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Music across Berlin Wall

In 1994, Missouri State University sponsored an initiative to bring western music composed by women into the former Soviet Union. During this initiative, in Kiev, Missouri State’s Dr. Cynthia Libby met Zhanna Kolodub. Kolodub, a composer from Ukraine, gave Libby manuscripts to be published in the West.

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MSU choral studies director to conduct abroad

Dr. Cameron LaBarr, director of choral studies at Missouri State University, was invited by Dr. Gene Peterson, director of choirs for Perform International, to be the artistic director and conductor of the Prague Mozart Festival. Student musicians from across the United States are being given an opportunity to join the chorus and be directed by LaBarr in June 2015.

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Music students to perform in Veterans Day events

TAPS_webMissouri State University’s Alliance for Veterans has several Veterans Day events planned that will feature students, faculty and groups from the music department.

Nov. 9

“A Musical Salute To Our Veterans” concert

4 p.m. at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts

The Missouri State University Bands will be presenting its annual “A Musical Salute To Our Veterans” concert on Sunday, Nov. 9 at 4 p.m. in the Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts. University entertainment ensembles, Jazz Band and Pride Marching Band will combine forces to present an afternoon of inspiration, appreciation and entertainment. Featured speaker this year will be noted television personality Jerry JacobThis event is free and open to the public.

Nov. 11

Veterans Recognition Breakfast

8 – 9:30 a.m. at Plaster Student Union

Breakfast will be served to community and campus veterans and their guests at Plaster Student Union. This year’s theme is “Honor Sacrifice – The Purple Heart” and a speaker from the Springfield Military Order of the Purple Heart will provide commentary on the history and significance of the medal. Reserve seats online or by calling (417) 836-5636 before Nov. 4.

Veterans Day MSU Canteen

9:45 – 10:15 a.m. at Plaster Student Union food court

Missouri State’s Hibernotes will perform a musical salute to veterans, their contributions and their sacrifice. This event is free and open to the public.

MSU “Taps” Project

10:15 – 11:15 a.m. at McDonald Arena

The Missouri State University Bands will be presenting “The TAPS Project” in front of McDonald Arena, where 60 to 80 trumpet players will sound TAPS in a cascading fashion throughout the entire Missouri State campus. Prior to that, Springfield’s 135th Army Band, directed by Robert Springer, will present a 10:15 a.m. concert of patriotic music followed by other musical ensembles. Master of Ceremonies for the event will be Jim AndersonThis event is free and open to the public.

Parking and Special Accommodations

Veterans attending campus events are invited to park in Lots 14 and 16 along Florence Avenue. Turn West off of National Avenue onto Bear Boulevard (Monroe) and follow the signage. Transportation to the Plaster Student Union from the parking lots will be provided from 7:15 to 8:15 a.m.  Return transportation will be available at 11:20 a.m. following “Taps.”

Attendees needing assistance, a drop-off location, or personal assistance, please call 417-836-4825. Other special accommodations can be provided by contacting MSU Disability Services at 417-836-4192.

Contact Information

Alliance for Veterans


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Music education alumna emcees World Series

Missouri State alumna Danaya (Atkinson) Roller, ’10, has spent the last week watching history unfold before her.

The Kansas City Royals‘ official in-game emcee for the last four years, Roller works at all 80-plus home games and has become a face and voice associated with the game-day experience at Kauffman Stadium, including this historic season.

Royals last World Series run in 1985

Roller pumps up the crowd, runs promotions and contests, chooses people to participate in activities and more, and this year the crowd is much larger as the Royals head into Game 6 of the 2014 World Series tonight at Kauffman.

“I was part of the All-Star Game in 2012, and thought that would be the pinnacle of my cool experiences. But then this postseason push started, and I thought: I am going to get to be a part of history with the K.C. Royals!”

With a degree in music education, Roller is also a choir/music teacher in the Blue Springs School District.

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COAL faculty hoping to gain ‘global perspective’ from Colombia trip

Several College of Arts and Letters faculty will be traveling to South America next week in an interdepartmental effort to increase the college’s “global perspectives” and “cultural competency,” said communication department head Dr. Shawn Wahl.

