For Low Brass Quartet! On November 22, 1995, I joined the Epsilon Chapter (University of Michigan) of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. For those who don’t know, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia is the world’s oldest and largest secret national fraternal society in music. Sinfonia was born on October 6, 1898, at the New England Conservatory in Boston, when a group of
For Low Brass Quartet! On November 22, 1995, I joined the Epsilon Chapter (University of Michigan) of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. For those who don’t know, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia is the world’s oldest and largest secret national fraternal society in music. Sinfonia was born on October 6, 1898, at the New England Conservatory in Boston, when a group of thirteen young men under the guidance of Ossian Everett Mills met “to consider the social life of the young men students of that institution [and] to devise ways and means by which it might be improved.” Sinfonia became a national fraternity on October 6, 1900, with the admission of a group of men at the Broad Street Conservatory in Philadelphia. For over a century, Sinfonians in nearly every field of study and professional endeavor have transformed music in America. The opportunity of becoming a Sinfonian is offered to as many men as possible who, through a love for music, can assist in the fulfillment of the Fraternity’ s Object and ideals either by adopting music as a profession or by working to advance the cause of music in America. Although the University of Michigan is in Ann Arbor, I was actually initiated at Michigan State University with their initiates along with Central Michigan and Alma College. I saw then the amazing brotherhood within our province. My time with the brothers of Epsilon was some of the greatest in my life, many of which I am still in contact with to this every day. Decades later, I am still active with Sinfonia as Chapter Advisor for Xi Eta (Morehouse College). My composition professor, Dr. James Aikman, who is also a Sinfonian, encouraged me daily to write more chamber music. I came up with the idea to write a composition based on our hymn for Low Brass Quartet for my good friends Kristof Schneider, Jesse Johnston and Anthony Halloin (with myself on euphonium) during my senior year in college I always felt I could do more with my development of the tune, but I never did. I must give the biggest “Thank You” to Demondrae Thurman for introducing me to Mike Roylance, a fellow Sinfonian who has given me this most honorable opportunity to rewrite this composition for this illustrious quartet. I must also give a “Thank You” to Toby Oft, Steve Lange, and James Markey for also agreeing to perform Tribute to Sinfonia. How serendipitous the occasion since this will be premiered by members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, whose founder was Henry Lee Higginson, a Sinfonian, and Phi Mu Alpha was founded in Boston.