By Jeff Murphy, January 10, 2020
WARRENSBURG, MO – Ring in the new decade with exciting performances, visiting artists, public presentations, and more as the University of Central Missouri presents an outstanding season of musical experiences. New this year: music patrons can become a Concert Insider and receive free updates about their favorite ensembles and performers by texting CONCERT to 660-248-0496.
Kick off January with a free family concert featuring Prokofiev’s beloved ‘Peter and the Wolf’ at 7 p.m. Jan. 28 in Hart Recital Hall. An all-student ensemble with live narration brings the enchanting tale of Peter and his animal friends to life. Also featuring our four-legged friends, Kansas City’s Mesner Puppet Theater presents a second family-friendly concert at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 4 with ‘The Cat Came Back,’ part of UCM’s new OVATION Performance Series. Tickets are available for purchase online through UCM Theatre’s Vendini system. Sponsored by the Missouri Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, UCM’s OVATION series brings trailblazing artists in music, theatre, and dance to the Warrensburg stage. For more information visit UCM’s OVATION series webpage.
Other guest performances this spring include an evening of innovative, pop-inspired, and improvisatory music by Denver-based percussion duo If + When at 7 p.m. Feb. 18; a solo piano recital with UCM Distinguished Alumna Carolyn True, 7 p.m. March 2; and a thrilling solo percussion recital by Brendan Betyn, 7 p.m. March 4. Rounding out UCM Music’s guest concerts is an evening featuring the music of Beethoven for his 250th birthday celebration, with Boston Symphony violinist Catherine French and St. Louis Symphony pianist Nina Ferrigno, 7 p.m. March 9.
The MOXSONIC (Missouri Experimental Sonic Arts) Festival returns to UCM for its third consecutive year March 5-7, for three days and nights of free concerts, installations, presentations, workshops, and hang-outs. Featuring sonic artists and influencers from around the globe, this year’s line-up includes a live coding concert and a collective improvisation with mobile devices. Visit moxsonic.org for more information. MOXSONIC is presented by UCM’s Center for Music Technology and staffed entirely by UCM music tech students. For those who are adventurous, curious, and want to find out why UCM’s music tech program is one of the top of its kind in the United States, come listen. If you miss the festival you can still catch the Tech Performance Showcase and Electronic Compositions Concert at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday, May 3.
UCM Bands launch their spring season with a Pre-MMEA Conference Send-Off Concert at 7 p.m. Jan. 20 in the Hendricks Hall Auditorium Lobby, featuring the UCM Wind Ensemble and the Lafayette County High School Band. The Claude T. Smith Annual Invitational Band Festival celebrates its third year at UCM on Feb. 29, with a full day of coachings and performances by a guest composer and clinician working on stage with invited high school bands and their directors. The Symphonic Band Concert and Wind Ensemble Concert cap off the bands’ busy season at 3 p.m. April 25 in the ballroom of the Elliott Student Union. This is an opportunity to meet UCM’s new Assistant Director of Bands Dr. Julia Baumanis.
UCM Voice students are busy preparing a trio of special events for the spring season. At 7 p,m. Feb. 27 UCM Choirs presents the Black History Month Concert, a celebration of the music of contemporary black composers. A pre-concert lecture will be presented at 6:15 p.m. by Dr. Marques L.A. Garrett, assistant professor of music at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. At 7 p.m. April 3 and 4 p.m. April 5 in Hart Hall, UCM Opera presents ‘The Light in the Piazza,’ which won a Tony Award for Best Original Score and was nominated for Best Musical in 2005. Come see the poignant story of a Southern mother and daughter who spend a summer in Italy and find love in a most unexpected way. The choirs present their season finale Choral Masterworks Concert at 3 p.m. April 26 with the music of Britten, O'Regan, Howells, and Handel.
UCM Jazz once again hosts the 45th Annual Central Missouri Jazz Festival Feb. 22, with more than 40 middle- and high-school jazz ensembles joining UCM Jazz Ensembles 1 and 2 on stage for concerts from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.in Hart Hall, Hendricks Hall, and Nahm Auditorium. This is an opportunity to hear the newest generation of young musicians bring the standards to life. UCM’s jazz ensembles return to present the annual Spring Ensembles Concert in Hendricks Hall at 7 p.m. April 9. Don’t miss UCM jazz faculty David Aaberg lead the talented big bands through swinging renditions of standards and contemporary tunes.
UCM Symphony Orchestra presents two concerts in Hendricks Hall. The Concerto and Aria Competition Winner’s Concert takes place at 7 p.m March 13, featuring soloist Janelle Sharp (B.M. ‘20) in a performance of Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, and the Symphony Orchestra Spring Concert is at 7 p.m. April 29.
UCM Piano kicks off the spring calendar with guest masterclass with Eastman School of Music professor Alan Chow at 6 p.m. Jan. 26 in Hart Recital Hall. Come see a master teacher work with UCM performance majors on stage, in a public concert interspersed with teaching demonstrations. The perennially popular UCM Piano Area Showcase returns at 1 p.m. March 8, featuring UCM’s piano majors and minors in an afternoon of solo and duo performances. Student degree recitals by Kristine Reinagel and Leah Terrill, 1 p.m. April 18; Caeley Campbell, 5 p.m. April 18; and Hana Oshima, 7 p.m. April 20, round out the season with music of Debussy, Faure, Haydn, Chopin, Schubert, Prokofiev, and more.
Student and faculty recitals this spring commence in high gear with Elisabeth Stimpert, assistant professor of clarinet, presenting ‘My Twentieth Century,’ a program of music by Bresnick, Muczynski, and more at 7 p.m. Jan. 21, in Hart Recital Hall. The season continues with Solara Martin, clarinet, 7 p.m. Jan. 30; Amy Knost, flute, 1 p.m. Feb. 23; Rebekah Kennedy, trombone, 3 p.m. Feb. 23; Kevin Wanner, jazz combo, 7 p.m. Feb. 25; Union Ballroom; Solara Martin, clarinet with a new program, 3 p.m. March 1; Brandi Holt and Damon Pelto, flute, 7 p.m. March 11; Carly Jones, flute, 3 p.m. March 28; Kirstie Rossmiller and Alicyn Quick, clarinet, 1 p.m. April 5; Blake Pfeiffer, jazz trumpet, 3 p.m, April 18; and Haylee Schwartz, clarinet, 11 a.m, April 19. Also, don’t miss UCM’s student ensembles in their spring performances including UCM Flute Ensemble, 7 p.m. April 2, UCM Percussion Ensemble, 7 p.m. April 7, and the UCM Graduate Chamber Winds, 7 p.m. April 15.
Closing with a highlight of the spring 2020 calendar: the President’s Gala is back at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, 6 p.m. March 30. This popular gala event will feature special guest and UCM alumnus David Cook ‘06 — better known as 2008’s American Idol! — together with UCM students and faculty in a rousing evening of music, dance, theatre, and more. The gala concert is free, but tickets must be reserved ahead of time. All sponsorships and donations will benefit UCM’s School for the Visual and Performing Arts. For more information and to reserve your ticket today, visit ucmo.edu/gala.
For more information about any of our events, call 660-543-4530. All events are open to the public and free of charge (except Mesner Puppet Theater).