Archive for the ‘ Mizzou New Music Initiative ’ Category

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra musicians
to perform three new works by Mizzou composers
on Sunday, April 29 at Powell Hall

Dustin Dunn, Aaron Mencher and Douglas Osmun

Members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, led by the SLSO’s resident conductor Gemma New, will perform three new works by student composers from the University of Missouri School of Music at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 29 at Powell Hall in St. Louis.

Admission to the performance is free and open to the public, but those wishing to attend are requested to RSVP via the SLSO’s website at https://www.slso.org/en/com/community_concerts/community-events/mizzou-composers/.

The event is the culmination of a year-long collaboration between the SLSO and the Mizzou New Music Initiative, with funding from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

Three new works for a 40-piece orchestra were commissioned for the project: Dustin Dunn‘s “Don’t Let the Fire Go Out,” Aaron Mencher‘s “Antrios,” and Douglas Osmun‘s “ghost. receding. (unto a shaded landscape).” The compositions were given a first reading by members of the SLSO in a private session last November in St. Louis, then revised by the composers based in part on feedback from the musicians and conductor.

Dunn, a senior, and Mencher, a junior, are working toward undergraduate degrees in composition at Mizzou, while Osmun is in his second year of study for a master’s degree. Mencher is the 2018 winner of the Sinquefield Composition Prize, Mizzou’s highest award for a student composer, and Osmun won the same award in 2017.

“This is a unique opportunity for our composers,” said Stefan Freund, professor of composition at the University of Missouri School of Music and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, in a statement announcing the program last fall. “We’re delighted to be collaborating with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra to give these students some real, practical experience working with an ensemble of world-class musicians. ”

“The two-session format makes this program particularly valuable,” Freund said. “There are other programs that give young composers the chance to have their works read by a professional orchestra, but most provide just one session with the musicians.”

“Here, because the SLSO and their musicians are willing to do two sessions, our composers will have a chance to evaluate everything from their overall orchestration to the notation of individual parts, make revisions, and then hear the results of the changes they’ve made. That’s a learning experience that’s impossible to get any other way,” he said.

Composer Jonathan Newman to visit Mizzou for residency

Photo by Peace Gardiner SavetzComposer Jonathan Newman is coming to Columbia this month for a residency at the School of Music.

Newman (pictured), who is director of composition and coordinator of new music at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA,  will visit Mizzou from Wednesday, April 25 through Friday, April 27.

While he’s on campus, his activities will include coaching the Mizzou New Music Ensemble in rehearsal; giving composition lessons and a presentation on his works; and attending the concert by the Mizzou Wind Ensemble on Friday at the Missouri Theatre.

Wind and educational ensembles around the world frequently perform Newman’s music, and the Mizzou Wind Ensemble’s concert will include one of his best-known compositions, “Blow It Up, Start Again,” as well as “Avenue X” and “As the scent of spring rain…” In addition, Newman’s works “Moon by Night” and “1861” will be performed by Mizzou’s Symphonic Band at their concert on Sunday, April 29, also at the Missouri Theatre.

Trained as a pianist, trombonist, and singer, Newman creates music informed by an upbringing performing in orchestras, singing in jazz choirs, playing in marching bands, and accompanying himself in talent shows, incorporating pop, blues, jazz, folk, and funk into otherwise classical models.

Born in 1972, he received the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and holds degrees from Boston University’s School for the Arts and from The Juilliard School, where his collaborative works for dance enjoyed multiple performances at The Juilliard Theater, Alice Tully Hall, P.S. 122, and Dance Theater Workshop.

Newman’s music has been performed by orchestras worldwide, including the Minnesota Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the 2015 BBC Proms, and many others.

In 2016 he was appointed composer-in-residence for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, which originally commissioned “Blow It Up, Start Again” in 2011 and performed four of his works, including the newly commissioned “Meridian,” during their 2016-17 season. Other recent projects include a re-imagined Mass for The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; a large-scale work commissioned by the Florida State University Wind Orchestra; “Prayers of Steel” for Chicago’s Gaudete Brass, and, with playwright Gary Winter, an opera based on the 1962 cult horror film Carnival of Souls.

Newman also has a connection to the Mizzou International Composers Festival’s resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound, having transcribed and arranged “Logan Rock With” and “Fingerbib” for their 2005 album Acoustica: Alarm Will Sound Performs Aphex Twin on Cantaloupe Records.

