• renowned support for the BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
  • committed to improving EDUCATION for all children
  • CHESS CLUB & SCHOLASTIC CENTER OF SAINT LOUIS
  • visionaries behind MIZZOU NEW MUSIC INITIATIVE

University of Missouri School of Music celebrates
opening of Sinquefield Music Center

by Dean Minderman

The University of Missouri School of Music celebrated the opening of its new building, the Sinquefield Music Center, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house on Saturday, February 1.

The building (pictured) is named for lead donors Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield, who contributed $10 million toward the $24 million total cost of design and construction. Located in the heart of campus on University Avenue, the 47,000 square foot facility includes dedicated spaces for vocal and instrumental ensemble performances, 26 practice rooms, and a recording studio large enough to fit an 18-piece jazz big band.

Attendees at the ceremony heard remarks from Dr. Sinquefield; University of Missouri chancellor Alexander Cartwright; College of Arts and Sciences dean Pat Okker; and the School of Music’s director, Dr. Julia Gaines, who called the new facility “a game changer” for the department, the university, the city of Columbia, and the state.

They also heard the Mizzou New Music Ensemble perform “Construction,” a new work composed specifically for the occasion by Mizzou student and 2019 Sinquefield Composition Prize winner Niko Schroeder, and after the program concluded, had the opportunity to tour the building.

You can read the MU News Bureau’s coverage of the ribbon cutting and open house here, and an interview with Julia Gaines about what the opening of the Sinquefield Music Center means for the School of Music here. In addition, the bureau produced a video about the building, which can be seen in the embed window below.

The building and Saturday’s event prompted three stories in the Columbia Missourian, about the Sinquefields’ ongoing support of music at Mizzou, the efforts to get the building ready to open, and the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

More media attention came from a feature in the Columbia Daily Tribune, as well as national coverage from a story by the Associated Press.

Exterior photo of the Sinquefield Music Center by Dale Lloyd. Other photos by Bob Jacquin.

Thursday
6
February 2020
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opening of Sinquefield Music Center

Woodworker who created “Sinquefield Tables” for Chess Club featured on St. Louis Public Radio

by Dean Minderman

The designer and builder of the custom chess tables used for major Grand Chess Tour events at the St. Louis Chess Club is featured in a story on the St. Louis Public Radio website.

Nate Cohen, a woodworker and the chief financial officer of Cohen Architectural Woodworking, a 70-employee family-run business in St. James, MO, wrote an article for StLPR about how he created the “Sinquefield Tables,” which were unveiled at the 2019 St. Louis Rapid & Blitz Opening Ceremony and later used for for the 2019 Sinquefield Cup.

The tables feature built-in display screens showing information about the game being played to the audience. Each chess board is “fully computerized…to monitor player’s moves, clock times and also display other graphic and player information.” You can read Cohen’s complete story here.

Wednesday
15
January 2020
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Missouri Arts Council selects Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield as winners of the 2020 Missouri Arts Award for Philanthropy

by Dean Minderman

The Missouri Arts Council has selected Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield of Westphalia as the recipients of the 2020 Missouri Arts Award for Philanthropy.

Presented annually since 1983, the awards recognize “profound and lasting contributions to the artistic and cultural legacy of the state” in six different categories.

The Sinquefields were cited specifically as “ardent supporters of music education and the composition and performance of new music, especially through the University of Missouri in Columbia via competitions, festivals, awards, scholarships, and the leading gift toward a new music building.”

The new building for the University’s School of Music, funded with a $10 million lead gift from the Sinquefields, will open in 2020. In addition, since the Mizzou New Music Initiative was created in 2009, the Sinquefields have made gifts totaling $6.9 million to support its various programs positioning the University as a center for new music and composition.

Those programs include the annual Mizzou International Composers Festival; the Creating Original Music Project (COMP), a statewide composition contest for Missouri students in grades K-12; the Missouri Composers Project (MOCOP), which provides performance opportunities for orchestral and choral works by Missouri composers; and more.

Over the last ten years, the Sinquefields’ gifts have funded a total of 74 full scholarships and graduate assistantships; campus visits from 171 guest performers and composers; and the creation or performance of 512 works of new music, including eleven that have been performed or read by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

“Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield’s support has been transformative for our composition department and the entire School of Music,” said Julia Gaines, director of the School. “The Mizzou New Music Initiative is a real asset to the University, the community, and the entire state that simply would not exist without their generosity and vision. And looking ahead, the new building for the School of Music will realize a long-held dream for the department, and allow us to continue to grow in many ways.”

An independent panel of Missourians representing the arts community throughout the state selects the honorees from among public nominations. Since the founding of the Missouri Arts Awards, the Missouri Arts Council and the State of Missouri have honored 223 people, organizations, and communities throughout the state.

The other 2020 award winners are William Ash of St. Louis for Arts Education; Bach Aria Soloists of Kansas City for Arts Organization; Grand Center Inc. of St. Louis for Creative Community; Maryfrances Wagner of Independence for Individual Artist; and Quin Gresham of Arrow Rock for Leadership in the Arts. All honorees will receive art glass created by Tyler Kimball, founder and owner of Monarch Glass Studio in Kansas City.

The 2020 Missouri Arts Awards will be presented in a public ceremony on February 5, 2020, in the Capitol Rotunda in Jefferson City. Everyone is invited to attend.

Established as a state agency in 1965, the Missouri Arts Council is a division of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, and is funded through the Missouri General Assembly, Missouri Cultural Trust, and National Endowment for the Arts.

The Council provides support to not-for-profit organizations through grants, making quality arts programming possible in communities statewide, and also provides expertise in community development, fundraising, marketing, grant writing, arts education, and artistic disciplines.

Monday
16
December 2019
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