Archive for April, 2021

Springfield Symphony to perform Stefan Freund’s
“Ragfare” in concerts on Saturday, May 8

The Springfield Symphony will perform “Ragfare,” a work written by University of Missouri professor of composition Stefan Freund, in a pair of concerts on Saturday, May 8 at the Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts in Springfield, MO.

Freund (pictured), who’s also a cellist, conductor, and the artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, originally composed “Ragfare” for the Columbia Civic Orchestra to play at the reopening in 2008 of the renovated Missouri Theatre in Columbia.

Inspired for the occasion by the music of Scott Joplin, Freund says that he “wanted to write a piece that would celebrate the rich musical heritage of Missouri.” The music that resulted offers “ragtime-style figures, like syncopated tunes and octave-leap ostinatos, in the context of a fanfare.”

Since premiering in 2008, “Ragfare” was revisited by the Columbia Civic Orchestra in 2018, and also has been performed by the Missouri Symphony Orchestra (2009), and by members of the St. Louis and Kansas City symphonies at the Missouri River Festival of the Arts in Boonville (2015).

The upcoming performance of “Ragfare” by the Springfield Symphony will be as part of a program titled “Locally Grown” that also will feature arrangements of Joplin works including “Maple Leaf Rag” and “The Entertainer,” W.C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues March,” the folk song “Frankie and Johnny,” “The Missouri Waltz,” and more.

Kyle Pickett, the orchestra’s music director, will conduct, with ragtime pianist and storyteller Gary Ellison serving as featured soloist.

The program will be presented at 2:00 p.m. for the general public, and again at 7:30 p.m. for season ticket holders and as a livestream online.

For tickets to the 2:00 p.m. performance, please visit To purchase access to the livestream at 7:30 p.m., go to

New documentary with score by Mizzou students to get
free screening Monday, May 3 at Missouri Theatre

A new documentary film produced at Mizzou and featuring a musical score composed and performed by students from the School of Music will get a free screening at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 3 at the Missouri Theatre.

“Keep the Cameras Rolling: The Pedro Zamora Way” tells the story of one of the early stars of the MTV reality show “The Real World” who became a noted advocate for people with AIDS before dying in 1994 at age 22.

The film was co-directed by MU professors William Horner and Stacey Woelfel, who first approached the School of Music’s director Julia Gaines for help in finding a Mizzou composer to score the film. Gaines enlisted the help of the composition faculty, who in turn selected master’s student Daniel Vega to write the music.

Vega’s score was performed by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, who debuted a portion of it in a concert back in November 2019.

The film includes appearances from “Real World” alums as well as former President Bill Clinton, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and actor Taye Diggs, and also features contributions from MU faculty and students in the school’s Jonathan B. Murray Center for Documentary Journalism, which is named after MU alum and “Real World” creator, and the Harry S. Truman School of Government and Public Affairs.

[Switch~ Ensemble] virtual residency at Mizzou will include
presentations plus a free online concert on Sunday, May 2

The new music group [Switch~ Ensemble] will do a “virtual residency” this spring for the Mizzou New Music Initiative, culminating in a online concert featuring works by Mizzou student composers.

The concert at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 2 will include new works by Mizzou’s Santiago Beis, Luis Bezerra, and Oswald Huynh, as well as music by Chris Chandler and Zachary James Watkins. 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.

The [Switch~ Ensemble] residency also will include a presentation to the School of Music’s convocation on entrepreneurship for musicians, plus presentations to the School’s composition seminar and “introduction to electronic music” class.

Founded in 2012 at the Eastman School of Music, [Switch~ Ensemble] (pictured) is a group of ten instrumentalists and composers dedicated to performing high-level chamber music integrated with cutting-edge technology and supporting emerging and early career composers.

Mizzou assistant professor Megan Arns is their percussionist, and there are two other members who have some prior experience at MU: cellist T.J. Borden, who did a residency and concert for MNMI in 2019, and Jason Thorpe Buchanan, the ensemble’s artistic director, who was a resident composer at the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Other members of [Switch~ Ensemble] are Lauren Cauley, violin; Christopher Chandler, composer and sound engineer; Matt Evans, saxophones; Madison Greenstone, clarinets; Clay Mettens, director of development, composer and sound engineer; Zach Sheets, composer, flutes, and managing director; and Wei-Han Wu, piano..

In keeping with their mission statement, [Switch~ Ensemble] has collaborated with both emerging and established composers, performing commissions and premieres of dozens of new works. Upcoming engagements include world premieres of commissioned works by Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti, Katharina Rosenberger, Anna-Louise Walton, and Kelly Sheehan, supported by New Music USA, the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, Pro Helvetia, the MAP Fund, and more.

Past performances and residencies include Cornell, Bard College, University of Chicago, Ithaca College, Harvard University Group for New Music, UC Berkeley, the VIPA Festival (Spain), Eastman School of Music, Frost School of Music at University of Miami, and Avaloch Farms Music Institute, as well as concerts at the Image/Sound Festival, San Francisco Center for New Music, MATA Interval Series, NYCEMF, Vanguard New Music Series at Kent State University, the Queens New Music Festival, and more.