Archive for January, 2018

Missouri Composers Project selects four works
for Columbia Civic Orchestra concert on Sunday, March 11

The Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI) has announced the selection of four winners in the 2018 Missouri Composers Project (MOCOP) competition.

Now in its seventh year, MOCOP is a collaborative effort involving MNMI, the Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO), the Columbia Chamber Choir, and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. Composers from all over Missouri are invited each year to submit orchestral and choral works for potential performance, with winners selected in two age categories, “open” and “high school.”

All four winners of the 2018 competition will receive a $500 honorarium from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, and the CCO and the Chamber Choir will perform their compositions in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 11 at First Baptist Church, 1112 East Broadway in Columbia. Admission to the concert is free and open to the public.

Pictured from left: Mencher, Sharpe, Bollin, Thibodeau

In the “open” categories, this year’s winning orchestral composition is “Antrios” by Aaron Mencher, and the winning choral work is “Clap Your Hands” by Carlyle Sharpe.

Mencher is a junior composition major and Sinquefield Scholar at Mizzou and the winner of the 2018 Sinquefield Composition Prize, the university’s top award for a student composer.

Sharpe is a professor of music at Drury University in Springfield who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in composition from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and a DMA in composition from Boston University.

In the high school categories, the winning orchestral work for 2018 is “The Fall of Númenor” by Devon Bollin, a 2017 graduate of Fort Zumwalt East High School who lives in St. Peters, MO.

The winning choral composition is “Silence” by Brandon Thibodeau, a student at Kearney High School in Kearney, MO. Thibodeau previously has won three first-place awards and a second-place award in Mizzou’s annual Creating Original Music Project competition for Missouri students in grades K-12, and for the last two years has been a participant in the university’s Summer Composition Institute.

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

Mikkel Christensen wins grand prize in ShoutHouse call for scores

Mizzou’s Mikkel Christensen has won the grand prize in a worldwide open call for scores from the ensemble ShoutHouse in New York City.

Christensen (pictured) is in his first year of work toward a master’s degree in composition at Mizzou, studying with Stefan Freund. A native of Lockhart, TX, he earned his undergraduate degree in music and technology at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ.

Formed in 2012, ShoutHouse is a 14-member chamber orchestra of classical, hip-hop, and jazz musicians that describes their style as combining “the freedom and lyricism of jazz, the poetry of hip-hop, and the structures and textures of contemporary art music.”

They chose Chistensen’s work “Outsider” as the grand prize winner from among nearly 200 submissions, and will perform it at one of their concerts this year in New York, date and location to be announced.

Aaron Hynds to perform Wednesday, January 17 at Whitmore Recital Hall

Aaron Hynds, a tubist, composer, and audio engineer with a penchant for new music, is coming to Mizzou to present a guest artist recital and lecture at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 17 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the MU campus.

The program will include “Dyadic Affinities’ by Asha Srinivasan (who was a resident composer at the 2012 Mizzou International Composers Festival), plus one of Hynds’ own compositions, as well as works by Hong-Da Chin, Asia Ahmetjanova, Elise Roy, and Doug McCausland. The concert is free and open to the public.

Hynds (pictured) has been a featured performer at new music events and venues including the Omaha Under the Radar Festival; the International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany; the Null Point music series in Buffalo, NY; Constellation in Chicago; the 2016 and 2017 New Music Gatherings, in Baltimore, MD and Bowling Green, OH, respectively; the Bowling Green New Music Festival; and the Vanguard New Music Series at Kent State University.

As part of his ongoing efforts to promote new music for tuba and euphonium, he has commissioned and performed works by composers such as Kurt Isaacson, Nicholas Deyoe, Eliza Brown, Ruby Fulton, and Monte Weber, with more collaborations currently underway with Kari Besharse, Louise Fristensky, Ray Evanoff, and Mizzou’s own Jacob Gotlib.

Hynds is in the process of recording his first solo project, “Colossus: New Music for Tuba, Vols. 1 & 2,” featuring 13 of the works that he has commissioned. He also has recorded with Ensemble Dal Niente, ambient group The Midwest Hackers, and in a doom metal/jazz trio with Jordan Snow and Danny Hynds.

In addition to performing, Hynds is a composer and new media artist, with recent premieres including “Choke (Radio Edit),” for bass clarinetist Gunnar Hirthe and electronics; “Sediment,” for three bass drums and electronics, performed by Ensemble Knox; and “SID 6581” for amplified violin and computer, premiered by Abdel Anzaldua at the SPLICE Institute.

Originally from Decatur, IL, Hynds currently is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Bowling Green State University,  having previously earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since the fall of 2017, he also is the sound production coordinator and events technician for the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, serving as primary audio engineer for the department and supervising the Sound Recording Technologies minor.

You can hear samples of Aaron Hynds’ music via his pages on Bandcamp and SoundCloud.

Mizzou International Composers Festival announces resident composers for 2018

The Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI) has selected eight resident composers to participate in the 2018 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF).

Presented by MNMI and the University of Missouri School of Music from Monday, July 23 through Saturday, July 28 in Columbia, the ninth annual MICF will feature world premieres of new works written by each of the selected composers. Listed with their current places of residence, they are:

* Oren Boneh, Berkeley, CA
* Christine Burke, Iowa City, IA
* Viet Cuong, Philadelphia, PA
* Amanda Feery, Princeton, NJ
* Douglas Osmun, Columbia, MO
* Gemma Peacocke, Princeton, NJ
* Igor Santos, Chicago, IL
* Peter Shin, Los Angeles, CA

The resident composers are chosen through a portfolio application process that this year attracted 244 entries from 22 different countries. Applications were received from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Finland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Three of the resident composers selected for 2018 are originally from outside the US: Amanda Feery, a native of Offaly, Ireland; Gemma Peacocke, who’s from Hamilton, New Zealand; and Igor Santos, born in Curitiba, Brazil.

Douglas Osmun, a graduate student working toward a master’s in composition at Mizzou, will represent the University of Missouri. Osmun was the winner of the 2017 Sinquefield Composition Prize, the university’s highest honor for a student composer. Resident composer Peter Shin also has a Missouri connection, as he was born and raised in Kansas City.

The 2018 Mizzou International Composers 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 distinguished guest composers for 2018 will be Chen Yi, a native of Guangzhou, China who is a distinguished professor of composition at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Alex Mincek, an assistant professor, composition and music technology at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music and a co-founder and artistic director of the Wet Ink Ensemble.

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 MICF began in 2010.

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

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2018 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit