Sinfonia in the Military

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Are you a Sinfonian who has served our country?
Do you know a Sinfonian who has served our country?
Share your pictures, experiences, and story with the Brothers in Sinfonia under the “Share Your Story” tab.

Enjoy the pictures that Brothers in the Military
have submitted of themselves below!
We’ll continue to update this page as submissions come in.

Thank you for your service!

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Boyd McKeown

589th U.S. Army Air Corps Band
Boyd McKeown

Gamma Psi ’47

Air Force
J.C. Beeson
Eta Omega ’00

Air Force
E-3 Sergeant Charles “Chuck” Karpf
Delta Psi ’86

William Mealer

Air Force
SrA William D. Mealer
Omicron Tau ’05

andrew-traugot-theta-ioa-1979

United States Air Force
CMSgt Andrew D. Traugot
Theta Iota ’79

ron-j-miller-rho-chi-2005

United States Air Force
2d Lt. Ron J. Miller
Rho Chi ’05

chris-hare-delta-epsilon-1990

United States Air Force
Sr. Airman Chris Hare
Delta Epsilon ’90

glenn-e-smith-delta-eta-69

US Air Force
Lt. Col. Glenn E. Smith
Delta Eta ’69

Captain Hasan Ibrahim Abuhamra - Gamma Iota '04

Air Force
Captain Hasan Ibrahim Abuhamra
Gamma Iota ’04

Major Charles K. Lovelace Zeta Psi '55

Air Force
Major Charles K. Lovelace
Zeta Psi ’55

Major John F. Yesulaitis Eta Theta '56

Air Force
Major John F. Yesulaitis

Eta Theta ’56

SrA Christopher Brannon Abadia Zeta gamma '03

Air Force
SrA Christopher Brannon Abadia

Zeta Gamma ’03

daniel-t-mcdonald-gamma-omega-13

Air Force
Daniel M. McDonald
Gamma Omega ’13

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United States Air Force
A1C Paul Weir Lentz
Epsilon Sigma ’12

Captain Daniel Joseph Connors

Air Force
Captain Daniel Joseph Connors
Alpha Rho ’02

 

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Army Air Corps
J. Clifton Williams
Beta Omega ’46

Derrick Zaczek - Delta Iota '10

Air Force
Derrick Zaczek
Delta Iota ’10

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US Navy/Air Force
SSG Ronald Atienza
Gamma Theta ’91

United States AirForce
Col. Arnald D. Gabriel
Delta ’47

Senior Airman Adrian Holton
Eta Omega ’03

James Fredericks

Air Force
A1C James P. Fredericks
Theta Phi ’73

Air Force
MSGT Aaron Smith
Lambda Sigma ’02

justin-thomas-pi-beta-2007

Air Force
Justin Thomas

Pi Beta ’07

Thomas Smith

Army
Specialist Thomas M. Smith
Omicron Psi ’08

Bradley Young

Army
Captain Bradley W. Young
Alpha Zeta ’87

John Mitchell

Army
CW3 John W. Mitchell
Xi Omega ’84

Christopher Reed

Army National Guard
SPC Christopher Reed
Iota Alpha ’06

Samuel Richardson

Army National Guard
SPC Samual Richardson
Omicron Mu ’15

Andy Wells

Army National Guard
Captain Andy Wells
Omicron Nu ’03

Kevin Brooks Delta Iota '06

Army
Kevin Brooks
Delta Iota ’06

Eta Omega '99  Matthew David

Army
Matthew David
Eta Omega ’99

Warren Ertle

Army
SPC Warren Ertle
Theta Kappa ’17

Ryan Atlow

Army
SGT Ryan Atlow
Xi Omega ’07

michael-zuniga-gamma-pi-2013

United States Army
SPC Michael R. Zuniga
Gamma Pi ’13

william-gabbard-lambda-psi-1978

 United States Army
SGM William Joseph Gabbard

Lambda Psi ’78

ryan-schleiff-alpha-omicron-06

Army Reserve
Sgt. Ryan Schleiff
Alpha Omicron ’06

william-lamar-medley-kappa-eta-2012

US Army
SPC William Lamar Medley
Kappa Eta ’12

christopher-patterson-kappa-sigma-2010

Army National Guard
Christopher Patterson
Kappa Sigma ’10

wesley-patrick-lambda-rho-01

Army National Guard
SSG. Wesley Patrick
Lambda Rho ’01

chris-john-libby-xi-delta-97

Army National Guard
Sgt. Christopher John Libby
Xi Delta ’97

james-ryan-springer-pi-xi-2015

US Army
PFC James Ryan Springer
Pi Xi ’15

james-aaron-jarvis-zeta-eta-13

US Army Reserve
James Aaron Jarvis
Zeta Eta ’13

brandon-gonzales-alpha-iota-2014

Army
Brandon E. Gonzales
Alpha Iota ’14

luke-sappenfield-rho-tau-2011

Army
Like James Sappenfield

Rho Tau ’11

mark-a-young-gamma-delta-74

Army
Col. Mark A Young
Gamma Delta ’74

Peter William Dykema

Army
Peter William Dykema
Phi  ’21

 

