Archive for March, 2011

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.