American Wild Ensemble to perform in concert
on Sunday, October 18 at Sinquefield Music Center

The American Wild Ensemble will perform in a concert presented by the Mizzou New Music Initiative at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, October 18 outside the Sinquefield Music Center on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia.

Titled “The American Aviatrix,” the program commemorates the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment by honoring the achievements of American women aviators. The concert will celebrate the lives of two of these groundbreaking women, pilots Bessie Coleman and Amelia Earhart, with world premiere performances of two new works, “Il n’y aura pas de regrets” by Mizzou assistant professor Carolina Heredia and “Livid Loneliness of Fear” by Ingrid Stölzel. The program also will include a performance of “Solitude of Self,” composed in 2018 by Caroline Malloneé.

Formed in 2016 with a commissioning project inspired by American national parks, the American Wild Ensemble  (pictured) celebrates American places, historic figures, and events by commissioning new works and performing them in site-inspired and site-specific locations. They have received support from organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts and Chamber Music America for performances in both traditional and nontraditional venues across the country.

The group is led by flutist Emlyn Johnson and cellist Daniel Ketter, who both are faculty members at Missouri State University in Springfield. The ensemble also includes Mizzou assistant professor Megan Arns on percussion; Bill Kalinkos on clarinet; Sarah Peters on violin; and soprano Ann-Marie Wilcox Daehn.

Admission to the American Wild Ensemble concert is free, but reservations are required, and concertgoers are asked to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing. Reservations can be made online at

There will be two seating options available: lawn seating and drive-in. With the ensemble set up in front of the north entrance of the Sinquefield Music Center, a limited number of socially distant seats will be available on the adjacent lawn. In addition, there will be a limited number of drive-in spaces available on the parking lot, where additional speakers will be set up and live video of the performance will be projected on the side of the building.

Feature film scored by Mizzou alumnus Grant Fonda opening Friday, October 9

A feature film with a score composed by a Mizzou alumnus will open this month in movie theaters across the country.

Pray: the Story of Patrick Peyton, directed by Jonathan Cipiti and scored by Grant Fonda, is set to hit theaters nationwide on Friday, October 9.

The documentary tells the story of Patrick Peyton, an Irish immigrant who in 1928 came to the US in hopes of becoming a millionaire, and instead ended up joining the priesthood, championing the idea that “the family who prays together stays together.”

Fonda (pictured), who earned his master’s degree in music from Mizzou in 2012, subsequently graduated from USC’s Screen Scoring program and the ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop. He has worked on a wide array of projects, including writing the music for Pray… director Cipiti’s 2018 film The Dating Project and the award-winning Down The Fence (2017), and commercial jingles heard internationally for Suprizamal plush toys. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the closing of movie theaters in many places, Pray: The Story of Patrick Peyton will debut on more than 50 screens in 23 states. In Missouri, the film will open at two theaters, the B&B Liberty 12 in Liberty, and the Marcus St. Charles 18 in St. Charles. You can see the full list of theaters showing the film  here.

Fonda’s music also is used in the movie’s trailer, which can be seen here. A recording of the original score, featuring performances from musicians who have been heard on the soundtracks of films and TV shows such as Braveheart, Titanic, Star Wars, and Game of Thrones, will be released on major digital music services including iTunes and Spotify on Friday, October 16.

Carolina Heredia wins commission from Barlow Endowment

Mizzou assistant professor Carolina Heredia has won a commission for 2020 from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition.

Heredia was one of 15 composers selected from among 286 applications this year to the Endowment’s General and LDS commissioning programs, which will award grants totaling $83,000 to the winners.

The Barlow Endowment was established in September 1983 through a gift from Milton A. and Gloria Barlow to Brigham Young University for the purpose of “engendering and supporting excellence in musical composition through the university and the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications.”

The Endowment hosts an international composition competition every year, receiving applications from across the globe. The application are reviewed by a panel of musicians, who select the winners that will be commissioned to compose new works during the next year.