Howard Pink - Kappa Nu '62 - U.S. Army 6th Army Hdqtrs. Band, Presidio of San Francisco--8th Inf. Div. Band, Bad Kreuznach, Germany

Howard Pink
U.S. Army 6th Army Hdqtrs. Band,
Presidio of San Francisco–8th Inf. Div. Band,
Bad Kreuznach, Germany
Kappa Nu ’62

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United States Army
Staff Sgt. Charles Parris
Eta Xi ’02

SFC-Nicholas-Althouse-Beta-Xi-89

United States Army
SFC Nicholas Althouse
Beta Xi ’89

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Army
Eric Culver
Delta Iota ’15

Autsin Okorn

Army
Austin Okorn
Upsilon Chi ’10

Rex Coston Alpha Rho '43

Army
Rex Coston
Alpha Rho ’43

Sgt. Stuart Jackson Zeta Psi '01

Army
Sgt. Stuart Jackson

Zeta Psi ’01

Captain Chuck Kluball - Zeta Gamma '06

Army
Captain Chuck Kluball
Zeta Gamma ’06

Captain Jonathan Jessup - Rho Tau '95

Army
Captain Jonathan Jessup
Rho Tau ’95

Keith Rose

Army
Sgt. Keith Rose
Gamma Zeta ’97

Colonel-Hal-J.-Gibson-4

Army
Col. Hal J. Gibson
Xi Gamma ’91

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Captain Bryan J. Ralls
Company Commander, US Army School of Music

Iota Tau ’14

United States Army
Joe Young
Delta Lambda ’06
&
A. J. Guillette
Upsilon Psi ’05

United States Army
Olin G. Parker
Gamma Mu ’41

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Army
Dan Stevens
Beta Xi ’13

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Army
William Smith
Omicron Epsilon ’11

Sinfonian Army Bandsmen, Class 15-003

Sinfonians in the
Army Bandsmen
Class 15-003

Army
SGM Mark Bowling
Beta Omicron ’83
&
SSG Ian Bowling
Nu Psi ’07

Army
Lt. Douglas A. Olmstead
Rho Xi ’14

Army
Mark R. Kasparek
Lambda Gamma ’02

United States Army
George L. Smith
Nu Lambda  ’10

Jezreel Ontiveros

Army National Guard
Sgt. Jezreel Ontiveros
Epsilon Omicron ’12

Wes Burns

United States Coast Guard
LCDR V. Wes Burns
Delta Pi ’89

Jonah Lewis

United States Marine Corps
E-5/SGT Jonah Lewis
Omicron Epsilon ’07

Kenneth Davis Delta Iota

United States Marine Corps
Kenneth Davis
Delta Iota ’93

Keith Fricke

United States Marine Corps
CWO3 Keith Fricke
Eta Phi ’97

timothy-kirkpatrick-epsilon-kappa-98

United States Marine Corps
Cpl. Timothy Aaron Kirkpatrick
Epsilon Kappa ’98

eric-donaldson-nu-theta-2010

United States Marine Corps
PFC Eric Donaldson
Nu Theta ’10

lukas-florczak-beta-pi-13

Marine Corps
LCpl. Lukas T. Florczak
Beta Pi ’13

howard-leroi-mccullers-zeta-psi-fall-81

United States Marine Corps
Cpl. Howard LeRoi McCullers
Zeta Psi ’81

eric-t-shields-delta-eta-03

United States Marine Corps
Sgt. Eric T. Shields

Delta Eta ’03

Sergeant Matthew Edward Valentine

Marine Corps
Sergeant Matthew Edward Valentine
Gamma Phi ’07

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Director Emeritus (USMC)
Colonel John R. Bourgeois
Zeta Pi ’56

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United States Marine Corps
Ellis Marsalis
Delta Epsilon ’65

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United States Marine Corps
LCpl William R. Thayer
Xi Epsilon ’10

