Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia - Theta Upsilon Chapter, Delta State University - Cleveland, Mississippi

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Chapter News

Large Mills Music Mission
by Andrew Owen

A dissatisfied chapter in its chapter room. Left to right: Joe Raymond, Andy Olson, Tim Powell, Matt Gilbert.The chapter visited eight senior-care facilities during the weekend of March 29-30, giving its gift of song to over two hundred residents and patients.  At some facilities, the chapter sang as a group to the assembled residents; at others, the chapter went room-to-room singing in order to bring joy to the patients.

In the early days of the fraternity, Father Ossian Mills would take several friends to visit hospitals and care homes in Boston in order to give the gift of music and flowers to those there so that they might be comforted during their hardships.  In recent years, and in order to commemorate that practice (the "Flower Mission," as it was called), the national fraternity revived the tradition in a mission called the Mills Music Mission.

Brother Whitney Owen talking to one of the residents at the Briar Hill Rest Home, the first stop on the mission.The chapter spent the semester rehearsing several songs that seniors would remember from earlier in their lives, including old barbershop songs, love songs, and patriotic tunes.  In early March, the chapter scheduled singings in eight different places, including nursing homes and hospitals.  The chapter sang to facilities in Brandon, Raymond, Jackson, and Vicksburg.  Beginning on Saturday morning at the Briar Hill Rest Home and ending with a room-to-room singing at a Vicksburg nursing home, the chapter got tremendous pleasure from helping the residents to forget their current situations for a few minutes and to return to happier times in their lives.  Seeing so many residents close their eyes, smile, and joyfully cry was one of the most profound experiences that the chapter had ever had together.

A few brothers reflecting on the weekend at the Koestler house.After singing at all eight of these places, the chapter went back to Brother James Koestler's home in Vicksburg to reflect on the mission.  It helped to remind the chapter of the obvious: that the mission was an extremely moving experience for everyone involved.

After this moving weekend, the chapter anxiously desired to perform more Mills Music Missions as soon as it was able.

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