His works have been recorded on labels such as Avian, BCM, Brain Music, Cantaloupe, Cedille, Klavier, Mark Custom, Naxos, Potenza, and Summit Records. Newman also is a founding member of the composer consortium BCM International, which has released two albums.

You can hear some of Jonathan Newman’s music in the embedded players below and on his SoundCloud page.

“Blow It Up, Start Again,” a transcription with performance by the Florida State University Wind Orchestra, conducted by Richard Clary, recorded April 15, 2013 at Ruby Diamond Concert Hall in Tallahassee FL

“Stereo Action,” recorded by the Texas A&M-Commerce Percussion Ensemble at the 2010 PASIC in Indianapolis, IN

“My Hands Are A City,” as performed by the University Of Georgia Wind Ensemble, conducted by John Lynch, on their album “Millennium Canons: Looking Forward, Looking Back”

Trey Makler selected for Juilliard’s OperaComp program

Mizzou composition alumnus Trey Makler has been selected as one of the composers for the 2018 season of OperaComp, The Juilliard School’s “incubator of revolutionary opera from the next generation of composers and writers.”

Makler (pictured) graduated from Mizzou in 2016 and now is living in New York City, studying for an MM in composition at Juilliard. He’s one of six composers taking part in this year’s OperaComp program, for which he has written original music for a scene from “Let Them Eat Cake,” a new short play by librettist and Juilliard playwriting program graduate Ted Malawer. Arthur Makaryan, a master’s student at Columbia University and the current opera directing fellow at Juilliard, is directing the scene.

All six of the new OperaComp works were premiered by singers and a pianist in performances on March 17 and 18 at Juilliard, and will be performed again, this time accompanied by a chamber ensemble, on Sunday, April 22 at the NYC venue National Sawdust.

A native of Farmington, MO, Makler in 2015 was the winner of the Sinquefield Composition Prize, Mizzou’s top award for a student composer, and was one of eight resident composers for the 2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival. In addition to his current studies, he also is a teaching artist fellow with Juilliard’s Office of Community Engagement; assists composition faculty with Juilliard’s conservatory-style music advancement program; and teaches an arts integration curriculum focused on composers from diverse backgrounds to fourth and fifth graders at George Jackson Academy in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Now in its second season, OperaComp is an American opera theater artist collective involving collaboration among composers, playwrights, directors, singers, actors, instrumentalists, and designers from The Juilliard School, Columbia University, Fordham University, and NYU.

Mizzou’s COMP Festival to present award-winning works
from Missouri student composers on Saturday, April 21 in Columbia

Audio from the 2018 COMP Festival will stream live online on Saturday, April 21

The Mizzou New Music Initiative will showcase Missouri’s best young composers when the winning works from this year’s Creating Original Music Project (COMP) competition are performed at the 13th annual COMP Festival, held from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturday, April 21 in the Fine Arts Building on the campus of the University of Missouri.

Admission is free and open to the public. The junior division concert, featuring works from elementary and middle school winners, begins at 10:30 a.m., with the senior division concert of music by high school winners following at 2:30 p.m.

The festival also will be streamed live online at https://music.missouri.edu/concert-audio-streaming, with the audio stream going live 10 minutes before the start of each concert.

COMP was founded in 2005 to encourage K-12 students in Missouri to write original music and to provide performance opportunities for those works. It is a joint venture of the University of Missouri’s Mizzou New Music Initiative and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, which provides an annual gift of $80,000 to sponsor the competition.

Every year, in addition to having their music performed at the COMP Festival, the winning composers in each age group and category and their schools receive cash prizes. High school winners also receive scholarships to attend the Missouri Summer Composition Institute, Mizzou’s high school summer music composition camp.

“The Mizzou New Music Initiative was created to find and grow composers and make Missouri a mecca for musical composition, and the Creating Original Music Project competition and summer camp were the cornerstones,” said Jeanne Sinquefield of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. “Since 2005, more than 200 young Missouri composers have won the K-12 composer competition. Although the Initiative has grown significantly since it began, seeing these young composers develop and respond to the support and encouragement that they get from COMP never gets old.”

