Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity unveiled the official theme for the 55th National Convention through a promotional video released Wednesday, April 29. The theme is “Sing As One,” representing the culmination of a three-year effort to focus the Fraternity forward.The Convention theme has always served to set the tone for the next three years. While it may not seem readily apparent, the National Convention constitutes the first major event in the new triennium, and the energy generated by hundreds of brothers meeting, working and making music together can fuel profound growth and development in the Fraternity. Sing As One combines our reliance on the power of music with the unity that can only be developed through true brotherhood.
Building on the 2013 Leadership Institute theme “One for All,” which focused on the nature, power, and importance of unity, and the 2014 Leadership Institute theme “We Are the Music Makers,” which focused on developing musicianship while recognizing that truthful music of artistic integrity can profoundly strengthen our fraternal bonds, the combined expression Sing As One calls each of us to work to develop true unity in our Brotherhood.
In his keynote address at the Centennial celebration 17 years ago, Col. John Bourgeois proclaimed that
None of us can credibly deny that we have faithfully studied the path that led us to the close of our first century. By 2011, through countless hours of dedicated and careful research, Sinfonia had reaffirmed its essential character as a social fraternity, restored the original Object and original Coat of Arms, reawakened the “Song and Flower Mission” of our Founder in the form of the Mills Music Mission, and restored our Ritual. Today’s brother experiences the Fraternity in much the same way as brother of our founding generation.
But what of Brother Bourgeois’ notion that we would chart the course that would move us forward into the second century of our existence? We have rightly reveled in the restoration of our fundamental traditions, but the time for retrospection has passed. It is time for today’s Sinfonian to build on the strong “foundation-stones” of Father Mills, and focus on making real progress together toward the achievement of our Object. It is time for us to use the wonderful set of tools at our disposal to create forward momentum in our stated quest to “win the world to Harmony.” Have we truly achieved the full potential of the Mills Music Mission? Are we satisfied with the strength and health of our chapters? Have we done all we must do to reconnect with alumni brothers who have felt devalued and abandoned during our transformation? In a world that increasingly focuses on the divisions between us, will we summon the strength to overcome them?
The Second Century is ours, and our time is at hand. We are called to lead. We can move beyond the conflicts of our past, if we commit to building bonds of unity through the power of music that can both create and sustain that unity. We are arguably the most diverse fraternity in America, and hold that to be a source of just pride. The unity embodied in the theme Sing As One is a unity of purpose and a singularity in our mission, not an attempt to discard the cultural and individual differences that strengthen us. Nothing of value is gained without cost, and we have paid a dear one for the success we now enjoy. We owe it to the men who built the foundation on which we stand to do all we can to establish a sound structure for the Second Century and beyond.
Time will not stand still. We can either move forward, or fall back. The choice is ours, and the future is now. Join us in New Orleans, and let us resolve to learn together, make inspired music, and meet the challenges that confront us in Truth and mutual Brotherhood. As we look forward to the dawn of a new triennium, let us move forward together, brothers. Let us strive to Sing As One.