In a news conference on Thursday, February 21, University of Missouri officials announced that the Mizzou New Music Initiative will receive a gift of $2.5 million from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation to help continue the program over the next three years.
The funds will help support all of MNMI’s activities, including the costs of faculty and staff, graduate student assistantships, and two full-tuition scholarships per year for undergraduate composition majors; presenting the Mizzou International Composers Festival; bringing guest composers and performers to campus; funding the Sinquefield Composition Prize; and more. The University will match the $300,000 portion designated for undergraduate student scholarships, increasing the amount to a grand total of $600,000.
Speakers at the gift announcement event included Mizzou chancellor Alexander Cartwright; Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation; Pat Okker, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences; and Julia Gaines, director of the School of Music. The presentation also included video testimonials from Mizzou composition alumni Grant Fonda, Stephanie Berg and Trey Makler, talking about the opportunities they’ve gained from being part of MNMI.
A brief slide show of photos from the past ten years featured some numbers quantifying what MNMI has done during that time, noting that 70 students have received full scholarships and assistantships; 505 pieces of new music have been performed or created by Mizzou composers; and 164 guest composers and performers of new music have visited campus, including three Pulitzer Prize winners and four Grammy Award winners.
Attendees also enjoyed a performance of sophomore composition major Jack Snelling’s “Stream of Consciousness” (pictured), conducted by the composer and performed by flutist Jane Wang, clarinetist Tricia Carver-Horner, and pianist Danny Singh.
The event was reported in a feature story in the Columbia Missourian, and also got coverage from KOMU, the Columbia Daily Tribune, and various other media outlets around the state. You can see the entire gift announcement event in the embedded video player below.