Archive for July 11th, 2013

Composers Festival Spotlight: David Witter

David Witter

Today, let’s get acquainted with David Witter, another of the eight resident composers at this year’s Mizzou International Composers Festival.

A native of Holt’s Summit, MO (near Jefferson City) and current resident of Columbia, Witter has studied composition with W. Thomas McKenney and Stefan Freund, earning his bachelor’s degree in music from Mizzou in 2010 and an M.M. degree in 2012. While working this past academic year toward his K-12 teaching certification, he was awarded the 2013 Sinquefield Composition Prize, resulting in a new commission to write a work for the University Philharmonic.

Previously, he was one of three Mizzou composers selected to write a piece inspired by the 2010 Great Rivers Biennial exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. This project was documented in the short film The Sound of Art, which you can see in the embedded video window at the very end of this post.

Witter also has a strong interest in improvised music and jazz. He can be heard playing trombone on recent recordings by the University of Missouri Concert Jazz Band, and also works around Columbia with smaller jazz ensembles. He has led performances of the MU Creative Improvisation Ensemble at conferences in Ann Arbor, MI and Paterson, NJ, and is a member of the Gamma Gamma chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda.

The US Navy veteran and father of two was profiled last year in an article in the Columbia Daily Tribune, which you can read online here.

You can hear an audio recording of Witter’s composition “Missouri,” written after he won the Sinquefield Composition Prize and premiered by the University Philharmonic at the Chancellor’s Concert on March 11, 2013, in the embedded window below.

The Sound of Art


This week, a TV commercial promoting the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival began airing in Columbia, Jefferson City, St. Louis and Kansas City. The commercial is part of an extensive campaign that also includes ads in daily newspapers and on radio in central Missouri; in Missouri Life, Inside Columbia and the St. Louis Business Journal; and online, as well as posters, social media, a direct mailing of the Festival brochure to music lovers across the state, and more.

Astute listeners may recognize the music in the :30 TV spot as an excerpt from Stephanie Berg’s “Ravish and Mayhem,” written when Berg was a resident composer for the 2012 MICF. The script was written by Jeff Goetz and voiced by L. Harvey Gold. Production was handled by Sean Treni of Pelopidas Media, using photos shot by Pure Exposure.