Composers Festival spotlight: DRAX

DRAX, the duo of percussionist Megan Arns and saxophonist Leo Saguiguit, will return to the Mizzou International Composers Festival this year as guest artists for the “Mizzou New Music” concert on Friday, July 28 at the Missouri Theatre.

They’ll perform “Where Are Our Mothers/We Don’t Have Enough Time” by 2011 MICF resident composer Steve Snowden, and “Tantrums,” a world premiere that they commissioned from 2012 MICF resident composer Asha Srinivasan.

Formed in fall 2014 to explore the existing repertoire for saxophone and percussion duo and to commission new works, DRAX (pictured) made their MICF debut at the 2015 festival, performing new music including a piece commissioned from Mizzou alumnus and 2014 MICF resident composer Jose Martinez.

Recent performances include a concert for the Odyssey Chamber Music Series in December 2016, and an appearance at the 2017 North American Saxophone Alliance Region IV Conference in Oklahoma City, where they played new works by Mizzou student composer Aaron Mencher and Steve Snowden.

DRAX made their international debut at the 2015 World Saxophone Congress in Strasbourg, France, and also have performed at the North American Saxophone Alliance Region 4 Conference in Norman, Oklahoma, and the Missouri Percussive Arts Society’s Day of Percussion.

Both members of DRAX have multi-faceted careers as performers, teachers, and advocates for new music. Megan Arns is an assistant teaching professor of percussion at Mizzou who also has performed with the contemporary chamber groups [Switch~Ensemble] and What is Noise and with a number of symphony orchestras.

Arns has been involved in co-commissioning and premiering works by notable composers such as John Luther Adams, Alejandro Viñao, Halim El-Dahb, Steven Snowden, Adam Silverman, David Skidmore, Ivan Trevino, and Brian Nozny.

She earned performance degrees from Florida State University and Truman State University; an M.A. in ethnomusicology from the Eastman School of Music, and currently is a candidate for a D.M.A. in percussion performance and literature at Eastman.

Leo Saguiguit serves as associate professor of saxophone at the University of Missouri, and in 2016 was one of eight recipients of the university’s Faculty-Alumni Award. He also enjoys a busy schedule performing as a soloist and chamber musician and presenting master classes and lectures throughout the United States and abroad.

In addition to DRAX, he performs with the Athens (Greece) Saxophone Quartet, Chicago Saxophone Quartet, Missouri Saxophone Quartet, Trio Chymera, and the Odyssey Chamber Music Series of Columbia.

Saguiguit has appeared as concerto soloist with numerous orchestras and wind ensembles, and has performed regularly as an orchestral saxophonist with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Milwaukee Symphony, Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Florida Orchestra, and Missouri Symphony.

He has earned degrees from Emory University and Northwestern University, and has recorded CDs with the Athens Quartet, Impuls Quartet, Chromos Quartet, and the wind ensemble Philharmonia à Vent.

DRAX performs “Burn” (2016) by Nathan Daughtrey and “Greensleeves” (traditional, arr. Mark Hanson), recorded December 2, 2016 at First Baptist Church in Columbia, MO

2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival
schedule of events and ticket information

Here is the complete schedule of events and information on how to get tickets for the 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

The 2017 MICF begins on Monday, July 24 and continues through Saturday, July 29.

Festival events will be held at the Fine Arts Building, Loeb Hall, and Whitmore Recital Hall on the campus of the University of Missouri and at the Missouri Theatre in downtown Columbia, including:

Monday, July 24

9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Resident Composer Presentations:
Carolina Heredia, Amadeus Regucera, and Charles Peck
Fine Arts Building Room 145 on the Mizzou campus
Open to the Public

1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Resident Composer Presentations:
Aaron Parker, Clare Glackin, Selim Göncü,
Henry Breneman Stewart, and Christopher Mayo
Fine Arts Building Room 145 on the Mizzou campus
Open to the Public

7:30 p.m.
Music of MICF Alumni & More
Whitmore Recital Hall on the Mizzou campus
Open to the Public
This concert will feature members of Alarm Will Sound performing chamber music by former MICF resident composers David Biedenbender, Ian Dicke, and Steven Snowden and AWS pianist John Orfe.

