Archive for the ‘ Mizzou New Music Initiative ’ Category

Mizzou composer Douglas Osmun featured in Columbia Missourian

Mizzou composer Douglas Osmun, a first-year graduate student in composition and the winner of the 2017 Sinquefield Composition Prize, was the subject of a feature story this week in the Columbia Missourian.

Osmun (pictured) talked with reporter Ann Marion about his composition process and about “First Fig,” the work he submitted in this year’s Sinquefield Prize competition. As the winner of the competition, Osman was commissioned to write a new work for the University Philharmonic, which will get a premiere performance in April at the annual Chancellor’s Arts Showcase at the Missouri Theatre.

You can read the whole story here.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble presenting four world premieres and more
in concert Sunday, December 4 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will present four world premieres and more in the second concert of their 2016-17 season at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, December 4 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the University of Missouri campus. General admission is $5 for the public, free for Mizzou faculty, students and staff.

Three of those premieres were written by Mizzou students, including “The Garden of Earthly Delights” by Adam Cohen, a freshman composition major and Sinquefield Scholar. Inspired by Heironymous Bosch’s famous triptych painting, the piece juxtaposes surrealistic sounds against each other both rhythmically and melodically to evoke an aural whimsy.

“Foresight” is a new work by Luke Henderson that’s based on ideas found in Benjamin Franklin’s essay “The Morals of Chess.” A senior composition major at Mizzou, Henderson also has had his music performed by the University of Missouri Studio Jazz Band and the Columbia Civic Orchestra.

Kay Cypret’s “Trials and Tribulations” is a four-movement work representing “struggles of the mind, feet, heart, and spirit.” Cypret is a master’s composition student at Mizzou who also has written music for the Golden Spectra String Quartet, clarinetist Dr. Cheryl Cifeli, flautist Camden Beavers, and the Mizzou Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble.

The concert’s fourth premiere is “Passacaglia” by John Orfe, a faculty member at Bradley University and pianist for Alarm Will Sound, the group that serves as resident ensemble for the annual Mizzou International Composers Festival. Orfe’s work is a set of virtuosic variations over a line that is repeated throughout the duration of the piece.

In addition to the four world premieres, the ensemble (pictured) will be joined by a guest artist, mezzo-soprano and Mizzou professor of voice Julia Bentley, for performances of two more contemporary compositions.

“No Fire Gives Light” by Henry Breneman Stewart is an explosive work for mezzo-soprano, saxophone, percussion, and piano that is based on the biblical story “Terror Strikes the Egyptians at Night” from the Book of Wisdom, Chapter 17. Stewart is a second-year master’s student in composition at Mizzou, and was the winner of the 2016 Sinquefield Composition Prize, the university’s highest honor for a student composer.

The ensemble and Bentley will complete the program with Hans Abrahamsen’s “Efteraarslied,” which was written for mezzo-soprano, clarinet, violin, cello and piano, and incorporates text from German poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Autumn.” Abrahamsen, a Swiss composer who is the winner of the 2016 Grawemeyer Prize, was a distinguished guest composer for the 2015 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

The seven-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer, professor of composition, and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. The Ensemble’s members for the 2016-17 season are Victoria Hargrove, clarinet; Daniel Keeler, cello; Kelariz Keshavarz, flute; Renan Leme, violin; Rebecca McDaniel, percussion; Gyumi Rha, piano; and Panagiotis Skyftas, saxophone.

Mizzou composer’s work to be performed at SCI conference

The Society of Composers, Inc (SCI) has selected a work by Mizzou’s Douglas Osmun for performance at their annual national conference next year.

Osmun’s “First Fig,” a work for voice, cello, and piano that incorporates text by Edna St. Vincent Millay, will be performed on Friday, March 31 at the SCI event, which will take place March 30 through April 1 at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI.

Osmun (pictured) is a first-year graduate student in composition and winner of the 2017 Sinquefield Composition Prize. He’s also an alumnus of Western Michigan, having earned his BM in music composition there before coming to Mizzou.

Founded in 1965, SCI is an independent professional society of nearly 1500 members dedicated to the promotion, performance, understanding and dissemination of new and contemporary music.

You can hear a recording of “First Fig” in the embedded audio player below.

