Archive for October, 2013

Ninth annual Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.) competition
offers prizes, recognition for Missouri student composers

2013 C.O.M.P. winner HyunJun Yoo gets his award from Jeanne SInquefield of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation

Whether it ends up being played on a synthesizer, a Stratocaster or by a symphony orchestra, every piece of music begins with an idea from a composer – and every composer needs a place to begin.

Helping young composers find that place is the purpose of the Mizzou New Music Initiative’s Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.), an annual statewide competition now in its ninth year.

Sponsored by the University of Missouri School of Music and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, C.O.M.P. recognizes Missouri students in grades K-12 who compose original music in a variety of styles.

Information has been mailed this month to music teachers across the state inviting students to participate in the 2014 competition. The winning composers and their schools will be awarded cash prizes, and the winning compositions will be performed at the Creating Original Music Project’s New Music Festival on Saturday, April 19, 2014 on the Mizzou campus.

Students in grades K-5 may submit compositions in two categories, Songs With Words and Instrumental Pieces. For grades 6-8, the categories are Fine Art Music and Popular Music; and for grades 9-12, they are Fine Art Music, Popular Music, Jazz, and Other.

All entries must be original music written by the student, and only one entry per student is allowed. Arrangements of previously composed pieces or improvisation based on composed pieces will not be accepted.

Mentors and teachers are encouraged to offer support and critiques, though the submissions must be the students’ own original compositions. Music teachers and/or mentors may assist students in notating or recording the pieces, and each student who applies must have the signature and sponsorship of their school’s music teacher.

Only three submissions per category per school are allowed. It is the responsibility of the school music teacher(s) to decide which three pieces per category will be entered in the contest. The postmark deadline for submission of all compositions is January 10, 2014.

For more information about the Creating Original Music Project and an application for the 2014 competition, please visit the C.O.M.P website at http://music.missouri.edu/COMP/.

For students looking for additional guidance or feedback on their work, the Mizzou New Music Initiative also offers Composer Connection, a distance-learning program that gives aspiring composers a chance to talk with and receive instruction from a graduate student in composition at MU.

Students can e-mail works in progress and ask questions about composing, and receive suggestions and answers directly from the composer on call. The composer on call for the 2013-14 academic year is Justin Pounds, who can be reached by email at composerconnection@missouri.edu.

Mizzou composers, Stephens College choreographers
team up for performances November 15-17

Next month, student choreographers and dancers at Stephens College will perform a recital of new works set to original music written especially for them by student composers from Mizzou.

The six Mizzou composers taking part in the project are Benedetto Colagiovanni, Shaun Gladney, Trey Makler, Haley Myers, Justin Pounds, and David Witter.

To select their collaborators, the composers and choreographers got together this past summer for what amounted to a creative speed-dating session. After Mizzou’s William Lackey and Stephens’ Carol Estey set the scene, each composer spent a few minutes talking with each choreographer, and then all the participants ranked their preferences in potential partners.

The works resulting from those collaborations will be presented as part of Stephens’ Senior Dance Concert the weekend of November 15 through November 17 at Macklanburg Theatre on the Stephens campus. You can read more about the project in this article from Stephens’ Janese Silvey: http://www.sc-scene.com/2013/10/mu-composers-stephens-choreographers.html

(Photos by Stefan Freund.)

José Guillermo Martínez Rubiano wins 2014 Sinquefield Composition Prize

The University of Missouri School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative have awarded the 2014 Sinquefield Composition Prize to José Guillermo Martínez Rubiano.

Martínez (pictured), a composer and percussionist currently studying for a master’s degree in composition at Mizzou, submitted his orchestral work “Mutaciones I” to the competition and was selected for the prize by a panel of independent judges.

The adjudicators for the 2014 competition were:
* Warren Gooch, professor of music, theory and composition at Truman State University;
* Forrest Pierce, associate professor of composition at the University of Kansas; and
* Ingrid Stölzel, director of the International Center for Music at Park University.

Now in its ninth year, the Sinquefield Composition Prize is the top award for a composition student at Mizzou. As this year’s winner, Martínez now will have the opportunity to write an original work for Mizzou’s University Philharmonic, which will receive its world premiere on Monday, April 7, 2014 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.

José Guillermo Martínez Rubiano was born in 1983 in Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia. He earned his diploma at the Conservatory of Music at the National University of Colombia in Bogotá in 2009. That same year, he received Colombia’s national composition prize for young composers from the National Ministry of Culture. His other significant awards include winning a Colombian national composition contest in 2011, and the National Cultural Prize from the Universidad de Antioquia in Medellín, which he received earlier this year for “Mutaciones I.”

Martinez was co-founder of the Bogotá conservatory’s Contemporary Music Ensemble and is music director for the percussion ensemble Ictu5. As a percussionist, he also won a national performance contest in 2004; has been a member of the percussion ensembles Contempo, Sinergia Ensamble, and Octopus; and for five years was timpanist for the Bogotá Symphonic Orchestra Foundation (FOSBO).

The other finalists for the 2014 Sinquefield Composition Prize were Justin Pounds, Matthew Stiens, and Robert Strobel.

St. Louis Symphony plays work by 2012 MICF resident composer Patrick Harlin

Patrick Harlin takes a bow on stage at Powell Hall. (Photo courtesy of Adam Crane, St. Louis Symphony)

This past weekend, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra performed Patrick Harlin‘s work “Rapture” as a part of their concerts on Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28 at Powell Symphony Hall in St. Louis.

Harlin, who currently is working on a DMA at the University of Michigan, was a resident composer at the 2012 Mizzou International Composers Festival. His work was brought to the attention of the SLSO and music director David Robertson though a new collaborative effort launched this year by the orchestra and the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

Arriving in St. Louis on Tuesday night, Harlin was able to attend rehearsals with the orchestra during the week and discuss his composition in depth with guest conductor Stéphane Denève, who led the SLSO for the program. He also was interviewed about the concerts on Radio Arts Foundation – St. Louis, and by Michigan Radio, the NPR affiliate in Ann Arbor, MI.

During the concerts, Harlin was introduced from the stage by Denève, and got to take a bow before an appreciative audience (pictured, above left). The work also was heard on radio by listeners throughout the region as part of the orchestra’s Saturday night broadcast on KWMU (90.7 FM).

Reviewing the weekend’s program for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, classical music Sarah Bryan Miller had nice things to say about Rapture, noting the work’s “minimalist roots, jazzy elements and strong hints of the ‘Dies irae.’ ”

“It grows from simplicity into complexity, with a boffo finish, and it got a smart performance from all concerned: groovy indeed,” Miller wrote.

From left, Stéphane Denève, Jeanne Sinquefield of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, and Patrick Harlin, backstage at Powell Hall

Harlin’s next project involves a trip to the Amazon River in South America, where he’ll record environmental sounds as part of his work toward his doctorate.

Here in Missouri,  the collaboration between MNMI and the St. Louis Symphony will continue when the orchestra plays “Ravish and Mayhem,” written by Mizzou alumnae and 2012 MICF resident composer Stephanie Berg, at concerts on January 10 and 11, 2014 at Powell Hall.