Archive for March, 2021

Sheldon commissions to be available for online viewing

New works written on commission by Mizzou student composers for premiere at the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis soon will be available for everyone to view via The Sheldon’s YouTube channel.

The first three pieces that will go online at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, March 25 are The Grace of Falling” by Santiago Beis, “Aubade with Ashen Clouds, Scarlet Sky by Oswald Huynh, and “Poem of the Phantom Queen” by Daniel Fitzpatrick.

All three works were written as the result of a partnership between The Sheldon (pictured) and the Mizzou New Music Initiative that since 2012 has commissioned new music to premiere live as part of the long-running Sheldon Classics series at the hall.

Performed variously by members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Mizzou faculty or fellow students and funded by Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, the commissions are intended to “offer emerging composers the opportunity to premiere their works in a professional setting, and classical-music lovers the chance to experience some of today’s most adventurous new music.”

Additional world premieres will be added as The Sheldon’s season continues into mid-June.


George Lewis’ virtual residency at Mizzou
to include public panel discussion and more

The renowned composer, musician, educator, and author George Lewis will take part in a “virtual residency” for the Mizzou New Music Initiative next month.

Lewis (pictured) will coach the Mizzou New Music Ensemble in preparation for their performance of his composition “Les exercises spirituels” in an online concert at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 14. The performance will be available to view on the University of Missouri School of Music’s YouTube channel and on the Mizzou New Music Facebook page.

Then on Thursday, April 15, Lewis will be one of the panelists for a School of Music convocation to discuss “Decolonizing Contemporary Music.” The presentation, which will be open to the public for online viewing via Zoom, also will feature Mizzou faculty members including Stefan Freund, Yoshiaki Onishi, Sam Griffith, and Stephanie Shonekan.

Lewis’ residency will conclude on Friday, April 16 with a presentation to the School of Music’s composition seminar.

Currently the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University in New York City, Lewis has been a distinctive and prominent figure in American music for the past half-century. He has been a member of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1971, and holds doctoral degrees from the University of Edinburgh, New College of Florida, and Harvard University.

Lewis’ work in electronic and computer music, computer-based multimedia installations, and notated and improvisational forms has been documented on more than 150 recordings, and his music has been presented by ensembles around the world, including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonia Orchestra, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, London Sinfonietta, Spektral Quartet, and many others.

His book “A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music” (University of Chicago Press, 2008) received the American Book Award and the American Musicological Society’s Music in American Culture Award. He also is the co-editor of the two-volume “Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies” (2016), and his opera “Afterword” (2015), commissioned by the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry at the University of Chicago, has been performed in the United States, United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic.

Lewis also has received numerous other commissions from ensembles such as the American Composers Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Harvestworks, Ensemble Either/Or, Orkestra Futura, Turning Point Ensemble, IRCAM, and more.

He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. His other honors include a MacArthur Fellowship (2002) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015); a Doris Duke Artist Award (2019); a United States Artists Walker Fellowship (2011); an Alpert Award in the Arts (1999); and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

He has been on the faculty of Columbia University since 2004, having previously taught at the University of California, San Diego; Mills College; the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; the Koninklijke Conservatorium Den Haag; and Simon Fraser University’s Contemporary Arts Summer Institute.

Lewis also has served as visiting professor at Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley; as composer in residence for the American Academy in Rome; as resident scholar for the University of Chicago’s Center for Disciplinary Innovation; and as artist in residence at Brown University.

COMP Festival to showcase award-winning works from
Missouri student composers in streaming concert on Saturday, April 24

In a year of unprecedented challenges for students, teachers, and parents, Missouri’s young composers in grades K – 12 once again have produced a wide variety of creative expressions in sound for the Mizzou New Music Initiative’s 16th annual Creating Original Music Project (COMP) Festival.

This year’s COMP Festival showcasing the best of those compositions will take place online, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 24 on the University of Missouri School of Music’s YouTube channel and the Mizzou New Music Facebook page.

The junior division concert, featuring works from elementary and middle school winners of this year’s competition, begins at 10:30 a.m., with the senior division concert of music by high school winners following at 3:00 p.m.

The online stream, which will be free and open to the public, will feature a mix of performances on video, including some COMP winners performing their own compositions, as well as performances by Mizzou students of other winning works.

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 work of these students under difficult conditions this past year shows that creativity is an unstoppable force,” said Jeanne Sinquefield of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. “We are delighted to be able to support and promote the state’s youngest composers through the Creating Original Music Project, as we have for the past 15 years, and we look forward to continuing for many years to come.”

The 2021 Creating Original Music Project (COMP) competition categories and winners are:

Elementary School – Song with Words
1) Lacie Reetz of Williamsburg Elementary in Williamsburg for “The Lion Song.” Sponsor: Sherry Reetz
2) Hannah Reetz of Williamsburg Elementary in Williamsburg for “The Thunderbird.” Sponsor: Sherry Reetz
3) Benjamin Stoker of Crossroads Academy – Quality Hill in Kansas City for “Aria for Nyx.” Sponsor: Erika Williams

Elementary School – Instrumental
1) Conrad Crutchley, a home-schooled student from Fenton, for “Infiltration.” Sponsor: Cynthia Graeler
2) Ian Lundholm of Siegrist Elementary in Platte City for “Endless.” Sponsor: Anna Burnett

