Archive for January, 2012

Missouri Composers Orchestra Project selects four winning new works

The Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO) and the Mizzou New Music Initiative have announced the selection of four orchestral compositions written by Missouri residents to be performed by the CCO at a concert in March. The works were chosen in a statewide competition conducted under the auspices of the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project (MOCOP). The winners will receive a $500 honorarium from MOCOP’s sponsor, the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

The three works chosen in the Open category are “Euphoria Overture” by Michael Blackwood, who lives in Florissant and teaches orchestra for the Rockwood School District; “This Is the Garden” by Joseph Eidson, a Jefferson City native now residing in New Cumberland, PA and teaching music at Bucknell University; and “Menuet Macabre” by Warren Gooch, professor of music theory and composition at Truman State University in Kirksville. The winning composition in the High School category is “The Tragedy of the Hero” by Edward Crouse, a sophomore at Jefferson City High School.

The winners were selected by judges John Cheetham, professor emeritus of music theory and composition at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and Bruce Gordon, orchestra manager for CCO. The judges also awarded an Honorable Mention to composer Michael Strausbaugh for his piece “Erebus,” and a Special Mention to Ryan Jesperson for “I. Jest.”

The four winning compositions will be performed by the Columbia Civic Orchestra as part of a concert of new music by Missouri composers at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, March 10 at Columbia College’s Launer Auditorium, 901 Rogers Street in Columbia. The program also will include recent orchestral compositions by two University of Missouri students, Stephanie Berg’s “Distraction” and Patrick Clark’s “Ptolemy’s Carousel.”

Six different conductors will lead the six pieces, with CCO music director Stefan Freund conducting Berg’s work and Patrick Clark conducting his own piece. Also wielding the baton will be Rob Shay, director of the MU School of Music (Blackwood); MU symphonic band director Brian Silvey (Eidson); Alex Blanton, director of Philharmonia Columbia (Gooch); and Grant Bradshaw, assistant conductor of the Missouri Symphony Society Conservatory (Crouse).

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.

Edward Crouse

Joseph Eidson

Warren Gooch

Mizzou New Music Summer Festival’s resident composers will bring diversity to 2012 event

From a London-based composer pursuing a doctorate at the Royal Academy of Music, to a Greek studying music in upstate New York, to a Kansas City native working towards her Master’s degree at Mizzou, the resident composers selected for this year’s Mizzou New Music Summer Festival are perhaps the most diverse group yet in the event’s three-year history.

The University of Missouri School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative today announced the eight resident composers selected for the 2012 Festival, which will take place Monday, July 23 through Saturday, July 28 in Columbia. Chosen through a portfolio application process that this year attracted 144 entries from all over the world – including Israel, France, Ireland, Spain, South Africa, Russia, England, Thailand, Canada and China – they are:

* Stephanie Berg – Columbia, MO
* Brian Ciach – Bloomington, IN
* David Crowell – New York, NY
* Stylianos Dimou – Rochester, NY
* Ted Goldman – Rochester, NY
* Patrick Harlin – Ann Arbor, MI
* Charlie Piper – London, England
* Asha Srinivasan – Appleton, WI

Three of the composers selected have significant international ties: Piper, a native and current resident of London; Dimou, who was born and raised in Greece; and Srinivasan, who was born in the United States but lived in India as a child. Mizzou is represented in the group by Stephanie Berg, a graduate student working toward a Master’s degree in clarinet performance and composition, and winner of the 2009 Sinquefield Composition Prize.

The 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival will include a series of public concerts featuring music from the resident composers and other contemporary creators, as well as workshops, master classes and other events. The Festival’s guest composers for 2012 will be Steven Stucky, winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for composition and professor at Cornell University; and Donnacha Dennehy, a native of Dublin who is one of the leading contemporary composers in Ireland. The acclaimed new music group Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, once again will serve as resident ensemble, as they have since the Festival began in 2010.

During the festival, the eight resident composers will receive composition lessons from Stucky and Dennehy; take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound; give presentations on their music; and receive a premiere performance and professional live recording of a new work created specifically for the Festival and Alarm Will Sound.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit

Stephanie Berg

Brian Ciach

David Crowell

Stylianos Dimou

Ted Goldman

Ted Goldman

Patrick Harlin

Charlie Piper

Asha Srinivasan