Jan. 21, 2014 

The Sinfonia Educational Foundation is proud to announce the availability of $12,000 in scholarships to collegiate Sinfonians. Applications for the scholarships, which range from $500 to $5,000, are due to be received at the Headquarters by March 1, 2014.

Complete information on the scholarships, including the application form and submission instructions, is available on the SEF website at:

Any questions on the scholarship program may be directed to the SEF by email or by phone by calling the National Headquarters.

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Sinfonia Educational Foundation Announces $5,000 Grant to the MusicianShip

August 12, 2013 

As a part of its mission to enrich lives and advance music, the Sinfonia Educational Foundation (SEF) is pleased to announce its support of The MusicianShip. The MusicianShip is a charitable non-profit organization that facilitates music lessons, experiences and opportunities for primarily at-risk youth, as they benefit most from positive outreach and music scholarship preparation.

"We've been looking for an organization to partner with that can have a major impact on the world of music, both now and in the future," said Derek Danilson, Beta Nu (Northern Iowa) '91, President of the SEF. "Children need to have the opportunity to experience what music has to offer, but with decreasing budgets, schools everywhere are cutting music programs. The MusicianShip has stepped in to fill that void and we are glad to be able to support their efforts."

Since its inception in 1954, the SEF has granted nearly $750,000 in scholarships, grants and other musical projects. This $5,000 award represents the largest individual grant the SEF has ever given to a single institution.

Started in the Washington DC area, The MusicianShip has been approved by the DC Public Schools as an official After-School service provider. This designation allows them to deliver free music instruction to students who may not otherwise have such opportunities. Instructors are comprised of accomplished musicians and music educators who serve as positive role models for children. Another unique aspect of The MusicianShip is that students benefit from sessions led by nationally and internationally recognized performers. "We are so thrilled to be the recipient of this SEF grant," said Jeffery Tribble Jr., Executive Director of The MusicianShip. "The MusicianShip endeavors to change lives with music, not only in Washington DC, but all over the country. The SEF's generous show of support brings us one huge step closer to that goal. The MusicianShip team is looking forward to working with the SEF for many years to come."

Check them out at!

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Alpha Rho Raises Nearly $5,000 for Chapter Fund

April 22, 2013 

The brothers of the Alpha Rho Chapter at the University of North Carolina have raised nearly $5,000 for the Alpha Rho Chapter Fund. This achievement was the work of many brothers within the chapter, but was raised at just a single event.

"We threw a massively successful Battle of the Bands at a local bar in Chapel Hill called 'He's Not Here,'" says EJ Harrison, Alpha Rho 2011. "We got Sweetwater Brewing Company and Sam Ash music stores to sponsor the event. Sweetwater donated $500 of the $4,712 total. And Sam Ash kindly provided our chapter with $325 worth of gift cards, which we used to help bring in the best bands in the area. A $250 gift card and a concert booking at 'He's Not Here' was offered to the first place band, a $50 gift card to the second place band, and a $25 gift card to the third place band." Outside of these donations, the majority of the money came from the cover charge for the event.

Alpha Rho will be using this money to help further our Object, particularly in music. "We plan on funding a scholarship that will be offered through the UNC Music Department," says Harrison, "as well as commissioning a faculty composer to write a piece of music, to be played at our American Music Recital in 2014. The scholarship will be titled the Phi Mu Alpha Advancing Music in America Scholarship, and will pay for a Freshman music major's first year of lessons, which costs $800 for two semesters." Harrison said the chapter plans on holding similar events each semester, and that they hope to expand on the scholarships the chapter offers.

We'd like to congratulate the Alpha Rho Chapter on their dedication to our ideals, and their success in their fundraising efforts. We hope more chapters are able to similarly utilize the SEF's Chapter Fund Program, and that strong chapters like Alpha Rho are able to continue to advance Music in America and help young musicians through their efforts.

Complete information on the Chapter Fund program, is available on the SEF website at:

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Foundation Announces New Chapter Fund Program

Feb. 26, 2010 

The Sinfonia Educational Foundation is pleased to unveil a brand new program designed to support collegiate chapters. Alumni can now help chapters commission new works, host music festivals, and travel to educational events through the Chapter Fund program. Contributions to Chapter Funds are treated as restricted gifts, available for designated chapters to use for their charitable and educational programs.

