Archive for the ‘ Mizzou New Music Initiative ’ Category

More news coverage of the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival

Since the post here the other day about media coverage of the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, several more articles have been published:

Resident composer Steve Snowden was interviewed by the Columbia Daily Tribune‘s Aarik Danielsen for a post on the paper’s Art Axis blog, which you can read here.

Meanwhile, resident composer Kari Besharse was featured in an article in her hometown paper, the Hammond Star, and in a story for The Lion’s Roar, the official campus publication at Southeastern Louisiana University, where she teaches.

Besharse (pictured) also is blogging about her experiences at the festival for the website New Music Box, and you can read her first entry here.

Update: Kari filed three more blog entries about the festival, which can be found here, here and here.

Also, Kelsey Whipple of the Riverfront Times in St. Louis wrote about the festival and resident composer Pat Clarke for an article on the RFT’s “A to Z” music blog here.

The Sound of Art documents collaboration between composers, visual artists

The Mizzou New Music Initiative has released online three episodes of The Sound of Art, a series of short films documenting collaborative efforts between composers and visual artists.

Now available for viewing on the Missouri New Music Facebook page at, the films cover the creation of three new compositions inspired by the summer 2010 exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and the premiere performances of those compositions at the Contemporary by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble.

Episode 1 features an interview with composer David Witter, who wrote “Failure to Communicate” in response to artist Martin Brief’s “Amazon God.” In episode 2, composer Michael Strausbaugh explains how he wrote “Crass Menagerie” after seeing artist Cameron Fuller’s “From The Collection Of The Institute for the Perpetuation of Imaginal Processes.” Episode 3 features composer Stephanie Berg talking about her piece “Paper Guns,” which was inspired by artist Sarah Frost’s “Arsenal.”

In addition to interviews with the composers, the episodes show the artworks as they were installed at the Contemporary, and include footage of the Mizzou New Music Ensemble performing the compositions.

“We thought it was important to support collaboration between local visual artists and local composers, giving them an opportunity interact and to support each other,” said Paul Ha, director of the Contemporary.

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of cellist, composer and associate professor Stefan Freund, and serves as the repertory group for the Mizzou New Music Initiative. At the time of these performances, the Ensemble’s members were Stephanie Berg, clarinets; Michael Strausbaugh, guitar; Matthew Pierce, cello; and Ian Derrickson, percussion, with violist Paul Seitz joining them as a guest performer.

The Sound of Art gave our composers an incredible opportunity to be inspired by living artists,” said Freund. “Through the concert at the Contemporary, they were able to share their musical vision of these artists’ works with an appreciative audience.”

The Sound of Art is underwritten by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation and produced by Randy Sinquefield of Spectrum Studios in Columbia, with Kevin Duggan serving as director of photography and Randy White as editor. Future episodes in the series will be produced to document similar collaborative efforts as they happen.

“The episodes consist of art, music and film. Combined, they provide a vivid sense though sound and imagery of the pieces of art. The result is more than the individual parts,” said Jeanne Sinquefield of the Sinquefield Foundation. “Some of the individual pieces of art or music might not inspire you, but the combined episodes will. Look, listen and let your imagination fly. Does the art, match the music and the film?”

To watch The Sound of Art online, please visit the Missouri New Music Facebook page at (You need not have a Facebook account to view the videos.)

Mizzou New Music Summer Festival announces
selection of eight resident composers for 2011

The University of Missouri School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative have selected eight resident composers for the 2011 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, which will be held Monday, July 11 through Saturday, July 16 in Columbia. They are:

* Kari Besharse, Champaign IL
* David Biedenbender, Ann Arbor MI
* Patrick David Clark, Columbia MO
* Michael-Thomas Foumai, Honolulu HI
* Yotam Haber, New York NY
* Clint Needham, Columbus OH
* Steven Snowden, Austin TX
* Liza White, Berkeley CA

The 2011 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival will include a series of public concerts featuring music from these eight resident composers and other contemporary creators, as well as workshops, master classes and other events.

