William J. “Billy” Lackey, who has served as managing director of the Initiative since it was founded in 2009, is leaving Mizzou on March 4 and moving to Minnesota to take a job with American Composers Forum (ACF). Lackey (pictured, top left), who also is an assistant teaching professor of composition at the university, will become vice president of programs for ACF.
A search for a permanent replacement at the Mizzou New Music Initiative will begin immediately. In the meantime, Andrew Worden, a graduate of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, has accepted the position of interim managing director, starting March 1 and continuing until July 31.
“Billy Lackey’s knowledge, dedication, and hard work have been essential to the success and growth of the Mizzou New Music Initiative over the past seven years,” said Julia Gaines, director of the University of Missouri School of Music. “While we regret losing him as a colleague, our sense of loss is tempered by knowing that he’ll be doing great things for composers in his new job.”
Founded in 1973 as the Minnesota Composers Forum, American Composers Forum is a non-profit organization with headquarters in St. Paul, MN that works to promote and assist American composers and contemporary classical music. It’s the largest organization of its type in the country, and as vice-president of programs, Lackey will head a staff of three administering ACF’s commissions, residencies, and other opportunities and services for composers.
“It’s been an honor to work for the past seven years alongside Mizzou New Music Initiative co-artistic directors Dr. W. Thomas McKenney and Dr. Stefan Freund, MU School of Music staff, faculty, and students,” said Lackey. “I’d also like to thank Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield, as the numerous programs we offer would not be possible without her generosity and dedication.”
“I am truly grateful for all of the opportunities provided to me and for the lasting friendships I have made through MNMI, and I think the Initiative has a bright future. Programs are expanding, and new ways of assisting and promoting composers and performers are constantly being discussed, ” he said. “The experience I’ve gained at Mizzou has positioned me well for my new job, and I’m excited about the opportunity, as my passion coincides with ACF’s mission to nurture the creative spirit of composers and communities.”
Lackey’s interim replacement Andrew Worden (pictured, lower left) is a native of Arizona who graduated from the Eastman School of Music in 2014 with a master’s degree in percussion performance and an arts leadership certificate.
Since then, he’s been a post-graduate fellow in an Eastman program to promote musicians’ health, collaborating with healthcare providers to develop wellness practices for musicians. Worden also has been involved in a number of music-related entrepreneurial ventures during his time in Rochester, founding or co-founding four different performing ensembles and directing two others.