What is Phi Mu Alpha?

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (sometimes referred to as "Sinfonia") is a collegiate social fraternity for men of musicianly character. Today, its 218 chapters, 15 colonies, and 12 alumni associations serve to "advance the cause of music in America" on college campuses nationwide. To date, Phi Mu Alpha has initiated more than 180,000 men in to their order making it the largest and oldest secret society in music.


Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia was founded in 1898 by Ossian Everett Mills and thirteen students at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts (The name "Sinfonia" comes from the name of a similar organization in Leipzig, Germany). Sinfonia became a national fraternity on October 6, 1900 with the admission of a group of men at the Broad Street Conservatory of Music in Philadelphia. Under the guidance of Percy Jewett Burrell (sixth Supreme President, 1907-1914), whose writings and speeches continue to be influential in the teaching of Sinfonian ideals to this day, the fraternity grew and "truly became a force in American music."

Over a century old, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia has admitted men from all walks of life, some of whom have become famous in such fields as music, television, film, science, and literature. A small list of famous Sinfonians can be found here.

*Wikipedia contributors, 'Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 11 May 2006, 18:38 UTC, [accessed 13 May 2006]


The national philanthropy of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia is the Mills Music Mission. Created in 1998, it was inspired by a practice originated by the fraternity's founder, Ossian Everett Mills, in the late 1800s. Mills was organizer of the Easter Song and Flower Mission in Boston in which musicians and assistants to Boston's hospitals on Christmas and Easter would sing, play music, and give recitations. In 2003, the Mills Music Mission was adopted as Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia's official national philanthropy. This project is rare among fraternity philanthropies since, instead of raising funds for supporting a selected charity, the fraternity uses the unique talents and interests of its members to personally interact with those in need.

Wikipedia contributors, 'Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 4 November 2008, 19:56 UTC, [accessed 6 November 2008]