Like all other gifts to the SEF, contributions to Chapter Funds are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. A small percentage of each gift is placed in the General Fund to help cover SEF programs and expenses including any administrative costs associated with the program. However, this fee is suspended for all gifts received by May 31, 2010. Alumni will also be happy to know that their gifts will be actively stewarded by the Foundation and used to impact their chapter, alma mater, and surrounding community. Chapters will be able to apply for grants from their Chapter Funds throughout the year.

Complete information on the Chapter Fund program, is available on the SEF website at:

Any questions on the Chapter Fund program should be sent to [email protected]

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Pulse: The Heartbeat of Sinfonia

February 1, 2008 

There’s a new an exciting way to support Phi Mu Alpha’s educational and developmental efforts. Pulse is designed to ensure that the SEF can continue to support the activities of future generations of Sinfonians for years to come. At the fall meeting of the Board of Trustees, a new vision was adopted to coincide with the Fraternity's strategic plan.

The Vision of the Sinfonia Educational Foundation is to build a sizable endowment and sustaining support for the strategic growth of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity. The Foundation will support its direct grants and scholarships as well as the educational and leadership development programs of the Fraternity.

Our goal is for 500 brothers to sign up for recurring gifts of $18.98 per month to signify the founding year of Sinfonia. This small monthly contribution from a large group of alumni will allow the SEF to continue to work towards building stronger programs to enrich the lives of collegiate Sinfonians and advance music in America.

The future growth of current educational programs such as Leadership Institute and the Mills Music Mission depends on this support. On the horizon are a host of new programs such as risk management education and membership development. Are you committed to making sure we give the best to our future collegiate brothers as they go through one of the most transitional periods of their life? Join us today! Visit to learn more.

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Danilson Elected President of Board of Trustees

November 7, 2007 

Derek Danilson, Beta Nu (Northern Iowa) ’91, has been elected President of the Sinfonia Educational Foundation (SEF) by the SEF's Board of Trustees. He will serve in this position through May 31, 2008, at which time new elections will be conducted for a two-year term.

The President of the SEF is charged with maintaining the focus and direction of the Foundation, motivating its Board members and managing its staff member, the director of development. Most recently, Danilson has served the SEF as chairman of its governance committee, which is charged with recruiting and evaluating Board members for the SEF.

Danilson said, "Increased alumni support will help enable the Fraternity to provide an enhanced experience for its collegiate members. The SEF is a key ingredient needed to make that happen, and I am honored to have been selected to lead the organization at this critical time."

Danilson was elected President to succeed Jeffrey T. Spoeri, Nu Sigma (William & Mary) ’84, who recently decided to move on from the position after over three years of service. Spoeri served on the Board for over four years and has served the Fraternity in a plethora of staff and volunteer leadership positions for over 20 years. This week, Spoeri appears on Jeopardy! for its Tournament of Champions following his five-episode winning streak in November 2006, from which he generously donated 10% of his winnings to support the SEF. Jeff's service to the Foundation and the Fraternity is sincerely appreciated by the Board of Trustees and all those who have benefited from the Foundation's programs under his leadership.

Danilson has served the Fraternity as a province governor, member of several national committees and most recently Committeeman-At-Large on the National Executive Committee since 2003. In order to be eligible to serve as President of the SEF, Danilson had to resign his position on the Fraternity’s NEC, effective immediately. For more information regarding the vacancy created by Danilson’s resignation from the NEC, click here.

The Sinfonia Educational Foundation was founded in 1954 and has recently undergone a significant strategic redirection, now focusing its programs directly on the Fraternity and its members. Among its top initiatives at this time is the securing of funding for the Fraternity’s national philanthropy, the Mills Music Mission (MMM). The Foundation’s Board is working with the Fraternity’s staff to enhance the MMM program through the addition of educational and experiential elements.

In the recent release of the Fraternity’s new 2007-2012 strategic plan, the Fraternity’s National Executive Committee highlighted the importance of the Foundation's role in the Fraternity's advancement: "One of the primary support vehicles that will enable the enrichment of collegiate programs is financial support. This is most effectively achieved through the existence of, and alumni Sinfonians’ sustaining support for, the Foundation. Without it, the Fraternity’s funding is limited primarily to collegiate dues. Therefore, the Fraternity ultimately views its future growth and success as critically linked to the success of the Sinfonia Educational Foundation."

Have you committed your support to the SEF this year? It’s as easy as 1-2-3 by signing up for recurring monthly donations online via the SEF’s secure online donation site

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Support Sinfonia by Searching the Web

April 13, 2007 

What if the Sinfonia Educational Foundation earned a penny every time you searched the Internet? Well, now we can! is a new search engine that donates half its revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. You use it just as you would any search engine, and it's powered by Yahoo!, so you get great results.

