Orleans.

Before we get to the business elements, I want to take a moment and acknowledge the incredible music that we were privy to at this Convention. From our Godfather, Brian Stratton, leading the assembled in song after song (and in a second line parade around the ballroom) despite doctor’s orders, to the welcoming of three new honorary brothers in a ceremony that resonated every sense, to a big band concert that lit the city ablaze, to the mastery of the Sinfonian Winds, every nook and cranny of this assembly was packed with music of the highest type. Any brother who was there will be able to share their experience with you, and the best way to understand what Convention is all about (apart from going) is to sit with someone and ask.

Now, the business.

Legislative Changes

The National Assembly met starting on July 17 and conducted business through July 20 that included legislative proposals, resolutions and the election of officers for the 2018-2021 triennium.

Rather than break down every little thing that happened, here are the things you need to know:

Legislative Changes

  • If a man has ever been expelled by Phi Mu Alpha and not reinstated by the NEC, he can not be initiated into any class of membership (change to Bylaws Title I, Article I, Section 2).
  • Only collegiate brothers in good standing are allowed to vote during chapter meetings (change to Bylaws Title III, Article V, Section 3).
  • If you are initiated, you maintain your membership for life, but a probationary member who drops out or is not brought through loses all ties to the organization (clarifying change to Title I, Article I, Section 7).
  • The position of Faculty Advisor can be held by any Sinfonian in good standing who is a faculty or staff member at the sheltering institution of a chapter. If no such brother exists, the PG may designate an alternate (Bylaws, III, V, 2)
  • All decisions as it relates to attendance policies have been deferred to the individual chapter. (Bylaws, I, I, 5).
  • Regular reports of each NEC meeting will be made available in a timely manner following the meeting’s conclusion (Bylaws I, IV, 2).
  • CPRs and ACPRs are now required to be both collegiate members in good standing and full-time students at their respective sheltering institution at the time of their election (Bylaws II, I, 1).
  • A whole bunch of little stuff that serves to clarify existing practices and language.


It is the will of the National Assembly that…

  • …the NEC will disclose Risk Management information to all chapters, including the following: the total number of investigations, total staff and volunteer hours during the investigations, total costs associated with risk management investigations.
  • …the NEC will publish at least one issue of THE SINFONIAN during this triennium.
  • …the NEC will inform membership about staff changes in a timely manner.

National Executive Committee 2018-2021

  • President: Mark Lichtenberg
  • Vice-President: Dr. John Israel
  • Committeeman-at-Large, 2015-2021: Matt Koperniak
  • Committeeman-at-Large, 2018-2024: Dr. Karl Paulnack
  • National Collegiate Representative: Jyron Joseph
  • Chair, Province Governor’s Council: David Fidler II
  • Chair, Collegiate Province Representative’s Council: Jule Streety

If you have any questions about what did and didn’t happen during the National Assembly, please feel free to ask either myself or Brenden Tisler, who did an outstanding job representating the Province as CPR-delegate for 5.

Thank you, brothers, and we hope to see you at SIUE for Workshop on September 1!

In Phi, Mu, and Alpha,

Ben Luttrull

Governor, Province 5

Music, Brotherhood, Service, Social, Business

Brothers – 

At our 2016 Province 5 Convocation held at Lyrecrest on September 9-11, chapter officers from all six chapters in the Province came together to share experiences, learn firsthand from the National Staff about the new resources available to chapters, and grow together in Fraternity and in leadership.

As the start of the event, newly-installed CPR Will Koch led the group in a discussion that would serve as a framework for the entire weekend: a consideration of the five elements that make up our fraternity: music, brotherhood, service, sociability, and business. With conversation on each, a foundation was laid that brothers were encouraged to base the trajectories of their chapters off of.

As an alumni member, I think back to the times when I was most in tune with the Fraternity during my undergraduate years, and each of these five things is present there. Yes, some play a larger role than others, but the organization would either crumble or not be Sinfonia without all of them. We are who we are as Sinfonians because of our commitment to these elements. 

This week, when you have a moment, take a brief opportunity to reflect on your fondest memory as a collegiate brother. What was it about those times that resonates strongly today? Can you reconnect with the people that made it possible, or reinforce the principles that led it to be? Cling to those things – the people and the elements. They truly are what make this Fraternity worth being in, and what drive us to strive for success and growth.

