Posts Tagged ‘ Sinquefield Charitable Foundation

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.”

Missouri Composers Orchestra Project selects works
by Stephanie Berg, Dustin Dunn for performance in March

Stephanie Berg

Continuing their collaborative efforts to spotlight the work of Missouri composers, the Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO) and the Mizzou New Music Initiative have announced the selection of two orchestral works written by Missouri residents to be performed by the CCO at a concert in March.

The two winning pieces were chosen in a statewide competition conducted under the auspices of the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project (MOCOP). The winners will receive a $500 honorarium from MOCOP’s sponsor, the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

The work chosen in the Open category is Ravish and Mayhem by Stephanie Berg, a native of Parkville who earned her master’s degree in composition from the University of Missouri last May and now lives in Columbia. The winning composition in the High School category is Appalachian Rhapsody by Dustin Dunn, a 16-year-old junior at South Iron R-1 High School in Ironton.

Dustin Dunn

The winners were selected through a blind judging process by John Cheetham, professor emeritus of music theory and composition at the University of Missouri, and Bruce Gordon, former orchestra manager for CCO. The judges also awarded Honorable Mentions to Nicholas S. Omiccioli of Kansas City for his work flourishes, and to Patrick David Clark of Columbia for FE 700° C.

Both winning compositions will be performed by the Columbia Civic Orchestra as part of their annual concert of music by living composers at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, March 9 at Broadway Christian Church, 2601 West Broadway in Columbia. Tickets are $15 for individuals, $40 for a group of up to five, and can be purchased in advance online at or at the door.

The concert also will spotlight several contemporary works for chorus, including the world premiere of La Terra Illuminata by Mizzou adjunct assistant professor Paul Seitz, a new piece commissioned specifically for CCO and the Columbia Chorale by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

Also on the program are Music, When Soft Voices Die, written by Mizzou senior composition major Justin Pounds and performed by the MU Concert Chorale; and two works by Jerry Custer, a renowned choral music composer and educator. Custer teaches at Wayne State University in Michigan and will be guest lecturing that week at Mizzou. His new piece Chamber Music will be premiered by the Columbia Chorale and pianist James Kelly, while the CCO and MU Concert Chorale will perform his setting of the Stabat Mater Speciosa.

CCO music director Stefan Freund will lead the orchestra in the works by Berg and Seitz, while Marci Major, assistant professor of music education and assistant director of choral activities at Mizzou, will conduct the pieces by Custer and Pounds. MU sophomore Grant Bradshaw, assistant conductor of the Missouri Symphony Society Conservatory, will conduct Dunn’s work.

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.

Columbia Chorale is a mixed voice classical community choir located in Columbia, MO. It has existed in one form or another since 1978. Its mission is to promote choral music of the highest artistic quality and to stimulate a greater community understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of choral music by presenting rich, vital, varied musical programs that appeal to a wide cross-section of Columbia residents.

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

Sinquefield Charitable Foundation commissions new works from Mizzou composers to celebrate The Sheldon’s 100th anniversary

The famous German composer Robert Schumann once said, “In order to compose, all you need to do is remember a tune that nobody else has thought of.” While that may be true, getting that new composition performed and heard once it is written can be another matter entirely. For an emerging composer writing music inspired by the classical tradition, performance opportunities can be few and far between.

To give some of those composers a chance to be heard, the Mizzou New Music Initiative, the Sheldon Concert Hall and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation have joined forces to commission a series of new works to commemorate The Sheldon’s centennial. Five composers associated with the University of Missouri will create new short works to be performed at five different concerts at The Sheldon during the hall’s historic 100th year.

Stefan Freund

The first piece comes from Mizzou music professor Stefan Freund, who has written a string quartet to be performed by St. Louis Symphony concertmaster David Halen and three of his SLSO colleagues as part of The Sheldon’s centennial gala on Thursday, October 11. The piece will be accompanied by a slideshow of 100 photographs taken to celebrate the hall’s 100th anniversary.

“One of the goals of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation is to find and grow composers,” said Jeanne Sinquefield. “This new Sinquefield inititative of working with The Sheldon and Mizzou composers is a perfect musical storm.”

The other four commissioned compositions, which range in length from five to seven minutes, will be played during subsequent concerts during the 2012-13 season.