Just go to and be sure to enter Sinfonia as the charity you want to support. Just 500 of us searching four times a day will raise about $7300 in a year without anyone spending a dime! And, be sure to spread the word!

For more information on how you can support Sinfonia by searching the web, including toolbar downloads visit:

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Travel Grants for 2007 Leadership Institute

March 19, 2007 

SEF Travel Reimbursement Grant Applications for the 2007 Leadership Institute are now available online. $2,000 is available to any collegiate member in good standing planning to participate in the Leadership Institute July 12-15, 2007 in Evansville, IN.

Applications are due to be received by 5:00pm CDT on Monday, May 7, 2007 and late applications will not be considered for grant approval.

For more information on Leadership Institute and applications for Travel Grants visit:

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Opportunity to Support Leadership Institute

January 25, 2007 

"How can I support collegians at Leadership Institute?" The question that has been asked by many alumni in the past few weeks is finally answered. Alumni now have the exciting opportunity to support important educational efforts simply by investing in Sinfonia's Leadership Institute.

Alumni support plays an important role in the mission of Leadership Institute. Your tax-deductible restricted gift to the Sinfonia Educational Foundation will help enrich the lives of collegiate Sinfonians by removing some of the financial burden involved in attending Leadership Institute.

Your investment will go directly into the hands collegiate Sinfonians and help them to enjoy all of the fun, fellowship, and training that Leadership Insitute has to offer.

Click here to invest in the lives of collegiate Sinfonians. Be sure to click on "Support Leadership Institute". Thank you for your support!

For more information on Leadership Institute visit click here.

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Who will win $5,000?

January 11, 2007 

The application deadline for over $10,000 worth of scholarships offered by the Sinfonia Educational Foundation is rapidly approaching. February 1, 2007 is the POSTMARK DEADLINE for all scholarship applications. Scholarships range from $500- $5,000 and are available to any collegiate Sinfonian in good standing of at least two semesters. Applications are available online, must be typed and include all items listed on the cover page in order to be accepted. Once received the applications will be reviewed by a committee and approved at the March Board of Trustees meeting. For more information contact Matt Garber, Director of Development at (800) 473-2649 ext 110.

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SEF Presents Grant for Anti-Hazing Education

September 27, 2006 

Garber hands Ripperton check for Grant

The Sinfonia Educational Foundation (SEF) recently awarded a $2,000 grant to Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia for anti-hazing education efforts. The grant allows for Silver Level sponsorship of the 2007 National Hazing Prevention Week and National Hazing Symposium. This sponsorship will give the Fraternity the tools to empower its collegiate chapters across the country to be leaders on their campus in the eradication of hazing.

At the Fraternity’s 2006 National Convention in Cleveland, the assembly unanimously approved a resolution to eradicate hazing from the Fraternity and join in the efforts of other organizations to fight hazing throughout society. "The anti-hazing resolution challenges the Fraternity in a new and different way," stated Jeremy Evans, Director of Collegiate Affairs for Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. "Continued preventative measures and enhanced education have now come to the fore, and our sponsorship of programs like National Hazing Prevention Week is the first of many steps in this new and exciting direction."

Evans discussed the National Hazing Symposium with the SEF's Director of Development, Matthew Garber, in August. “When Jeremy showed me the information on sponsorship, we immediately began a discussion on how the SEF could help the Fraternity in this battle,” stated Garber. “I remember the successful efforts of the Prevention Week on my own campus, and am happy to know the Fraternity is being proactive in this fight against hazing, and that the SEF stands to support that effort.” Garber (left) is seen above presenting the grant award to Ryan Ripperton, Executive Director of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

For more information on how the grant will be used, read the Fraternity's press release.

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Board of Trustees Triples Programs

September 5, 2006 

Spoeri and Garber announce new programs at Awards Gala

"New programs, better programs, more dollars for Sinfonians," exclaimed Matt Garber, Director of Development, at the 2006 Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia National Convention Awards Gala in Cleveland, Ohio. That night, the Sinfonia Educational Foundation (SEF) announced its new line of programs for the 2007 fiscal year. The Board of Trustees made the pledge in March of 2006 to triple programs that enrich lives and advance music. Previously, the SEF had given out several $500 scholarships and a few thousand dollars in grants. After reviewing the financial assistance formerly given and the growing need for financial assistance at a time when higher education costs have skyrocketed, the Board of Trustees recognized that the SEF had to take a stand to support collegians.

