Archive for March, 2019

Miles Brown to premiere new concerto for bass in concert on Friday, April 26

Bassist Miles Brown will be the featured soloist for the world premiere of “Incino Arvum,” a new concerto by Mizzou professor emeritus of composition W. Thomas McKenney that will be performed by the MU Wind Ensemble in a concert at 7:00 p.m. Friday, April 26 at the Missouri Theatre.

During his residency on campus, Brown (pictured) also will make a presentation to student composers, coach the Concert Jazz Band, and give private bass lessons.

A composer and teacher as well as a bassist, Brown is an assistant professor of string bass and jazz at the University of Delaware in Newark, DE.

He earned his bachelor and doctorate degrees in jazz performance studies from the Eastman School of Music, as well as a master’s degree from the Mannes College of Music in classical bass performance. Brown previously has taught at institutions including the Eastman School of Music, Oakland University, Cornell University, University of Rochester, Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins, York College of Pennsylvania, and the Community College of Baltimore County. He also has led master classes at Ohio University, Ithaca College, Duke University, Hamilton College, and the University of South Carolina.

As the bassist for the contemporary music group Alarm Will Sound, which since 2010 has served as resident ensemble for the Mizzou International Composers Festival, Brown already is quite familiar with Columbia and the University of Missouri. He has performed with AWS in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall, Amsterdam’s Muziekgebow, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis, and more; and has recorded with the group on labels including Nonesuch Records and Cantaloupe Records.

Alarm Will Sound has performed his compositions at venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Cleveland Museum of Art, and numerous other ensembles also have played his original works and arrangements.

As a jazz performer, Brown has led groups featured at the Syracuse Jazz Festival, the Rochester International Jazz Festival, the JVC Jazz Festival, and the Blue Note, and has recorded on the Native Language, Leading Tone, and Yummy House labels. He has released two CDs as a bandleader: Share My Life in 2007, and Middle Game in 2016.

Cellist T.J. Borden coming to Mizzou for residency, concert

Cellist and composer T. J. Borden will visit Mizzou next month for a residency and concert.

Borden (pictured) will be in Columbia on Tuesday, April 9 and Wednesday, April 10. While on campus, he’ll make a presentation to Mizzou composition students and give private lessons to selected cello students.

He’ll wrap up his visit with a concert at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night at Whitmore Recital Hall, performing a work by Mizzou New Music Initative post-doctoral fellow Yoshi Onishi, plus music by composers Zeynap Toraman and Carolyn Chen and the world premiere of “Soften the World,” a new piece for cello, percussion, and electronics by Daniel Meyer-O’Keeffe.

A critically acclaimed performer of contemporary music, Borden currently is working towards his DMA at UC San Diego. He is a member of Mivos Quartet, a string quartet specializing in new music, and of the [Switch~ Ensemble], a group dedicated to the performance of works that incorporate multimedia into live performance (and that also includes Mizzou percussion professor Megan Arns among its members.)  He previously earned his BM degree at Ithaca College and his MM at the University at Buffalo,

As a cellist, Borden has worked with established composers including Brian Ferneyhough, La Monte Young, Alvin Lucier, Phillippe Leroux, and Steven Mackey, as well as with younger composers such as Wojtek Blecharz, Zane Merritt, Ben Isaacs, Lena Nietfeld, and Matt Sargent.

He has performed with ensembles and musicians including the JACK Quartet, the Theater of Eternal Music Brass and String Band, the Slee Sinfonietta, Ensemble Offspring, Tony Conrad, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, and Steve McCaffery.  Borden’s festival appearances include performances at the Soundways New Music Festival in St. Petersburg, June in Buffalo, the New Media Art and Sound Summit, the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival,  and more.

As a composer, Borden has been commissioned by organizations and performers such as Cleveland Institute of Art, Hochstein Alumni Orchestra, and hammered dulcimer virtuoso Mitzie Collins. You can hear T.J. Borden’s music on his website and on his Bandcamp page.

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra presenting public reading of new works
by Mizzou composers on Wednesday, April 3 at Powell Hall

From left: Colagiovanni, Roberts, Christensen

Three University of Missouri student composers will have their works played by musicians with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in a public reading session at 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at Powell Hall in St. Louis. The public is invited to attend, with no admission charge or RSVP required.

As part of a joint educational venture between the orchestra and the Mizzou New Music Initiative, student composers Mikkel Christensen, Ben Colagiovanni, and Libby Roberts were selected last year by SLSO Resident Conductor Gemma New to write new works for a 40-piece chamber orchestra drawn from the musicians of the St. Louis Symphony.

The resulting compositions are “The Lament of Orpheus” by Roberts; “Fourteen Trees” by Christensen; and “Slow Burn” by Colagiovanni. The three works were first read, played and critiqued in a private session in October, and the composers then had a chance to revise their music for this second, public reading.

