Budds Center for American Music Studies

The Budds Center for American Music Studies is devoted to the study, teaching, and performance of American Music, with emphasis on music from Missouri. Established in 2019 by Michael J. Buddsa musicologist and esteemed professor at the University of Missouri, the center contributes to the stature of the School of Music at the university in its mission as a Research I institution.

Mission Statement: The Budds Center’s mission is to promote research, education, performance, and creation of American music as well as cultivate an appreciation for Missouri’s musical traditions in the following ways:

  • Present public programs connected to Missouri’s and America’s musical life
  • Promote performances of Missouri and American music
  • Support and engage in original research and performance projects addressing Missouri and American music
  • Disseminate the results of such research through digital and printed publications and recordings
  • Foster education in Missouri and American music through K-12 resources and local community engagement
  • Manage and provide public access to a research archive of American music
  • Support the mission of the School of Music as well as the Division of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity at the University of Missouri

Access to Online Database: Programs and Photographs from the University of Missouri School of Music [in cooperation with Ellis Library] (https://mospace.umsystem.edu/xmlui/handle/10355/76621) 

Collection: The Budds Center holds thousands of items related to American and Missouri musical traditions such as books, sound records, video recordings, photographs, programs, posters, and beyond.

Recording, Virgil Thomson: The Shaped Note Hymn Arrangements, performed by the Michigan State University Chorale and conducted by David Rayl. These arrangements by Missouri-born Virgil Thomson celebrate shaped-note hymn tradition and connect to The Missouri Harmony (1820). The recording is available for free to stream on the following platforms

Recording, A Yuletide Offering: Carol Arrangement by John Cheetham, performed by the University Singers of the University of Missouri (R. Paul Crabb, conductor), Graduate Chamber Choir of Michigan State University (David Rayl, conductor), University Choir of the University of Iowa (David Puderbaugh, conductor), and Southern Choral Chamber Ensemble of the University of Southern Mississippi (Gregory Fuller, conductor). This recording is available  for free to stream on the following platforms. 

Book, A Thematic Catalogue & Performance Chronicle of the Music of John Cheetham. Posthumously published, Michael Budds's catalog offers a reflection on Cheetham's performance and composition career as well as lists all works by the composer. All works are identified by incipit and annotated with fundamental information such as genre, medium, date of composition, grade of difficulty, duration, publisher as well as some comments from the composer himself or the performers who premiered his compositions. Available at the Mizzou bookstore.

Book, 200 Memorable Missouri Musical Moments: Commentary, Historical Photographs, & Video Clips [in honor of the Missouri State Bicentennial in 2021]  A celebration of Missouri music and musicians in pictures, text, and sound! This recent publication is a chronological overview of significant people, places, events, and traditions unique to Missouri covering the years 1809-2019. Each "moment" includes a full-page photograph, commentary, and even a YouTube bibliography with links to relevant media. It is available in e-book format as well as a soft-cover book at the Mizzou bookstore.

Book, 100 Years of Music-Making at Mizzou: Facts and Memories of the Department/ School of Music at the University of Missouri from 1917-2017. This unique publication offers a comprehensive overview of the University of Missouri School of Music's rich, 100-year history in academic excellence. Its information spans from articles about the department's various ensembles, programs, and concert series, as well as entries regarding alumni, teachers, and staff. In addition to biographical information, the reader will find rosters of publications, discographies, and achievements contained within the book's 500 pages. Of a more personal note are the quoted memories from faculty and students caringly compiled by its editor, Michael Budds. Available at the Mizzou bookstore

 Conference: J.W. "Blind" Boone Symposium (Sept 30-Oct 20, 2022) hosted by the Boone Home Foundation, Budds Center, Lincoln University, and Central Missouri University. 


Director: Dr. Megan Murph

Graduate Assistant: Mackenzie Chosy

Undergraduate Assistant: James Langen


Current Board of Directors 

Chair: Dr. Judith Mabary (Associate Professor, Musicology, University of Missouri)

Dr. S. Kay Hoke
Dean, School of Music, DePauw University 

Dr. David Rayl
Associate Dean & Director of Choral Programs, College of Music
Professor, Choral Music, Michigan State University 

Dr. James Parsons
Distinguished Professor of Music History
Missouri State University

Libby Roberts, former Interim Director of the Budds Center


Original Honorary Advisors and Former Board Members  

Dr. Michael J. Budds, Founder 

Dr. William B. Bondeson
Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus
Professor Emeritus, Philosophy & Medical Ethics, University of Missouri 

Dr. John Cheetham
Professor Emeritus, Composition, The School of Music, University of Missouri 

Linda Butterfield Cupp
Former Director, MU Direct: Continuing & Distance Education, University of Missouri 

Dr. J. Quentin Kuyper
Former Executive Director, Harry Jacobs Chamber Music Society
Georgia Regents University 

Alexander LaBrunerie
Principal, LaBrunerie Financial, Columbia, MO 

Laura Perez Mesa
Arts Advocate, Columbia, MO

Keith Schawo, CTFA
Executive Vice President & Columbia Market Executive, Central Bank of Boone County, Columbia, MO 

Betty K. Wilson, Esq.
Former Partner, Oliver Walker Wilson, Columbia, MO  


Dr. Megan Murph, Director

Budds Center for American Music Studies
135 Fine Arts Building