The new programs are highlighted by five times the amount of scholarship dollars including the $2,500 and $5,000 SEF scholarships. Also included was the Overseas Travel Grant program. Two $1,000 grants are now available for collegiate Sinfonians to assist in their efforts to study overseas as coursework or even independent study. These dollars are applicable to travel, tuition or other expenses associated with studying abroad. This type of contribution to a comprehensive liberal arts education is essential for the development of world citizens, the type of Sinfonians that will lead Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia as well as the American music movement into the future. The SEF also increased the amount of financial support given for staple programs such as Chapter and Province Matching Grants, Research Grants and Travel Grants.

"The mission of the SEF is critical to the advancement of not only the Fraternity but also to the advancement of music," stated Jeff Spoeri, President of the Sinfonia Educational Foundation. "We strive to instill in collegiate Sinfonians leadership and noble ideals. These values allow musicians and supporters of music to leave the walls of their institutions and go into society, acting as citizen leaders for the common good."

For more information on the new programs offered by the Sinfonia Educational Foundation visit

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Legacy Society and Other Giving Clubs Announced

August 3, 2006 

The Sinfonia Educational Foundation has announced the release of giving clubs to begin immediately in the current appeal year. The giving clubs, based on the different musical dynamic markings, from pianissimo to fortissimo, will have memberships based on yearly contributions. Each appeal year, donors will be noted in the annual report under the segmented giving clubs listed. “It was important for us as a foundation to show our supporters that gifts of any size are important,” stated Matt Garber, Director of Development. “That’s why we went with dynamics. In a musical work, forte is no more important than piano. All dynamics play a part in the making of music.” Supporters of the SEF will continue to have the ability to give anonymously at their discretion.

The Legacy Society marks the beginning of an effort to find the silent supporters of the SEF. The society is for any individual who has made arrangements for the SEF as a planned gift. Bequests, trusts and life insurance policies are some of the ways planned gifts can be incorporated into any estate planning. “We know there are many individuals who have made provisions to include the SEF as their favorite charity in personal estate plans,” said Garber. “We thank those individuals just as much as any other donor.” Individuals who have made such provisions are invited to contact the office to sign up for the Legacy Society. Members will receive updates on the activities of the SEF as well as a copy of the annual report each year.

For more information on the giving clubs and societies, click here...

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Over $7,000 raised at National Convention

July 29, 2006 

The Sinfonia Educational Foundation showed an amazing presence at the 2006 National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio July 19-23. Revealing a new visual identity along with publications, an information booth and major involvement from the board of trustees, it was a positive step for the SEF. At the Convention the SEF raised $7,315 in gifts and pledges with the support of over 450 registrants. The participants were asked by President Jeff Spoeri to help “send a message to Sinfonia that the SEF is the future of the Fraternity” at the Awards Gala on Thursday night. The combination of a silent auction and an envelope campaign was the source of gifts and pledges over the course of three days. “The SEF presence at the Convention was more than a refreshing change - it was a start towards bigger and better things for the Foundation,” said Jeremy Evans, Director of Collegiate Affairs for Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. “As a supporter of the Foundation, it's truly exciting to see the amazing things that lie ahead.”

Also during the Convention was Sinfonia Winds, the brainchild of Vice President Col. John Bourgeois. This event allowed for nearly 70 Sinfonians to rehearse and perform under the baton of legendary conductor Col. Bourgeois at no additional cost to the participants. During the concert over $2,000 was given to five collegians to reimburse their travel expenses. The highlight of the concert was the performance of J. Clifton Williams’ The Sinfonians with a choir of 450 brothers sounding throughout the sixth floor of the Crowne Plaza. Special thanks were given to Col. John Bourgeois and Brother Chris Donze who ensured the success of the Winds program.

Many supporters reflected throughout the weekend calling on friends and family to support the important mission of the SEF to enrich lives and advance music. “I was excited by how well the SEF was received at the National Convention. As a board member and current donor, I can say now, more than ever that I am proud to be a supporter of the Sinfonia Educational Foundation,” stated Micah White, board member and newly elected National Collegiate Representative.

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2006 National Convention Silent Auction Listing Available!

June 23, 2006 

The Sinfonia Educational Foundation has now posted the preliminary listing of items that will be available for auction at the 2006 Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia National Convention in Cleveland, OH. The proceeds from the auction will benefit the SEF Annual Fund going towards continued efforts to Enrich Lives and Advance Music. Those inviduals attending convention will be able to bid on these items during the 2006 Awards Gala on Thursday, July 27, at the Crowne Plaza in dowtown Cleveland.

