Province 5 News and Notes

Province 5 Workshop Recap 2016

If nothing else, we made beautiful music.

Of all of the things brothers could have taken away from the Province Workshop held in Evansville on February 19-21, the one I would most want them to hold on to is the feeling they had during the Mills Music Mission. We had 35 brothers come together and sing for the residents of the Evansville Protestant Home, and each of them had the chance to make a lasting impression through song.

As I told the audience, we knew we weren’t the Boston Pops, but it was our music, and we were happy and privileged to bring it to them. From the messages our brothers and I received, the music we brought was greatly appreciated.


Outside of the Mills Music Mission, the dominant theme of the workshop was “Tough Decisions Made Well.” Thanks to the diligent work of our CPR, the brothers were split into equal size groups and given a scenario to approach as an executive board would. They had a large amount of time to meet, discuss the scenario, and come to a consensus decision. 

On Saturday night, each group presented their scenario, their decision, the pros and cons of their decision and the ramifications of their decision. They were all able to explain their rationale on prompts that ranged from risk management issues to chapter culture crises and probationary member debates. 

As a whole, the chapters all had a chance to work with each other in new and engaging ways, and all came away with a renewed sense of the need for civility and structure in decision making, as well as an appreciation for diversity in the executive setting.

Other items of note from Province Workshop:

  • Will Koch (Epsilon Upsilon ’15), Yusef Carr (Xi Upsilon ’11), and Chad Brown (Iota Psi ’12) were elected Collegiate Province Representative, Assistant Collegiate Representative and Province Webmaster, respectively, for the 2016-2017 school year. Congratulations!
  • The delegates of Province 5 voted to partner with Province 37 (Northern and Central Illinois) to sponsor a booth at the 2017 ILMEA Conference in Peoria. Exact commitments will be determined at a Province Council Meeting later this semester.
  • Congratulations to Adam Schroeder (Xi Tau ’14), the 2016 recipient of the Mark R. Lichtenberg Province Leadership Scholarship!
  • Ben Hutchison, National Collegiate Representative, visited the Workshop on Friday night and presented on national topics and offered to video conference with chapters going forward.
  • Many thanks to the brothers of Epsilon Upsilon and the University of Evansville for playing gracious hosts, and to Immanuel Lutheran Church for providing housing for our traveling brothers.

Province 5 Workshop 2016 – Come, Make Music With Us

Brothers,

As the new year gets into full swing, we look forward to not only activities on college campuses but regionally and nationally. We will have more details about upcoming Fireside Conferences and Leadership Institute soon, but this post concerns the annual Province 5 Workshop, and how brothers of all ages and stations will have opportunities to connect with the Fraternity and participate in our most cherished traditions.

The annual Province Workshop, which will be held at the University of Evansville from February 19-21, gives the six chapters of our province the chance to come together to receive training, updates from Province leadership and the National Fraternity, and build bonds and relationships with their brothers across the states. All brothers are welcome to participate in the workshops, meet Province and National leaderships, and help elect the next province leadership team.

This year, we are excited to feature a chance for all attendees to come together and participate in one of our most sacred and inspiring traditions: the Mills Music Mission.

The Mills Music Mission is one of the biggest differentiating factors between us and every other fraternal society: going into places where music is needed and providing it with no expectation or desire for reward in order to make that place better for everyone.

We will be hosting a Mills Music Mission as part of workshop, and all alumni brothers are invited to attend. We will be meeting at Wheeler Concert Hall on the campus of the University of Evansville at 11 a.m. to briefly go over the pieces we will be performing – fraternal songs, songs from the Mills Music Mission, and a brief piece for men’s chorus by John Rutter. After rehearsal, we will break for lunch before meeting at the Evansville Protestant Home for the MMM. 

If you can not stay for the entire workshop, I would encourage all brothers who are able to come and share this experience with brothers of all generations. We are looking forward greatly to our time together, and hope you are able to come, make music with us!

Fraternally yours, in Phi, Mu, and Alpha

Ben Luttrull

Sing as One – CPR Convocation 2015

Arthur Scoleri ,’12 Epsilon Kappa (Southern Illinois University – Carbondale), Collegiate Province Representative for Province 5, recently attended the annual CPR Convocation at Lyrecrest. Below are his remarks on the experience.

In summarizing CPR Convocation for you, I could describe countless hours of risk management presentations, lengthy Q+As, and the passage of what could have been a four-day business meeting. Despite inevitable differences in opinion and brief conflicts of interest, CPR convocation was not a business meeting. It was far more than that.

