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.
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 http://www.columbiachorale.com/ 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.