Outdoor orchestra plays carols, holds benefit



By Joy Priest

While walking to class on Wednesday, students might have noticed a four-piece tuba, euphonium orchestra playing Christmas carols in the snow outside of White Hall Classroom Building.

It wasn’t a coincidence. Four UK music majors — Jason Schubert, Mike McMahon, Jacob Williams and Matt Proffitt — decided to get together to play everyone’s favorite holiday tunes on the first day of snow.

“(Proffitt) said, “Next time it snows, let’s play Christmas carols,’” said Williams, a senior music education major, after playing a rendition of “The First Noel.” The four friends are a part of an all-men’s music fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, whose mission is to keep music alive.

“I actually did my undergrad here and me and a bunch of guys started doing this in my second year (2006),” said Proffitt, a master’s student in the new music therapy program.

The two-tuba, two-euphonium orchestra moved around campus on Wednesday, starting out at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Rose.

“This is excellent; it directly relates to our purpose of ‘advancing music in America,’” said Tristan Root, president of the fraternity at UK, about the outdoor caroling.

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia participates in various musical endeavors throughout the year, Root said, most notably the “Mills Music Mission.”

The Mission, which is named after the fraternity’s founder, is to go around to nursing homes and children’s hospitals “where there’s not much light,” and bring music to light up the atmosphere, Root said.

On Saturday, the fraternity will hold a benefit concert at St. Paul Catholic Church in Lexington, along with Sigma Alpha Iota, the all-women’s music sorority.

Money from the concert will be donated to DanceBlue and to the Sinfonia Education Foundation, which gives money to local arts programs to “try to keep music in the schools,” Root said.

As for the on-campus caroling … “We’ve done this every year, just not at this spot,” said McMahon, a senior music education major, who assured campus that they would continue the tradition.