“If you be a son of Orpheus, raise your voice on high…”
Sinfonia was born on Oct. 6, 1898, at the New England Conservatory in Boston, when a group of 13 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.” Mills, bursar of the conservatory, sought to create an order in which men with a shared love of music could develop the virtues of manhood in themselves and in their fellows.
Sinfonia became a national fraternity on Oct. 6, 1900, with the admission of a group at the Broad Street Conservatory in Philadelphia. Since that time, Sinfonia has grown into the largest music fraternity in the world, with chapters on more than 200 college and university campuses across the nation.
For more than a century, Sinfonians in nearly every field of study and profession have transformed the face of music in America. Today, the brotherhood represents a diverse group continuing the proud tradition of advancing the fraternity’s object.
Sinfonia is a brotherhood bound together for mutual helpfulness. Its purpose is not only to bring men together as friends, but also to provide a network with whom men can commune and renew their zeal — a support network that helps one meet any challenge he faces. By teaching brothers to live their lives according to the noble virtues set forth in the fraternity’s initiation ritual, Sinfonia builds better, stronger, broader individuals who are able to live in sympathy and in harmony with one another and with their fellow man.
Sinfonians share a common love of music that unites them as brothers. The fraternity teaches men to develop themselves and their art, not for the sake of art itself, but as a means of enriching the lives of others. Through many chapter, provincial and national events, Sinfonia offers opportunities for performance, community music outreach and other activities designed to develop a true appreciation of music’s uplifting power.