The Festival’s guest composers for 2011 will be Roger Reynolds, winner of the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for composition and professor at the University of California at San Diego, and Anna Clyne, a native of London who currently serves as the Mead Composer-in- Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

The acclaimed new music group Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, once again will serve as resident ensemble, as they did for the inaugural Festival in 2010, and the Grammy award-winning soprano Susan Narucki will perform with them as a guest artist.

The eight resident composers were selected through a portfolio application process to create a new work for Alarm Will Sound. During the festival, they will receive composition lessons from Reynolds and Clyne; 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. The resident composers also will have the opportunity to return to Missouri for a residency at the Sinquefield Reserve sometime during the following academic year.

“Last year a participant described composing for Alarm will Sound as being like driving a Ferrari,” said Jeanne Sinquefield of the Sinquefield Foundation. “It will be fun to see what this year’s composers can do with their ‘car’.”

C.O.M.P. winners make news

The announcement of the winners of this year’s Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.) competition has prompted a flurry of press coverage around the state.

In St. Louis, sisters Bella and Lilly Ibur have been the subjects of several news stories. They recently were featured on Show Me St. Louis, which airs weekday afternoons on local NBC affiliate KSDK (Channel 5), in a segment that also included Lilly performing her composition “Spinning.” The story was reported by KSDK’s Dana Hendrickson, and you can see it online here.

Meanwhile, Lilly had a chance to perform her song “By My Side” on the morning news show of local Fox affiliate KTVI (Channel 2). You can see that report by KTVI’s Tim Ezell here.

Bella also was featured in a story written for the Kirkwood/Webster Groves edition of by reporter Owen Skolar, which you can read here.

All the C.O.M.P winners from the St. Louis area were mentioned in this story from the Suburban Journals, a group of regional weeklies covering St. Louis and surrounding counties.

In Jefferson City, C.O.M.P. winner Megan Villanueva was profiled in a story by News-Tribune reporter Michelle Brooks, while the four winners from Springfield were recognized in a blog post by News-Leader reporter Claudette Riley.

This year’s C.O.M.P. winners will perform their compositions at the Creating Original Music Project Festival, which will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. this Saturday, April 23 in the Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus.

Mizzou New Music Initiative in the media

While new posts here have been scarce of late, there’s been plenty of activity involving the Initiative, including this year’s C.O.M.P. competition and preparations for the 2011 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival. There also has been some media coverage this month of the Initiative and some of the people involved in it:

* The St. Louis based cable channel HEC-TV featured the New Music Initiative in the March edition of its program State of The Arts. The report features footage of past C.O.M.P. winner Nick Funke, the Mizzou New Music Ensemble and Alarm Will Sound, as well as comments from Mizzou’s Robert Shay, W. Thomas McKenney and Stefan Freund and from Jeanne Sinquefield of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. You can see the episode of State of the Arts here; the segment on the Mizzou New Music Initiative starts at about the 20:00 mark.

* And speaking of Jeanne Sinquefield, she was interviewed earlier this month on St. Louis community ratio station KDHX, talking about C.O.M.P., the Summer Festival, the Initiative and her own musical background. You can listen to that interview here.

* Last but certainly not least, the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival’s resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound was the subject of not one, but two articles in the New York Times about the premiere this month of their new multi-media work “1969.” The piece is based on the notion of a proposed collaboration between Stockhausen and the Beatles (once alleged to have been proposed in the titular year, but since debunked). The Times‘ Allan Kozinn wrote a preview story here, and Steve Smith reviewed the concert here, calling it “a swirling, heady meditation on the intersection of experimental and commercial spheres, and of social and aesthetic agendas.”

Smith also singled out Mizzou’s Stefan Freund for some specific praise: “Tying up its strands and implications neatly, “1969” ended with a premiere: “Swimming,” by Stefan Freund, an Alarm Will Sound cellist. As if to confirm the prescience of the genre clashes put forth by Lennon, Stockhausen, Berio and Bernstein, Mr. Freund’s appealing work combined and transformed motifs heard throughout the evening. Its seamless integration, curiously, also called to mind a more familiar tradition: the old-fashioned operatic overture.”