Tuesday, July 25

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Alarm Will Sound – Open Rehearsal with Distinguished Guest Composers
Missouri Theatre, 203 South 9th Street, Columbia, MO 65201
Open to the Public

7:00 p.m.
Georg Friedrich Haas, Distinguished Guest Composer Presentation
Fine Arts Building Room 145 on the Mizzou Campus
Open to the Public

8:15 p.m.
Don Freund, Guest Composer Presentation
Fine Arts Building Room 145 on the Mizzou Campus
Open to the Public

Wednesday, July 26

7:00 p.m.
Dan Visconti, Distinguished Guest Composer Presentation
Fine Arts Building Room 145 on the Mizzou Campus
Open to the Public

8:15 p.m.
Robert Sirota, Guest Composer Presentation
Fine Arts Building Room 145 on the Mizzou Campus
Open to the Public

Thursday, July 27

7:00 p.m.
Pre-concert talk with composer Robert Sirota, artist Simon Dinnerstein, and Alex Barker, director of Mizzou’s Museum of Art & Archaeology.
Missouri Theatre, 203 South 9th Street, Columbia, MO 65201
Admission included with a ticket to the concert
Sirota, Dinnerstein, and Barker will discuss Sirota’s new work “Three Nocturnes” (which will be premiered at the concert immediately following) and Dinnerstein’s drawings “Night,” “Night Scene I,” which provided inspiration for the work.

7:30 p.m.
Alarm Will Sound
Missouri Theatre, 203 South 9th Street, Columbia, MO 65201
Tickets are $18 adults, $10 students
The concert will feature the festival’s resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound performing music by 2017 MICF distinguished guest composers Georg Friedrich Haas and Dan Visconti, plus world premieres of new compositions by Robert Sirota and Caleb Burhans, and a work by Don Freund.

Friday, July 28

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Alarm Will Sound Open Rehearsal with Resident Composers
Loeb Hall 201 on the Mizzou campus
Open to the Public

1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Alarm Will Sound Open Rehearsal with Resident Composers
Loeb Hall 201
Open to the Public

7:30 p.m.
Mizzou New Music
Missouri Theatre, 203 South 9th Street, Columbia, MO 65201
$18 adults/ $10 students
This concert showcases the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, the flagship group of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, performing music from distinguished guest composers Georg Friedrich Haas and Dan Visconti. Also featured will be guest performing artists DRAX, with Mizzou faculty members Leo Saguiguit, saxophone, and Megan Arns, percussion; and cellist Eli Lara.

Saturday, July 29

7:30 p.m.
Eight World Premieres performed by Alarm Will Sound
Missouri Theatre, 203 South 9th Street, Columbia, MO 65201
$18 adults/ $10 students
More than 260 composers from around the world submitted their portfolios to the festival, and eight were selected. The grand finale concert features the world premieres of eight works composed specifically for the acclaimed new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound by the festival’s resident composers:
* Clare Glackin, Los Angeles, CA
* Selim Göncü, Berkeley, CA
* Carolina Heredia, Ann Arbor, MI
* Christopher Mayo, Toronto, Canada
* Aaron Parker, Manchester, England
* Charles Peck, Ithaca, NY
* Amadeus Regucera, Oakland, CA
* Henry Breneman Stewart, Columbia, MO

Tickets

Festival passes good for admission to all three concerts are on sale for $80 for the VIP package, which includes reserved premium seating and other benefits; $40 for adults; and $20 for students.

