Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia | Kappa Sigma | Valparaiso University

Chapter Philanthropy

Chris Patterson Memorial Music Festival

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"The Kappa Sigma Chapter annually remembers and celebrates the life of one who was taken from us too soon through a memorial music festival. Someone who still had a lot to teach us and us him, Brother Christopher Patterson.

        There are certain times when a student leaves an indelible mark on an organization that long outlives their short time with us. This was the case with Chris and his passion “For God, For Music, For Country”. This motto – his motto – completely encapsulates the Kappa Sigma Chapter’s memories of him and how he impacted our community.

     Chris started at Valparaiso University in Fall 2009 and expressed early interest in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity. He was a boyish looking redhead who had a deep and abiding passion for making music. It is of little wonder looking back that he found a home away from home within the “music” fraternity. Over the course of the next year the chapter got to know Chris better and in the Fall of 2010 could call him brother when he was finally initiated into the fraternity. While only spending one year as an active member, Chris had a profound impact on the chapter; elevating the musical experience through his dedication to music, consistently challenging the chapter and its members to improve, and by ALWAYS being present in mind, voice, and heart.

     In addition to his music education major, and time in the fraternity, Chris was also involved in the Army ROTC program and served with the Indiana National Guard 713th Engineering Company based in Valparaiso, IN. I don’t think anyone can fully comprehend how he balanced all of his work and remain so generally upbeat and enthusiastic except to say that he loved all that he did.

     That’s why the chapter was so sad to see him leave when his company was called into active duty, especially since he didn’t have to go. But Chris felt compelled to serve – it was his duty. As a result he trained and deployed to Afghanistan in Fall 2011 and on January 6, 2012 was killed in action by an IED. Brother Patterson is sorely missed, but his sacrifice is not forgotten, and each year the chapter organizes this festival in his honor.

     To sum up the life of a Sinfonian, one exemplified by Chris, is exemplified by a quote from the Sixth Supreme President of Phi Mu Alpha, Percy Jewett Burrell,

     “He has not truly live who has not lived for others, in sympathy and harmony with his fellows.”

     That was Chris. That is what we honor through our music festival. Thank you for helping us to remember, honor, and celebrate the light that still shines on this campus from having known Chris."

-Kevin Goebbert

Class of 2000

Faculty Advisor for the Kappa Sigma Chapter

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