Missouri student composers win prizes in statewide music competition

The University of Missouri School of Music has announced that 28 elementary, middle school and high school students from across Missouri have been awarded prizes in the sixth annual Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.) competition.

C.O.M.P. is a joint venture of the University of Missouri School of Music and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, which provides an annual gift of $50,000 to sponsor the competition. The program was created to encourage K-12 students in Missouri to write original musical works and to encourage performances of those works. The 2011 competition had the most submissions in the event’s six-year history, with more than 100 entrants in eight different categories.

This year’s winning compositions will be performed at the Creating Original Music Project Festival from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturday, April 23 in the Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus. Both the composers and their music programs will receive cash prizes, and high school winners will receive a scholarship to attend Mizzou’s high school summer music composition camp.

“I am pleased that the number of student composers applying for this competition is increasing every year,” said Jeanne Sinquefield of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. “This year’s winners came from18 cities across Missouri, covering public, private and home-schooled students. It is hard to describe the joy in hearing original music performed live, and watching the response of the young composers not only to their own music, but the other composers’ music.”

The 2011 Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.) competition categories and winners include:

Elementary – Song with words
1) Menea Vladi Kefalov & Ande Celeste Siegel of Reed Elementary School, St. Louis, for “A Spoonful of Heart”
2) Jack Stebbins of Reeds Spring Elementary, Branson West, for “The Popcorn Pop.” Music teacher: Sue Gillen.

Elementary – Instrumental
1) Esther Whang of Mary Paxton Keeley Elementary, Columbia, for “Letter from the Wolves.” Music teachers: Mabel Kinder and Beth Luetjen.
2) Hyun Jun (John) Yoo of Fairview Elementary, Columbia, for “Song of D Minor”
Music teachers: Judy Shaw and Sara Dexheimer.
3) Grace Filer of Harrisonville Christian School, Harrisonville, for “It’s My Time to Shine.” Music teacher: Kay Schrock.

Middle School – Popular
1) Megan L. Villanueva of St. Peter’s School, Jefferson City, for “Insanity.” Music teacher: Donna Stuckenschneider.
2) Lexie Althaus of Oak Grove Middle School, Oak Grove, for “Summer Love.” Music teacher: Julie Ammons.
3) Lileana Ibur of Wydown Middle School, St. Louis, for “Spinning.” Music teachers: Aaron Doerr and Jerry Estes.

Middle School – Fine Art
1) Savannah Kitchen of Lange Middle School, Columbia, for “Central Park Stroll.” Music teachers: Suzanne Kitchen and Nellie Schrantz
2) Michael Buckner, a home-schooled student from St. Louis, for “A Summer Night.”
3) Lillian Wayne of St. Paul’s Episcopal Day School, Kansas City, for “Over the water.” Music teacher: Richard Held.

High School – Fine Art
1) Shaun Gladney of Rock Bridge High School, Columbia, for “Red Soul.” Music Teacher: Steve Mathews
2) Cullam Olsen of Central High School,Springfield, for “A Journey Through the Woods.” Music Teacher: Alberta Smith.
3) Dustin Dunn of South Iron R-I High School, Ironton, for “American Rhapsody.”
Music teacher: Amber Cuneio.

High School – Jazz
1) Benedetto Colagiovanni of Clayton High School, Clayton, for “And the Prince Can Swing.” Music Teacher: Alice Fasman.
2) Josh Blythe of Hickman High School, Columbia, for “Trial by Fire.” Music teacher: Loyd Warden.
3) Joseph Misterovich of The Summit Preparatory School, Springfield, for “Day Old Swing.” Music teacher: Shawn Keech.

High School – Sacred
1) Taylor Qualls, a home-schooled student from Lee’s Summit, for ”The Real Things.”
2) Desiree G. Donaldson of Niangua R-V High School, Strafford, for “Lead Me to the Cross (Why Do I Question?).” Music Teacher: Kelly Donaldson.
3) Ethan Edwards of Providence Fine Arts Center, Florissant, for “He Turns My Weeping into Dancing.” Music teacher: Theresa Blackwell.