Single tickets are priced at $18 for adults, $10 for students. Tickets can be charged by phone using Visa, MasterCard or Discover by calling 1-573-882-3781. To buy tickets online, visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

Box Office Hours and Location

Missouri Theatre, 203 S. Ninth St, Columbia, MO
Regular business hours: Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Hours during Mizzou International Composers Festival concert days:
Thursday, July 27: 9:00 AM – Performance Intermission (approx. 8:30 PM)
Friday, July 28: 9:00 AM – Performance Intermission (approx. 8:30 PM)
Saturday, July 29: 5:00 PM – Performance Intermission (approx. 8:30 PM)

Composers Festival spotlight: Clare Glackin

Resident composer Clare Glackin comes to the 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival from the West Coast via Houston, Texas, where she recently graduated with an MM degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.

A native of Mount Vernon, Washington, Glackin (pictured) previously earned a BM from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where she was named a Discovery Scholar and Outstanding Graduate of the composition program.

Her primary teachers have been Stephen Hartke, Frank Ticheli, Pierre Jalbert and Richard Lavenda. She also attended the Aspen Music Festival and School in the summer of 2016, where she studied with Chris Theofanidis.

Glackin writes instrumental and vocal concert works, seeking “to craft music that is engaging, unique, and fulfilling for both performers and audiences.” Her music has been performed by the Culver City Symphony, USC Thornton Symphony, Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra, and others.

Her composition “Sammy Saguaro” will be included on the upcoming CD 16×16: The Rice Encores Project, which compiles sixteen new short works for violin and piano written by composition students at Shepherd School of Music.

Also an oboist, Glackin has been a member of the USC Concert Orchestra (receiving the USC Concert Orchestra Award in 2015), and Rice University’s Campanile Orchestra, and has played in various premieres of student compositions in performances at USC, Brevard Music Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium, and more. When not composing, she also enjoys running, biking, kayaking, and baking desserts.

You can find out more about Clare Glackin by listening to the interview she did earlier this summer for KMUC’s “Mizzou Music” program, and you can hear some examples of her music on her SoundCloud page and in the embedded players below.

“Concertino for Oboe and Orchestra” (2014), performed on October 23, 2014 at Bovard Auditorium on the USC campus in Los Angeles by Rachel Van Amburgh, oboe, and the USC Thornton Symphony, conducted by Donald Crockett.

“Sonata for Violin and Piano” (2015)

“Poetic Study” (2015)

Composers Festival spotlight: Aaron Parker

Aaron Parker is another of the resident composers helping to put the “international” in this year’s Mizzou International Composers Festival, coming to Columbia all the way from England.

Parker currently is working toward a masters in experimental music at Brunel University in London, and, reflecting his continuing interest in teaching as well as composition, also serves as assistant director of music at Lord Wandsworth College in Hampshire.

A native of Manchester, Parker (pictured) previously completed a BMus in Composition at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, studying with Gary Carpenter and Larry Goves.

He writes what he calls “loosely-defined instrumental and electronic music informed by a love of landscape, film (Jonas Mekas, Rose Lowder, Peter Bo Rappmund, Joshua Bonnetta), visual art (Anselm Keifer, Gerhard Richter, Ai Weiwei), and sound (Eliane Radigue, Rashad Becker, John Cage, Giuseppe Ielasi, Chris Watson, György Kurtág, Radiohead, and many others).”

In addition to “atholhu,” the new piece he composed for Alarm Will Sound to perform at the 2017 MICF, Parker’s recent projects include a workshop and performance of “biakoulem” by Kokoro, the new music ensemble of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; a new piece for toy piano and live electronics for Xenia Pestova; a performance of large-scale ensemble and electronics work “Warehouse” as part of the 21C Music Festival at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto; and collaborations with Manchester-based multi-instrumentalist David Bainbridge and with vocalist Kathryn West.

Other recent commissions have come from the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the new music ensemble Psappha, and the ddmmyy series.

Parker released a solo album, Storage, in 2016 on the SLIP imprint, which was featured on Pitchfork.com, and also has had works recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra (through their Panufnik Composers program) and on Architectures, a 2016 compilation of new music on the RMN Classical label. Performances of his compositions have taken place across the UK and Europe, and have been broadcast on BBC TV and radio.

