Samuel Tillman, Daniel Vega chosen as winners of the 2019 MADSM Collegiate Composition Competition

From left: Samuel Tillman, Daniel Vega

The Missouri Association of Departments and Schools of Music (MADSM) and the Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI) have chosen the winners in the 2019 MADSM Collegiate Composition Competition.

The winning work in the Undergraduate category is “Cadencia” by Samuel Tillman, a student at Truman State University, and the winner in the Graduate category is “Hitt St. Harangue” by Daniel Vega of the University of Missouri.

The two winning compositions will be workshopped by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble with help from the composers; recorded; and then performed in concert next month on the Mizzou campus. The Ensemble will play the winning works again in January at the annual Missouri Music Educators Association conference in Osage Beach, with the goal of attracting future opportunities on concert programs around the state.

Tillman, a native of Alton, IL, is a junior at Truman State. He is a cellist as well as a composer whose musical inspirations include Yo-Yo Ma, Alisa Weilerstein, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Steve Reich. This past summer, he attended the Young Artist Seminar at Rocky Ridge Music Center in Estes Park, Colorado, for an intensive four-week program of chamber, solo, and orchestral music. Tillman is an active member of the Upsilon Phi chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and enjoys listening to vinyl in his spare time.

Vega, who is a saxophonist as well as a composer, originally is from Ward, CO. He earned his bachelors of music composition from Portland State University before coming to Mizzou, where he now is in his second year of study for a masters degree in composition. He was the winner last year in the Graduate category of the inaugural MADSM Collegiate Composition Competition for his work “Natales.” Vega also is one of three Mizzou student composers this year to have a new work read and critiqued by musicians from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and resident conductor Gemma New as part of an ongoing collaboration between the orchestra and MNMI.

The MADSM Collegiate Composition Competition is intended to encourage the creation of original chamber music that can be played by high-school level musicians. The competition is open to all students currently enrolled in any MADSM member institution, with separate categories for undergraduate and graduate students.

Submitting composers were asked to write a new work from five to seven minutes in length for a group of three to five musicians. The judges for the 2019 competition were Stefan Freund, artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative and professor of composition at the University of Missouri; Anthony Maglione, associate professor of music and director of choral studies of William Jewell College; and Jocelyn Prendergast, assistant professor of music and music education at Truman State University.

The Missouri Association of Departments and Schools of Music (MADSM) includes all institutions in the state of Missouri that offer post-secondary music study. MADSM offers a regular forum for leaders from these institutions to discuss issues pertaining to music study; to provide mutual support for each other; and to advocate for music education at the collegiate level, presenting a strong and unified voice for music education in Missouri.