The 2018 Creating Original Music Project (COMP) competition categories and winners are:

Elementary School – Song with Words
1) Lucy Gray Hamilton of Eugene Field Elementary, St. Joseph, for “This Old House.” Sponsor: Janell Becerra
2) Finley John Watkins of Bernie Elementary School, Bernie, for “Legend in Me.” Sponsor: Cecilia Lanpher
3) Landon Hall and Brody Oesch of Thomas W. Kelley Elementary, Benton, for “Winter Lights.” Sponsor: Heather DiStefano

Elementary School – Instrumental
1) Yueheng Wang of Ulysses S. Grant Elementary School, Columbia, for “Dancing Waves.” Sponsor: Pamela Sisson.
2) Olivia Bresler of Rogers Elementary School, St. Louis, for “Up in the Sky.” Sponsor: Donna Buehne.
3) Ian Moore of Rogers Elementary School, St. Louis, for “In the King’s Court.” Sponsor: Donna Buehne.

Middle School – Fine Art
1) Christopher Ramsey of The Barstow School, Kansas City, for “Tarantella.” Sponsor: Bruce Dickerson.
2) Brandon Kim of Jefferson Middle School, Columbia, for “The Dreamer.” Sponsor: Jaime Canepa.
3) Charlotte Bauer of The Summit Preparatory School of Southwest Missouri, Springfield, for “Playing With Time.” Sponsor: Shawn Keech.

Middle School – Popular
1) Jordin Mackenzie of The Barstow School, Kansas City, for “Comingbacktoyou.” Sponsor: Bruce Dickerson.
2) Stone Gill of Arcadia Valley Middle School, Ironton, for “Brave.” Sponsor: Charles Lee.
3) Posey Bischoff of Hixson Middle School, Webster Groves, for “About to Grow.” Sponsor: Joe Stevison.

High School – Fine Art
1) Jack Snelling of Webster Groves High School, Webster Groves, for “Napoleonic Dances in F Minor.” Sponsor: Kevin Cole.
2) Olivia Bennett, a home-schooled student from Nixa, for “Nefarious.” Sponsor: Carlyle Sharpe.
3) Brandon Thibodeau of Kearney High School, Kearney, for “Silence.” Sponsor: Chris Heil.

High School – Popular
1) Christian Geil, a home-schooled student from Grandview, for “The Cold Will Come.” Sponsor: Christopher Geil.
2) Katherine Vlamis of Liberty High School, Liberty, for “We Won’t Fall.” Sponsor: Baker Purdon
3) Victoria Raulston of Clever High School, Clever, for “Devour.” Sponsor: Alex Nelson

High School – Jazz
1) Samuel Luetkemeyer of Calvary Lutheran High School, Jefferson City, for “Sibling Rivalry.” Sponsors: Melisa Ahlers.
2) Robyne Sieh of Ft. Zumwalt North High School, O’Fallon, for “The Interview.” Sponsor: Allison Houghton
3) William E. Cremer III of Crawford County R-II High School, Cuba, for “The Overcomer.” Sponsor: Shannon Moore

Each student who enters the competition must have the signature and sponsorship of his or her school’s music teacher. Community agencies, churches, after-school programs, private teachers, and other musical mentors also may sponsor their young musicians in partnership with the student’s school music teacher.

Carolina Heredia to join faculty of
University of Missouri School of Music
as assistant professor of composition

The University of Missouri School of Music will welcome Carolina Heredia as an assistant professor of composition starting with the fall semester in 2018.

Currently a post-doctoral fellow with the Mizzou New Music Initiative, Heredia (pictured) first came to Columbia as one of the eight resident composers for the 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival. In her new tenure-track job, she’ll teach individual lessons, lead and teach independent and collaborative intermedia projects, and continue to assist with various MNMI programs.

“Carolina Heredia was the best fit for the job, and with that credential, we’re very pleased to welcome her as the first woman ever to join the University of Missouri’s composition faculty,” said Julia Gaines, director of the School of Music and professor of percussion. “As a native of Argentina, she also brings a Latinx influence to our program. We’re delighted that our top candidate also expands the diversity of our faculty in more than one way.”

“Carolina brings a unique and impassioned voice to the Mizzou New Music Initiative,” said Stefan Freund, professor of composition and artistic director of MNMI. “Her work with intermedia is inspiring for our students, and she will be leading them and our area in making collaborative art of the future.”