You can listen to Parker talk about his music in the interview he did earlier a few weeks ago for KMUC’s “Mizzou Music” program, and hear samples of his work on his SoundCloud page and via the embedded players below.

“Now (no more)” (2013), performed by Jenny Dyson (alto flute), Graham Proctor (percussion), Elinor Nicholson (harp), Oliver Farrant (cello), and Aaron Parker (electronics) .

“51° 12’ N / 0° 55’ W – 080115,” a world premiere performance recorded on February 24, 2015 at Hallé St. Peter’s in Manchester, England, featuring Conrad Marshall (flute), Dov Goldberg (clarinet),
Benjamin Powell (piano), Tim Williams (percussion), Benedict Holland (violin) and Jennifer Langridge (cello).

“serisu” (2016), performed by BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Gourlay

Composers Festival spotlight: Carolina Heredia

Born in Córdoba, Argentina, Carolina Heredia is the first resident composer originally from South America to take part in the Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Heredia (pictured) has just completed her doctorate in musical arts at the University of Michigan, studying with Michael Daugherty, Evan Chambers, Kristin Kuster, and Erik Santos.

(Interestingly, while being the first from South America, she’s also the latest in a series of Michigan grads to serve as MICF resident composers, including Patrick Harlin (2012), Elizabeth Kelly (2013), Greg Simon (2013), Michael Schachter (2014), Ian Dicke (2014), Takuma Itoh (2016), and Matthew Browne (2016).)

Once the 2017 MICF is over, Heredia will be sticking around Columbia for a while, as last month she was awarded a two-year postdoctoral fellowship by the Mizzou New Music Initiative. Starting with the Fall 2017 semester, Heredia will teach private composition lessons to Mizzou students; assist with various MNMI programs; and work on interdisciplinary collaborative projects, initiating and supervising student efforts and also completing a major research project herself.

While at Michigan, she taught electronic music as a graduate student instructor and founded the Khemia Ensemble, a contemporary music group dedicated to creating innovative concert experiences involving interactive technology.

Previously, Heredia earned her bachelor’s degree in music composition from the Universidad Nacional de Villa María, and a bachelor’s degree in violin from the Conservatorio Superior Félix Garzón, both in Argentina; and a master’s degree in music composition from the University of Michigan.

Her compositions have been commissioned and performed in the United States and South America by musicians and ensembles including JACK Quartet, Derek Bermel, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Duo Cortona, and the Argentinean Cordoba State String Orchestra, and featured at events such as the SONIC Festival NYC, Aspen Music Festival and School, Bowling Green New Music Festival, TIES Toronto International Electroacoustic Festival, SEAMUS, the Cordoba Composition Biennial, and more.

Heredia’s honors and fellowships include a 2015 commission from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University; the 2015 fellowship from the Susan and Ford Schumman Center for Composition Studies at the Aspen Music Festival; the Brehm Prize in Choral Composition (2015); the 2015 International Research Grant from the University of Michigan; the Margaret Dow Towsley Scholarship (2012); the Merit Scholarship from the University of Michigan (2011); and the Dorothy Greenwald Scholarship (2011).

For more about Caroline Heredia, listen to the interview she recorded last month for KMUC’s “Mizzou Music” program. You can hear some of her music via the embedded players below and on her SoundCloud page.

“Ausencias/Ausências/Absences” (2016) For String Quartet and Electronics, made possible by a grant from the Fromm Music Foundation and performed by JACK Quartet on March 8, 2016 at the University of Michigan’s Stamps Auditorium in Ann Arbor, MI.

“Virginia” (2015) for alto and SATB choir, recorded October 24, 2015 at Stamps Auditorium as performed by Rehanna Thelwell, contralto with the University of Michigan Chamber Choir, conducted by Jerry Blackstone.

“Añoranzas” (2016) for cello and electronics, performed by cellist Horacio Contreras for Khemia Ensemble’s album Voyages.

Composers Festival spotlight: Henry Breneman Stewart

The University of Missouri’s representative among the eight resident composers for this year’s Mizzou International Composers Festival is Henry Breneman Stewart, who just completed a master’s degree in composition at Mizzou.

