Mizzou New Music Initiative featured in St. Louis magazine

The May 2013 issue of St. Louis magazine includes a feature article by culture editor Stefene Russell about the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

Russell’s piece offers a comprehensive look at MNMI, from the origins of the Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.) eight years ago, right up until the present day.

The print edition of the magazine is on sale now, or you can read the article online here.

New music inspired by Bill Smith exhibition
to debut Saturday, May 4 at World Chess Hall of Fame

The World Chess Hall of Fame and the Mizzou New Music Initiative will present the world premieres of three new compositions inspired by the work of St. Louis visual artist Bill Smith in “The Sound of Art at the World Chess Hall of Fame” at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, May 4 at the WCHOF, 4652 Maryland Ave in St. Louis. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with a cocktail reception following the concert.

For this most recent installment in the series of interdisciplinary events that began in 2010, University of Missouri composition students Joe Hills, Haley Myers, and Robert Strobel each have written new pieces based on Beyond the Humanities, the Hall of Fame’s current exhibition of works by Smith.

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) will perform Hills’ “Iridescent Labyrinth,” Myers’ “Spherodendron,” and Strobel’s “Graphyne,” as well as “Dancing Helix Rituals” by Augusta Read Thomas, who will be a guest composer at this summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival in Columbia.

The event is free and open to the public. However, because seating is limited, reservations are required. RSVPs should be made to Lauren Stewart by phone at 314-367-9243 ext 106 or by email at lauren.stewart@worldchesshof.org. The concert also will be streamed live online at http://livestream.com/uschess.

The World Chess Hall of Fame is a nonprofit organization committed to building awareness for the cultural and artistic significance of chess. It opened on September 9, 2011, in St. Louis’s Central West End after moving from previous locations in New York and Miami.

The WCHOF is housed in an historic 15,900 square-foot building that includes three floors of galleries, the U.S. and World Chess Halls of Fame, and the Q Boutique. It provides visitors with a unique opportunity to use chess as a platform for learning, exploring, and seeing their world in entirely new ways. It is the only cultural institution of its kind in the world and the only solely chess-focused collecting institution in the U.S.

C.O.M.P. winners perform on KSDK’s Show Me St. Louis

Two of the winners in the 2013 Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.) competition performed this past Thursday, April 11 on Show Me St. Louis, an entertainment news program that airs on NBC affiliate KSDK at 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Menea Kefalov and Ande Siegel of Ladue Middle School were the first-place winners this year in the Middle School – Popular division for their song “This Generation.” You can see them performing it and being interviewed by Show Me St. Louis host Julie Tristan in the embedded video below.

All of this year’s this year’s winning compositions – written and performed by 21 elementary, middle school, and high school students from across Missouri – will be played at the Creating Original Music Project Festival, which will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturday, April 20 in Mizzou’s Fine Arts Building.

In addition, this year for the first time ever, audio from the concert also will be streamed live online at http://live.missouri.edu:8000/music.m3u.

Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P) concert will stream
Missouri students’ winning compositions to the world

On Saturday, April 20, listen to the live audio stream at http://live.missouri.edu:8000/music.m3u

For eight years, the annual Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.) competition has brought young composers to the University of Missouri campus in the spring for a concert of original music.

As in the past, this year’s winning compositions – written and performed by 21 elementary, middle school, and high school students from across Missouri – will be played at the Creating Original Music Project Festival, which will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturday, April 20, at the Fine Arts Building on the Mizzou campus. Admission is free and open to the public.

In addition, this year for the first time ever, audio from the concert also will be streamed live online at http://live.missouri.edu:8000/music.m3u, so that relatives, friends and neighbors who can’t attend the concert in person still can listen as it happens.

C.O.M.P. is a joint venture of the University of Missouri School of Music and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, which provides an annual gift of $60,000 to sponsor the competition. The program was created in 2005 to encourage K-12 students in Missouri to write original musical works and to encourage performances of those works.

The 2013 competition had a total of 101 students entered in seven different categories, with winners ranging in age from seven years old to 18. Both the composers and their schools will receive cash prizes. High school winners also receive a scholarship to attend Mizzou’s high school summer music composition camp.

“Six of this year’s composers are multiple winners, and it’s been a pleasure to hear their work grow and develop from year to year,” said Jeanne Sinquefield of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. “At the same time, every year we also see promising new entrants taking advantage of this opportunity to express themselves, develop their skills, and be recognized for their talents. The continuing growth of C.O.M.P. is another indication of how far we’ve come toward making Missouri a center for the composition of new music.”