Welcome to Fall, brothers, and Hail Sinfonia!


PAC Address – August 2016


I would like to introduce myself, I am Cameron Thomas, your current Province Alumni Coordinator. I was initiated into the Epsilon Kappa chapter at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in Fall of 2010. While I was in Carbondale I majored in mathematics and accounting. I ended up with a master’s degree in accounting and by the end of this year I will be a CPA in St. Louis. All of that said, my time as an alumni has been brief, and not very stereotypical. I have only been out of college since May 2015 and I have served as CPR and as PAC for most of that time. I am still in contact with the chapters several times a semester, and I feel much closer to the chapter experience than the “alumni experience.” From what I have seen, there really is no prototype alumni experience, and as PAC it is my responsibility to help engage and stay in contact with Sinfonia’s alumni.

So I would like to ask you all, as a collective, what do you want out of the Sinfonian alumni experience?  I doubt any of you want to go to weekly business meetings, but what are you looking for?  One thing that I know some of you may be interested in is a nationwide initiative to try to do a Mills Music Mission and sing in hospitals and nursing homes all on the same day around Christmas. Please let me know what you would like more of and I will do my best to accommodate.

Yours in Phi,

Cameron Thomas


I Am Sinfonia

 Photo by Brandon M. Smith
Photo by Brandon M. Smith


Welcome to the start of another school year!

Despite the heat and rain, the academic year is a sign that the Fall season is here. Students at chapters across the country and in Province 5 are grinding through band camps, or finishing up their move in and getting their textbooks finalized. Across the midwest, alumni brothers who now teach at the elementary, high school or collegiate levels are also beginning a new year with new students and colleagues, and fathers are sending their children off to an education.

Through all of it, the things that we have in common as brothers of Phi Mu Alpha are stronger than ever, and music and fraternity are as strong in us as they have ever been. The fraternity is truly experiencing a national renaissance in size and in scope. This year marks another chance for Sinfonians of all ages and experiences to come together to make Illinois, Indiana and Missouri better places through the power of music. 

Collegiate brothers – as you move in and get re-acclimated to residence hall and college house life, and as you arrange lessons and classes and textbooks, please take some time to think about your goals for this semester for yourself as a brother and your chapter. The first meeting is going to be a great reunion, but it is also the opportunity to set the tone for the entire year. 

Alumni brothers – as the academic year starts up, this is a great time to reflect on how Sinfonia has helped you become the man you are now, and the role your Alma Mater played in shaping you. A new generation of brothers is rising up, and your inspiration and support will only help them grow stronger and better. 

All of us are brothers in Phi Mu Alpha, and all of us are Sinfonia. Our fraternity is each and every one of us, both together and as individuals, and we rely on each other to live up to our Object and live by our values and ideals. 

Welcome back and here’s to a phenomenal year, brothers. So let it be for Sinfonia!

Fireside Midwest

Brothers –

Every three years, the Midwest region hosts a Fireside Conference to bring Sinfonians from across the region together for fraternal education, the betterment of our Brotherhood and to meet and hear with our National Leadership. This triennium, I am thrilled to announce Beta Theta has been offered the privilege to host the proceedings on April 29-31 at Millikin University.

National President Mark Lichtenberg, National Past-President John Mongiovi and Executive Director Ed Klint will all be present to present on the Fraternity’s history and ritual, as well as lead the attendees in discussions on topics of depth to broaden our horizons and expand Sinfonia. The weekend will include a Ritual and a banquet.

Early registration is open through April 15, and the cost is $32 ($22 if you wish to not eat at the banquet). Fees increase by $10 after April 15. All brothers in good standing are welcome and encouraged to attend. Please note that registration does not cover housing, and each brother is to arrange his own housing for the weekend.

I sincerely encourage all of you to consider attending Fireside Midwest – it is a rare opportunity to network and learn from some of our wisest and most experienced brothers, and a true honor for both the men of Beta Theta and the brothers of Province 5!

I assure you that we men, all of us, need, more perhaps than we think, to withdraw from the active, noisy, materialistic rush of the world, not to mention the sensuous, intoxicating, social pleasures of life that minister only to the flesh, and in peaceful quiet meditate upon and consider together some of the deep things of life, listen to the voice of the Eternal and be taught by the infinite spirit of truth.

— Ossian Everett Mills