“I’m thrilled to join the Mizzou community as a full-time faculty member next year. Being here as a postdoc has allowed me to appreciate the enthusiastic, supportive and inspiring environment at the School of Music, and I truly believe this is a unique place,” said Heredia. “I’m very pleased to be part of a composition department that is committed to excellence and inclusivity at all levels of musicianship, while also making an important difference in the larger community.”

Born in Córdoba, Argentina, Carolina Heredia earned her doctorate in musical arts in composition at the University of Michigan, studying with Michael Daugherty and Evan Chambers.

While at Michigan, she also taught electronic music as a graduate student instructor and founded the Khemia Ensemble, a contemporary music group dedicated to creating innovative concert experiences involving interactive technology.

Previously, she earned her degree in music composition from the Universidad and Nacional de Villa María in Villa María, Argentina, and a master’s degree in music composition from the University of Michigan.

Her compositions have been commissioned and performed in the United States and South America by musicians and ensembles including Alarm Will Sound, JACK Quartet, Derek Bermel, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Duo Cortona, Tesla Quartet, and Alexander Fiterstein; and featured at events such as the SONIC Festival NYC, Aspen Music Festival and School, Bowling Green New Music Festival, TIES Toronto International Electroacoustic Festival, SEAMUS, New Music Gathering 2017 and 2018, Cordoba Composition Biennial, Mizzou International Composers Festival, and more.

Heredia’s honors and fellowships include the Fromm Commission from Harvard University (2015); a fellowship from the Susan and Ford Schumann Center for Composition Studies at the Aspen Music Festival (2015); an Institute of Humanities Fellowship from University of Michigan (2016-17); a Missouri Music Teachers Association (MMTA) composition commission from Music Teachers National Association and MMTA (2017); the Institute for Research on Women and Gender Award from University of Michigan (2017); and a Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research grant from Eastman University (2017).

Khemia Ensemble visiting Mizzou for residency, concert on Tuesday, March 6

The new music group Khemia Ensemble will visit Columbia next week for a residency that will include a concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 6 at Whitmore Recital Hall.

Admission to the performance is free and open to the public.

With eight instrumentalists, two resident composers, and a visual artist, Khemia Ensemble (pictured) will present a concert program including works by the group’s founders Carolina Heredia and Bret Bohman, plus a new piece by Mizzou’s Dustin Dunn and music by Andy Akiho, Marcos Balter, Luciano Berio, Pierre Jalbert, and Harold Meltzer.

While they’re on campus, the group also will coach the Mizzou New Music Ensemble in a rehearsal and work with student composers in a reading session of new pieces, while individual members will take part in a composition seminar and present master classes on their instruments.

Khemia Ensemble was founded in 2014 in Ann Arbor, MI by Heredia and Bohman, spouses who now are, respectively, a post-doctoral fellow and an adjunct faculty member both teaching composition here at Mizzou. Drawing on the faculty and students of the University of Michigan, they assembled musicians from five countries in the Americas – Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and the United States – to form an ensemble that seeks to diversify and spread the music of living composers while providing unique concert experiences.

Since then, the ensemble has been featured on festivals and concert series such as Strange, Beautiful Music in Detroit; the third annual New Music Gathering; Latin IS America at Michigan State University;and the Biennial New Music Festival at the National University of Cordoba in Argentina. Khemia has held residencies at University of Michigan, Tufts University, Michigan State University, the National University of Bogota in Colombia, and the National University of Cordoba, as well as two consecutive years at Avaloch Farm Music Institute in New Hampshire. They released their first album Voyages in the winter of 2016.

You can hear some sample tracks from Khemia Ensemble in the embedded players below.

Columbia Civic Orchestra, Columbia Chamber Choir to perform works by
Missouri Composers Project winners in concert on Sunday, March 11

The Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO) and the Columbia Chamber Choir will perform the winning works from the 2018 Missouri Composers Project (MOCOP) competition in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 11 at First Baptist Church, 1112 East Broadway in Columbia.

Admission to the concert is free and open to the public.

Two of the winning works from the MOCOP competition are for orchestra, and two are for chorus. “Antrios,” the winner in the “orchestral – open” category, is by Aaron Mencher, a junior composition major and Sinquefield Scholar at Mizzou and the winner of the 2018 Sinquefield Composition Prize. Named after a fictional painter in Yasmina Reza’s play “Art,” the work gives musical form to the composer’s reflections on the meaning of art via an introspective melody for flute and piccolo that “evolves throughout the piece to reflect art’s ever-changing role in my life.”

