A men’s music fraternity? What might come to mind are some boys belting out tunes over red Solo cups, right? Wrong.
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia are men in music providing charity and bettering the world through song. They are the nerdy sweethearts of Greek life, making themselves known on campus though serenading. Although not part of the official Greek council, their presence is one worth paying close attention to.
Many might recognize them from singing to students on campus around Valentine’s season with their signature all-black suits and red ties. However, they are much more than the occasional Frank Sinatra tune outside East Commons. Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia take their musical abilities into the community at retirement homes, children’s hospitals and any other event upon request.
The most definitive aspect of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia is its openness to incoming members and opportunities that come their way. Most would make the assumption that a music fraternity requires one to be a good singer or a music major. On the contrary, only two members of the San Diego State chapter have professional vocal training. The rest trained their voices along the way. Many others of the fraternity consist of non-music majors, simply guys whom grown up or grown into a zest for music. Most members say one of the most rewarding experiences gained from this fraternity is watching their own musical growth as well as that of their peers.
The young men of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia are always happy to oblige a request for song. Member Matt Gellar recalls their last trip to Rady Children’s Hospital, where a teenage patient confined to his hospital bed requested a performance of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. Although not a song in their repertoire, the fraternity members were determined to bring music to this patient despite the lack of prior practice. The personal meaning behind the song for Gellar truly captured the essence of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia—“Bohemian Rhapsody” was the song Gellar’s marching band would chant on their high school trips for performances.
In that moment, Gellar realized this teenager wouldn’t have the same opportunity to obnoxiously scream this popular song with friends. It was a magical moment for them all as they had the chance to bring spontaneity and joy to someone who lives an otherwise regimented and bleak lifestyle. This all sounds a bit sappy, but truth be told, the world needs more people like the brothers in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Membership to the fraternity goes beyond brotherhood and into the deep-seated desire to spread their passion for music to incoming members and peers alike. Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia is not about getting wasted, sporting an ego or planning the next party. It’s about building invaluable ties with people who have a feel for the power of music and taking that into action.
If you want to hang out with these musically inclined nerds, they hold a donut bar from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the green room in the Music building. They are always open to singing for you, your pals or a community event.