Wow, what a great weekend. Over the past several days, I've been in Shepherdstown, West Virginia attending Phi Mu Alpha's Province 27 Workshop 2005. Going back and seeing all my brothers again has been great. Its a real morale booster. The guest list was amazing, which really added to the whole experience. Ya know, ever since I've moved back home I've been doing just fine. But something's missing. Whats missing is the feeling I've had all weekend.
For those of you who are not Sinfonians reading this blog, and I know there are many of you, its difficult for me to explain to you what I'm talking about. So maybe I should start by explaining what my fraternity is and does, and what its mission is.
Sinfonia is a national men's music fraternity. Its not just for music majors, and accepts men of all different types. So, get your "frat party" pictures out of your head. Sure they can happen too, but that in no way represents the organization. Sinfonia is amazing. The best way to describe what we are and what we do, is to tell you the object of our fraternity, which is the vision of the founders over 100 years ago.
"The obeject of this fraternity shall be for 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."
The idea was to make the world a better place by adding a brotherhood element to music. This philosophy recognizes music's awesome power to change lives and have a real effect on society. You see, instead of having musicians fighting with each other and putting each other down, (making the music world ugly) they would now be mutually helpful of one another and be united in brotherhood.
This organization changed my life for the better. And no other organization I've been in has had such a positive effect on the people who serve it, and the people it touches through its power. You know, I've given so much of my time, money, blood, sweat and tears to this organization, and when I look back now at all of it - all of the toils and troubles, the good times and the great times - its all been worth it. It really is true what they say about getting out what you put in. This fraternity continues, even as I am an alumni member, to give me purpose and direction.
For any non-sinfonian reading this and would like to learn a little more about Sinfonia, you can go here: www.sinfonia.org There is so much more to the organization that I wrote out here in my little blog. I encourage you to read it and at least know that there is a group out there with these ideals in mind.
As for me, I'm just thrilled to be a small part of it. I know some of you may not understand it, and may think joining a fraternity is just buying friends. I used to be one of those people who thought that. Trust me, it is not that at all. In reality, its a blessing to pay dues. Its a blessing to take all those silly oaths and go to meetings. Any sacrifice we make for our brothers is well worth it not only for each other, but for everyone else as well.
So thats what I was doing this weekend. Hopefully some of the things I did helped others for the better. I hope your weekends were just as rewarding.
"Sinfonia, Sinfonia our inspiration be,
Lift up out lives, direct our hearts while we now sing to thee.
Make strong the ties that bind us now as brother man to man,
And ever let out lives shine forth the true Sinfonian."
-Sinfonia Our Inspiration
"Let each man take his lot and place,
Vow every care and trial to face,
With manly courage and good will
And endeavor his place to fill.
Each one work for the common good,
Treating brothers just as he would
That they should treat him day by day.
And never asking "Does it pay?"
If all these thoughts be in our soul,
Joined in one great harmonious whole,
Sinfonia will surely prove
An hallowed bond of brotherly love."