There have been instances in the past three years in which Sinfonia has made its existence and purpose blindingly clear to me. Often, these appearances have been little more than passing glances. CPR convocation, on the other hand, was an uninterrupted four days of fellowship shared with fifty-two of our brothers. Though we come from different places and share incredibly different backgrounds and opinions, it is impossible to feel alone in the presence of a group like the CPR Council. As each of us walked into Lyrecrest that week, we each felt an incomparable sense of homecoming and camaraderie that transcended petty logistics. The stress of the past semester and recent holidays dissolved into the background, and I found myself engaged in a lighthearted togetherness that earlier months had been lacking. I was healed and full of something more powerful than nostalgia- the boundless love of our brotherhood.

CPR convocation did not change my life. But getting to know those fifty-two men and members of our National Executive Committee has led to a personal desire to live differently- as a resource. In this New Year, seek to cultivate Sinfonia in your life. Foster openness and concord, and seek new solutions to domestic issues at the provincial level. Look and listen so that those who are typically silent might speak. Challenge yourselves to seek new mediums in which to spread inspiration, and turn your gaze outward to brothers across province and geographic boundaries. Step outside of your comfort zone and set goals that require extensive planning and collaboration for proper execution. It may sound cliché to say that a life truly lived as a Sinfonian is not an easy one. But it is far from a dull or solitary one.

As your brother, I would ask you to find new ways to live as a Sinfonian among other Sinfonians. This fraternity requires that you employ your entire self, both good and bad, in service of our object. Our brotherhood creates the circumstances under which we have the power to transcend even the parts of ourselves that we deeply despise and turn them into resources for the empowerment of others. Sinfonia removes divisions and disabilities among men that ought to be strangers and gives them the opportunity to sing as one- not only for the making of a better, more whole man, but also for the uplift of the human race to which we all belong. 

Peace on Earth, Good Will To Men

Brothers,

As we enter our holiday season and reflect on giving and on our own family traditions, I want to take a brief moment and share with you this reflection:

We honor the memory of our Founder and his passion for bettering the world through music with our Mills Music Mission. Each year, thousands of brothers from hundreds of chapters go into the community to bring a message of hope and a song of good cheer to those who need it the most. We do this because, more than any money we could raise, we see the power of music impact lives and lift spirits.

Christmas music has a particular way of misting people’s eyes. I participated in our community’s Holiday Pops for the first time this past weekend, and although the work I put in as a chorus member had jaded me to the pieces we were singing, feeling that sense of communal song was hard to describe. We hold these tunes as sacred, even if we treat the season less sacredly each year. 

As we dive into these songs, embrace the power they hold, and the feelings of joy, warmth, and celebration they elicit in us. Let there be nothing but the truth in our caroling this year. 

Brothers, on behalf of myself, the P5 Leadership Team, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays to you, your families, and your loved ones.

Honoring a Legacy, Championing the Object

Many provinces have traveling trophies – an object of some value, often accompanied with many layers of inside joke, that is passed around chapters within the Province as a way to build relationships between the chapters and encourage travel across the province.

Province 5 has a similar trophy, the Platypus, that I’m not entirely sure where it’s located. While getting the Platypus is still an object of several inter-chapter trips, there was an expressed need for the Province to have a big award that rewarded chapters for achievement, not just for participation. 

Thus, in 2014, the Province inaugurated the T. Jervis Underwood Cup.

 Dr. T Jervis Underwood, with his wife Carmen, at the 2015 National Convention in New Orleans
Dr. T Jervis Underwood, with his wife Carmen, at the 2015 National Convention in New Orleans

The Underwood Cup is named after former Governor of Province 5, National President, and 2009 Robert J. Rodgers Lifetime Service Award Recipient Dr. T. Jervis Underwood. Dr. Underwood’s contributions to both our province and national Fraternity would fill volumes, and include the faculty advising of Epsilon Kappa and the chartering of Iota Psi. He was active as a flute professor and university administrator, on top of being an outstanding performer (The piccolo solo in The Sinfonians by Bro. Clifton Williams was written with Dr. Underwood in mind as the performer).

The Underwood Cup, then, seeks to honor its namesake by honoring the Province 5 Chapter that does the most outside of itself to better music in the community around it. Chapters submit records of fundraising, community service, pro bono private lessons and other contributions to public music education in their hometowns. As the year goes on, 

Many of our chapters do events with these ends in mind: Epsilon Upsilon’s UE Idol, Beta Theta’s April Fools Recitals, Xi Tau’s bowling fundraisers, on top of the two Jazz Festivals hosted by Iota Psi and Epsilon Kappa and the fundraising efforts of Xi Upsilon. The Cup seeks to recognize and encourage more of these events, and also to make a record of the efforts of the chapters as they live the Object.

The Cup, in it’s inaugural award, resides (poetically enough) with Iota Psi. Updates to the points standings will be posted at the Cup’s page on this site here. If you would like more information on the Underwood Cup, please contact me at pg5@singonia.org.

Long Live Sinfonia!