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

Finding the Why – Province Convocation 2015

This past weekend, the officers of Province 5 gathered at Lyrecrest for our annual Province Convocation. By all accounts, it was the best one yet:

  • All six chapters had multiple brothers present, including all six chapter presidents
  • We awarded Brother Yusef Carr ’10 Xi Upsilon (Eastern Illinois University) with his Challenge Coin for his service in the Army National Guard
  • President Mark Lichtenberg took questions and addressed the state of the fraternity and his vision for the upcoming triennium
  • Officers received logistical training, and we received a thorough breakdown on reporting from Brother Eric Smith, Fraternity Services Coordinator

The most poignant activity, for me, was led by our Assistant Director of Programs, Brother Brandon Smith. He led a group discussion on a question that, when answered properly and honestly, has incredible consqeuences:

Why Sinfonia?

It’s a question I ask myself regularly, and a question each of us is wise to consider regardless of our place. Why do I do what I do? Why do I put so much effort into not just this fraternity, but music?

Each of us must answer this question individually, and our answers are as unique as we are. However, they all are variations on a common theme – a theme of Sinfonia. This fraternity means so much to us because of what it stands for, and what it demands of us as members. 

The brothers present, at least as much as they said aloud, left recharged and reinvigorated for the year ahead, in part because of their time dwelling and discussing the reasons why we do what we do. I hope that, going forward, you are able to take time to do the same. 


Ben Luttrull

A New Year, A New Triennium


I hope this message finds you well!

After three years of growth, and a phenomenal Convention in New Orleans, we are ready for a new Triennium. Looking back, I’m humbled by the opportunities and people I have been able to meet as governor, and I’m excited to continue to meet and work with more of you in my travels and efforts.

One of the new things this triennium will feature is more messages like this one. I hope to monthly have a blog where I can share updates from our six chapters, announce changes and programs from the National Fraternity, and make myself more open to as many brothers throughout the Province as possible. To that end, these blogs will be distributed via email in a new take on a province newsletter. Alongside our province leadership team, we will be doing more than ever to share information not just with active collegiates, but with the hundreds of alumni in southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Southeast Missouri.

 The brothers of Beta Theta performing at the 2015 Province 5 Workshop
The brothers of Beta Theta performing at the 2015 Province 5 Workshop

Organizationally, Phi Mu Alpha is in a good place. We are taking necessary steps to ensure our structural health, moving forward with improved and reinvigorated communications efforts, and growing at a faster rate than at any point in our history. By number of chapters, we are the third largest social fraternity in the country. With new structural efforts such as the GINsystem platform and online chapter and probationary member reporting, we are building a house that will stand strong through time and technology.

Idealistically, we stay in tune with the mission of our Founders. As men of music and men of the highest type, our brothers are making our world a more livable place. In the semester ahead, I am eager to share with you information about Mills Music Missions, rituals, American Music Recitals, and other opportunities for brothers of all ages to come together to Sing As One and advance music in America.

The power of music, be it performance, education, advocation or appreciation, can enrich and change the lives and worlds we interact with. Anything I can do in my position to help connect you with brothers and opportunities to revel in and share that power, I want to do. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me through email – pg5@sinfonia.org – with your messages, ideas, concerns, and needs. I am here to serve, and can connect you with the people, resources, and opportunities to help you get everything you want out of our Fraternity.

Brothers, I am excited for our future, and I hope that this is the start of a new relationship between you and Phi Mu Alpha.

We are Sinfonia!