Mizzou New Music Initiative awards postdoctoral fellowship to Phillip Sink

The Mizzou New Music Initiative and the University of Missouri School of Music have awarded the Initiative’s first-ever postdoctoral fellowship to composer Phillip Sink.

Starting with the Fall 2016 semester, Sink (pictured) will teach classes in composition and electronic music at Mizzou, and also will begin a major research project to be completed during the two years of his fellowship.

“We’re delighted to have Phillip as our first postdoctoral fellow,” said Stefan Freund, associate professor of composition at Mizzou and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. “He’s an accomplished composer who has a lot of experience in electronic music and also has been teaching at the university level, which makes him a great fit for our program.”

A native of High Point, North Carolina, Sink comes to Mizzou from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where he recently earned a doctoral degree (DM) in music composition with minors in electronic music and music theory.

While at the Jacobs School, he studied electronic music with Jeffrey Hass and John Gibson, and acoustic composition with Claude Baker, David Dzubay, Aaron Travers, Sven-David Sandström, Ricardo Lorenz, Jere Hutcheson, and Scott Meister. Sink also served as an associate instructor of composition during his time in Indiana, teaching courses in counterpoint, notation, composition for non-majors, and more.

He received bachelor’s degrees in music composition/theory and music education from Appalachian State University in 2004, and then taught middle school orchestra and band in Charlotte, NC from 2005 to 2009. In 2012, he earned master’s degrees in music composition and music theory pedagogy from Michigan State University, while also serving as a graduate assistant in music theory.

Phillip Sink’s compositions have been performed in concerts and at conferences and festivals in the United States and Europe, including the 2015 Aspen Music Festival, where he was awarded the Hermitage Prize by the faculty; 2015 Art and Science Days in Bourges, France; the 2015 SEAMUS conference, and many others. His awards and honors include the 2015 Dean’s Prize for chamber music at Indiana University; Innovox Ensemble’s 2015 Green Call for Scores; the 2013 Kuttner String Quartet Composition Competition; and more.

Mizzou New Music Initiative seeks new managing director

The University of Missouri School of Music is looking for a new managing director for the Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI).

The managing director is responsible for administering all of MNMI’s various programs, which include the Mizzou International Composers Festival, the Creating Original Music Project (COMP), the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project (MOCOP), and more.

The job begins on August 1, 2016, and offers a competitive salary and full benefits package. It is a full-time, 12-month faculty position with at least 75% administrative duties and potential for up to 25% teaching, depending on the applicant’s area of specialty.

Applicants must have previous administrative and teaching experience in a music-related field, and excellent interpersonal and organizational skills. A master’s degree in arts administration is strongly preferred, but those with DMA, PhD or MM degrees in music fields also will be considered.

The new managing director will be the permanent replacement for William J. “Billy” Lackey, who had held the position since 2009 but left Mizzou in March to become vice president of programs for the American Composers Forum in St. Paul, MN. Drew Worden, a graduate of the Eastman School of Music who has been serving as interim managing director since March, has taken a job at the New England Conservatory of Music beginning with the Fall 2016 semester.

For more information or to apply, go to:
https://hrprd.umsystem.edu/psp/prd/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/HRS_HRPM.HRS_JOB_OPENING.GBL?Action=U&HRS_JOB_OPENING_ID=20088

The University of Missouri School of Music has 40 full-time faculty members and nearly 300 music majors, and offers a full range of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music. Graduate music education degrees are offered in collaboration with the College of Education.

MU is fully committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff and students, and seeks individuals who are committed to this goal and our core campus values of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence. The University of Missouri is an equal opportunity/access/affirmative action/pro-disabled & veteran employer.

Tickets for 2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival go on sale Friday, June 3

Alarm Will Sound

Tickets for the 2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF) will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. CDT on Friday, June 3.

Hailed as “a vibrant inferno of creative energy” by the internationally syndicated radio program “Relevant Tones,” and praised for offering “kinetic excitement” by the hometown Columbia Daily Tribune, the MICF will take place this year from Monday, July 25 through Saturday, July 30 in Columbia, and will include three public concerts of new music by living composers.

Returning for the seventh year as the festival’s resident ensemble, Alarm Will Sound will begin the weekend of shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 28 at the Missouri Theatre, 203 S. Ninth St. in downtown Columbia.

They’ll perform music from the 2016 MICF’s distinguished guest composers, Oscar Bettison and Erin Gee, and a work by Stefan Freund, who is an associate professor at Mizzou, artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, and cellist for Alarm Will Sound.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble

Next, the “Mizzou New Music” concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, July 29 at the Missouri Theatre will feature performances by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble and guest artists Missouri Saxophone Quartet, violinist Julie Rosenfeld, and pianist Peter Miyamoto. The concert will feature music from Bettison, Gee, Freund, Mizzou student composer Jose Martinez, and more.