High School – Popular
1) Tanner Qualls, a home-schooled student from Lee’s Summit, for “Drown.”
2) Jaron Christopher Geil, a home-schooled student from Grandview, for “Stick People.”
3) Bella Kalei Ibur of Webster Groves High School, Webster Groves, for “By My Side.” Music teachers: Nate Carpenter & Dane Williams.

High School – Folk
1) Kori Caswell of Hannibal High School, Hannibal, for “Let It Fall.” Music teacher: Megan Pieper.
2) Daphne Yu of Rock Bridge High School, Columbia, for “Legende d’Amour: A Tragedy in Medieval France.” Music Teacher: Briana Belding-Peck.

High School – Other
1) Kyle Dunn of Lebanon High School, Lebanon, for “Freaky-Lick.” Music teacher: Lori Scott.
2) Nick Simon of Providence Fine Arts Center, O’Fallon, for “Serene.” Music teacher: Theresa Blackwell
3) Alexandra Young of Lebanon High School, Lebanon, for “The Lightning Strike.” Music teacher: Lori Scott

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.

New Music Ensemble to perform Monday, December 6 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) will present their second performance of the 2010-11 season at 8:00 p.m. Monday, December 6 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the University of Missouri campus. If you’re in Columbia or anywhere nearby, you’re invited to attend the concert, which is free and open to the public.

The Ensemble is directed by Stefan Fruend, Associate Professor, Composition & Music Theory, and this season is their first full year of rehearsals and performances with a complete roster of musicians. All of us are delighted to have this talented group representing the Mizzou New Music Initiative, and we hope you’ll take this opportunity to get to know them a bit as individuals, too:

* Stephanie Berg, clarinet – Berg received her Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance from Mizzou in December 2008, and now is pursuing a Master’s degree in clarinet performance and composition. She also performs in the University Philharmonic, and is a member of the 9th Street Philharmonic and the Columbia Civic Orchestra, playing Bb, A, Eb, and bass clarinets wherever required.

Berg also is very active in music composition. This is her third year serving as the project manager of the Creating Original Music Program (C.O.M.P.), and she was the 2009 recipient of the Sinquefield Composition Prize, resulting in the commissioned work, “Motive and Reflection” for full orchestra. She also recently received a commission for the 9th Street Philharmonic; has had several works performed by the New Music Ensemble, including a premiere at the St. Louis Contemporary Art Museum; and was accepted to the Atlantic Music Festival Composition Program.

* Ian Derrickson, percussion – Derrickson currently is in his second year as a Master’s student at Mizzou. A native of Chillicothe, Missouri, he attended Missouri Western State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education. During his time at Missouri Western, he received instruction from Dr. Dennis Rogers, Kevin Bobo, Tracy Thomas, and Doug Auwarter, and after graduation, he taught 5-12 instrumental music at Braymer High School in Braymer, Missouri.

In addition to performing with the New Music Ensemble, Derrickson currently is involved in the University of Missouri Percussion Department under the direction of Julia Gaines, and serves as president of the MU Percussion Society, a student organization that promotes percussion performance and education on the MU campus.

* Young Kim, flute – A native of South Korea who began her music studies in her home country, Kim won numerous awards and competitions there before going abroad to further her education.  She currently is studying with Steven Geibel at Mizzou and working toward a PhD in Musicology, which will be awarded upon her return home.

Kim also has studied in the UK for a postgraduate Diploma at Royal College of Music in London and for a Master of Music degree at Canterbury Christ Church University. In addition to performing in South Korea, the US and the UK, she has performed in China and Japan, too. Kim says she’s curious about American composers, and is eager to learn and perform contemporary music with the Ensemble.

* Matthew Pierce, cello – A native Minnesotan and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, Pierce is a second-year graduate student in cello performance at Mizzou. He first performed in Columbia in 1998 as a member of the Missouri Symphony Society’s cello section. Later that year, he won a position with the Cedar Rapids Symphony (now known as Orchestra Iowa), but relocated to New England after two seasons to pursue further musical opportunities. While in Massachusetts, Pierce spent a combined 12 professional seasons as the principal cellist of the Plymouth Philharmonic and of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra while also maintaining an active chamber music schedule and teaching private lessons.

