music

Drury & the Springfield Symphony team up for conducting workshop

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 14, 2017 — The Springfield Symphony, Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra, and Drury University will host a conducting workshop on February 24-25, 2017 in Clara Thompson Hall on the Drury campus. The workshop will provide aspiring conductors the opportunity to work with a professional chamber ensemble of Springfield Symphony musicians in a nurturing environment.

Led by Kyle Wiley Pickett, music director of the Springfield Symphony and Topeka (Kansas) Symphony; and Christopher Koch, music director of the Springfield Regional Opera and Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra, the workshop will offer each participant podium time as well as a preparatory session with the workshop clinicians.

Information is available via www.springfieldmosymphony.org under the Events tab, or via the SDCO section of Drury.edu.

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Contact: Dr. Christopher Koch, Associate Professor of Music: (417) 873-7298 or ckoch@drury.edu.

“Peter and the Wolf” tradition continues at Drury on Thursday, Feb. 16

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., February 14, 2017 — Drury University’s annual production of “Peter and the Wolf” for area third-graders will take place during two performances at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, at the O’Reilly Family Event Center. This year’s performances are made possible in part thanks to a $12,900 grant from U.S. Bank, through the U.S. Bank Foundation.

For more than 40 years, students and faculty from Drury’s music, theater and education departments have collaborated to bring “Peter and the Wolf” to life for an elementary school audience. The 1936 work by Sergei Prokofiev is designed to teach children about the orchestra through an easy-to-understand fairytale about a boy and his animal friends being stalked by a wolf. Each character is represented by a different instrument and musical motif. In 2016, Drury revamped the program to include new emphasis on the humane treatment of animals. Nearly 3,000 third graders from Springfield and the surrounding area are expected to attend the two performances.

“We are very grateful for the support provided by U.S. Bank through its grant program,” says Christopher Koch, associate professor of music at Drury and music director of the SDCO and Springfield Regional Opera. “Not only will the funding help us to continue our 40-plus year tradition of presenting ‘Peter and the Wolf’ to our region’s third graders, it also supports the regionally and nationally acclaimed Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra, a semi-professional ensemble-in-residence at Drury which allows our own students to sit side-by-side with professional musicians, faculty, and students drawn from across southwest Missouri.”

The U.S. Bank Foundation funds projects related to themes of workforce education, neighborhood revitalization, and arts and culture, organized under the umbrellas of Work, Home and Play. Support for the Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra falls within Play and is an investment in the arts and culture of our community.

“U.S. Bank makes play possible by investing the bank’s financial resources in community programming that supports ways for children and adults to play and create in venues across the country,” said Steven Fox, Regional President.

Grant funding from U.S. Bank will support a full roster of orchestral events in SDCO’s 2017-18 season. For tickets and information about SDCO, visit www.sdco.drury.edu.

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Drury Wind Symphony to be honored at national band directors convention

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., January 25, 2017 — The Drury Wind Symphony will be honored at the annual convention of the College Band Directors National Association, which takes place in Kansas City in March. Judged to be among the best of its kind nationally, the ensemble will be featured at the CBDNA’s “Small Band Showcase” which identifies and celebrates outstanding performance by schools with an undergraduate enrollment of fewer than 4,500.

Wind Symphony

Music Director and Drury professor Christopher Koch will also present at the conference, sharing concert performances and discussing the Wind Symphony’s path to success.

“I’m thrilled our students are being recognized for their outstanding work,” says Koch, who is also Music Director of the Springfield Regional Opera and Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra.

For more information, visit: www.drury.edu/music.

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Tickets for Drury’s annual Christmas Vespers available Nov. 7

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., October 25, 2016 — Fans of Christmas traditions will want to mark two upcoming dates on their calendars. Tickets for Drury’s annual Christmas Vespers choral concert will be available beginning Monday, November 7. Due to high demand in recent years, there will again be two Vespers performances this year at 3 and 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 4 in Stone Chapel.

New this year: a live video stream of the 7 p.m. performance will be available online at www.drury.edu/music.

Vespers candles

Tickets to attend in person will be available via the Drury website at www.drury.edu/music. Tickets are free of charge; however, there is a limit of four tickets per order. Tickets must be ordered online and cannot be reserved by phone. Tickets tend to go quickly, so please order early. Guests will be able to pick up their tickets at Stone Chapel one hour prior to the performance. In-town guests are encouraged to attend the 7 p.m. performance, and out-of-town guests, such as parents of Drury students, are encouraged to attend the 3 p.m. performance.

Vespers is based on the traditional lessons and carol service and will include classic carols such as “Silent Night” and “O, Come All Ye Faithful,” as well as more contemporary choral works. The Vespers celebration has been a tradition at Drury for more than 60 years.

Video highlights from the 2015 Vespers performance can be viewed online. For more information regarding the event, please call the Drury Music Department at (417) 873-7296.

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Media Contact: Dr. Allin Sorenson, Professor of Music: (417) 873-7296 or asorenson@drury.edu.

Guest lecturer brings music & marketing expertise to Drury March 31

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 29, 2016 — The Self-Employment in the Arts Lecture Series, sponsored by the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, will bring world-renowned opera singer Michael Spyres to campus for a lecture at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 31 at Carole Lambert Studio in Shewmaker Hall. The talk is open to the public.

Spyres was recently named artistic director of the Springfield Regional Opera. Born and raised in the Ozarks, he is one of the most sought after tenors of his generation and has performed extensively throughout Europe and North America.

During his talk, Spyres will share the story behind his success as a self-employed singer in a dizzyingly competitive industry. The event comes just before he leads the SRO in performances of Mozart’s classic comic opera “The Marriage of Figaro” on April 1 and 3 at the Gillioz Theater.