Middle School – Fine Art
1) Yueheng Wang of Ladue Middle School in Ladue for “Lingering Reflection.” Sponsor: David Werfelmann
2) Samir Shaik of Parkway West Middle School in Chesterfield for “Le Hébétement.” Sponsor: Patricia Nemish
3) Hannah Wolkowitz of Parkway Central Middle School in Chesterfield for “Locked.” Sponsor: Chris Higgins

Middle School – Pop Music
1) Faye Boland of West Middle School in Columbia for “Maybe It’s.” Sponsor: Violet Vander Haar
2) Jocelin Murray of North Kirkwood Middle School in Kirkwood for “Tide.” Sponsor: Leah Luciano
3) Violet Martin of North Callaway Middle School in Auxvasse for “What I Did.” Sponsor: Sherry Reetz

High School – Fine Art
1) Brady Perkins of Ozark High School in Ozark for “Dance in G for Woodwind Octet.” Sponsor: Tom Meyer
2) Brandon Kim of Rock Bridge High School in Columbia for “2020.” Sponsor: Alison Lankheit
3) David McCaulley of Carl Junction High School in Carl Junction for “Brass ‘n’ Gas.” Sponsor: Trey Wadell

High School – Electronic Pop Music
1) Jordin MacKenzie of Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park for “’96 DiCaprio.” Sponsor: Daniel Freeman
2) Stone Gill of Arcadia Valley High School in Ironton for “The Moon.” Sponsor: Charles Lee
3) Thomas Libbert of Fatima High School in Westphalia for “Moon Water.” Sponsor: Zack Fincher

High School – Instrumental/Acoustic Pop Music
1) Ovya Diwakaran of Ladue Horton Watkins High School in Ladue for “Cards Are Dealt.” Sponsor: Stephen Howard
2) Rylee Spencer of Capital City High School in Jefferson City for “The Color of You.” Sponsor: Ken Kehner
3) Kaiden Doebelin of Mexico High School in Mexico for “Dear Molly.” Sponsor: David Reetz

(The categories of High School – Electronic Pop Music and High School – Instrumental/Acoustic Pop Music were created by judges to replace the categories High School – Pop Music and High School – Jazz so as to better reflect this year’s entries and allow more students a chance to participate.)

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.

Khemia Ensemble to perform new works by
Mizzou student composers during virtual residency

The new music group Khemia Ensemble will perform new works by five student composers in an online concert as part of a virtual residency this month at Mizzou.

The concert of student works will be one of two performances during the residency, which also will include a presentation to the School of Music’s composition seminar as well as individual private lessons and master classes for instrumental students.

In their first performance at 7:00 p.m. CDT on Monday, March 22, Khemia Ensemble will present a program of works for solo instruments, featuring music by composers Nicole Chamberlain, Melissa Dunphy, Reena Esmail, Stacy Garrop, Jennifer Jolley, Emma O’Halloran, Tanner Porter, and Juri Seo.

Then at 7:30 p.m CDT, Tuesday, March 23, the ensemble will premiere all new works by Mizzou student composers Isabelle Borchardt, Holden Franklin, Emily Shaw, Jack Snelling, and Sam Whitty. Both concerts will be available to view on the University of Missouri School of Music’s YouTube channel, the Mizzou New Music Facebook page, and the Facebook page and YouTube channel of Khemia Ensemble.

Khemia Ensemble (pictured) is led by co-artistic directors Er-Gene Kahng, violinist, and Amy Petrongelli, soprano, and includes Mizzou assistant professor Eli Lara on cello, as well as Thiago Ancelmo, clarinet; Annie Jeng, piano; Shane Jones, percussion; Chelsea Tinsler Jones, percussion; and Mary Matthews, flute.

As a group, they work to “actively promote both established and emerging composers through concerts, commissions, and collaborative mentorships with the next generation of composers and performers through workshops and residencies.”

Khemia Ensemble in 2019 and 2020 performed as part of the Mizzou International Composers Festival and also served as the resident ensemble for Mizzou’s Summer Composition Institute. They have been featured in venues and festivals such as National Sawdust, Strange Beautiful Music in Detroit, the third annual New Music Gathering, Latin IS America at Michigan State University, and the Biennial New Music Festival at the National University of Cordoba.

They also have had residencies at University of Michigan, Tufts University, Michigan State University, the National University of Bogota, and the National University of Cordoba, as well as two consecutive years at Avaloch Farms.

Mizzou New Music Initiative welcomes
Gahlord Dewald for virtual residency in March

The Mizzou New Music Initiative will welcome Gahlord Dewald for a virtual residency this month and an online concert in April.

Dewald (pictured) is a bassist, electronic musician, composer, and community organizer who is based in Burlington, Vermont. His Mizzou residency during the second week of March will include presentations to the School of Music’s introduction to electronic music class and to the composition seminar.

He’ll follow up those residency activities next month with a free online streaming performance presented by Mizzou at 7:00 p.m. Monday, April 19. Dewald’s concert will be available to view on the University of Missouri School of Music’s YouTube channel and the Mizzou New Music Facebook page.

A graduate of Marlboro College with a degree in ethnomusicology, composition, and music performance, Dewald works in both composed and improvised music as a solo artist and as a member of the duos Jaguar Stereo!, Fat Tiger, and The Yes &.

His recent album “Coherent Light Enclosed Without” features a series of free improvisations on bass recorded inside The TANK Center for Sonic Arts, a seven-story steel water tank in Rangely, CO.

Dewald is the founder of a collective of experimental musicians and composers called Community of Sound, and also commissions music, performances, and recordings though a project called New Sound for Double Bass.