Program Gives Composers Opportunity To Hear Their Music

Given the expense and logistics associated with putting on a full orchestral or choral concert, opportunities for composers — especially young, amateur composers — to hear their music performed are few and far between.

That was the motivation behind the creation of the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project. The program is a collaboration of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, the Columbia Civic Orchestra and the Columbia Chamber Choir funded by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

Composers are invited to submit an original piece of music in one of five categories: SEC Student Selected Orchestral Work, SEC Student Selected Choral Work, Missouri Open Selected Orchestral Work, Missouri High School Selected Orchestral Work and Missouri High School Selected Choral Work. One piece from each category is selected to be performed in a special concert by the Columbia Civic Orchestra and the Columbia Chamber Choir. Winners also receive a $500 honorarium.

“We started the program because of the need for outlets for composers to hear their work … composers are constantly looking for opportunities to have their music heard and performed,” said William Lackey, managing director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. “When they do … it’s something beautiful to watch.”

In combination with programs such as the Summer Composition Institute youth summer camp, Lackey said the Composers Project is a way to further sponsor Jackie Sinquefield’s vision of making Missouri a “mecca for new music.”

For more information, see the project website at