The winner in the “orchestral – high school” category is “The Fall of Númenor” by Devon Bollin, a 2017 graduate of Fort Zumwalt East High School who lives in St. Peters, MO. It’s described as “a musical depiction of the fantasy book “Akallabêth” by J.R.R. Tolkien (author of “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”),” which “follows the downfall of a once powerful island nation because of the pride, envy, and bloodlust of its inhabitants.”

“Clap Your Hands” is a choral composition by Carlyle Sharpe, a professor of music at Drury University in Springfield. Using the word’s of the Bible’s Psalm 47 as text, the work originally was commissioned by Drury University for the inauguration of Dr. J. Timothy Cloyd as its 18th President, and reflects the celebratory mood of that event.

“Silence” is a choral work by Brandon Thibodeau, a student at Kearney High School in Kearney, MO, which the composer describes as “a bittersweet piece that indirectly voices the thoughts of a listener experiencing an internal struggle with pain and hardship.”

In addition to the four winning pieces from the MOCOP competition, the concert also will include performances of three more recent works by living Missouri composers.

“Dance and Sunrise” was composed for orchestra by Ian David Coleman, a professor of music and department chair at William Jewell College in Liberty, MO. Originally written for the New Plymouth Symphony in New Plymouth, New Zealand as an overture to a concert of American music, it moves “from fast action to quiet reflection,” leaving the “modern fast paced world, in order to take time to focus on the music of the concert at hand.”

“March of the Trees” is an orchestral work by Benjamin Rouder, a 2017 graduate of Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, and was inspired by summer weather and the views of nature from the composer’s back porch.

“She” is a choral piece by Jake Smucker, a second-year student working on a master’s in composition at Mizzou, that incorporates text from various Bible passages exploring pacifism.

Now in its seventh year, MOCOP is a collaborative effort involving the Mizzou New Music Initiative, the CCO, the Chamber Choir, and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. Composers from all over Missouri are invited each year to submit orchestral and choral works for potential performance, with winners selected in two age categories, “open” and “high school.” In addition to the performance and a recording of their work, all four winners of the competition receive a $500 honorarium from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

James Mobberley coming to Mizzou for residency next week

The Mizzou New Music Initiative will welcome composer and educator James Mobberley to the Mizzou campus for a residency next week.

Mobberly (pictured) currently is a distinguished professor emeritus and adjunct professor at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, having retired as a full-time faculty member there in 2016.

He’ll be in Columbia next Monday, February 26 and Tuesday, February 27 for a residency that will include a presentation on his music to a seminar of composition students, giving private lessons, and coaching the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, who will play his work “Toccatas and Interludes” at their concert on Monday night at Whitmore Recital Hall.

A Rome Prize winner and Guggenheim Fellow, Mobberley has written works for a variety of media, from orchestral, chamber and electro-acoustic music for the concert stage to music for dance, film, and video.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa and raised in Pennsylvania, Mobberley earned his master’s degree at the University of North Carolina and his doctorate at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He began teaching at UMKC in 1983.

He has been a resident composer with the Kansas City Symphony (1992-1999), and a visiting composer with both the Taiwan National Symphony (1999) and the Fort Smith Symphony (2000). Past guest residencies and workshops include the Taiwan National Symphony, the Ft. Smith Symphony, the Composers Forum of the East at Bennington College, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Southern California, Oberlin College, Washington State University, the University of Arkansas, Heidelberg College, and more.

Mobberly has received commissions from the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University, Koussevitzky Foundation/Library of Congress, Barlow Endowment, Meet the Composer, Chamber Music America, National Endowment for the Arts, and numerous ensembles and individual performers. He also has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, League-ISCM, Meet the Composer, the Van Cliburn Foundation, the Shanghai Spring Festival, and many other organizations.

His music has been featured on two dozen recordings, notably an all-Mobberley album by the Czech National Symphony on the Albany label, as well as on labels such as Black Canyon, Bridge, Capstone, Centaur, Everglade, and Troppa Note.

You can see performances of two of James Mobberley’s works in the embedded players below, and hear many of his other compositions on his SoundCloud page.

“In B” and “Peace Study,” performed by pianist Anthony DeMare at the 2013 Tribeca New Music Festival

“Caution to the Winds” for piano and electronic tape, performed by Kristina Sandulova on February 15, 2008 in Utrecht, The Netherlands.