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Composers’ works illustrated through cello, dance in William T. White Recital Series

The Missouri State music department’s 2016 William T. White Recital Series will feature cellist Steuart Pincombe and dancer Nitsan Margaliot as they offer new ways of seeing and hearing the works of Bach and Britten.

The event will be held at 7:30 p.m. on March 3 at First and Calvary Presbyterian Church’s north atrium at 820 E. Cherry Street.

Steuart Pincombe
Steuart Pincombe

More about this year’s program

This year’s event is titled “Line through Limitation: Experiencing Bach and Britten through Cello and Dance.”

The performance explores the works of Bach and Britten, who both compose suites that not only stretch the physical limits of the cello (and cellist), but also are self-limiting in their compositional techniques. This program focuses on those self-limiting attributes in Bach’s 5th cello suite and Britten’s 1st cello suite.

The dance plays a key role in helping the audience imagine and visualize some of the compositional ideas. And with innovative seating and lighting, this music and dance pairing will give you new ways to see and hear.

Nitsan Margalios
Nitsan Margalios

Learn about the artists

Steuart Pincombe

Steuart Pincombe’s career as a cellist has brought him to leading halls and festivals across North America and Europe. He is currently on a one-year called “Music in Familiar Spaces,” a project bringing innovative classical music programs to non-traditional spaces.

Nitsan Margalios

Nitsan Margalios studied dance in the Jerusalem High School Academy of Music and Dance. He received the Gertrude Kraus Foundation Scholarship. In 2015 he created the duet “harmonia,” with the musician Clara Gervais. He also participated in Xerse Opera, choreography by Maud Le Pladec in Opéra de Lille; and in “Wig It” by Ido Feder.

Visit the calendar listing for more details about each artist.

More about the series

The William T. White Recital Series is the music department’s annual event, alternating between artists chosen by the keyboard and string areas.

The series is funded through a generous endowment from the estate of William T. White, a long-time friend of the music department and an avid supporter of young musicians. The recital series began during White’s lifetime and the department honors his advocacy of young artists and his love of music through the continuation of his vital legacy.

Event details

Date: March 3
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: First and Calvary Presbyterian Church, 820 E. Cherry Street
Admission: Free and open to the public

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International oboist to perform, offer master class

KostisHassiotis-blogDr. Kostis Hassiotis, an international oboist and professor, will be on campus Feb. 24-25 to perform in a guest artist recital and give a master class. Both events are free and open to the public.

Hassiotis teaches at the University of Macedonia and the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki. He combines active artistic presence with research and teaching of music practice.

More about Hassiotis

As a soloist Hassiotis has performed throughout the world, including in Greece, Germany and England, playing both oboe and English horn.

His repertoire includes masterpieces from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and conventional 20th-Century music, as well as contemporary music from the 20th and 21st Century.

He teaches oboe, chamber music, instrumental didactics and wind ensemble coaching. His research interests include the impact of historical research in music performance and teaching, the adaption of modern scientific trends in music performance and pedagogy and the critical editing and performance of neglected works for wind instruments by Greek composers.

Event details

Guest artist recital

Date: Feb. 24
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Ellis Recital Hall

Master class

Date: Feb. 25
Time: 12-1 p.m.
Location: Ellis Recital Hall

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Award-winning actor to lead MSU’s musical theatre program

RobertWestenberg-mus-blogMissouri State’s College of Arts and Letters announced today that Robert Westenberg will join its faculty in the fall 2016 semester as musical theatre coordinator and associate professor in the theatre and dance department.

MSU’s dedication to arts, student success attracts new coordinator

Westenberg, a Tony Award-nominated actor, comes to Missouri State from Drury University, where he was chair of the theatre program, assistant chair for the department of fine and performing arts and associate professor.

Westenberg said the University’s dedication to the performing arts, along with the college’s enthusiastic faculty, staff and student body attracted him to Missouri State as he was looking for an opportunity to transition from teaching in a Bachelor of Arts to a Bachelor of Fine Arts program.

“The level of professionalism and commitment to excellence is inspiring,” he said. “The students are focused, talented and serious about their futures as theatre professionals. It will be a privilege to be a part of their growth.”