Five professors representing four departments will depart for Colombia Oct. 25 to visit universities in Bogota and Cartagena, each with educational objectives to benefit both Missouri State and the Colombian institutions. They return Oct. 31.

Wahl said several opportunities are made available by organizing these kinds of trips, including recruitment of international students, building relationships with institutions that Missouri State students can study abroad to, and bringing a broader cultural perspective to COAL’s programs and facilities.

Faculty going to Colombia

Institutions they will visit


  • Drs. Morris, Pardue and Wahl will present on research panels the Universidad de La Sabana Communication Week.  Morris will present on debate formats during the 2012 presidential election, Pardue will present on journalism from a U.S. perspective and Wahl will present on Business and Professional Communication in a Global Context (the focus of his 2015 Short Term Study Away course he will teach at Universidad de La Sabana).
  • Dr. Hausback will be perform an international recital at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and teach master classes in trombone at several universities in Bogota.
  • Dr. Jolley will be networking with department head and faculty at all of the Colombian universities to explore study away program and language training programs.



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Music students to perform at Bears on the Square

Musical groups from the music department will join the alumni association for a new Homecoming event this Saturday, Bears on the Square.

What is Bears on the Square

Immediately following the Homecoming game, the public is invited to Park Central Square, where Missouri State’s Hibernotes, Beartones and Pride Band will perform, along with members of the school’s spirit squads. Other entertainment will include a performance by country music duo Brothers Osborne, and several downtown businesses will be offering special discounts for those wearing BearWear.


6:15-6:45 p.m. — Hibernotes

7 p.m. — Mini pep rally with MSU Pride Band Ensemble and spirit squad members

7:45-8:15 p.m. — Beartones

9 p.m.— Brothers Osborne


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COAL Homecoming: Master class series brings alumni back to campus to share their crafts

The College of Arts and Letters will be hosting a series of master classes Oct. 16 and 17 as part of its Homecoming event schedule. These classes, presented by COAL alumni in music, art and design, theatre and dance, and media, journalism and film, are open to the public. The schedule is as follows:

Susan LaBarr

Living the Dream – Composing and Publishing Music

Presented by COAL alumna Susan LaBarr, composer (BM 2004; MM 2007)

Susan LaBarr is an active, published composer, with works in print through Santa Barbara Music Company and Morningstar Music. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Music in and a Master of Music in Music Theory in at Missouri State University. In 2011, Susan won the Opus Award for her compositions Two Songs of Love Lost: Forever Gone and At Dawn of Day. This award is selected by members of the Missouri Choral Directors Association. In 2012, Susan served as composer-in-residence for the Chattanooga Girls Choir (TN). More recently, Susan served as the Missouri Composer Laureate, 2012 and 2013, a position selected by the organization Verses and Voices, and chaired by Missouri First Lady, Georganne Nixon. She also works as editor of Walton Music.

Event details

Date: Oct. 16, 4 – 5 p.m.

Location: Plaster Student Union Theater

Matt_RaithelVideo Game Development 

Presented by COAL alumnus Matt Raithel, studio director (Electronic Arts, 2004)

Matt Raithel, studio director at Graphite Lab in St. Louis, helped produced the mobile game app, My Little Pony Party of One, which reached No. 1 ranking in 73 countries by selling over one million downloads in one week (August 3-10). The game was animated primarily by another MSU alum, Matt Stevens (BFA Animation ‘09), under Raithel’s direction. After graduating from Missouri State with a bachelor’s degree in electronic arts, Raithel joined Black Lantern Studios in Springfield, where he served as an art director, director of art and design, vice president of operations and studio president.

Immediately following the class, Raithel will be presenting in the COAL alumni panel, Preparing for that First Professional Job or How I Survived the Biggest Professional Mistake I ever Made!, Friday, Oct. 17 from 1:50 – 2:50 p.m. at Plaster Student Union Theater.

Event details

Date: Oct. 17, 12:20 – 1:40 p.m.