The 2012 Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.) competition categories and winners include:

Elementary School – Songs with Words
1) Sadie Tanner of Maplewood-Richmond Heights Elementary School, Richmond Heights, for “Snow.” Music teacher: John Israel
2) Elizabeth Hess of Morean Heights Elementary School, Jefferson City, for “Susanna’s Story.” Music teacher: Sharon Shackelford
3) Savannah Slater & McKenzie Blakey of The Summit Preparatory School of Southwest Missouri, Springfield, for “It’s a Snow Day.” Music teacher: Shawn Keech

Elementary School – Instrumental
1) HyunJun (John) Yoo of Fairview Elementary School, Columbia, for “The Unknown World.” Music teacher: Sara Dexheimer
2) Emily Chevalier of The Country Schoolhouse, Amazonia, for “My Heart’s Song.” Music teacher: Rebecca Quimby
3) Zoe Goddard, a home-schooled student from Lexington, for “Seascape Rhapsody.” Music teacher: O. Wayne Smith

Middle School – Popular
1) Menea Kefalov and Ande Siegel of Ladue Middle School, Ladue, for “This Generation.” Music teachers: Elizabeth Bressler and Brandon Williams.
2) Samuel Luetkemeyer of Immanuel Lutheran at Honey Creek, Jefferson City, for “Dressing for Dinner.” Music teacher: Deb Leech
3) Emma Reinagel of Oakville Middle School, Mehlville, for “Soar and Fly.” Music teacher: Lacey Cupp

Middle School – Fine Art
1) Amanda Bradshaw, a home-schooled student from Columbia, for “Suite for Horn and Bassoon in F Major.” Music teacher: Grant Bradshaw
2) Brandon Thibodeau of Kearney Middle School, Kearney, for “Ambiguous.” Music teacher: Narong Prangcharoen
3) Nicole Shah of Pattonville Heights Middle School, Maryland Heights, for “March for Unaccompanied Violin.” Music teacher: Anna C. Allen

High School – Jazz
1) Gus Knobbe of Webster Groves High School, Webster Groves, for “Back to the Board.” Music teacher: Kevin Cole

High School – Popular
1) Justin Cline of Lee’s Summit West High School, Greenwood, for “Deliver Me.” Music teacher: Kirt Mosier
2) Erin Hoerchler of Jefferson City High School, Jefferson City, for “3 A.M. (So Let Me Be).” Music teacher: Kiesha Daulton
3) Tanner Qualls, a home-schooled student from Lee’s Summit for “Tides.” Music teacher: Becky Qualls

High School – Fine Art
1) Edward Crouse of Jefferson City High School, Jefferson City, for “The Sonata That Rained.” Music teacher: Aimee Fine
2) Hans Heruth of Liberty High School, Liberty, for “Into the Storm.” Music teacher: Ian Coleman
3) Joseph Misterovich of The Summit Preparatory School of Southwest Missouri, Springfield, for “you weren’t there for the beginning.” Music teacher: Shawn Keech

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.

Mizzou New Music Initiative in the news

The Mizzou New Music Initiative has been in the news for several reasons in recent weeks. Here’s a recap of some recent coverage:

Last week’s announcement of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation’s $1.4 million gift to the Initiative was a featured story on the University’s news service, and in Mizzou magazine and Mizzou Weekly.  Local coverage included stories in the Daily Tribune, Missourian and Maneater, and on KBIA and KOMU.

The gift also was covered in other publications around the state, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and St. Louis Business Journal, and the Associated Press story about it was picked up by dozens of media outlets around the country.

The previous week, the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project (MOCOP) concert on March 9 was spotlighted in an article by Aarik Danielsen for the Columbia Daily Tribune, and this year’s MOCOP High School division winner Dustin Dunn was featured in his hometown paper in Ironton.

In other news, if you missed the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s recent town hall meeting,  at which the SLSO announced that they’ll perform new works next season by Mizzou’s Stephanie Berg and former Mizzou International Composers Festival resident composer Patrick Harlin,  you can watch it online at the website of cable network HEC-TV.

Finally, our congratulations also go out to Patrick Harlin for being awarded a 2013 Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Missouri Couple Gives $1.4 Million to Continue New Music Initiative

Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield at the Chancellor's Concert on Monday, March 11, announcing a $1.4 million gift to the MU School of Music

The University of Missouri has announced that a generous gift from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation will support programs and scholarships directed toward promoting the creation of new music

Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield of Westphalia, MO have given the University $1.4 million to continue and expand the Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI) and the Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P) at MU. The gift announcement was made at the annual MU Chancellor’s Concert Monday evening.

The Sinquefields’ support for composition at Mizzou began more than eight years ago with C.O.M.P., the Sinquefield Prize for composition and a high school summer camp. In 2009, they gave $1 million to MU to expand university scholarships, ensembles, faculty support, and create an international composer festival. To continue the work, the Sinquefields are giving a new gift of $1.4 million over the next three years.

