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Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia sets music aside for good cause

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, music fraternity, will host “Revenge of The Book Sale 2: Electric Boogaloo,” a mystery book sale in the Oval Sep. 25-27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to raise funds benefiting Habitat for Humanity. 

Books prices will range between $1 to 5 with all proceeds donated to the nonprofit organization. Members wrapped the books for the sale in old editions of Pittsburg State’s Collegio and the title of the book, along with the genre, will be unknown to participants until purchased and unwrapped. 

“Originally, we got the book sale idea from a chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, another music fraternity, a women’s music fraternity,” Brock Willard, secretary of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and senior in music education, said. “… They wrapped it up in nondescript paper and that’s why it was a mystery.” 

Willard joined Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia his freshman year and worked his way up to become secretary. He plays trombone in the marching band and sings.   

Susan Marchant, director of choral activities, organ, and harpsichord, is heavily involved with Habitat for Humanity, according to Willard, which is how the fraternity decided who this year’s proceeds would go toward.  

“It’s not about them (Habitat for Humanity) knowing that we’re doing it, it’s about us giving the money to them just because they’re a good organization that provides homes for people who can’t have homes themselves,” Willard said. 

The fraternity first hosted a book sale in 2017, raising $250 for Pittsburg High School. The money went toward the theatre program’s trip to Lincoln, Nebraska where they attended the International Thespians Festival.  

“Last year we ran into a lot of confusion with people thinking it was a mystery (genre) book sale not a mystery book sale,” Willard said. “… When we asked for donations they were like, ‘well, did you just want mystery books?’, I’m like ‘no, no, no we’re selling all kinds of books, just the mystery is that you don’t know what you’re getting.’” 

The organization received many donations from the Axe Library the previous year. Along with this, community members and PSU professors also helped donate for the cause. 

“We had so many donations,” Willard said.“The campus response was very, very, nice … all of our books that we’re using this year are just leftover donations from last year. We had so many that we didn’t have to ask for donations this year.” 

Willard said even if students don’t want to buy a book, they are invited to stop by and the group may even provide a song or two. 

“I like this idea a lot, I really do,” Nik Spencer, member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and sophomore in pre-med, said. “I had never really thought of the mystery book sale before … it just gives a little bit of ‘what am I gonna get if I buy a book?’” 

Spencer said his roommate introduced him to Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and he ended up loving organization and those involved. He plays trumpet in the university’s marching band and plans on joining the choir next semester. 

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