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Mizzou New Music Initiative

Mizzou New Music Inititiative
- Introduction
- Undergraduate Composition Scholarships
- New Music Ensemble Graduate Assistantships
- Sinquefield Compostion Prize
- Mizzou New Music Festival
- Creating Original Music Project
- Composer Connection


Mizzou New Music Initiative brings together a diverse array of programs intended to position the University of Missouri School of Music as a leading center in the areas of composition and new music. The Initiative is the direct result of the generous support of Dr. Jeanne and Mr. Rex Sinquefield, and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. The Sinquefields’ vision is to create an incubator for the composition and performance of new music, and to position Missouri as a major center for the music of tomorrow. Click here to read more about the Sinquefields’ support for the MU School of Music.

Undergraduate Composition Scholarships

Mizzou New Music Initiative announces Composition Scholarships for entering freshmen. Beginning in 2010, two highly competitive full-tuition scholarships will be awarded each year to entering students seeking a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition.

Composition scholarship recipients will benefit from:

  • Working with distinguished composition faculty members Dr. W. Thomas McKenney and Dr. Stefan Freund
  • An established composition program that regularly produces national competition winners
  • Collaborating with a new music ensemble dedicated to performing works by student composers
  • Opportunities to work with C.O.M.P., the Creating Original Music Project, which supports composition activities in grades K-12

This scholarship program is directed at students composing “fine art” acoustic, electronic, and electroacoustic music. Such music may take the form of solo pieces, pieces accompanied by piano, chamber music, works for larger ensembles such as bands or orchestras, or works for electronic media. We understand that in today’s pluralistic musical world that such music may be influenced by a variety of musical styles, ranging from classical to popular.

To apply for these scholarships, you must complete this three-step process:

  • Step 1: Apply to the University of Missouri. Click here for more information.
  • Step 2: Schedule an audition on your primary instrument at the School of Music. We strongly encourage you to audition on one of the first two Mizzou Music Days.

    For Fall 2010 admissions, the first two audition days are Friday, December 4, 2009 and Monday, February 15, 2010. Click here for more information.
  • Step 3: Submit a Composition Portfolio by January 5, 2010 (postmark deadline).

      Composition Portfolio Submission Guidelines:
    • Submit three or more written or printed scores of contrasting original works.
    • Submit recordings of the same works. Live recordings are preferred but MIDI recordings are accepted.
    • Label all scores, CDs, tapes, videotapes, and DVDs with your name, and contact information.
    • Submit a music resume containing: (1) list of works composed with instrumentation and date composed; (2) list of performances your works have received, including dates, performers, and location; (3) performance accomplishments on your primary instrument; and (4) full contact information.
    • Submit one-page essay describing why you are seeking a degree in music composition and your future goals as a musician.

    Postmark Deadline: January 5, 2010

    Mail composition portfolio submissions to:
    William J. Lackey, Admissions and Publicity Coordinator
    University of Missouri School of Music
    140 Fine Arts Building
    Columbia, MO 65211

Finalists will be invited for an on-campus interview on Monday, February 15, 2010.
Finalists must be available on this date.

If you have questions regarding the application process or you would like to visit the School of Music, e-mail William J. Lackey, Admissions and Publicity Coordinator, at

New Music Ensemble Graduate Assistantships

Mizzou New Music Initiative seeks talented performers dedicated to promoting new music. The New Music Ensemble, under the direction of faculty composer and Alarm Will Sound member Stefan Freund, will collaborate with MU’s faculty and student composers, perform frequently on and off campus, and work with some of the world’s leading composers and interpreters of new music. Six Graduate Assistantships are available for New Music Ensemble members (three awarded per year).

New Music Ensemble instrumentation: Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Piano and Percussion

Anticipated openings for Fall 2010: Flute, Violin, and Piano

Graduate Assistantships include a full tuition waiver and an annual stipend of approximately $5,000.

Deadline: Initial review of assistantship applications begins on December 15.  

Candidates for the New Music Ensemble Graduate Assistantships must audition on one of the Graduate Audition Days or on another mutually agreeable date. Candidates must pursue the MM in performance or another master’s degree (such as composition, music theory, music history). If the degree is not in a performance area, the candidate must demonstrate performance skills at the required level for entrance to the MM performance program.

Click here for more information about audition repertoire. New Music Ensemble audition repertoire must be prepared in addition to other audition or entrance requirements for the degree.

To apply for the New Music Ensemble Graduate Assistantship you must complete the University of Missouri and School of Music application processes found here.

If you have questions regarding the application process or you would like to visit the School of Music e-mail William J. Lackey, Admissions and Publicity Coordinator, at

Sinquefield Composition Prize

The Sinquefield Composition Prize is an annual competition for students at the University of Missouri. The winner is given an opportunity to write an original work for one of Mizzou's premiere large ensembles and have his/her music performed and recorded.

    Schedule for the 2009-2010 competition:
  • Monday, October 5, 2009: Submission of entry materials due.
  • Friday, October 9, 2009: Finalists’ materials delivered to outside judges.
  • Friday, October 23, 2009: Winner announced.
  • Friday, October 30, 2009: Winner announces ensemble for which commissioned work will be written.
  • Tuesday, January 20, 2010: Score and parts of commissioned work due.
  • Monday, March 15, 2010: Premiere of commissioned work on the Chancellor's Concert.

Any undergraduate or graduate student at the University of Missouri may submit an original fine art composition for consideration. Professional composers from outside the MU School of Music will serve as judges for the competition.