The grand finale of the week will showcase the world premieres of eight new works, written by the festival’s resident composers and performed by Alarm Will Sound at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, July 30 at the Missouri Theatre.

Festival VIP packages are $80, and include reserved premium seating at all three concerts; two drink tickets good at the Thursday and Friday performances; and admission to a VIP reception prior to the Saturday evening performance, featuring champagne and hors d’oeuvres with members of Alarm Will Sound and the composers.

Festival passes for all three concerts are $40 for an adult general admission pass, and $20 for a student general admission pass.

Single tickets are priced at $18 for adults, $10 for students, and are all general admission. Tickets can be charged by phone using Visa, MasterCard or Discover by calling 1-573-882-3781. To buy tickets online, visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

In addition to these three concerts, the MICF also will feature several free events, including open rehearsals and presentations by the participating composers. A complete schedule of those events will be released at a later date.

The eight resident composers were chosen from among more than 220 applicants from across the USA and around the world to participate in the festival and create a new work for Alarm Will Sound. They are:

* Matthew Browne, Ann Arbor, MI
* Takuma Itoh, Honolulu, HI
* Mary Kouyoumdjian, Brooklyn, NY
* Ryan Lindveit, Los Angeles, CA
* Trey Makler, Columbia, MO
* Daniel Silliman, Princeton, NJ
* Wang A Mao, Kansas City, MO
* Wang Lu, Providence, RI

During the festival, the resident composers will receive composition lessons from distinguished guest composers Oscar Bettison, a British/American composer who has served on the composition faculty of Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute since 2009; and Erin Gee, an assistant professor of music at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who is known for her works using non-traditional vocal techniques.

The resident composers also will take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound; give presentations on their music; and receive a premiere performance and professional live recording of their work.

Stefan Freund’s “Cyrillic Dreams” to be performed
by St. Louis Symphony in concert on Friday, April 29

The St. Louis Symphony once again will feature music from a Mizzou composer as part of their subscription season when they perform Stefan Freund’s “Cyrillic Dreams” in a concert at 8:00 p.m. Friday, April 29 at Powell Hall in St. Louis.

Freund (pictured) is associate professor of composition and music theory at the University of Missouri, co-artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, and director of the Mizzou New Music Ensemble. The Memphis native also is a cellist and founding member of the new music group Alarm Will Sound, and is the music director and principal conductor of the Columbia Civic Orchestra.

“Cyrillic Dreams” was composed in 2008 with a commission from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, and was inspired by Freund’s trip to Russia that year. It was premiered in a performance by the Columbia Civic Orchestra on March 24, 2009 in Vienna’s Minoritenkirche with the composer conducting, and subsequently has been played by orchestras including the Tennessee Tech University Orchestra and the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, and at the Missouri River Festival of the Arts.

The St. Louis Symphony will play the work on a program that also includes popular favorites such as Bernstein’s “Candide Overture,” Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” and Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”

The concert is part of the St. Louis Symphony’s “Music You Know” series conducted by music director David Robertson, which aims to connect listeners to classical music by presenting “familiar tunes we’re certain you know, and others that you’ll long to hear again and again.”

“Cyrillic Dreams” also is one of just eight works by living composers on the orchestra’s schedule this season. It’s the second time they’ve played a work by a Mizzou composer, having performed “Ravish and Mayhem” by Mizzou alumna Stephanie Berg in January, 2014 at Powell Hall.

“When I wrote “Cyrillic Dreams,” I imagined the rich acoustic of the three huge churches in Austria where the piece was to be performed,” said Freund. “I think it will sound equally glorious in the majestic setting of Powell Hall.”

Tickets for the St. Louis Symphony’s concert featuring the performance of “Cyrillic Dreams” can be purchased in person at the Powell Hall box office or via their website at stlsymphony.org.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to present
benefit performance of “The Sound of Chess”

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will be the featured performers in “The Sound of Chess,” a benefit concert at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, April 30 at the Kingside Diner, 4651 Maryland Ave in St Louis’ Central West End.

The Ensemble will perform three new works written by Mizzou student composers inspired by the game of chess: “Love Your Enemy,” composed by Henry Stewart; “Caution” by Luke Henderson; and “The Endgame” by Alex Williams. The concert also will include a performance of “Illegal Cycles,” written in 2015 by Mizzou graduate student José Martínez.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the St. Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center and the World Chess Hall of Fame.

Tickets for “The Sound of Chess” are $50 in advance from the St. Louis Chess Club website or $60 at the door, and include the concert, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and complimentary valet parking. For more information, contact events@worldchesshof.org.

The eight-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor. The Ensemble’s members for the 2015-16 season are Rachel Czech, cello; José Martínez, percussion; Rebecca McDaniel, percussion; Gyumi Rha, piano; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Panagiotis Skyftas, saxophones; Erin Spencer, flute; and Britney Stutz, violin.

Student Composers Concert set for Sunday, April 24 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The spring 2016 edition of the University of Missouri School of Music’s bi-annual Student Composers Concert will showcase new works written and performed by students at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 24 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the Mizzou campus.