He was also a frequent contributor to many other musical organizations across the region, including the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, the Cape Symphony, the Boston Philharmonic, and the Company Theatre. Pierce returned to Columbia in the fall of 2009 as a member of the newly formed New Music Ensemble. In addition to continuing his musical studies this fall, he also is expanding his ongoing research into the fundamental interconnections between emotion, instinct, and intelligence.

* David Snow, violin – Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Snow is a first year masters student studying violin performance at Mizzou, He has played violin since childhood, and did his undergraduate studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with Professor David Neely. While in Nebraska, Snow performed in many university ensembles as well as with the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra.

He began to explore 20th and 21st century music as a freshman at UNL with Dr. Randall Snyder, and since then, he’s been playing new compositions written by multiple student composers. Snow says he enjoys playing new music because of the challenges it holds for the performers, the listeners, and even the composers themselves.

* Renata Tavernard, piano – Born in Brazil, Tavernard currently is pursuing her M.M degree in piano performance at Mizzou, studying with Dr. Peter Miyamoto. She began her piano studies at eight years old with Lucia Uchoa at the Federal University of Pará Music School. In 2001, she was accepted to the Carlos Gomes Conservatory, and three years later earned her bachelor degree with Professor Gloria Caputo.

Tavernard has studied chamber music with Professor Marilia Caputo, and worked as a piano and chamber music teacher as well as accompanist at both the Federal State of Pará University and State University of Pará. In 2004, she formed the group “Duo Deno” with violinist Ronaldo Sarmanho, and she also has performed in the master classes of Daniel Schene, Gabriella Affonso, Harold Brown, Edson Elias, Ivani Venturieri, Fany Solter, and Ricardo Castro.

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will be performing both on campus and in Columbia and surrounding communities a number of times during 2011. Stay tuned for more news of those future performances….

(Photo: The 2010-11 Mizzou New Music Ensemble (from left) –  Stefan Freund, Young Kim, David Snow, Renata Tavernard, Matthew Pierce, Ian Derrickson and Stephanie Berg. )

Patrick David Clark wins 2011 Sinquefield Composition Prize

The University of Missouri School of Music is pleased to announce that Patrick David Clark (pictured) is the winner of the 2011 Sinquefield Composition Prize. Clark, a graduate student studying orchestral conducting, submitted his orchestral composition “Glancing Blade” to the competition and was selected for the prize by a panel of independent judges.

The adjudicators for the 2011 competition were Mara Gibson, director of the Community Music and Dance Academy in Kansas City and a member of the composition faculty at the UMKC Conservatory of Music; Eric Honour, professor of music at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg; and Forrest Pierce, assistant professor of music composition at the University of Kansas.

As winner of the 2011 Sinquefield Composition Prize, Clark now will have the opportunity to write an original work for one of Mizzou’s premier large ensembles, which will receive its world premiere on Monday, March 14, 2011 at the Chancellor’s Concert in Columbia. With the commission, he also receives a cash prize for the production of the score and parts and will have his work recorded.

Born in 1967, Patrick David Clark currently is currently working on a Masters degree in orchestral conducting at Mizzou, where he is studying with Edward Dolbashian. He also holds a Bachelors degree in composition from MU, which he earned studying with Dr. Thomas McKenney. Clark earned a DMA in composition from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, studying with Arthur Gottschalk and Richard Lavenda. He became a Tanglewood Fellow in 1998, and from 1999 to 2001 studied with Louis Andriessen at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague on a Netherlands-America Foundation Grant. Clark also has worked as a composer; as a writer for; and as a teacher in the Netherlands, Los Angeles and Albuquerque, NM.

The other finalists for the 2011 Sinquefield Composition Prize were Michael Anderson, Grant Fonda, and David Witter. Please join us in congratulating all four composers on this notable achievement!