Sgt. Lewis John Schmitt - Beta Omicron '03

United States Marine Corps
Sgt. Lewis John Schmitt
Beta Omicron ’03

Lance Corporal Joseph Michael Shy - Theta Iota '11

United States Marine Corps
Lance Corporal Joseph Michael Shy
Theta Iota ’11

Sgt. Jason Alexander Pena - Alpha Iota '06

United States Marine Corps
Sgt. Jason Alexander Pena
Alpha Iota ’06

Victor Ney

United States Marine Corps
Gunnery Sgt. Victor Ney
Mu ’93

Alex Gibson

United States Marine Corps
Sgt. Alex Gibson
Lambda Phi ’06

United States Marine Corps
Sgt. Andrew Eason-McGill (Left)
Theta Sigma ’07

Brother Matt Rainer, a 2008 HΩ

United States Marine Corps
Matt Rainer (Middle)
Eta Omega ’08

Wesley Magee

US Navy
E-5/YN2 Wesley R. Magee
Eta Xi ’11

Alexander George Samaras

US Navy
Commanding Officer, Alexander Samaras
Beta Gamma ’46

ronald-atienza-gamma-theta-1991

US Navy/Air Force
SSG Ronald Atienza
Gamma Theta ’91

Aaron James Spencer, Eta Omega (Florida) 2000

Navy
Aaron James Spencer
Eta Omega ’00

Mike-and-Mercy-8x10-111117-copy

Navy
HMC Michael Nelson
Upsilon Chi ’72

charels-duncan-xi-tau-69

US Navy
MU2 Charles Duncan
Xi Tau ’69

derek-eaton-beta-sigma-2012

Navy
Derek Eaton
Beta Sigma ’12

timothy-stephenson-delta-lambda-03

US Navy
PO1 Timothy Stephenson
Delta Lambda ’03

CDR Collins portrait

Capt. Kenneth C. Collins
Commanding Officer/Leader, US Navy Band
Xi Delta ’89

Bob Wolfersteig

Robert F. Wolfersteig (USN)
PG 39 (1980-83)/PG 33 (1983-86)
Omicron ’49

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US. Navy Bandsman
Clark Terry
Beta Zeta ’68

Chief Petty Officer Bobby J. Cast - Gamma Phi '06

United States Navy
Chief Petty Officer Bobby J. Cast
Gamma Phi ’06

Alonzo Thomas Ward II

United States Navy
Alonzo Thomas Ward II
Xi Gamma ’99

As a Sinfonian in the miltary, I’m so blessed to play a part in defending our nation and still being able to advance music in America at the same time. In this short six years, I’ve been blessed to meet many different brothers from around the country who have played a major part in my music acareer as well as my military Career. Thank you to all brothers who have taken the time to fellowship with me. I honestly never thought I’d get to experience Sinfonia while in the military, but because of awesome brothers who have answered the calling to advance in America the best in music, I’ve had that opportunity, and for that I say to all men of the highest type, Thank you.
-Wesley Magee (Eta Xi ’11)

I served as an Audio Engineer in the USAF Bands stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH for the USAF Band of Flight for 4.5 years. I deployed to 13 different countries as an Audio Engineer with the USAF Bands and have toured all over the US as well. I am now out of the military and work at Mid-America Sound, Inc in Indianapolis, IN as a lead Audio Engineer doing shows all over the US with many different bands/groups/artists of all kinds and I absolutely love what I do! I am appreciative of my time served, all the opportunities it gave me and where it’s lead me today.
Drew Mealer (Omicron Tau ’05)

I served in the Air Force from July 20, 1972 to July 19, 1976. After basic training and tech school I served for 15 months in Incirlik CDI, Turkey. I was a security policeman where I guarded military aircraft and weapons storage. In February 1974 I was transferred to Malmstrom AFB, MT where I was part of the 564th Missile Security Squadron. During my service in the Air Force I was not involved with music but had a few opportunities to take part in different things. After leaving the service I attended JR college for about a year and in 1985/1986 I attended Auburn University where I became a Sinfonian in 1986.
Charles Karpf (Delta Psi ’86)

I’m the proud brother of Cpl. Jeremy Shank, who was struck down before his time in 2006. He was 18 years old. He never had a chance to go to college, much less be a Sinfonian. I bring this up today because, when I needed help most, when I was in a whirl and my life seemed to make no sense, Sinfonia was there. I will never forget standing at the podium in a packed church, preparing to give a eulogy for my brother, and seeing in the back all my brothers standing there. They didn’t have to do anything, but they took the time to show up. All these years later, I can’t tell you who brought what dish to my house in those days after my brother died, I can’t tell you who did or didn’t send flowers, but I can tell you the strength and the help that my brothers showed me that day, and I’ll never ever be able to pay them back for that. That is what Sinfonia is and will always be about to me. They were there for me when I was at my best, and they are there when I’m at my worst.
Christopher Shank (Iota Psi ’01)