Stephanie Berg

On Friday, November 9, the ArtSounds benefit featuring singer Sylvia McNair and pianist Kevin Cole will include a new work for piano and clarinet written by Stephanie Berg, a Kansas City native who earned her master’s in music from Mizzou earlier this year. Berg’s piece will underscore a slide show of 200 celebrity caricatures by Al Hirschfeld, the famed artist and St. Louis native whose work currently is the subject of a major exhibit in the Sheldon Art Galleries.

Patrick David Clark

Then on Tuesday February 5 and Wednesday, February 6, 2013, pianist Peter Henderson will perform a new work by composer Patrick David Clark as part of The Sheldon Coffee Concerts “Piano Classics” program. Clark, who grew up in St. Louis, earned his undergraduate degree at Mizzou, and just received his master’s degree in conducting from the University earlier this year.

Next, Mizzou undergrad Grant Bradshaw will perform his new composition for piano as part of the “Pianopalooza” concert featuring Peter Henderson, Alla Voskoboynikova, Daniel Schene and Martin Kennedy on Wednesday, February 27. Bradshaw, a native of Columbia, currently is studying viola and composition at the University, and also is assistant conductor of the Missouri Symphony Society Conservatory.

Michael E. Anderson

Michael E. Anderson

The fifth and final work in the series is a composition for brass quintet by Michael Anderson, which will be performed by the Clarion Brass on April 10, 2013 as part of their “Springtime Brass Spectacular.” Anderson, who grew up in Platte City, MO, was the 2012 recipient of the University of Missouri’s Sinquefield Composition Prize and graduated from Mizzou in May with a degree in composition.

All five works will be recorded so they can be shared later online here on the Mizzou New Music Initiative website, as well as on the Sheldon’s website.

Mizzou New Music Initiative’s summer event gets a new name:
Mizzou International Composers Festival

With applicants coming from dozens of countries on five different continents, the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival already has attracted significant international attention in its first three years.

The composers from abroad who have been selected to participate clearly have influenced the Festival’s musical direction. They also have helped to spread the word about the event much farther and faster than originally anticipated. In a nod to these welcome developments, the event now will be known as the Mizzou International Composers Festival, effective immediately.

Though the name has changed, the format will remain essentially the same. The 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival will take place from Monday, July 22 through Saturday, July 27. It will be a week of activities and concerts, ending with a grand finale featuring world premieres of new works written by eight resident composers.

The new name simply reflects the experiences of the event’s first three years, said William Lackey, managing director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. “The international composers who have visited Columbia over the past three years have made exciting and substantive contributions to the event. We are increasing our efforts to attract even more resident composer applicants from outside the US,’ he said.

“Calling it a ‘composers festival’ places further emphasis on the vision of the New Music Initiative and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation: to spotlight the work of the eight emerging resident composers and celebrate the careers of two veteran guest composers,” Lackey added. “This is one of our signature events in the ongoing effort to make Columbia a center for composers, and we wanted the new name to make that clear.”

Patrick David Clark traveling to Iraq to teach composition

Patrick David Clark

Composer and Mizzou graduate Patrick David Clark (pictured) will bring new music to an ancient city when he goes to Iraq at the end of this month. His mission: to teach composition to students in the northern Iraqi town of Erbil.

“It’s a kind of cultural diplomacy,” said Clark, who will be traveling under the auspices of the organization American Voices. He will leave for Iraq this Wednesday, June 27 and stay until July 15. “We bring American music and teachers to places where the education system is not its best, due to the country emerging from isolation and conflict.”

Located in a primarily Kurdish region of Iraq, Erbil is the country’s fourth largest city. With a history dating back to 6,000 B.C., it also is one of the longest continuously inhabited cities in the world. While he’s there, Clark will work with high school students at American Voices’ YES Academy, teaching them composition and music theory.

Clark said that his prospective students already have some musical experience, gained over the past five years thanks to an American Voices program offering training in stringed instruments. His goal is help the students take the next step and begin creating their own compositions. “We’re going to try to get them to write music,” he said.

Clark said he also wants to expose his students to various styles of contemporary American composition, and plans to take plenty of orchestral scores and recordings to share.

Over the last 16 years, American Voices has presented summer youth performing arts academies, workshops, and concerts in more than 110 countries. The organization has offices in St. Louis and Bangkok. Financial support for Clark’s trip is coming from American Voices board member Jeanne Sinquefield and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, which also funds the Mizzou New mUsic Initiative.

