Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform five new works by student composers on Monday, December 2 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble’s second concert of the 2013-14 season will take place at 7:30 p.m., Monday, December 2 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 a new work from 2014 Sinquefield Composition Prize winner José Guillermo Martínez Rubiano, plus encore performances of four compositions written by Mizzou students for the recent collaboration between the Mizzou New Music Initiative and the Stephens College dance department.

Martinez’ “Canciones de la Ausencia” (“Songs of Absence”) is a 2013 composition that evokes and explores different aspects of absence and longing. The three sections of the work are named after poems by the 20th century writers Xavier Villaurrútia (of Mexico), Jorge Gaitán Durán (Colombia), and Mariano Brull (Cuba).

The four works created for the Mizzou-Stephens collaboration also were all written in 2013.  Trey Makler’s “Southern Portraits” draws on influences including Aaron Copland and Bela Fleck in an effort to capture the essence of Okeechobee, Florida, hometown of choreographer LeeAnn Davis. “Phoenix,” by Haley Myers, was written for a dance choreographed by Samantha Bennett.  It deals with the theme of creation and destruction, and integrates imagery of the mythological bird that gives the work its title.

David Witter’s “Visions of Progression” was composed in collaboration with dancer and choreographer Samari Jackson Preston, and is meant to suggest a passing of seasons or journey under the watchful eye of a guiding spirit. “Blank Slate,” written by Shaun Gladney while working with choreographer Kramer Pruitt, “works to encapsulate the rise and fall of human emotions.”

The seven-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor. However, while Freund is on research leave this semester, Patrick David Clark is directing the group. Clark earned his master’s degree in conducting at Mizzou in 2012; was the winner of the 2011 Sinquefield Prize; and also holds a bachelor’s in composition from Mizzou and a DMA in composition from Rice University.

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. For this concert, the Ensemble will be augmented by guest performers Sam Jennings, guitar; Nathan Ward, tenor; and Shaun Gladney, percussion.

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