Dustin Dunn wins MTNA’s 2016 statewide composition competition

University of Missouri composition student Dustin Dunn has won this year’s award in the “Young Artist” category of the Missouri state division of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) composition competition.

Dunn, a junior working on a bachelor’s degree in music composition at Mizzou, was recognized for “Of Stained Glass and Hymnody,” which was premiered in March 2016 by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble. He’s the third Mizzou student in a row to win the statewide MTNA award, following Ben Colagiovanni last year and Trey Makler in 2014.

“Of Stained Glass and Hymnody” now will be entered in the national MTNA composition competition, which offers a first place prize of $3,000, plus a performance at the Winners Concert during the 2017 MTNA National Conference taking place from March 18 to March 22 in Baltimore, MD.

A native of Annapolis, MO and graduate of Iron South High School, Dunn (pictured) was a winner in Mizzou’s statewide Creating Original Music Project (COMP) and in the Missouri Composers Project before enrolling at MU with a full-tuition Sinquefield Scholarship to study composition. In addition to this most recent award from MTNA, he also was the winner of the Springfield (MO) Symphony’s 2016 Missouri Composition Competition.

Dunn was profiled in the Fall 2015 issue of Mizzou, the University’s alumni magazine, and you can read that story online here.

Creating Original Music Project (COMP) offers awards, cash prizes
for original music from Missouri student composers

From school bands to adjudicated contests, young musicians today have many outlets to demonstrate their instrumental prowess. For young composers, the opportunities to show their talents can be much harder to find, which is why the Mizzou New Music Initiative began the Creating Original Music Project (COMP).

Now in its twelfth year, COMP is an annual statewide competition that showcases new, original music from Missouri student composers and songwriters in grades K-12, offering positive recognition and prizes, performance and educational opportunities, and more.

Sponsored by the University of Missouri School of Music and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, COMP is now accepting entries for the 2017 competition. Both the winning composers and their schools will be awarded cash prizes, and the winning compositions will be performed at the Creating Original Music Project’s New Music Festival on Saturday, April 15, 2017 at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

The postmark deadline for submission of all compositions is Friday, January 14, 2017.

Students in grades K-5 may submit compositions in two categories, Songs With Words and Instrumental. For grades 6-8, the categories are Fine Art Music and Popular Music; and for grades 9-12, they are Fine Art Music, Popular Music, Jazz, and Other styles. All entries must be original music written by the student, and only one entry per student is allowed. Arrangements of previously composed pieces or improvisation based on composed pieces will not be accepted.

Mentors and teachers are encouraged to offer support and critiques, though the submissions must be the students’ own original compositions. Music teachers and/or mentors may assist students in notating or recording the pieces, and each student who applies must have the signature and sponsorship of their school’s music teacher.

Only three submissions per category per school are allowed. It is the responsibility of the school music teacher(s) to decide which three pieces per category will be entered in the contest.

For students looking for more guidance or feedback on their work, the Mizzou New Music Initiative also offers Composer Connection, a distance-learning program that gives aspiring composers a chance to talk with and receive instruction from a graduate student in composition at MU.

Students can e-mail works in progress, ask questions about composing, and receive suggestions and answers directly from the composer on call. The composer on call for the 2016-17 academic year is Henry Breneman Stewart, who can be reached by email at composerconnection@missouri.edu.

For more information about the Creating Original Music Project and an application for the 2017 competition, please visit the COMP website at https://music.missouri.edu/mnmi/comp.

Aaron Mencher wins Boston New Music Initiative Young Composers Competition

Mizzou composer Aaron Mencher has won this year’s Boston New Music Initiative Young Composers Competition with his work “Uncertainly Yours,” which will be performed by the Boston New Music Initiative ensemble in a concert on November 4 at The Record Company in Boston.

Mencher (pictured) is a sophomore composition major and Sinquefield Scholar from John’s Creek, GA, a suburb of Atlanta.

He’s now the second Mizzou student to win BNMI’s Young Composers Competition, as Trey Makler was last year’s winner for his musical setting of poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Die Sonette an Orpheus.”