Submission and Judging:
Students will submit works to the School of Music composition faculty. The outside judges will select one composer to write a piece for large ensemble. The winning student must then compose a new work for the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the University Philharmonic, or the University Singers.

Application: Student composers will submit one score and corresponding recording (live performance or computer realization) of any scoring.


  • The winning student will be awarded a scholarship to the University of Missouri and a cash prize for the production of score and parts.
  • The commissioned work will be premiered at the annual Chancellor’s Concert in Jesse Auditorium, giving the winning composer the experience of working with the conductors of and musicians in Mizzou's large ensembles.
  • Following the performance, the selected ensemble will record the commissioned work.

    Inscription: Winning composers should inscribe the score and parts as follows: Commissioned by Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield for the University of Missouri Chancellor’s Concert. Composers should also include the date of the concert.

Past Recipients of the Sinquefield Prize in Composition at the University of Missouri:

2009 - Stephanie Berg, Parkville, MO. Senior, Composition and Clarinet
2008 - Mark Woodward, Liberty, MO. Master’s Student, Composition
2007 - Katie Andres, Bonne Terre, MO. Senior, Horn
2006 - Partrick Dell, Sunset Hills, MO. Senior, Music Education and Composition

2009 - Alex Blanton, Jeffersonville, IN. Master’s Student Composition
2009 - Tony Hernandez, Junior, Composition
2008 - Alex Blanton, Jeffersonville, IN. Master’s Student Composition
2008 - Kyoungsuk Chang, Cheonan, South Korea, Master’s Student, Composition
2008 - Dustin Frieda, Springfield ,MO. Senior, Viola
2007 - Ryan Hampton, Liberty, MO. Master’s Student, Composition
2007 - Robert Trussell, Kansas City, MO. Senior, Bassoon
2007 - Mark Woodward, Independence, MO. Master’s Student, Composition
2006 - Alex Blanton, Jeffersonville, IN. Master’s Student Composition
2006 - John Ernst, Bonne Terre, MO. Senior, Composition
2006 - David MacDonald, St. Louis, MO. Senior, Trumpet and Composition
2006 - Timothy Rogers, O’Fallon, IL. Senior, Composition

Mizzou New Music Summer Festival

The Mizzou New Music Initiative is excited to announce the First Annual Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, July 12-18, 2010 on the campus of the University of Missouri. Eight composers from around the world will be selected through a portfolio application process to compose a work to be performed by the internationally acclaimed new music ensemble, Alarm Will Sound. Composers will receive private composition lessons with Martin Bresnick recipient of the first Charles Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Derek Bermel, Composer-in-Residence of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; take part in workshops with Alarm Will Sound; participate in masterclasses; receive a professional live recording and the premiere performance of their work.

Resident Ensemble:
Alarm Will Sound

Resident Composers:
Martin Bresnick
Derek Bermel
W. Thomas McKenney
Stefan Freund

Resident Performing Artist:
Lisa Moore, piano

Composers selected as resident participants for the festival will be expected to compose a work for Alarm Will Sound’s complete instrumentation lasting up to 9 minutes in duration. Visit for their complete instrumentation. Each selected resident composer must submit two scores and parts, professionally prepared, of their work by June 1, 2010. Due to rehearsal/technical demands we will not be able to program works that include electronics.

Festival tuition for each selected composer will be provided through the generous contributions of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. Selected composers will need to pay for room and board accommodations. A single occupancy room with board is $600.00 and a double occupancy room with board is $500.00. Direct questions regarding the festival to William J. Lackey, Festival Administrator, phone 573- 882-4471 or e-mail

Receipt Deadlines: February 1, 2010

Festival Application Submission Guidelines:

  1. Completed Application found here
  2. Submit three scores of original works with contrasting instrumentation. One score must be written for chamber orchestra or large ensemble.
  3. Submit recordings of the same works. Live recordings preferred but MIDI recordings are accepted
  4. Label all scores and CDs or DVDs with your name and contact information.
  5. Submit a Resume (two page maximum)
  6. SASE for return of materials

Mail composition portfolio submissions to:

William J. Lackey, Festival Administrator
MNMI - New Music Summer Festival
University of Missouri School of Music
140 Fine Arts Building
Columbia, MO 65211

C.O.M.P. (Creating Original Music Project)

C.O.M.P., the Creating Original Music Project, comprises two programs directed at younger composers:

  • A statewide competition that recognizes Missouri students (K-12) who compose original works in a variety of musical styles. Winning composers and their schools will be awarded cash prizes.
  • The Missouri Summer Composition Institute (or “C.O.M.P. camp”), an exciting opportunity for some of Missouri’s young composers to come together for one week of learning and interacting with other creative minds. Participants will receive composition lessons from MU faculty and compose a piece to be premiered at the end of the week by a resident ensemble. The Institute is open to students entering grades 9-12 and entering college freshmen.

The programs of the Creating Original Music Project are fully funded by the Sinquefield Family Foundation. For more information, click here.

Composer Connection (a distance-learning initiative)

Composer Connection gives composers a chance to connect with and receive instruction from a graduate student in composition at MU.  The School of Music recognizes that not all students throughout Missouri have the opportunity to study with a local composer.  In an effort to give students further guidance while in the creative process the School of Music developed this distance-learning initiative.  Students can e-mail works in progress and questions about composing, and receive feedback and suggestions.  This free service will be available after September 1, 2009.  The current composer on call is Alex Blanton, and he can be reached at