Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.) rewards student composers from across Missouri

From “Windswept Dreams” to “Madness,” the winning entries in the seventh annual Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.) competition demonstrate the passion and commitment of the young composers who brought them to life.

For 2012, a total of 22 elementary, middle school and high school students from across Missouri have been awarded prizes in the competition. As a reward for their work, they’ll get a chance to perform their winning compositions at the Creating Original Music Project Festival. The Festival will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 21 at the Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus.

Both the composers and their schools will receive cash prizes. High school winners also receive a scholarship to attend Mizzou’s high school summer music composition camp.

C.O.M.P. is a joint venture of the University of Missouri School of Music and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, which provides an annual gift of $50,000 to sponsor the competition. The program was created in 2005 to encourage K-12 students in Missouri to write original musical works and to encourage performances of those works. The 2012 competition had a total of 94 entries in seven different categories, with winners ranging in age from eight years old to 18.

“Since we first started C.O.M.P. seven years ago, we’ve had nearly 500 entries from young composers across the state,” said Jeanne Sinquefield of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. “A number of them have gone on to become multiple winners, and we’re delighted to give them an opportunity to express themselves and develop their skills. Their success is an indication of real progress towards our goal of making Missouri a center for the composition of new music.”

The 2012 Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.) competition categories and winners include:

Elementary – Song with words
1) Menea Vladi Kefalov & Ande Celeste Siegel of Reed Elementary School, St. Louis, for “War.” Music teacher: Sarah Schwartz.
2) Elizabeth Y. Murray of Reeds Spring Elementary, Reeds Springs, for “The Road Home Song.” Music teacher: Sue Gillen.
3) Grace Filer of Harrisonville Christian School, Harrisonville, for “Only Holy One.” Music teacher: Kay Schrock.

Elementary – Instrumental
1) Hyun Jun (John) Yoo of Fairview Elementary, Columbia, for “Earthquake’s Destruction.” Music teacher: Sara Dexheimer.
2) Tristan Handy of Daniel Young Elementary, Blue Springs, for “Windswept Dreams.” Music teachers: Connie Bates and Debbie Gray.
3) Olivia Bennett of Mathews Elementary, Nixa, for “Count Olaf.” Music teacher: Annette Genung.

Middle School – Popular
1) Anthony Delia of Holy Infant School, Ballwin, for “Words.” Music teacher: Eric Henson.
2) Lileana Ibur of Wydown Middle School, Clayton, for “Nothing Boy.” Music teachers: Aaron Doerr and Jerry Estes.
3) Sarah Meadows of West Junior High, Columbia, for “Another New Day Begins.” Music teachers: Sutu Forte and James Melton.

Middle School – Fine Art
1) Savannah Kitchen of Lange Middle School, Columbia, for “Winter’s Waltz.” Music teachers: Suzanne Kitchen and Allison Schmidt.
2) Alice Ann Yu of West Junior High, Columbia, for “Traveling Around The World.” Music teachers: Mabel Kinder and Margaret Lawless.
3) Edward Tsang of Heartland High School, Belton, for “Dramatization.” Music teacher: Nah Han Dahmer.

High School – Fine Art
1) Gus Knobbe of Webster Groves High School, Webster Groves, for “Madness.” Music Teacher: Dane Williams
2) Carter Datz of Hickman High School, Columbia, for “Celtic Blessing.” Music Teacher: Matt Felts.
3) Bryan Gibson of Webb City High School, Webb City, for “Salva me.” Music teacher: Diana Williams.

High School – Jazz
1) Benedetto Colagiovanni of Clayton High School, Clayton, for “Waltz For Bill.” Music Teachers: Rick Zelle and Alice Fasman.
2) Brandon Moore of Dexter High School, Dexter, for “Morning Jog.” Music teacher: Scott Rybolt.
3) Ben Bergstrom of Rock Bridge High School, Columbia, for “Nessy.” Music teacher: Steve Mathews.

High School – Popular
1) Ross Menefee of Hickman High School, Columbia, for “Turn Your Shoulder.” Music teacher: Denis Swope
2) Tanner Qualls, a home-schooled student from Lee’s Summit, for “Secrets and Lies.”
3) Jaron Christopher Geil, a home-schooled student from Grandview, for “This Crime.”

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.