Posts Tagged ‘ Grant Fonda

MNMI alumni in the news

Several Mizzou composition alumni have been in the news this fall:

* Grant Fonda, who earned his master’s degree at Mizzou in 2012, was featured as a “composer to watch” as part of ASCAP’s “Composer Spotlight.”

Fonda (pictured) was selected earlier this year to take part in the the organization’s Film Scoring Workshop in Los Angeles.

* Michael Anderson, who graduated and won the Sinquefield Composition Prize in 2012, had a new work, “The Heart of A Land” premiered by the combined forces of the Parkville Symphonic Band and the Platte City Community Band at their joint concert on October 26. A native of Platte City, Anderson wrote the piece on commission for the concert celebrating the 175th anniversary of Platte County.

* Stephanie Berg, who’s originally from Parkville, also had a piece on the same concert, as the Parkville Symphonic Band played her work “Pick Up Your Sword and Follow Me!” The band also will play Berg’s “Summoning Fire” at their spring concert on April 12.

Berg, who earned her master’s degree in 2013, currently is finishing up an original score for a theatrical production of “A Christmas Carol!” that will run from December 12 through December 21 at  the Lyceum Theatre in Arrow Rock, MO. She also learned recently that the Quincy (IL) Symphony Orchestra Association will be performing her work “Ravish and Mayhem” as part of a concert on April 18.

And if all that weren’t enough, the DDG Trio has scheduled several performances of Berg’s woodwind trio “The Featherlight Ballet.”  They’ll play the work in Conway, AR on a concert series called “Under the Dome” on January 25; at Harding University on February 12; and as part of the Arkansas Symphony’s chamber series River Rhapsodies on March 3. You can hear their recording of the piece in the embedded SoundCloud player below.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to play final concert of the season Monday, April 16 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) will play the final concert of their 2011-12 season at 8:00 p.m., Monday, April 16 in Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus. Admission to the concert is free for Mizzou students, $5 suggested donation for the general public.

Continuing the Ensemble’s practice of performing new works by composers associated with the University, the concert will feature world premieres of three pieces written by Mizzou students who are earning master’s degrees in composition.

Grant Fonda’s SHARK! BLIMP! GERSHWIN! draws inspiration from the simplicity and joy of the composer’s young piano students, with influences from jazz and commercial music.

Joe HillsChildren with Smart Phones is a tongue-in-cheek piece about the negative effects of technology that includes syncopated rhythms contrasted with lyrical melodies and lush harmonies.

The third student piece, sifting through ashes,  is the master’s thesis for composer Michael Strausbaugh. It’s a 10-minute-long work with solemn, slow sections bracketing an expansive middle of shifting meters and tonalities that seemingly are inspired by a folk or rock dance.

Completing the concert program is Donnacha Dennehy’s “As An Nós,” an epic soundscape filled with rich colors and rhythmic energy that originally was written for the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and featured in 2009 on WNYC’s “New Sounds Live.” For this piece, the Ensemble will be augmented by guest musicians Michael Strausbaugh, guitar; and Grant Bradshaw, viola.

Dennehy, considered one of the leading new music innovators in Ireland, will be one of the guest composers for the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, to be held July 23-28 in Columbia. The Ensemble is preparing As An Nós for the Festival, and will be coached that week by Dennehy for their performance on Friday, July 27 at the Missouri Theatre.

The six-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. The Ensemble’s members for the 2011-12 season are Stephanie Berg, clarinets; Ryan Borden, percussion; Young Kim, flutes; Matthew Pierce, cello; David Snow, violin; and Renata Tavernard, piano.

They serve as the repertory group for the Mizzou New Music Initiative, working with faculty, students and visiting composers, and giving public performances on campus and in the community.