I just recently returned from a deployment with another brother to Bagram, Afghanistan for Operation Resolute Support, 2015-2016. Him and I traveled around Afghanistan providing music for the men and women who need our music more than anybody else I can think of. I was filled with so much pride knowing I can bring the mystic power of music to the far reaches of the world. Indeed a humbling experience.
Specialist Michael R. Zuniga (Gamma Pi ’13)

When I first arrived at the Navy music school in 1970 one of the first people I met was fellow student Jim Gollmer. (Delta Omega ’66) We soon discovered that we were both Sinfonians. I new immediately there was an umspoken trust level that we shared. While I’ve not seem Jim since, it was bond that was and still is important.
MU2 Charles Duncan (Xi Tau ’69)

One of the best days I had on mobilization to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba was when after nearly a year there finding out there was another brother on the island! Finding someone that you not only share the bond of military service with but also ΦΜΑ brings just an ounce of home and a multitude of Fraternal spirit to where ever you are.
Chief Petty Officer Bobby J Cast (Gamma Phi ’06)

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Central Illinois World War II Stories – Oral History Interview: Alexander Samaras of Danville
Alexander Samaras was the commanding officer of an LCT in the Navy, and fought at Utah Beach on D-Day. He and his men worked to ferry in troops and equipment, and then later on to ferry out the dead and prisoners. His LCT also carried in crucial equipment used to set up communications for both Omaha and Utah Beach. He joined his LCT in New Orleans, and the LCT was taken across the Atlantic on a larger LST. As a junior officer, he had to take his turn standing watch on the LST. During rough weather one night while he was on watch, three of the ships in his convoy were struck by torpedoes and blown up. That same night, his LST was hit by a torpedo, but it was dud. The entire hold of his LST, the length of a football field, was filled with ammunition. The torpedo put a dent in the stern. “It made me a fatalist,” he says.

THE SECOND WORLD WAR

Along with the effect felt by the many Sinfonians who fought in World War II, it had affected the operations of Phi Mu Alpha. Depleted membership rosters, barely active collegiate chapters, and a tight national budget threatened the future existence of the Fraternity. As a result, the national leadership tasked themselves to find means necessary to thrive. After the attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into the war, it quickly became apparent that American society was in for profound changes, and the same was true for Phi Mu Alpha. With the organization already feeling the effects of the wartime mobilization, the National Executive Committee met on November 15, 1942, to chart the course of the fraternity for the duration of the war. The meeting was attended by Supreme President Norval Church, supreme Secretary-Treasurer Casey Lutton, Executive Committeemen James T. Quarles, Arthur E. Westbrook, and Clarence Deakins, and Supreme Historian Alvah A. Beecher. Supreme Vice President Adolph W. Otterstein was strangely absent, being “not invited” with explanation refused by President Church. The exact reason for the vice president’s absence remains a mystery, but a letter from Otterstein to the supreme councilmen of the chapters, dated December 5, 1942, states that he had enlisted in the military. The Executive Committee took a number of actions to deal with the emergency facing them. They canceled the national convention that was scheduled in December and voted to collect the convention tax that was due and invest it in government bonds, holding it in escrow until it should be needed to fund a convention. They voted to suspend further assessment of the convention tax until after the next convention. As an emergency measure, they amended the Constitution to permit election of national officers by mail, and mailed out ballots with the Committee’s nominations and blank lines for write-in votes. A mail ballot was also necessary in 1944.Executive Committee minutes preserved from 1942, 1943, and 1944, and the Sinfonians printed during the war (spring and fall, 1942; fall, 1944; spring and fall, 1946) reveal that the Executive Committee struggled to keep as much of the Sinfonian tradition and program going as possible. Because membership was severely depleted, with many chapters kept functioning by alumni faculty members, fraternity income was only a fraction of normal. The Sinfonians were kept full of news from Sinfonians in the armed forces, and there was constant focus on and support of music in the armed forces. A special division of the composition contest was created for men in the military. The war had a profound effect on Sinfonia, with no conventions between 1940 and 1946, and no new chapters chartered between May of 1942 and February of 1947. With very few young men enrolled in college music programs, many active chapters simply ceased to function. Coming so soon after the troubles of the depression, the difficulties brought on by World War II might have provoked even greater uncertainty about the future of the organization then the problems of the first war. This time, however, a strong National Executive Committee (with Casey Lutton) was in place, many chapters had established strong traditions, and there existed the general stability and organization that had been established during and after the Dykema years. At the end of the war, Sinfonia was poised for the most dramatic growth in its entire history.

Excerpt from The Centennial History, written by Dr. T. Jervis Underwood, Gamma Theta (North Texas) ’54.

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