Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia

Chapter History

Chapter History

The following entry was submitted by Robert R. Robbins, the first historian contained within a scrapbook of the history of the Beta Xi Chapter:

Beta Xi Chapter's history began with the installation of the Chapter on May 29th, 1931. It was a day which will long be remembered by all those who participated in the installation program. The classes of the Music Department were dismissed for the day so that Professor Royal D. Hughes, chairman, and other members of the Music Faculty could be hosts to the visiting Sinfonians.

Among the visitors were Supreme President Aubery W. Martin, Supreme Secretary Charles E. Lutton, and Province Governor Theodore Kratt. Other guests represented Alpha, Iota, Mu, Nu, Omicron, Omega, Alpha Beta, Alpha Delta, Alpha Theta, Alpha Kapp, and Alpha Xi Chapters.

The installation program took place at the Hotel Fort Hayes. At four-thirty P.M. the Pledging Ceremony was read by Province Governor Kratt and was immediately followed by the Initiation Ritual which was read by Supreme President Martin. At six-thirty a formal banquet was held in the main dining room of the hotel where sixty Sinfonians gathered about a huge U-shaped table. Throughout the dinner, Supreme President Martin, Supreme Secretary Lutton, and Province Governor Kratt relayed in reading the many letters and telegrams of greetings to the new chapter.

At eight-thirty the program continued on the University Campus where two hundred and fifty guests of the local chapter, including visiting Sinfonians, were entertained at a formal musicale in the Grand Lounge of the Faculty Club. Following the recital, a reception was held in the Wicker Room of the Club and light refreshments were served. Miss Dorothy Lord, President of the Ohio State University Chapter of Delta Omicron, presided at the tea table and was assisted by six of her sorority sisters, the Misses Helen Barr, Ruth McConnell, Margaret Kappler, Lucile Davidson, and Kathryn Wells.

As even this must pass away, the evening came to an end after, indeed, a most momentous day for members of our Chapter. It was with deep satisfaction over the very successful installation program, that our year's activities were brought to a close. The Charter Members of the Chapter shall be ever grateful to the officers and Faculty Advisors for their efforts in founding a Chapter of Phi u Alpha on the Ohio State University Campus.


Members of the petitioning class of Beta Xi are pictured to the right. Reading from left to right, beginning with the top row, members are as follows:

Top Row: Paul Kurzen, Robert Robbins, Russell Holcomb, Russell Heddleston, Eugene Masselink, Kenneth Mayer, Harold Rice, Donald Baird.

2nd Row: Gilbert Kelling, Frank Livingston, Edward Walz, Charles Greer, George Wing, Clare Grundman, Ralph French, Clarence Assenheimer, George McGarvey.

3rd Row: (Faculty Members)- Royal Hughes, Lyman Jackson (Phi), William Graves, Herbert Wall (Zeta), Eugene Weigel, Joseph Leeder, James Tharp (Alpha), Alexander Schutz.

4th Row: John Rutledge, Ronald Shoup (Omega), Craig Eagleson, Treasurer (Alpha Delta), Howard Beckes, Secretary (Omicron), Fredolf Liddell, President (A.K.), John Barnes, Vice President, Herbert German, Joe Howland (NU), Donald Tennant.

Petitioning members not in picture because of illness: Edwin Mirise (NU), William Steinhauer, Karl Bambach, William Mautz (Omega).

An Entry stating the difficulties of the war years is as follows:

Like many of the fraternities at Ohio State, Phi Mu Alpha was rather "stunned" by the loss of many of its members to the armed services of our country. On several different occasions we had fears that Phi Mu Alpha might fade out of the picture for the duration; nevertheless, we did manage to carry on as before.

Autumn quarter found us quite naturally surveying the situation on campus in regards to available material to swell our nearly depleted ranks. We had one of our traditional pledge parties in which we as actives met some prospective pledges. Soon we had pledged some men and were preparing for initiation. Due to unforeseen circumstances (the moving up of exam week) we had to postpone our initiation till winter quarter. With the addition of incoming actives, we once again were able to carry on our many functions. At our meetings we listened to live music (music presented in recital form) by members of the organization; we also listened to recorded music of all types. One of our members, Charles Scott is a very able conductor and on several different occasions, he demonstrated his ability in this field. Three members of the active body (all clarinetists) are members of the Columbus Philharmonic Orchestra. They are John C. Worley, Donald Seelbach, and Ralph Tinianow. Two of our men are trumpeters. They are George Schumacher, and Robert Farriss. Both are members of the Ohio State University Symphony Orchestra and the Concert Band. Our Representative of the stringed instruments is Mario Mancinelli, who plays a very fine violin He is a member of the university symphony orchestra and also of the Columbus Philharmonic Orchestra. Mario is a very versatile musician as he also plays french horn in the concert band. In the vocal music department we are very well represented by Edwin Hill. He possesses a very rich baritone voice. He is a member of the University Chorus, and the symphonic Choir. Edwin was one of the featured Soloists in Gabriel Pierne's Mystery Play "The Children at Bethlemhem" which was presented on campus autumn quarter. 

One of our main social functions winter quarter was a dinner-dance which was attended by all the actives and faculty members. Members of Phi Mu Alpha were guests at one of the Delta Omicron's (music honorary sorority) "coke and sandwich" parties. Several times during the year our entire active body attended concerts as a group. We had a little get together afterwards in which we discussed the concert. 

Dale V. Gilliland, Assistant Professor of Music (Voice) was our faculty advisor this year. His active participation in the group meant much to the survival of it. 

All in all, our activities for the school year of '43-'44 were the result of one incessant struggle to keep going. At times we thought we might not make it, but we managed to keep going anyway. We felt that we owed it to all those members now in the service to perpetuate Phi Mu Alpha tradition here at O.S.U. and with that goal in mind we are happy to say we kept our pledge to them.

*(This years chapter has lost seven active members to the U.S. Army via the 37th. Division, Ohio National Guard.)



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