Location: Plaster Student Union Theater

hyche1Contemporary Dance

Presented by COAL alumnus Darrell Hyche II, dancer (BFA, 2013)

In his first year with the St. Louis company Modern American Dance Company, under company director Stacy West, Darrell Hyche II, received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance performance and Bachelor of Science in psychology from Missouri State in 2013 and was a member of the University’s Inertia Dance Company under the direction of Ruth Barnes and Darryl Clark. Hyche has performed with the Springfield Ballet and the Ashleyliane Dance Company. As a scholarship student at the American Dance Festival, he worked with Brenda Daniels, Elizabeth Corbett, Sherone Price and T. Lang. He has also been in repertory works by William Forsythe, Nicholas Leichter and Merce Cunningham. In 2007, MADCO was invited to become the Professional Dance Company in Residence at the prestigious Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of University of Missouri St. Louis.

Immediately following the class, Hyche will be presenting in the COAL alumni panel, Preparing for that First Professional Job or How I Survived the Biggest Professional Mistake I ever Made!, Friday, Oct. 17 from 1:50 – 2:50 p.m. at Plaster Student Union Theater.

Event details

Date: Oct. 17, 12:20 – 1:40 p.m.

Location: Art Annex, Room #5, 1045 E Grand Street

coleclosserGraphic Novels and Modern Storytelling

Presented by COAL alumnus Cole Closser, artist, author and illustrator (BFA, 2011)

Cole Closser, a Missouri cartoonist and illustrator of comics and graphic novels, will discuss the creation and publication of his graphic novel “Little Tommy Lost” which was featured in Juxtapoz magazine (August 2013) and named one of the 10 best graphic novels of 2013 by A.V. Club (the Onion). He is a graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in art printmaking and drawing programs at Missouri State University and a Master of Fine Arts from The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont.

Closser also be attending the COAL Wine and Cheese Alumni Reception later Friday evening, from 5 to 6 p.m., at the Student Exhibition Center where his work is on display.

Event details

Date: Oct. 17, 3 – 4 p.m.

Location: Plaster Student Union Theater

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Registration open for 2015 Jazz Fest

IMG_3059School bands and ensembles interested participating in Missouri State’s 2015 Jazz Fest can now register. Divisions include Big Band, 2nd Bands, Jr Hi/Mid School Bands, and Combos, and groups can register as competitive or non-competitive. Slots are given on a first-come, first-serve basis and early birds receive a 10 percent discount when registered before Dec. 1 with payment rendered by Feb. 1. Final registration deadline is Feb. 6.

All about Jazz Fest

The U.S. Air Force’s Airmen of Note and jazz master Jamey Aebersold will headline the Feb. 28 event, co-sponsored by the University’s band and jazz studies programs. Master classes will be given in the morning and repeated again in the afternoon. All sessions and classes are conducted by MSU jazz studies faculty, band director and guest artists. All performances are open to the public.

The awards ceremony is scheduled for 5 p.m., followed by a free concert by the Airmen of Note at 7 p.m. Concert admission tickets are required and will be provided to festival participants. Members of the public may request tickets by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope along with the number of tickets requested (up to 4) to: Missouri State University Bands // Wehr Band Hall // 901 South National Ave // Springfield, MO  65897.


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Music faculty, students to perform at Women in the Arts conference in November

Women in the ArtsMissouri State University’s music department will be well represented at this year’s Women in the Arts International Conference, hosted by the University of Missouri-St. Louis Nov. 6-8.

The conference will include presentations related to all fields of women creators in the arts — music, literature, drama, dance, performance art and visual art — and will include papers, lecture recitals, clinics, demonstrations, panels, performances and workshops. Presenters are faculty members (full time, adjunct and retired), independent scholars, performers, artists, writers and graduate students.

The concert on Nov. 7 will include Missouri State faculty Dr. Cynthia Green Libby on the oboe, Dr. Jill Heyboer on the flute, and Leah Miller Munoz on the bassoon, as well as music student Erin Smith, a senior oboe player.

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