MU hosts concert showcasing student compositions

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COLUMBIA — Audience members will hear original melodies composed by students in elementary, middle and high school.

Musicians are expecting to play about 20 student pieces at the 12th annual Creating Original Music Project (COMP) Saturday at Rogers Whitmore Concert Hall on the MU Campus.

The student composers come from all over Missouri. They were selected by panels of judges who evaluated about 65 entries.

COMP was founded in 2005 and is a joint venture between MU's Mizzou New Music Initiative and the Sinquenfield Charitable Foundation, which sponsors the event. The event's goal is to encourage K-12 students in Missouri to write original music and provide them with performance opportunities.

"When you're studying music, growing up, it's very easy to learn how to play an instrument and it's very easy to find ways to take music lessons and get music instruction in school," Mizzou New Music Initiative Managing Director, Jacob Gotlib, said. "But it's not so easy and not so accessible for students to learn how to create their own music, how to compose, how to write songs, how to improvise."

He said music, unlike other art forms, is not taught in a creative way in schools. He said students generally learn how to play instruments using music composed by others, instead of learning how to compose their own music.

"Hundreds of Missouri students have enjoyed opportunities from these programs over the last 12 years, and it's encouraging to see both repeat winners and first-time entrants among this year's group of winning young composers," Jeanne Sinquenfield, co-founder of the Sinquenfield Charitable Foundation, said in a press release.

The elementary and middle school concert begins at 10:30 a.m. and the high school concert begins at 2:30 p.m.

Admission is free to both concerts.