College of Arts and Letters Dean Dr. Gloria Galanes and Theatre and Dance Department Head Dr. Christopher Herr said Westenberg’s credentials will strengthen the department and musical theatre program.

“We are thrilled to have Mr. Westenberg join our faculty,” Galanes said. “It is rare to find someone with outstanding academic and professional experience, and he has both.”

Westenberg has 25 years of success on and off Broadway

Before coming into teaching in 2005, Westenberg enjoyed a 25-year commercial career with work on Broadway and Off-Broadway, national tours, regional theatres, television and film.

His Tony nomination — and Drama Desk Award — came in 1988 for the role as Wolf and Prince in the original Broadway cast of “Into the Woods.”

Other Broadway credits include his award-winning performance as Niko in “Zorba” and the titular role in “Sunday in the Park with George,” where he replaced Mandy Patinkin.

Academic and professional success to benefit program

Westenberg is a graduate of California State University-Fresno and holds a master’s degree from Denver’s National Theatre Conservatory. He also studied at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.

He said he hopes to bring the benefits of a broad theatrical professional experience as an actor, director, teacher and administrator to the program.

“I want to provide our students a level of professional training that is second-to-none in the country, and then at the end of their student life, to serve as a liaison between their academic and professional worlds.”

For more information about Westenberg or the musical theatre program, contact the department of theatre and dance at 417-836-4400.

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Double Reed Day returns on Feb. 6

Registration will be open for oboe and bassoon players in grades 7-12 until Feb. 1 for this year’s Double Reed Day. This year’s event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 6.

Double Reed Day

Young students to learn from MSU professors

Double Reed Day ProfesssorsMSU professor Cynthia Green Libby (oboe) and Leigh Miller Muñoz (bassoon) will provide students with informative advice on playing oboe and bassoon, and coach district contest solos.

The Saturday workshop will include:

  • Double reed ensemble performances at 2 p.m.
  • Supervised lunch in Plaster Student Union
    • Bring at least $6 for lunch
  • All parents and the public are invited

Reserve your place

Visit the Double Reed Day website to reserve a place for your student before Feb. 1.


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Music professor offers commentary on notable German composers

MSU-MUS-JamesParsons-BlogFall was a busy semester for music history professor Dr. James Parsons. His review of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s completed works was published in “Early Music,” and he presented his paper “Hanns Eisler’s ‘Nightmare’” at the International Tyranny and Music Conference.

‘Small things can also enchant us’

In November 2015, the music history journal “Early Music,” published Parsons’ review of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s more than 250 lieder in two volumes edited by Christoph Wolff.

The review’s title, “’Small things can also enchant us,’” was borrowed from Hugo Wolf’s opening selection from his 1892 “Italienisches Liederbuch.” In the review, Parsons wonders, “…is it possible for these lieder to enchant us nowadays?”

He goes on to encourage further performance and study of Bach, the second surviving son of Johann Sebastian Bach, though he remarked of Wolff’s work: “One could quickly run out of superlatives in praise of Wolff ’s two volumes. Both are pleasures to behold (and to hold), printed as they are on high-quality paper and featuring generous margins and handsome bindings. What they contain reflects a commitment to scholarship at the highest level.”

Hanns Eisler’s ‘Nightmare’

Parsons presented his paper, “Hanns Eisler’s ‘Nightmare,’” on Nov. 21, 2015, at the International Tyranny and Music Conference in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

In the paper, Parsons drew together a number of mid-twentieth-century flashpoints through the unfortunate story of German-born composer Hanns Eisler.

Eisler settled in the U.S. after fleeing Nazi Germany in 1933, but as World War II ended, another conflict took its place: the Cold War, which Eisler found himself caught in the middle of when he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC ).

Thanks in part to his sister who testified against him at the HUAC hearings, Eisler was forced to leave the U.S. in 1948, after which he settled in East Germany. The composer memorialized his brush with the despotic HUAC in his lied (or song) “Nightmare.”

In his presentation, Parsons’ principal point was that Eisler was not a victim of either Nazism or HUAC repression. Rather the song expresses a cleverly thought-out indictment of tyranny that remains as valid today as when it was composed in 1947.