Heredia will use her grant to write a new work for Duo Axis, featuring flutist Zach Sheets and pianist Wei-Han Wu.

Several other composers with Mizzou connections also won commissions this year from the Barlow Endowment, notably composition alumnus Robert Strobel, who earned his master’s degree at MU in 2014 and will write a piece for Playground Ensemble. Other 2020 winners included Peter Shin, a resident composer at the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival; Carl Schimmel, who was a special guest at the 2015 MICF; and Annika Socolofsky, who visited Mizzou for a residency last year.

The judging panel included Chen Yi, Neil Thornock, Dorothy Chang, Ben Sabey, and Benjamin Taylor of the Endowment’s Board of Advisors, plus guest judges Stephen Jones, Miguel Chuaqui, Dan Lippel, and Steve Roens.

A look back at the 2020 Mizzou International Composers Festival online

Mizzou International Composers Festival going online for 2020,
will take place Monday, July 27 – Saturday, August 1

Clockwise from top: Alarm Will Sound, Khemia Ensemble, Mizzou New Music Ensemble

Responding to the restrictions on live events imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mizzou International Composers Festival is going online for 2020.

The 11th annual edition of the MICF is set for Monday, July 27 through Saturday, August 1, with events streamed online from the Facebook pages of the Mizzou New Music Initiative and resident ensembles Alarm Will Sound and Khemia Ensemble, and from the YouTube channels of the University of Missouri School of Music, Alarm Will Sound, and Khemia Ensemble.

At 9:00 p.m. CDT on Friday, July 31, the MICF will present “Under Twilight,” a multimedia event curated by Mizzou professor Carolina Heredia that will take place both online and for an in-person, “drive-in” audience.

For the “drive-in” audience in the parking lot of the Sinquefield Music Center on the Mizzou campus, videos will be projected on an array of special outdoor 3D screens, while accompanying music is simulcast on radio station KMUC (90.5 FM). At the same time, the online audience will be able to see the program via Facebook and YouTube.

“Under Twilight” will include music and video by Maria Chavez and Flying Lotus, with soundtracks recorded by the composers; and a work by Joel Thompson, with music recorded by Sphinx Symphony Orchestra and the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Choir, conducted by Eugene Rogers.

The evening also will include pieces by former MICF distinguished guest composer Donnacha Dennehy and former resident composer Charlie Piper, as recorded by Alarm Will Sound; a work by Melissa Dunphy, recorded by Khemia Ensemble; and compositions from Carolina Heredia and Mizzou senior Ben Dawson, recorded by the composers and Mizzou students.

Then at 8:00 p.m. CDT Saturday, August 1, the festival’s finale will feature members of Alarm Will Sound, Khemia Ensemble, and the Mizzou New Music Ensemble performing a concert program including works by famed composers Meredith Monk and Pauline Oliveros, plus new music from Mizzou student Daniel Fitzpatrick and 2020 master’s graduate Niko Schroeder.

Alarm Will Sound will perform Monk’s “Anthem,” which also is the first work in their new series VIDEO CHAT VARIATIONS, showcasing remotely performed new works that respond to the quirks of video chat platforms.

Also on Saturday, the Mizzou New Music Ensemble will present Fitzpatrick’s “Ancient Echoes,” a concertino for banjo and ensemble that features the composer as banjo soloist; and the Khemia Ensemble, led by MU faculty composer Carolina Heredia, will present the world premiere of Schroeder’s “Moves” for ensemble and video.

The final piece on the program will feature members of all three groups coming together to perform Oliveros’ “Buffalo Jam,” which is scored with text instructions for any number and instrumentation of performers. The musicians, who were dispersed across the country, rehearsed and recorded the performance using the Jamulus platform, which enables transmission of audio with virtually no latency.