Colagiovanni, who grew up in the St. Louis area and attended Clayton High School, is a senior working toward an undergraduate degree in composition at Mizzou. Christensen, who’s from Lockhart, TX, and Roberts, a native of Philadelphia, PA, both are in their second year of study for a master’s degree. They are the second group of Mizzou students to take part in the composer reading program, following Dustin Dunn, Aaron Mencher, and Douglas Osmun in 2017-18.

Mizzou’s COMP Festival presenting award-winning works from
Missouri student composers on Saturday, April 13 in Columbia

Audio from the 2018 COMP Festival will stream live online on Saturday, April 13 at

The Mizzou New Music Initiative will present new works from Missouri’s best young composers at the 14th annual Creating Original Music Project (COMP) Festival from 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday, April 13 in the Fine Arts Building on the campus of the University of Missouri.

Admission is free and open to the public. The junior division concert, featuring works from elementary and middle school winners of this year’s competition, begins at 11:30 a.m., with the senior division concert of music by high school winners following at 3:30 p.m.

The festival also will be streamed live online at, with the audio stream going live 10 minutes before the start of each concert.

COMP was founded in 2005 to encourage K-12 students in Missouri to write original music and to provide performance opportunities for those works. It is a joint venture of the University of Missouri’s Mizzou New Music Initiative and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, which provides an annual gift of $40,000 to sponsor the competition.

Every year, in addition to having their music performed at the COMP Festival, the winning composers in each age group and category and their schools receive cash prizes. High school winners also receive scholarships to attend the Missouri Summer Composition Institute, Mizzou’s high school summer music composition camp.

“The Creating Original Music Project competition and summer camp were the beginning of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, and the first steps toward making Missouri a center for musical composition,” said Jeanne Sinquefield of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. “Over the years, more than 220 young Missouri composers have won the K-12 composer competition, and though the Initiative now includes many different programs for collegiate and career composers, COMP still is a special and very important part of it.”

The 2019 Creating Original Music Project (COMP) competition categories and winners are:

Elementary School – Song with Words
1) Aiden Assel of Siegrist Elementary, Platte City, for “People Not Seeing Me.” Sponsor: Anna Burnett
2) Ben Zerega, Harrison Ringkor, and Brayden Fisk of Bristol Elementary, Webster Groves, for “Undefeated.” Sponsor: Sara Wichard
3) Annabel Merideth of Thomas W. Kelly Elementary, Benton, for “The Mountain.” Sponsor: Heather DiStefano

Elementary School – Instrumental
1) Benjamin Stoker of Crossroads Academy- Quality Hill, Kansas City, for “Tough Times.” Sponsor: Anna Arnold
2) Kate Bresler of Rogers Elementary, St. Louis, for “A Dark Winter.” Sponsor: Donna Buehne
3) Ethan King of Thomas W. Kelly Elementary, Benton for “Downfall.” Sponsor: Heather DiStefano

Middle School – Fine Art
1) Claire Li of Gentry Middle School, Columbia, for “Little Creek.” Sponsor: Amber Quest
2 (tie) Eli Minasian, a home-schooled student from Springfield, for “Through the Eye of the Hurricane.” Sponsor: Reese Ancheta-Minasian
Yueheng Wang of Parkway Central Middle School, Chesterfield, for “Wading in Water.” Sponsor: Sue Chiu

Middle School – Popular
1) Stone Gill of Arcadia Valley Middle School, Ironton, for “Wonder What It’s Like.” Sponsor: Charles Lee
2) Holly Travers & Grace Ensor of Hixson Middle School, Webster Groves, for “Stuck on the Verge of Glory.” Sponsor: Emily Tokos
3) Lucy Gray Hamilton of Eugene Field Elementary, St. Joseph, for “Back to You.” Sponsor: Janell Becerra

High School – Fine Art
1) Brandon Kim of Rock Bridge High School, Columbia, for “Diabolical Dances.” Sponsor: Alison Schmidt
2) Olivia Bennett, a home-schooled student from Nixa, for “Three Cryptics.” Sponsor: Carlyle Sharpe
3) Thomas Whitty of Staley High School, Kansas City, for “Chicago in F Major.” Sponsor: Carrie Shuck

High School – Popular
1) Katherine Vlamis of Liberty High School, Liberty, for “Lighthouse.” Sponsor: Rika Heruth
2) Jordin MacKenzie of Blue Valley North High School, Overland Park, for “Just Like the Rain.” Sponsor: Jason Sickel
3) Cooper Carr of Lee’s Summit West High School, Lee’s Summit, for “Waves of Distortion.” Sponsor: Shawn Harrell

High School – Jazz
1) Samuel Luetkemeyer of Calvary Lutheran High School, Jefferson City, for “Dichotomy.” Sponsor: Paul Hinman
2) Adam Routt of Timberland High School, Wentzville, for “Rad World.” Sponsor: Ronda Fields
3) Hyunjae Justin Hahm of Rock Bridge High School, Columbia, for “Dreary at 5 in the Morning.” Sponsor: Patrick Sullivan

Each student who enters the competition must have the signature and sponsorship of his or her school’s music teacher. Community agencies, churches, after-school programs, private teachers, and other musical mentors also may sponsor their young musicians in partnership with the student’s school music teacher.