More about Parsons

Parsons joined the MSU music faculty in 1995. A frequent speaker at conferences in the United States, England, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, and Ireland, he has written on the music of Mozart, Johann Friedrich Reichardt, Beethoven, Schubert, Hanns Eisler, and Ernst Krenek for numerous publications.

He is at work on a book-length study of twentieth-century German song, a body of music known in German-speaking countries as the Lied. His research has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and a Senior Fulbright Research Fellowship.

Parsons teaches a wide range of courses at MSU, including Music 345 and 346 (Music in Western Culture and Society I and II), Music 700 (Introduction to Graduate Study in Music), and upper-level music history seminars covering topics from the Middle Ages to the present.

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MSU to perform at the Kauffman

Missouri State University’s Grand Chorus and Symphony Orchestra will perform the University’s President’s Concert on two dates and in two locations this year, including for the first time at the renowned Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri.


More than 275 students to perform in KC

Performing at the Kauffman is a special opportunity for the student performers, who represent nearly every department across campus, said Dr. Cameron LaBarr, director of choral studies and the concert’s conductor.

“The President’s Concert at Missouri State has been a long-standing and well-loved tradition to culminate each academic year. To take this concert on the road to Kansas City is a huge undertaking, as it will involve over 275 student performers, but it will certainly be well worth it to be able to showcase the high level of excellence achieved by the music students at Missouri State University.”

Concerts to feature Poulenc and Mozart

In addition to the Kansas City performance on May 1, there will be a Springfield concert on April 30 at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts. Both concerts will feature Poulenc’s “Gloria” and Mozart’s “Requiem Mass in D Minor.”

LaBarr said the works each offer something different for audiences.

Tannehill Anderson
Tannehill Anderson

“With these two contrasting works, the audience will experience freshness and modern musical ideas in the ‘Gloria’ — a gem of the 20th Century — paired with the historical and dramatic, yet classical setting of the ‘Requiem,’ which is one of the most well-known works of the entire choral-orchestral canon.”

Director of Orchestral Studies Dr. Christopher Kelts will prepare the orchestra for the concerts.

More about the ‘Gloria’

The “Gloria” is one of Francis Poulenc’s most celebrated works. Scored for soprano solo, large orchestra and chorus, it premiered in January 1961. Sarah Tannehill Anderson, an MSU alumna and renowned soprano, will be featured in this performance.


More about the ‘Requiem’

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed the “Requiem Mass in D Minor” in Vienna in 1791. The work was left unfinished at the composer’s death on Dec. 5; a complex mythology has grown up regarding who might have actually completed the work.

International soloist Brandon Nase, tenor, of New York City, will join the following MSU voice faculty in the”Requiem”:

Concert schedule

Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts
Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts

Springfield performance

Date: April 30
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts
Admission: Free and open to the public, no ticket required

Kansas City performance

Date: May 1
6 p.m.
Location: Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts (Kansas City, Missouri)
Admission: Tickets ($15-$35) will be available
Feb. 16. Group tickets will also be available ($10). Ticketing information will be published on the concert website.

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Music education for elementary students begins Jan. 20

Missouri State music students will have the opportunity to put their teaching skills to the test for the spring semester String Project.

The String Project, which is entering its eleventh year, teaches second- and third-grade children how to play a string instrument, e.g. violin, viola or cello. Instruction is provided by MSU music students under the direction of Springfield Public School and MSU faculties.

String Project web image

About the classes

Tuition is $80 per semester, and students are responsible for renting or bringing a suitable instrument and purchasing one music book.

Classes will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays between Jan. 20 and May 4. First-year participants can choose between two locations:

  • Rountree Elementary, 1333 E. Grand, 3:45-4:15 p.m.
  • Pershing Middle School, 2120 E. Ventura, 3:50-4:20 p.m.

Returning participants who have completed one year or more of the String Project will meet at:

The final concert will be May 4 at 7 p.m. in Ellis Recital Hall.

How to enroll

Call (417) 836-5552 to enroll a child or visit the String Project website.


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The carillon on social media

Walk by Missouri State’s Meyer Library on any given Tuesday at noon and you may notice carillon bells filling the air with anything from traditional songs to contemporary music.

The carillon originated in the Low Countries of Belgium and the Netherlands. It has become common there; in Amsterdam alone, there are five carillons.

