Archive for February, 2014

Missouri Composers Orchestra Project chooses works
by Clark, Strobel and Williams for performance on Sunday, March 16

For a composer of orchestral music, getting a new work performed by a live orchestra represents not only the culmination of many hours of hard work but also the realization of a dream.

Now, three Missouri composers will see their work rewarded and hear their dreams realized, as the Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO) and the Mizzou New Music Initiative have announced the selection of three orchestral works written by Missouri residents to be performed by the CCO at a concert on Sunday, March 16 in Columbia.

The winning compositions were chosen in a statewide competition conducted under the auspices of the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project (MOCOP). Each winner will receive a $500 honorarium from MOCOP’s sponsor, the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

The works chosen for 2014 in the Open category are FE 700° C by Patrick David Clark and From the Book of the Dead by Robert Strobel. Clark, a native of St. Louis who now lives in Columbia, earned both a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s in composition from the University of Missouri. Strobel, also a resident of Columbia, is working on a master’s in composition at Mizzou.

The winning composition in the High School category is Firelight by Alex Williams, an 18-year-old senior at Neosho High School in Neosho.

The winners were selected through a blind judging process by John Cheetham, professor emeritus of music theory and composition at the University of Missouri, and Bruce Gordon, former orchestra manager for CCO.

All three winning compositions will be performed by the Columbia Civic Orchestra as part of their annual concert of music by living composers at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, March 16 at Columbia College’s Launer Auditorium, 901 Rogers St. in Columbia.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for students, and can be purchased in advance online at http://cco.missouri.org/ or at the door.

The concert also will include the Overture from Mizzou professor and CCO music director Stefan Freund’s forthcoming Civil War Oratorio; American Sojourn by Kevin Hartnett, a former winner in the statewide Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.) competition for student composers; and Mutaciones I by Mizzou student José Martínez, which won the $6,000 National Prize for Culture in Martínez’ native country of Colombia.

Freund will conduct the orchestra’s performances of his Overture and of Martínez’ work, while Patrick Clark will conduct his own work and Robert Strobel’s composition. Brian Silvey, assistant professor of music education at Mizzou, will lead the performance of Hartnett’s American Sojourn, and MU junior Grant Bradshaw, assistant conductor of the Missouri Symphony Society Conservatory, will conduct Williams’ Firelight.

The 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.

The Missouri Composers Orchestra Project (MOCOP) is a collaborative effort by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, the Mizzou New Music Initiative, and the Columbia Civic Orchestra to bring attention to orchestral works written in the state of Missouri. By identifying composers of orchestral music and providing opportunities for the performance of their work, MOCOP strives to showcase the talent of Missouri and share it with the community.

Patrick David Clark

Robert Strobel

Alex Williams

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform works by Fox, Cypret, Henderson, Hoercler and Herd on Sunday, March 9 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will present their first concert of 2014 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, March 9 in Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus. Admission is free for Mizzou students, $5 suggested donation for the general public.

The program will include new works from four current Mizzou composition students plus one by the late Frederick Fox, former professor of composition at Indiana University.

Described as “a dark sonic fantasy” employing innovative instrumental techniques and creative percussion writing, “Devils Tramping Ground,” was written in 1991 by Fox, a jazz-influenced composer and teacher who in the mid-1970s founded the Indiana University New Music Ensemble.

The other four works on the program will be premiere performances. “Lament for a Bird,” was written this year by Kay Cypret, a first year master’s student studying composition at Mizzou. It tells the story of the life and tragic death of a bird featuring lyric chorales and percussion that imitates gunshots.

“Inception, Conception, Create,” written in 2013 by Luke Henderson, was inspired by Oliver Sacks’ book “Musicophilia,” and portrays the process of composition from start to finish. Henderson is a freshman at Mizzou, studying for degrees in both music education and composition.

“Adventures in Anarchy,” a 2013 work by freshman composition major Erin Hoerchler, offers “a quick, wild ride featuring syncopated rhythms and explosive dynamics.”

Travis Herd’s “Meditation,” also composed in 2013, uses repetition and pantonality to create an ethereal and relaxed mood, interrupted by moments of dissonance. Herd is a junior music education major in his first year of composition studies.

The seven-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2013-14 season are Rachel Czech, cello; Hsu Shun Jung, piano; Mary Jamerson, flute; Katherine Jones, violin; Ian McClaflin, percussion; Shawn Nemati-Baghestani, oboe; and Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets.  They serve as the repertory group for the Mizzou New Music Initiative, working with faculty, students and visiting composers, and give public performances on campus and in the community.