The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will join forces with the Exit 128 Chamber Orchestra to present “Electric New Music” at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, December 6 at the Missouri Theatre, 203 South 9th St. Admission is free for Mizzou students, faculty and staff with ID, $5 for the general public.
The first half of the concert will feature Exit 128, a student-run ensemble conducted by music director and Mizzou senior Travis Herd. They’ll perform three selections, starting with “Assembly Lines” by Ian Dicke, who was a resident composer at the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival Resident Composer and is assistant professor of digital composition at the University of California, Riverside.
Next, guest artist Roberto Maggio will join Exit 128 to perform an arrangement of Robert Schumann’s “Drei Romanzen, Op. 94.” Maggio is professor of flute at the Conservatory of Music in Avellino, Italy, and will be visiting Mizzou that week.
Exit 128 will conclude their set with Joseph Meland’s “FAUVE,” a work for rock band and chamber orchestra that won a 2015 BMI Student Composer Award. Meland, who attends the University of Illinois, wrote the piece for the Illinois Modern Ensemble, and this performance will feature his rock band, Feral States.
In the second half of the concert, Roberto Maggio will augment the Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) for three selections, starting with Louis Andriessen “Workers Union,” a 1975 composition that gives performers specific rhythms without specific pitches, allowing them to choose their own notes.
After that, they’ll perform “Poetry for Ensemble” a new work by clarinetist Jeremiah Rittel that consists of three text-based pieces whose words and direction inspire the ensemble to improvise.
Next, it’s a new arrangement of “Mentis Modus” written specifically for the Ensemble by its composer, Italian pianist Giuseppe Di Bianco. The three-part work, originally composed in 1995, features rhythmic sections evoking marches and tangoes surrounding a calm, dream-like center.
The concert will conclude with “Rhapsody in Zoo,” written by Mizzou junior Erin Höerchler for the Ensemble’s performance in May at the St. Louis Zoo. Inspired by jazz and Gershwin, it features a rock beat underpinning rambunctious clarinet musings, flirtatious flute solos, a sentimental string section, and a stylized piano solo. Guest musicians Ryan Wall, flutes, and Grant Bradshaw, viola, will join the Ensemble for this finale.
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.
The members of the Exit 128 Chamber Orchestra are Tyler Martin, flute; Trey Makler, oboe; Devin Kaveler, clarinets; Anthony Hasek, bassoon; Ryan McFall, horn; Adam Matejek, trumpet; Andrew Meyer, trombone; Kyle Bauche, percussion; Ross Dryer, piano; Xiaoxiao Du and Nichole Morrison, violins; Catherine Sandstedt, viola; Rachel Czech, cello; Massimo Montalbano, bass; Travis Herd, artistic director; and Rachel Hill, managing director.
Photo of the Mizzou New Music Ensemble by Gene Royer.