Along with the performances, Saturday’s event also will include interviews with the composers and a post-concert discussion open to audience members. The discussion will be led by Mizzou professor and MNMI and MICF artistic director Stefan Freund, Alarm Will Sound artistic director and conductor Alan Pierson, and Mizzou professor and Khemia Ensemble executive director Carolina Heredia.

Both Friday and Saturday night’s events are free and open to the public, but audience members are asked to register in advance using Eventbrite. To register for Friday’s event, either to view the event online or to “drive in” in person, go to register for Saturday, go to

In addition to the two weekend events, the festival also will include public online presentations from the eight resident composers and two distinguished guest composers who had been announced previously as participants in the 2020 MICF. All of the composer presentations will be available for public viewing online via the Mizzou New Music Initiative Facebook page.

Resident composers Pascal Le Boeuf, DM R (Diana M. Rodriguez), Niko Schroeder, and Celka Ojakangas will make individual presentations on their music starting at 6:00 p.m. CDT Monday, July 27, with Felipe Tovar-Henao, Shuying Li, Andrew Tholl, and Yu Kuwabara presenting at 6:00 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, July 28.

Distinguished guest composers David T. Little and Chen Yi will be the final presenters, starting at 6:00 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, July 29.

A complete schedule of events, times and dates for the 2020 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be available on the MICF website at

Mizzou’s 2020 Summer Composition Institute to proceed online

Following the policies announced by the University of Missouri, this year’s Missouri Summer Composition Institute, scheduled from Monday, June 21 through Saturday, June 27, will take place entirely online.

The high school students and incoming first-year college students participating in the program still will receive extensive personal instruction and interaction with Mizzou faculty, and will be able to hear the Khemia Ensemble bring their compositions to life.

Activities will include daily courses in notation, instrumentation, and repertoire; daily private composition lessons; workshops with members of the Khemia Ensemble; and a remote chamber music recording workshop.

Because of the online format, tuition fees for this year will be waived, and all accepted students will be able to participate absolutely FREE. Additionally, the application deadline has been extended to Friday, May 1.

For more information or to apply, please go to

Mizzou New Music Initiative cancels or postpones
all public events through the end of May

Following the policies announced by the University of Missouri and the directives of local, state and federal officials, the Mizzou New Music Initiative has canceled or postponed all public events effective immediately and continuing through the end of May.

The Student Composers Recital originally scheduled on Tuesday, April 14 and the Mizzou New Music Ensemble concert on Monday, April 27 are canceled and will not be rescheduled.

The postponed events are:

* Reading of Mizzou composers’ new works by the St. Louis Symphony on Sunday, March 29 at Powell Hall in St. Louis
* Missouri Composers Project (MOCOP) concert on Sunday, April 5
* Residency by Khemia Ensemble from Monday, April 6 through Saturday, April 11
* Creating Original Music Project (COMP) Festival on Saturday, April 25
* Residency by composer Evan Chambers from Monday, April 27 through Thursday, April 30
* Mizzou New Music Ensemble concert at Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, TX on Saturday, May 9

MNMI is working with the St. Louis Symphony to reschedule the student composers reading session as a private event. In addition, efforts currently are underway to reschedule the other events for the fall 2020 semester. If the COMP Festival cannot be rescheduled, MNMI will make arrangements for winning composers to receive their plaques and cash prizes.

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble’s tour of South America, originally scheduled for Monday, May 18 through Friday, June 5, will be postponed until a later date. Details will be announced when rescheduling is completed.

For now, the Summer Composition Institute and the 2020 Mizzou International Composers Festival remain on the schedule. Final decisions to proceed with these events will be announced at a later date, based on conditions at the time.

MNMI, the School of Music and the University of Missouri place the highest priority on the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community. We look forward to resuming performances as soon as circumstances allow.

Missouri student composers to present award-winning works
at Mizzou’s COMP Festival on Saturday, April 25 in Columbia

All COMP winners receive personalized plaques and cash prizes, plus cash prizes for their schools.