Clark just completed a master’s degree in orchestral conducting at Mizzou. In 2011 he won the Sinquefield Composition Prize and was one of eight resident composers selected to participate in the Mizzou New Music Festival. Clark was born in 1967 in St. Louis, grew up in Normandy, and attended Clayton High School. He also holds a Bachelors degree in composition from MU, which he earned studying with Dr. Thomas McKenney.

Clark earned a DMA in composition from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, studying with Arthur Gottschalk and Richard Lavenda. He became a Tanglewood Fellow in 1998, and from 1999 to 2001 studied with Louis Andriessen at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague on a Netherlands-America Foundation Grant. Clark also has worked as a composer; as a writer for; and as a teacher in the Netherlands, Los Angeles and Albuquerque, NM.

2012 Missouri Summer Composition Institute
to conclude with concert on Saturday, June 23

The Mizzou New Music Initiative’s Missouri Summer Composition Institute will wrap up this year’s session with a concert at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, June 23. The concert will take place at Whitmore Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, and is free and open to the public.

The concert will feature two resident ensembles giving world premiere performances of sixteen new works created by student composers participating in the Institute. The students will be on campus beginning next Monday, July 18. They will spend the week receiving composition lessons from MU composition faculty and graduate composition students; networking and exchanging ideas with their peers; and composing their pieces.

The Missouri Summer Composition Institute is open to all students in grades 9 –12 and entering college freshmen in Missouri. Eight advanced division composers and eight intermediate division composers are selected each year through a portfolio application process.

Tickets now on sale for 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival

Tickets are now on sale for the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival’s concerts on Thursday, July 26; Friday, July 27; and Saturday, July 28.

Now in its third year, the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival will take place starting Monday, July 23 through Saturday, July 28 in Columbia, MO. The MNMSF already is established as one of the most noteworthy contemporary music events in the Midwest, attracting attention from composers, musicians, music educators and media around the world.

This year’s grand finale will feature the world premieres of eight new works written by the festival’s resident composers and performed by the acclaimed new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound (pictured). That concert will take place at 8:00 p.m., Saturday, July 28 at the Missouri Theatre, 203 S. Ninth St. in downtown Columbia.

The festival’s other two public performances are:

*Alarm Will Sound and special guest artist soprano Anne-Carolyn Bird at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, July 26 at the Missouri Theatre; and

* Mizzou New Music, featuring music by MNMSF guest composers Steven Stucky and Donnacha Dennehy and by MU faculty members, performed by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble and the Mizzou Concert Jazz Band at 8:00 p.m. Friday, July 27 at the Missouri Theatre.

Festival passes good for admission to all three concerts are on sale for $40 for adults, $20 for students. Single tickets are priced at $16 for adults, $8 for students. Tickets can be charged by phone using Visa, MasterCard or Discover by calling 1-573-882-3781.

To buy tickets online, or to see a complete listing of Mizzou New Music Summer Festival events, visit

(A $2.00 service fee and Missouri sales tax of 7.35% already are included in the price of each ticket. An additional fee of $2.50 per ticket will be charged for online purchases. For these fees, a three-concert festival pass is considered one ticket.)

Three local hotels – the Wingate by Wyndham, the Tiger Hotel, and the Hampton Inn & Suites Columbia – are offering discounts on rooms to festival attendees for the nights of July 26, 27 & 28. Rates range from $78 to $135 per night, plus tax. For details, visit

In addition to these three concerts, the MNMSF also will include several free events, such as open rehearsals and presentations by the participating composers. A complete schedule of those events will be released at a later date.

The eight resident composers were selected from across the USA through a portfolio review process to participate in the festival and create a new work for Alarm Will Sound. They are:

* Stephanie Berg – Columbia, MO
* Brian Ciach – Bloomington, IN
* David Crowell – New York, NY
* Stylianos Dimou – Rochester, NY
* Ted Goldman – Rochester, NY
* Patrick Harlin – Ann Arbor, MI
* Charlie Piper – London, England
* Asha Srinivasan – Appleton, WI

During the festival, the resident composers will receive composition lessons from guest composers Steven Stucky, winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for composition and a professor at Cornell University, and Donnacha Dennehy, a native of Ireland and award-winning composer who founded Dublin’s critically acclaimed Crash Ensemble. The resident composers also will take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound; give presentations on their music; and receive a premiere performance and professional live recording of their work.

The Mizzou New Music Summer Festival is made possible through the generous support of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, led by Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield. The Missouri Arts Council and the MU Chancellor’s Distinguished Visitors Program also provided financial assistance for the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival.