Posts Tagged ‘ Ben Rouder

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to debut “Influences Symphony”
with performances in St. Louis and Columbia

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will explore the influence of various styles of music created in Missouri with performances in Columbia and St. Louis of “Influences Symphony,” a new collaborative, multi-part work by four Mizzou student composers.

“Influences Symphony” will be premiered in a concert at 7:00 p.m. Friday, May 3 at the World Chess Hall of Fame, 4652 Maryland Ave. in St. Louis, with an encore performance at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 5 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia.

The concert in Columbia is free and open to the public. General admission to the performance at the World Chess Hall of Fame is $20, which includes one free drink and complimentary hors d’oeuvres, or $10 for WCHOF members, seniors, and military. Advance tickets can be purchased at http://bit.ly/MizzouNME.

“Influences Symphony” has four sections, each inspired by a different style of music, and was composed specifically for the Mizzou New Music Ensemble with funding from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

The performance will begin with “A Bucket and a Rag” by freshman composition major Holden Franklin, which acknowledges the influence of Scott Joplin and others in “a comedic ragtime piece about a group of friends cleaning the floors.”

Next is sophomore composition major Ben Rouder’s “Missouri,” which draws inspiration from the folk song “Shenandoah.” That’s followed by “the girl in the pines” by Emily Shaw, a freshman composition major who describes it as “an ode to Missouri’s classic rock…heavily influenced by the music of Chuck Berry.”

The final section is “City Swing” by freshman composition major Jack Snelling, which reflects his interest in jazz. as exemplified by Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Clark Terry and other giants of the genre with Missouri roots.

The concert in Columbia also will include two more new works by Mizzou composers. “Warm-up No. 1: Tuning Exercise” by Niko Schroeder, who’s in his first year of study for a master’s degree in composition, brings the audience inside the process of tuning and “directs the players through each stage of listening: ideation, self-assessment, and then the consideration of others.” The final piece, “you,oranyone” by second-year master’s student Mikkel Christensen, is a “musical, motivic, and emotional sequel” to his earlier work “notfromme.”

The World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to building awareness of the cultural and artistic significance of chess. It opened in September 2011 at 4652 Maryland Avenue in the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis after moving from previous locations in New York; Washington, D.C.; and Florida.

The WCHOF is housed in an historic 15,900 square-foot residence-turned-business, featuring World Chess Hall of Fame inductees, United States Chess Hall of Fame inductees selected by the U.S. Chess Trust, displays of artifacts from the permanent collection and exhibitions highlighting the great players, historic games and rich cultural history of chess. The WCHOF partners with the Saint Louis Chess Club to provide innovative programming and outreach to local, national and international audiences.

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, conductor, professor of composition, and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2018-19 season are Hannah Hutchins, percussion; Ann Mozina, flutes; Pedro Ramiro, violin; Elisabeth Roberts, piano; Brianna Trainor, percussion; Cameron Tubbs, cello; and Austin Wright, clarinets.

Missouri Composers Project selects four works for concert
by Columbia Civic Orchestra, Columbia Chamber Choir
on Sunday, March 10 at First Baptist Church

Clockwise from top left: Olivia Bennett, Gwanyu Cao, Ben Rouder, Ed Frazier Davis

The Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI) has announced the selection of four winners in the 2019 Missouri Composers Project (MOCOP) competition.

Now in its eighth year, MOCOP is a collaborative effort involving MNMI, the Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO), the Columbia Chamber Choir, and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. Composers from all over Missouri are invited each year to submit orchestral and choral works for potential performance, with winners selected in two age categories, “open” and “high school.”

All four winners of the 2019 competition will receive a $500 honorarium from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, and the CCO and the Chamber Choir will perform their compositions in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 10 at First Baptist Church, 1112 East Broadway in Columbia. Admission to the concert is free and open to the public.

In the “open” categories, this year’s winning orchestral composition is “Social Justice Warrior” by Ben Rouder, and there are two winning choral works, “O Magnum Mysterium” by Ed Frazier Davis and “Swallow (Kazakh Folk Song)” by Guanyu Cao.

Rouder, who’s originally from Columbia, is a sophomore composition major and Sinquefield Scholar at Mizzou. Davis, a Chicago native now living in Kansas City, studied at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, while Cao, who grew up in Wuhan, China, currently is a visiting scholar at UMKC.

The winning orchestral work in the “high school” category for 2019 is “Imagination” by Olivia Bennett, a home-schooled junior from Nixa, MO. Bennett previously won the MOCOP competition for an orchestral work in the “high school” category in 2017, and also is a four-time award winner in Mizzou’s annual Creating Original Music Project (COMP) competition for Missouri students in grades K-12.

The Missouri Composers Project (MOCOP) is a collaborative effort by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, the Mizzou New Music Initiative, the Columbia Civic Orchestra, and the Columbia Chamber Choir to bring attention to new large ensemble works written in the state of Missouri. By identifying composers and providing opportunities for the performance of their work, MOCOP intends to showcase emerging talent of Missouri and share it with the world.

The Columbia Civic Orchestra is a volunteer group located in Columbia, Missouri, dedicated to providing enjoyment for its members and audiences with the presentation and preservation of high-quality symphonic music.

The Columbia Chamber Choir in a subset of the Columbia Chorale, which works to promote choral music of the highest artistic quality and to stimulate a greater community understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of choral music by presenting programs appealing to a wide cross-section of Missouri residents and visitors.

Niko Schroeder wins 2019 Sinquefield Composition Prize

Photo by SnoStudios PhotographyThe University of Missouri School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative have awarded the 2019 Sinquefield Composition Prize to Niko Schroeder.

Schroeder (pictured) is in his first year of study for a master’s degree in composition at Mizzou. He submitted “genealogy I,” a work written for piano, violin, and cello, to the competition and was selected for the prize by a panel of independent judges.

The adjudicators for the 2019 competition were Emily Koh, assistant professor of composition at the University of Georgia; Sky Macklay, assistant professor of music at Valparaiso University; and David Werfelmann, assistant professor of music theory and composition at Webster University.

Now in its 14th year, the Sinquefield Composition Prize is the top award for a composition student at Mizzou.

As this year’s winner, Schroeder now will be commissioned to write an original work for the University Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Barry Ford, which will premiere it as part of the Chancellor’s Arts Showcase on Monday, April 8, 2019 at the Missouri Theatre in Columbia. With the commission, Schroeder also receives a cash prize for the production of the score and parts, and will have his work professionally recorded.

Originally from Waverly, IA, Schroeder earned his bachelor of arts degree from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI.

While he was a student there, he served as sound engineer and student manager for the Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble and won several awards, including “Composer of the Year” for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years; the 2017 Concerto Competition; and the Glenn A. Niemeyer Award, the highest distinction for student contributions to the university.

A performer as well as a composer and engineer, Schroeder has toured with rock and contemporary classical ensembles and regularly performs with his polka band, the Bierkeller Boys.

The other finalists for the 2019 Sinquefield Composition Prize were Dustin Dunn and Ben Rouder.