The United States has a collection of 185 carillons, just two of which are in Missouri — one in St. Louis and the other here at Missouri State.

Map displaying carillons in U.S. universities

The man behind the bells

While many people enjoy the music produced by the carillon, few know that the bells are being played by Jeremy Chesman, associate professor of music and local carillonist.

Chesman earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan and then spent six months studying in Belgium. He returned to the U.S. to join the faculty at Missouri State.

Chesman has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Portugal, performing on both the carillon and the organ. He plays Missouri State’s carillon every Tuesday and Thursday at noon for 30 minutes.

How to request your favorite song

Students are able to request songs by tweeting to @MSUCarillon with the hashtag #CarillOnMyMind.

Chesman has been taking requests for over a year now. “I want to find ways to connect with people so the carillon isn’t just something that plays music,” Chesman said. He thinks it is important for people to know there is an actual person up there playing.

“I did carillon because it looked fun and interesting,” Joseph Diaz, a music education major and carillon student of Chesman’s, said. “I’ve tried to publicize it by playing some theme song music such as Jurassic Park.” Chesman is in the process of getting audio and visual equipment set up in the tower so he will be able to stream live carillon concerts.

Story credits

This story was created for JRN 478 (Multimedia Reporting). All content was created by Missouri State students from the departments of communication and media, journalism and film. This story was originally published on The Springfield Report, a multimedia journalism project by Missouri State students.

  • Reporting by Sadie Ferwalt and Ben Gilbert
  • Photography and videography by Emily McTavish and Jassie Lee
  • Illustration by Cameron Mecke
  • Editor-in-chief: Beaunea McNeil
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Chorale to tour northern Missouri and Kansas in January

Missouri State’s touring choir Chorale will be traveling to northern Missouri and Kansas for a three-day tour in January. Each performance is free and open to the public.

Missouri State Chorale


Liberty, Missouri

Liberty United Methodist Church
Jan. 5, 7-9:30 p.m.

Prairie Village, Kansas

MSU Chorale

Village Presbyterian Church
Jan. 6, 7-9:30 p.m.

Topeka, Kansas

Grace Cathedral
Jan. 8, 7-9:30 p.m.

About Chorale

Chorale is the flagship touring choir of Missouri State’s department of music. This select choir of approximately 48 voices performs regularly at conferences of the American Choral Directors Association, Missouri Music Educators Association, and the National Association for Music Education and has toured throughout the United States and Europe.

Chorale is open to all students by audition. A variety of advanced choral repertoire is performed in concerts and tours throughout the year.

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Opera students to compete at National Opera Association’s convention in January

MSU-OperaTheatre-FemaleSingerMissouri State opera students will get the chance compete at the National Opera Association’s 61st annual convention this year in the graduate division opera scenes competition.

The convention will take place Jan. 6-10 in Indianapolis and focuses on “Heritage and Hope: Celebrating Diversity in Performance and Pedagogy.”

More about the competition

The National Opera Association chooses four teams to compete in each of three competition categories. Universities from around the country submit videos for consideration. The event is adjudicated by opera luminaries in front of all convention attendees.

AnnMarieWilcox-DaehnAssistant Professor Dr. Ann Marie Daehn said it is an honor for MSU to perform in the graduate division.

“Last year every school in this division had a doctoral program. It is a huge opportunity for our students to be heard by peers, heads of major university programs and summer programs and directors. We have been members of NOA for two years and have been fortunate enough to be invited as national finalists both years.”

More about MSU’s performance

Missouri State graduate students Brianna Gilliam, Lisa Blake and Sierra Saylor, along with 5th-year senior and double major music education and performance Tyler Schlesselman will perform a scene from an opera by a living female composer Libby Larsen. Graduate student Danielle Hardin will be the team’s pianist.

“The scene is a jazzy and fun ode to food — something we hope will be a delicious offering for the judges and attendees,” Daehn said.

When the students return for the spring semester, they will begin work on the spring operas they will perform at First and Calvary on April 8 and 10: a double bill of a new opera by Bruce Trinkley titled, “St. Thomas the Carpenter” and Puccini’s Suor Angelica.

Event details

What is it: National Opera Association’s 61st annual convention
When: Jan. 6-10
Where: Indianapolis, Indiana

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