While at Mizzou, Stewart (pictured) has composed works for the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, Columbia Civic Orchestra, University Singers and more, and served as the “composer on call” for the Mizzou New Music Initiative’s Composer Connection distance-learning program.

Most notably, he was the winner of the 2016 Sinquefield Composition Prize – the university’s top honor for a student composer – which resulted in a commission to write a new original work that was premiered at the 2016 Chancellor’s Arts Showcase.

A native of Lancaster County, PA, Stewart came to Mizzou via Goshen College in Goshen, IN, where he earned a BA in music and biochemistry, studying composition with Dr. Jorge Muñiz of Indiana University South Bend.

His interest in music began in childhood, as he grew up singing four-part harmony at East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church in Lancaster and began playing piano at age 5, later learning saxophone, flute and accordion as well.

During his sophomore year at Goshen, Stewart and two friends started the indie-folk band Moral Circus, which released a full-length album in early 2014. In addition to the Mennonite tradition, he cites as significant influences the music of Krzysztof Penderecki, James Blake, Shostakovich, Kanye West, Samuel Barber, Johnny Greenwood, and Run the Jewels.

When the 2017 MICF is over, Stewart will be staying in Columbia to earn a second master’s degree in music theory while also applying to doctoral programs in composition.

For more about Henry Breneman Stewart, you can listen to him talk about the process of creating a commission and his work that will be premiered at the MICF in an interview recorded in June for KMUC’s weekly “Mizzou Music” program.. You can hear his music in the embedded players below and on his SoundCloud page.

“Sun Will Rise In Black,” commissioned by the Columbia Civic Orchestra with funding from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation and performed by Natalia Bolshakova, piano, and the Columbia Civic Orchestra, Stefan Freund, conductor.

“Love Your Enemy,” performed by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble

“Sonnet 73: De Profundis,” commissioned as a result of winning the 2016 Sinquefield Composition Prize, and performed by the University of Missouri University Singers, directed by R. Paul Crabb.

If you’re coming to Columbia

If you’re planning on coming to Columbia for the 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival, you can get advance tickets online for the three concerts being presented at the Missouri Theatre:

Thursday, July 27: Alarm Will Sound
Friday, July 28: Mizzou New Music
Saturday, July 29: Eight World Premieres with Alarm Will Sound

(The “Music of MICF Alumni & More” concert on Monday, July 24 at Whitmore Recital Hall is free and open to the public, with general admission seating available on a “first-come, first-served” basis.)

Also, you may find these links useful for planning and/or during your visit:

Visitors information
Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau
University of Missouri Visitors Guide
Columbia Regional Airport
Vox magazine’s guide to Columbia restaurants
Discover the District
City of Columbia official site
2016-17 Columbia Missouri Visitor and Area Guide

Media
Columbia Tribune
Columbia Missourian
Inside Columbia magazine
Columbia area radio stations
KOMU-TV (NBC)
KMIZ-TV (ABC)
KRCG-TV (CBS)
KMOS-TV (PBS)

National Weather Service forecast for Boone County, Missouri

Summer Composition Institute featured in Columbia Missourian

MNMI’s Summer Composition Institute, held last month on the Mizzou campus, was the subject of a feature story in the Columbia Missourian.

The Summer Composition Institute, often referred to as “COMP Camp” or “Summer COMP,” brings together a select group of high school composers from around the state for a week of intensive instruction, culminating in a concert featuring new works written during the week by the campers.

In the article “Young composers create music in just one week,” Missourian reporter Katherine Herrick explained what COMP Camp is all about and interviewed several campers, including Holden Franklin, a 17-year-old from Perryville.

“I always tell people that I love problem solving,” Franklin said. “There are so many different paths you can take, and if you have one idea in your brain, you get to look at all the different paths to see which one takes you to your final result…Over the years, I’ve just learned so much from this camp.”

You can read the entire article here. The Missourian also produced a short video about Summer COMP, which can be seen in the embedded player below.