Seven members of the Mizzou New Music Ensemble (NME) and five composition majors received degrees or completed their coursework at the Mizzou School of Music in May 2022.
NME members receiving Master of Music degrees included: Daniel Fitzpatrick, pianist – composition; Stephen Landy – percussion; Andy Lewis – cello; Jordan Nielsen – percussion; Eve Werger – piano; and Andrew Wiele – clarinet. Johanny Veiga Barbosa, violinist, completed her coursework for a PhD in music education.
Luis Hermano Bezerra, and Oswald Huỳnh received Master of Music degrees in Composition. Santiago Beis completed coursework for his Master of Music in Composition, and will continue in 2023 to complete an MM in Music Theory.
Holden Franklin and Emily Shaw received Bachelor of Music degrees in Composition.
Many of the graduates took the time to reflect on their experiences at Mizzou and the Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI), commenting on the experiences that have prepared them for the future, and some of their favorite memories at Mizzou.
Oswald Huỳnh, a composer and bassoonist from Portland, Oregon, came to Mizzou as a graduate assistant with the MNMI to take advantage of the composition opportunities available at Mizzou. “There are just so many opportunities to compose music and collaborate with other musicians, and my expectations have certainly been exceeded,” stated Huỳnh. “My favorite memory was writing a piece and collaborating with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. It was a dream come true for me, and it’s a moment I will never forget. My plan now is to freelance as a composer. I have several projects and commissions that will keep me busy composing!”
Brazilian composer, bassist and arranger Luis Hermano Bezerra was attracted to Mizzou through the Mizzou International Composers Festival. “That led me to the beautiful opportunities offered at Mizzou through the MNMI,” he said. “Having the chance to engage and learn from the experience of composing for various incredible ensembles and performers was invaluable.” After a short break, Bezerra plans to pursue a DMA in composition.
Holden Franklin, who received his bachelor’s degree in music composition, was first attracted to Mizzou and the MNMI when he attended the Summer COMP camp as a high schooler. “The MNMI has given me countless opportunities to write for professional performers, hear new music by the great composers of our time, and to grow as a composer. I’m really grateful for the people I’ve met here, and everything my teachers have done to help me grow as a composer.”
Seven graduate student members of the 2021-22 Mizzou New Music Ensemble earned their degrees this semester, and several of them commented on how playing in NME has provided them with opportunities to improve as musicians.
“Being exposed to so many styles, composers, new technology, and more in NME was truly a gift,” stated violinist Johanny Veiga Barbosa. “I’m sure that I’m a more precise performer because of the experience of playing in NME.”
“It’s been a wonderful and rare experience to collaborate with many of the same musicians multiple times a week for two consecutive years,” added pianist Eve Werger. “I’ve grown so much as a collaborator because of being in NME.”
“Frequent collaborations, such as reading music for comp students, has reinforced the value of networking for me,” said cellist Andy Lewis. “Working with the musicians and connecting with them is a huge part of doing anything in music, and Mizzou and NME have done a good job in helping me do that.”