“I have been overwhelmed by the success of the MNMI,” Jeanne Sinquefield said. “Since the program began, more than 300 new pieces of music have been written, performed and recorded – some more successful than others, but all providing valuable learning experiences for their composers. And when a composer succeeds, there is nothing better than listening to a beautiful piece of music that you have encouraged to be written.”

“The Sinquefields’ generous gift allows us to provide diverse opportunities to composers across various stages of their careers,” William Lackey, managing director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, said. “The Mizzou New Music Initiative has played a pivotal role in the lives of many composers, and this gift not only supports Missouri composers but composers around the world. During the past four years, it has been an honor to witness the impact of the Initiative, and I look forward to working with Thomas McKenney and Stefan Freund, co-artistic directors of the Initiative, to build upon our current programs funded through this renewed gift.”

“At MU, we are dedicated to promoting and proliferation of the arts,” said MU Chancellor Brady Deaton. “The Sinquefields’ gifts and vision have helped position the university as a leader in the education and creation of new music and we are ever grateful for their generosity.”

Beyond supporting the MNMI and the Creating Original Music Project, the Sinquefields’ gift will support graduate assistantships, undergraduate full-tuition scholarships, and the annual Mizzou International Composers Festival, as well as provide support for faculty and staff positions and for various special projects including visiting composers, visiting performers, recording projects, and commissions of new works.

“Through their inspiring support, passion, and vision, the Sinquefields have established MU as a destination for composers of all ages,” said Robert Shay, director of the MU School of Music. “The programs of the Mizzou New Music Initiative and the Creating Original Music Project are the direct result of their past generosity. This new gift will allow the School of Music to take its programs to next level, nationally and internationally.”

“Rarely do you see such a long-term commitment to a project like the Sinquefields have shown with their commitment to promoting the creation of new music,” said Michael O’Brien, dean of the MU College of Arts and Science. “Their gifts to MU have given the School of Music a tremendous advantage in attracting top notch students and faculty. Students now know MU is the place to be if they want to study music composition.”

School of Music to begin streaming concerts online

Some of the new music being made at Mizzou will soon be heard all around the world in real time.

Thanks to the efforts of College of Arts and Science IT director Mike Watson and recording engineer Rob Boullion, the School of Music now has a system in place that will allow for live audio streaming on the web of selected concerts presented by the University.

The first concert to stream online will be the annual Chancellor’s Concert at 7:30 p.m. next Monday, March 11, featuring the world premiere of 2013 Sinquefield Composition Prize winner David Witter’s new work “Missouri” by the University Philharmonic.

You can access the stream via the link at the top of the Chancellor’s Concert page, or by clicking on the icon of the speaker in this post.  (Please note that the audio links only will become active just before the start of the concert at 7:30 p.m. Central time.)

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform works by Muñiz, Kellogg, Colagiovanni, and Makler on Sunday, March 3 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) will present the third concert of their 2012-13 season at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, March 3 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 the world premiere of “Duende,” a new piece by Spanish-American composer Jorge Muñiz. Inspired by the sounds and traditions of Flamenco, “Duende” was commissioned specifically for the Mizzou New Music Ensemble. Muñiz, an associate professor of music composition and theory at Indiana University South Bend, currently is teaching at Central Methodist University in Fayette, MO.

The concert also will include two pieces written by Mizzou freshman composition students. “Winter Reflections” by Benedetto Colagiovanni is an exploration of jazz rhythms and harmonies, while “Reflections” by Trey Makler is an introspective work featuring solo sections for each instrument in the Ensemble.

The MNME will complete the program by performing the third and fourth movements of Daniel Kellogg’s Divinum Mysterium . Commissioned in 2000 by the chamber ensemble eighth blackbird, the five-movement work is based on the 13th century chant melody “Divinum Mysterium.”

The Ensemble is playing different parts of the work at each of their concerts this year in preparation for a full performance during the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival. Kellogg, an associate professor of music at the University of Colorado, will be one of the guest composers for the Festival.

The six-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students and recent alumni under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor. They serve as the repertory group for the Mizzou New Music Initiative, an array of programs intended to position the University of Missouri School of Music as a leading center in the areas of composition and new music.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2012-13 season are Rachel AuBuchon, piano; Stephanie Berg, clarinets; Mary Jamerson, flute; Katherine Jones, violin; Ian McClaflin, percussion; and Matthew Pierce, cello. As the repertory group for the Initiative, they work with faculty, students and visiting composers, and give public performances on campus and in the community.