Concert features Missouri composers of all ages

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COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri New Music Initiative hosted its 6th annual concert Sunday night featuring the winning pieces of the 2017 Missouri Composers project.

The Columbia Civic Orchestra and the Columbia Chamber Choir performed pieces at the Broadway Christian Church from composers as young as 15 and up to 85 years old. In total, four different generations were represented in the winners.

"This kind of wide spectrum of ages is new for this year, and that's reflected in the makeup of the winners," Jacob Gotlib, the managing director at the new music initiative said.

The youngest winner, Olivia Bennett, was encouraged by her piano teacher when she was 8 years old to begin composing. 

"Later on I started playing around on the piano and composed more, and they kind've grew into bigger projects," Bennett said. 

Each winner received $500 and Bennett plans to save her winnings for a car. 

The oldest winner, William Hooper, wanted to provide the audience with the stark brutality of the Crucification in his piece Crucifixus

"[The audience] can get kind of a sense of awe and the horror involved of treating a human that way,"  Hooper said.

The pieces were selected by judges for their enjoyment, musical style, and practical application of music theory.