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, and performance 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

Reading Room to open Fall 2024! 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: Variations on Four Sunday School Tunes, performed by organist Hae Won Jang and the Michigan State University Chorale conducted by David Rayl. These arrangements by Missouri-born Virgil Thomson reconsider the traditional songs with modern variations for organ. The recording is available for free to stream on the following platforms.

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 Chorale 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, and 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

Director: Dr. Megan Murph

Graduate Assistants: Brandon Sconce and Joshua Whittom

Undergraduate Assistant: James Langen and Kiana Fernandes


Board of Directors 

Chair: Dr. David Rayl, Former Associate Dean & Director of Choral Programs (Michigan State University)

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

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

Libby Roberts, former Interim Director of the Budds Center and Ph.D. Candidate in Musicology (Western University)

Mackenzie Chosy, former Graduate Assistant of the Budds Center 


Former Board Members and Honorary Advisors 

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

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

Dr. William B. Bondeson 
Professor Emeritus in Philosophy & Medical Ethics (University of Missouri)

Dr. John Cheetham 
Professor Emeritus in Composition (University of Missouri)

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

Alexander LaBrunerie (LaBrunerie Financial, Columbia, MO)

Laura Perez Mesa (deceased Arts Advocate, Columbia, MO)

Keith Schawo (CTFA, Central Bank of Boone County, Columbia, MO)

Betty K. Wilson (Lawyer, Columbia, MO)

The Budds Center accepts donations of "American Music" materials broadly speaking. Please contact the director for more information. 

A special thank you to those who have donated items: Marc Rice and Laura Pita, Howard Marshall, and Edward Giles.