The University of Missouri at Columbia has created the Mizzou New Music Initiative, a diverse array of programs intended to position the school as a leading center for music composition and new music. The initiative is a direct result of a $1 million donation by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, headed by Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield.
Jeanne Sinquefield has long envisioned turning the university into a “mecca” for new music. In addition to the donation, she and the foundation fund and sponsor a statewide competition for young composers called C.O.M.P., or Creating Original Music Competition. The competition is aimed at students from kindergarten through 12th grades.
“I see the Mizzou New Music Initiative as a truly ground-breaking effort to help spur creativity among young composers,” Jeanne Sinquefield said. “I couldn’t be more excited about this initiative and what it means for so many talented young people. I think Missouri could become the hub for turning out world-class fine arts composers.”
The components of the New Music Initiative include:
- Starting in 2010, two full-tuition scholarships will be awarded each year to incoming freshmen seeking a bachelor’s degree in composition. The recipients of the scholarships will have an opportunity to work with the young people in the C.O.M.P. program.
- Three graduate assistantships will be offered each year to talented performers dedicated to promoting new music. The graduate assistants will play in the New Music Ensemble under the direction of faculty composer Stefan Freund. The assistantships include a full tuition waiver and an annual stipend of about $5,000.
- The Sinquefield composition prize, which is eligible to all undergraduate or graduate students at the University of Missouri who submit a fine art composition. The winner is given the opportunity to have his or her work performed by one of the university’s large ensembles.
- The New Music Summer Festival, which will feature eight to 10 composers from around the world creating a composition to be performed by Alarm Will Sound, an internationally acclaimed new music ensemble.
- The C.O.M.P. program.
- Composer Connection, a program that allows young composers from throughout Missouri to receive instruction from a graduate student in composition at University of Missouri. Under this distance-learning program, young composers can email works in progress and questions about composing to the graduate student.
For more detailed information, please check out a website devoted to the New Music Initiative: http://music.missouri.edu/newmusicinitiative.html.