2020 and 2022 Missouri Composers Project winners honored at March 22nd concert

The Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO) and the Columbia Chamber Choir performed works by the winners of the 2022 Missouri Composers Project (MOCOP) in concert on Sunday evening, March 20th at First Baptist Church in Columbia. Since the 2020 and 2021 MOCOP concerts were canceled because of COVID protocols, the 2022 concert also featured performances of the winning compositions from the 2020 competition.

The concert performances were appreciated by the winning composers, as well as the musicians and conductors who played the compositions.

Devin Cholodenko                                                                 Photo Credit: Allison Davis

“I will always be so grateful to have had my orchestral music played as part of the Missouri Composers Project,” said 2022 winner Devin Cholodenko. “The Columbia Civic Orchestra approached my piece thoughtfully and with commitment–I am so very honored that they programmed my work.”

Brian Silvey conducting the Columbia Civic Orchestra                                                                     Photo Credit: Allison Davis

“I always enjoy getting to work with the Columbia Civic Orchestra when conducting a new piece that was written by a living composer,” added Dr. Brian Silvey, Director of Bands, Professor of Music Education, and Associate Director of the Mizzou School of Music. “To see how appreciative the composers are of the experience of having their works performed by an outstanding community ensemble makes the event personally and musically rewarding for everyone involved.”

Designed to bring attention to new large ensemble works written in the state of Missouri, MOCOP is a collaborative effort involving the CCO, the Columbia Chamber Choir, the Mizzou New Music Initiative, and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

This year’s winners competed in four categories: High School Choral and High School Orchestral for Missouri composers currently in high school; and Open Choral and Open Orchestral for Missouri composers of any age. The winning orchestral and choral works were selected through MOCOP’s competitive, blind judging process. In addition to the concert performances by the CCO and Columbia Chamber Choir, the works were professionally recorded. Each of the winning composers were also awarded a $500 honorarium.

MOCOP 2022 Photo Grid

2022 MOCOP winners: Top left-Devin Cholodenko, top right – Henry Ruston, Bottom left – James Davidson, Bottom Right – Thomas Libbert

Here are the four 2022 MOCOP winners and their compositions:

Open Orchestral: Devin Cholodenko, Mountains in the Distance

High School Orchestral: Henry Rusten, Themes of Imagination

Open Choral: James Davidson, O Oriens

High School Choral: Thomas Libbert, Fire Doesn’t Always Have to Burn


Here are the 2020 competition winners and their compositions:

Open Orchestral: Dan Viggers (St. Louis, MO), New Elegance

High School Orchestral: David McCaulley (Carl Junction High School, Carl Junction, MO), ‘Till the End of Time

Open Choral: Jiyoun Chung (Kansas City, MO), My Beautiful One, Come Away With Me

High School Choral: Robyne Sieh, O’Fallon, MO), Peace

Columbia Civic Orchestra and Columbia Chamber Choir            Photo Credit: Allison Davis

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.

The Columbia Chamber Choir is an ensemble of the Chorale Arts Alliance of Missouri, which works to promote choral music of the highest artistic quality and to stimulate a greater community understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of choral music by presenting programs appealing to a wide cross-section of Missouri residents and visitors.

To watch the 2022 MOCOP concert, click on the link below: