Music fraternity dons tuxedos, serenades in annual fundraiser

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Last week, The University of Southern Mississippi’s Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity held its third annual Valentine’s Serenade fundraiser.

The event continues a long- standing and popular tradition in educational communities.

Serenades were sold for $4 on campus in and around the Liberal Arts Building. Roses were also available for an additional $2.

The funds went toward the Sinfonia Educational Foundation, which helps to “enrich the lives of collegiate Sinfonians and to advance music in America by supporting scholarship, education and the development of leadership and noble ideals among future generations of musicians and supporters of music in America.”

“The Valentine’s Serenade fundraiser predates my involvement in the Eta Phi chapter, [but it] is somewhat a tradition to the Eta Phi chapter,” said Asher Katz, a senior political science major who serves as Vice-President of the Eta Phi chapter.

Serenades consist of a vocal quartet with the option of instrumental accompaniment and will be delivered to each recipient at the time and place designated by the person who bought the serenade.

Performances began yesterday and will continue through Wednesday, Feb. 17. Sinfonia members wear tuxedos when they perform.

So far, the reception has been overwhelmingly good.

“I serenaded somebody today,” said Eta Phi secretary Daniel Backe. “She said it was really impressing and really touching and it meant a lot.”

The fundraiser drew many people and included a saxophone- playing member who called attention to the sales tables. Although most of the serenades were sold for significant others, there were also several teachers on the list, as well as one of the Childhood Development Center’s classrooms.

According to its official Colony Program guide, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia has grown into the largest music fraternity in the world since its inception in 1900, with more than 160,000 initiates and chapters on over 250 college and university campuses nationwide. It is a nationally recognized men’s social fraternity, open to any male college student, faculty or staff member of at least 18 years of age 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.”

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