The latter part of the fall 2022 semester has been a busy one for the University of Missouri School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative. Here is a summary of what has been going on.
Abstract sound artist Maria Chavez had a five-day residency at Mizzou (Nov. 7-11). The Peruvian turntablist spent time with the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, talking about listening practices and the various influences that inform her work. Chavez demonstrated her turntable skills for students using records that were generously donated by Columbia’s Hitt Street Records.
Chavez shared her knowledge and artistry with students during a pair of rehearsals as well as the School of Music Convocation. The latter event was a hands-on workshop that allowed students the use of records and turntables to create their own soundscapes. Chavez also gave a presentation during a composition seminar that offered insights into her career as a sound artist and delved into her recent exploration of visual art and sculpture, which grew out of it.
On Nov. 8, composition students traveled to Powell Hall in St. Louis, where the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra gave a reading of three new works by students Jack Snelling, Santiago Beis, and Sam Whitty. It was a first-time reading of all three pieces, but it won’t be the last: the trio will return to St. Louis in the spring for a formal performance of their compositions by the SLSO.
The opportunity to work with the SLSO was open to all composition students, and others in the program traveled with Snelling, Beis, and Whitty to support their peers and listen to the feedback offered to them by the orchestra musicians. Afterward, Richmond (Virginia) Symphony associate conductor Chia-Hsuan Lin and SLSO associate librarian Henry Skolnick gave three personalized assessments of their work.
Mid-November also saw the premiere of three Sinquefield-commissioned works by Mizzou student composers. Morima debuted his opera scenes with Show-Me Opera at Sinquefield Music Center on Nov. 11. The first performance of JT Wolfe’s piece for brass quintet was held at Whitmore Recital Hall on Nov. 13. And Jack Snelling’s piece for wind ensemble and jazz quartet was unveiled at the Missouri Theatre on Nov. 16.
Finally, the Mizzou New Music Ensemble had its last concert of the semester in Sinquefield Music Center’s Sheryl Crow Hall on Dec. 4.