**UPDATE** The 2006 Silent Auction was a huge success! Thank you for your help!

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$2,000 for Travel Grants to 2006 Sinfonia Winds

April 27, 2006 

The Sinfonia Educational Foundation Board of Trustees has allocated $2,000 for Travel Reimbursement Grants to the 2006 Sinfonia Winds July 19-22, 2006

Information for these grants is now available online at the Sinfonia Educational Foundation website

Applications are open to any collegiate member in good standing participating or planning to participate in the 2006 Sinfonia Winds.

Applications are due to be received by 5:00pm CDT on Monday, May 15, 2006 and late applications will not be considered for grant approval.

A limited amount of time is available for application for the 2006 Sinfonia Winds Travel Reimbursement Grants. It is recommended that applications are completed thoroughly and in a timely manner. Any questions should be directed to Matt Garber, Director of Development at (800) 473-2649 ext 110 or by email at [email protected]

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New Website Launched

March 27, 2006 

A new website has been launched to better serve Sinfonians in all walks of life.  This new website has increased content dramatically to give collegiates better access to the programs offered to them as well as donors an easier way to support the Foundation.  It also gives a glimpse into the lives of Sinfonians receiving support from the SEF, as well as biographical information on the members of the board who represent the donors.

We invite you to look around the site and find our more about all the many ways the Sinfonia Educational Foundation enriches the lives of collegiate Sinfonians and advances music in America.

For more information on how you can help enrich lives, please contact Matthew Garber, Director of Development at (800) 473-2649, ext. 110 

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Easy to Donate Online

March 10, 2006 

It is now easy to donate online through an external secure venue linked directly to the SEF website. Ticket Master/IATS handles all of your needs quickly and easily through the online registration process making it easier for brothers to give back to the collegiate members through tangible gifts. This new system allows for pledges, credit card payments, debit transactions through a bank account, and a recurring gift option. It’s a part of Ticket Master, so you can be sure that your transaction will be safe and secure.

Donate online today

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2005 Annual Report Online

February 20, 2006 

The 2005 Annual Report for the Sinfonia Educational Foundation (SEF) is now available for viewing online.   The annual report, originally released in the December 2005 issue of The Sinfonian, highlights the activities and donors of the SEF.  

Access the 2005 Annual Report online

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Director of Development Hired

November 23, 2005


The Sinfonia Educational Foundation Board of Trustees is proud to announce that it has hired Matthew R. Garber, Mu Delta (Longwood) ’99, to serve as its Director of Development. Garber will begin work in January 2006.

This historic move by the Sinfonia Educational Foundation marks the first time in the SEF’s 51-year history that it has employed its own full-time staff member. For many years, the Fraternity’s staff has been stretched to also include SEF operations, taking valuable time away from the very organization the SEF is intended to support. The Board of Trustees felt that the SEF would never fulfill its potential as long as it did not have a dedicated staff member responsible for its own fundraising programs.

Garber, originally from Winchester, Virginia, was initiated into the Mu Delta Chapter at Longwood University in 1999. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Music from Longwood University. Since his initiation he served his chapter in several officer positions including President, Treasurer, Secretary and Music Director. He has also served three terms as the Collegiate Province Representative for Province 18 (Virginia).

For the past three years Matt has worked for Longwood University as the Conference Administrator for the Office of Conferences, Scheduling and Special Events. During his tenure in that position, he designed a master reorganization plan, which included a business plan for the opening of a Conference Center, a marketing program, and a fiscally responsible department resulting in a $150,000 turnaround and huge savings for the University.

Selected from among many qualified candidates, Garber received the unanimous endorsement of the search committee headed by SEF Trustee Derek J. Danilson. Danilson explained, “Matt's skills and experience helped him stand out from some truly exceptional candidates as being the one we felt could be successful and open a new page in the SEF's history.”

Once he begins his duties for the SEF, Garber will work from an office in the Fraternity’s National Headquarters in Evansville, Indiana. On the selection of Garber for this important position, Executive Director (and SEF Chief Operating Officer) Ryan T. Ripperton stated, “I have every faith in Matt to fulfill the many challenges of this trailblazing position. We needed an extremely organized, outgoing personality that truly understands the organization’s important mission and is able to articulate it in an inspiring way, and we found exactly that in Matt.”

Garber commented, “It has always been a dream of mine to work for Sinfonia and I am extremely excited about this new path in my lifelong journey.”

Matt Garber can be reached at [email protected].

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