Admission is free for Mizzou students, faculty and staff with ID, $5 for the general public.

The program will include:
“Four Jazz Moods” by Benedetto Colagiovanni
“That I Have Not Lived” by Dustin Dunn
“Ever Yours, l. Paris, 1 August 1890″ by Travis Herd
“Musings of Sky” by Hans Bridger Heruth
“Ballroom Blues” by Erin Höerchler
“Instruction Manual” by José Martínez
“Solitude” by Aaron Mencher
“Crystalline” by Henry Breneman Stewart

Performers will include Jenna Braaksma, piano; Ben Colagiovanni, piano; Rachel Czech, cello; Ross Dryer, piano; Jesús Gómez, violin; Erin Höerchler, soprano; Beverly Jones, baritone saxophone; Bria Jones, mezzo soprano; Mary Kettlewell, soprano; Renan Leme, violin; Sam McCullogh, tenor saxophone; Travis Meier, soprano saxophone; Gyumi Rha, piano; Joe Rulli, saxophone; Catherine Sandstedt, viola; Paola Savvidou, piano; Patrick Smith, bass baritone; Britney Stutz, violin; Matthew Vallot, alto saxophone; and Alex Williams, cello.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble making moves
with compositions inspired by chess in concert
Monday, April 25 at Whitmore Recital Hall

Three new works by Mizzou student composers inspired by the game of chess will be given a “sneak preview” in a concert by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 25 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the University of Missouri campus. Admission is free for Mizzou students, faculty and staff with ID, $5 for the general public.

All three pieces were composed for the Ensemble’s upcoming concert on Saturday, April 30 at the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis.

“Love Your Enemy” is by Henry Breneman Stewart, a first-year master’s student majoring in composition and winner of the 2016 Sinquefield Composition Prize. Capturing the tensions found in both the competition of chess and the expression of the arts, Stewart’s work contrasts loud, aggressive, figures with bittersweet melodic lines.

“Caution,” composed by Luke Henderson, was inspired by a Ben Franklin quote about chess. It features carnival-like marches and improvised sections that convey the excitement and delight resulting from being passionate about an interest, like chess. Henderson is a senior at Mizzou majoring in composition and music education. His work “Routine Android” had its premiere performance by the Columbia Civic Orchestra in March 2016 as part of the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project.

Alex Williams’ “The Endgame” is a programmatic work based on the notion of chess as warfare. Opening with a saxophone “call to battle,” it depicts the violence of war with rugged mixed-meter melodies, which then give way to a mournful alto flute solo and the climax. Williams is a sophomore Sinquefield Scholar majoring in composition at Mizzou.

In addition to the three new chess-inspired works, the concert also will include “B&E (with aggravated assault)” by Oscar Bettison, who will be a distinguished guest composer at this summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival. Performed with guest musician Robbie Lawson on electric guitar, “B&E (with aggravated assault)” is described as “an unabashed heavy metal rock tune,” complete with double-bass drum pedal fills, shredding electric guitar, and wailing bass clarinet.

Rounding out the program will be a special performance of “Off Pist,” a “delightfully jazzy” work by the eclectic Swedish composer and bassist Svante Henryson; and a set by the Mizzou Creative Improvisation Ensemble, directed by Rich Pellegrin.

The eight-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor. The Ensemble’s members for the 2015-16 season are Rachel Czech, cello; José Martínez, percussion; Rebecca McDaniel, percussion; Gyumi Rha, piano; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Panagiotis Skyftas, saxophones; Erin Spencer, flute; and Britney Stutz, violin.

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble serves as the repertory group for the Mizzou New Music Initiative, an array of programs positioning the University of Missouri School of Music as a leading center in the areas of composition and new music. In that capacity, they work with faculty, students and visiting composers, and give public performances on campus and in the community.

Mizzou’s fine arts departments to celebrate Shakespeare
at Chancellor’s Arts Showcase Monday, April 11 at Missouri Theatre

The fine arts departments at the University of Missouri will join together to celebrate the works of William Shakespeare at the annual Chancellor’s Arts Showcase, starting at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 11 at the Missouri Theatre, 203 S. Ninth St. in Columbia.

The event will feature the world premiere of “Sonnet 73: De Profundis,” a musical setting of a Shakespeare poem composed by this year’s Sinquefield Composition Prize winner, Henry Breneman Stewart (pictured), and performed by the University Singers.

In addition to the world premiere and other selections from the University Singers, the showcase also will include music from Mizzou’s Concert Jazz Band and Show-Me Opera; monologues and scenes from some of the Bard’s best-loved works, performed by students from the Department of Theatre; and art installations by MU students inspired by Shakespeare.

Tickets for the Chancellor’s Arts Showcase are $10 for adults, $8 for Mizzou faculty and staff, and $5 for students. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Missouri Theatre box office or online via Ticketmaster, and also will be available at the door.