Talented young composers and songwriters from all across Missouri will come together for a performance of their award-winning works at the Mizzou New Music Initiative’s 15th annual Creating Original Music Project (COMP) Festival from 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday, April 25 in the Sinquefield Music Center on the campus of the University of Missouri.

Admission is free and open to the public. The junior division concert, featuring works from elementary and middle school winners of this year’s competition, begins at 11:30 a.m., with the senior division concert of music by high school winners following at 3:30 p.m.

The festival also will be streamed online from University of Missouri School of Music’s YouTube page at, with the video stream going live 10 minutes before the start of each concert.

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.

“We’re delighted to celebrate fifteen years of the Creating Original Music Project,” said Jeanne Sinquefield of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. “From this one competition for K-12 students, the Mizzou New Music Initiative has grown to include many different programs for collegiate and career composers, and helped Missouri gain recognition as a center for composition. As we continue to grow the Initiative, we look forward to supporting and promoting the state’s youngest composers for many years to come. ”

The 2020 Creating Original Music Project (COMP) competition categories and winners are:

Elementary School – Song with Words
1) Benjamin Stoker of Crossroads Academy – Quality Hill in Kansas City for “We’re Gone.” Sponsor: Cameron Dibble
2) Lacie Reetz of Williamsburg Elementary in Williamsburg for “Tryin’ to Write a Song.” Sponsor: Sherry Reetz
3) Lily Lagergren of Line Creek Elementary School in Kansas City for “Not Anymore.” Sponsor: Diana Hunter

Elementary School – Instrumental
1) Isaac Faust of Bell Prairie Elementary School in Kansas City for “Into a Dream.” Sponsor: Connie Van Engen
2) Om Garine of Woerther Elementary in Ballwin for “Hunters’ Chorus.” Sponsor: Rachel Puleo
3) Brendan Wich of Rogers Elementary, St. Louis for “The Dark of Night.” Sponsor: Donna Buehne

Middle School – Fine Art
1) Yueheng Wang of Ladue Middle School in Ladue for “Nostalgia.” Sponsor: David Werfelmann
2) Ovya Diwakaran of Ladue Middle School in Ladue for “Rêve Éternel.” Sponsor: Janna O’Hara
3) Samir Shaik of Parkway West Middle School, Chesterfield for “Carousel.” Sponsor: Patricia Nemish

Middle School – Pop Music
1) Stone Gill of Arcadia Valley Middle School in Ironton for “Inception.” Sponsor: Charles Lee
2) Mila Perez of Hallsville Middle School in Hallsville for “Love Will Never Lose.” Sponsor: Chelsea Otten
3) Lucy Gray Hamilton of Bode Middle School in St. Joseph for “Winter Is in My Eyes.” Sponsor: Daniel Gerhardt

High School – Fine Art

1) Brandon Kim of Rock Bridge High School in Columbia for “The Sands of Time.” Sponsor: Alison Lankheit
2) Olivia Bennett, a home-schooled student from Nixa, for “Dialogue and Delusion.” Sponsor: Carlyle Sharpe
3) Atticus Schlegel of Clayton High School in Clayton for “A Sneaking Suspicion.” Sponsor: Jennifer Shenberger

High School – Pop Music
1) Ariel Fansler of School of the Ozarks in Point Lookout for “Mood.” Sponsor: Wesley Saunders
2) Darcie A. Hingula of St. Teresa’s Academy in Kansas City for “Boy Allergies.” Sponsor: Steve Perry
3) Cooper Carr of Lee’s Summit West High School and Summit Technology Academy in Lee’s Summit for “Holy Ground.” Sponsor: Shawn Harrell

High School – Jazz
1) Samantha Fierke of Rock Bridge High School in Columbia for “Sweet Girl.” Sponsor: Patrick Sullivan
2) Eli Minasian, a home-schooled student from Springfield, for “Summer Break.” Sponsor: Tyler Kemp
3) Adam Routt of Timberland High School, Wentzville for “Groove Grave.” Sponsor: Ronda Fields

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.