Listeners in Columbia can hear “Uncertainly Yours” played by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble as part of the Ensemble’s season-opening concert on Sunday, October 16 at Willmore Recital Hall.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to open 2016-17 season
on Sunday, October 16 at Whitmore Recital Hall

Keith Fitch

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will begin their 2016-17 season with a concert featuring music from a renowned visiting composer, two works written by Mizzou composers, and more.

The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, October 16 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the University of Missouri campus. General admission is $5 for the public, free for Mizzou faculty, students and staff.

Keith Fitch, who heads the composition department at the prestigious Cleveland Institute of Music, will be in Columbia that weekend for a residency at Mizzou, and the Ensemble’s concert will include his 1994 work “Dancing the Shadows,” which contrasts eerie, suspended resonances with hard-hitting, driving sections to create music for an imaginary ballet.

Aaron Mencher

The recipient of numerous honors, awards, and commissions, Fitch has had his music performed by ensembles such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the League of Composers Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and many others.

The concert also will feature two works from composers associated with Mizzou. “Uncertainly Yours” was written this year by Aaron Mencher, a Mizzou sophomore composition major and Sinquefield Scholar. The work recently won the Boston New Music Initiative’s second Young Composers Competition, and will be performed by the Boston New Music Ensemble as part of their concert season in November.

Phillip Sink

“Flowers of Salt” was composed in 2013 by Phillip Sink, who came to Mizzou in August as the University of Missouri’s first postdoctoral composition fellow. Inspired by microscopic, flower-like structures created from salt and silicon by engineers at Harvard University, the piece captures the fragility of these “nanogardens” with an organic form filled with ornamentation.

Completing the program will be “cheating, lying, stealing” by David Lang, a Pulitzer Prize winner in 2008 and co-founder of the new music organization Bang on a Can; and “Study III from Trio No. 3” by Greek-American composer Dinos Constantinides.

Lang’s piece, heralded as a post-minimalist classic, celebrates the dark and the dirty, incorporating two antiphonal brake drums to produce an ominous funk. Constantinides’ work, the first movement of his “Trio No. 3,” is based on a modal tune that resembles a Greek folk melody and uses intervals of fourths and fifths.

The seven-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer, professor of composition, and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. The Ensemble’s members for the 2016-17 season are Victoria Hargrove, clarinet; Daniel Keeler, cello; Kelariz Keshavarz, flute; Renan Leme, violin; Rebecca McDaniel, percussion; Gyumi Rha, piano; and Panagiotis Skyftas, saxophone.

Missouri Composers Project (MOCOP) seeks
new orchestral, choral works for performance in March 2017

Columbia Civic Orchestra

For composers of orchestral or choral music, completing a new work often is followed immediately by another formidable challenge: finding an orchestra or choir to perform it.

Recognizing this need, the Missouri Composers Project (MOCOP) in 2017 once again is offering performance opportunities for new, large-ensemble music written by Missouri residents. (Founded in 2012 as the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project, MOCOP has been renamed for its sixth year to reflect the inclusion of choral music as well as orchestral works.)

MOCOP is a collaborative effort involving the Mizzou New Music Initiative, the Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO), the Columbia Chamber Choir, and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

Each year, recently composed works are selected through a competitive, blind judging process and are performed by the CCO and Chamber Choir at a concert in Columbia. Each of the composers of the selected works also is awarded a $500 honorarium, and will receive a professional recording of their work.

Columbia Chamber Choir

MOCOP’s 2017 competition is open to composers of orchestral and choral music in four categories – two for Missouri composers currently in high school, and two open to Missouri composers of any age. The CCO and the Columbia Chamber Choir will perform the selected works in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 19, 2017 at Broadway Christian Church, 2601 West Broadway in Columbia.

Composers who wish to submit their work to MOCOP can find details on eligibility and instrumentation plus complete application materials online at https://music.missouri.edu/mnmi/mocop.

Applications must be postmarked no later than Monday, December 5, 2016.

The Columbia Civic Orchestra is a volunteer group located in Columbia, Missouri, dedicated to providing enjoyment for its members and audiences with the presentation and preservation of high-quality symphonic music.

The Columbia Chamber Choir in a subset of the Columbia Chorale, which works to promote choral music of the highest artistic quality and to stimulate a greater community understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of choral music by presenting programs appealing to a wide cross-section of Missouri residents and visitors.