About the Series and the Edward Jones Center

The Self-Employment in the Arts Series features successful, entrepreneurial artists from across the country for small-group sessions, lectures and the occasional performance on Drury’s campus. The series will bring Drury alumnus and professional opera singer Michael Spyres to campus on Thursday, March 31.

The Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship was made possible by the generous contribution of John and Crystal Beuerlein and Edward Jones, Inc. All parties feel passionately about entrepreneurship and believe in the idea of helping people create new businesses. They are also eager to provide employees of existing corporations with tools to continually refresh and reinvent their organizations as markets and business environments change.

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Alumnus & musician to give talk, host performance March 31

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 23, 2016 — Springfield musician and Drury alumnus Arthur Duncan will give a presentation and host a musical performance at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 31 at the Drury Diversity Center. The Center is located on Drury Lane, just north of Bob Barker Boulevard. The event is free and open to the public.

Duncan attended Drury in the 1970s and studied music. In the decades since, he has led numerous jazz, gospel and R&B groups in Springfield. He is also the minister of music at Higher Ground Ministries under Pastor Larry Maddox.

Duncan, a pianist and songwriter, will talk about his experience as a student at Drury in the 1970s and will lead his jazz trio in a performance of various styles of music from his repertoire. He will also discuss music and the creative process as part of his presentation, including how he writes songs.

The President’s Council on Inclusion is sponsoring the event.

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Media Contact: Rosalyn Thomas, Diversity Support Service Coordinator: (417) 873-6827 or rthomas005@drury.edu.

Guest lecturer brings music & marketing expertise to Drury Feb. 19

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 16, 2016 — The Self-Employment in the Arts Lecture Series, sponsored by the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, will host a lecture and performance by musician and marketer Christopher Burnett this Friday.

Currently the marketing director at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Burnett is also an award-winning composer and jazz saxophonist himself, and has decades of experience in all facets of the music business.

Burnett will host a lecture about his history of success as a self-employed performer at 4 p.m., Friday, Feb. 19 in Clara Thompson Hall. Burnett will then lead a performance at 8 p.m. that night at Q Enoteca Wine Bar, 308 W. Commercial St. Both events are open to the public.

Burnett

A native of the Kansas City area, Burnett rose to prominence while leading, touring and recording with U.S. military bands from 1974 to 1996. He was an early explorer of the digital music landscape. Through skillful and innovative promotion and marketing, Burnett garnered more than a half million music downloads and sold CDs to fans in 38 countries via the original MP3.com website in the early 2000s. Burnett founded a retail music store business immediately after his military career and served as Acting CEO of the American Jazz Museum for a short time.

About the Series and the Edward Jones Center

The Self-Employment in the Arts Series features successful, entrepreneurial artists from across the country for small-group sessions, lectures and the occasional performance on Drury’s campus. The series will bring Drury alumnus and professional opera singer Michael Spyres to campus on Thursday, March 31.

The Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship was made possible by the generous contribution of John and Crystal Beuerlein and Edward Jones, Inc. All parties feel passionately about entrepreneurship and believe in the idea of helping people create new businesses. They are also eager to provide employees of existing corporations with tools to continually refresh and reinvent their organizations as markets and business environments change.

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Media Contact: Dr. John Taylor, Director of the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship: (417) 873-6356 or jtaylor3@drury.edu.

Third-graders to see revamped “Peter & the Wolf” thanks to Bob Barker gift 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 16, 2016 — A decades-old tradition will receive a revamp next week as Drury University’s Theatre, Music and Education departments present the annual performance of “Peter and the Wolf” for elementary school students at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

Nearly 3,000 third graders from throughout Springfield and the surrounding area are expected to attend the two performances by more than 50 Drury students at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 22. Media are welcome to cover the event.

For more than 40 years, Drury students and faculty have brought Sergei Prokofiev’s classic children’s symphony to life for the benefit of local youth. The 2016 edition has a new look and feel thanks to a gift from the Bob Barker Endowment Fund for the Study of Animal Rights and creative input from director Robert Westenberg. The performance will now include some small changes that reflect messages of humane education about wild animals.

The 1936 work is designed to teach children about the orchestra through an easy-to-understand fairytale about a boy and his animal friends being stalked by a wolf. Each character is represented by a different instrument and musical motif.

According to Westenberg, this year’s production will be “completely restaged and redesigned. It will feature new set pieces, costumes, and props.” Photos and brief videos of wolves in the wild will help reinforce “the importance of respecting our fellow animal creatures and how we need to harmoniously coexist within our mutual ecosystems,” Westenberg adds.

Others involved in the revamp include Drury theater technical director Mark Needelman (scene design), Drury theater professor Madison Spencer (costume design), Drury alumna Christine Bass (visual design) and professional choreographer Chyrel Miller. Dr. Robin Schraft will narrate the performance and Dr. Christopher Koch will conduct the orchestra. The Drury Friends of Music Fund helps support this annual musical education experience.

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Drury symphony and jazz groups to perform in Chicago this week

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 1, 2015 — Three Drury music groups are headed to the Windy City this week for public performances.

The Drury Wind Symphony, Jazz Ensemble I and Jazz Combo I will embark on an outreach tour to Chicago to perform at venues that include the University of Chicago, the John Hancock Building and the historic Fourth Presbyterian Church. As part of the Drury Connect initiative, the tour will help promote wider awareness of the university while connecting with alumni and prospective students in the area.

The Drury ensembles will also perform a joint concert with the Chicago Metamorphosis Orchestra Project (ChiMOP), an organization dedicated to positive social change in young students with limited access to the arts.

“I’m delighted our wind symphony and jazz ensemble students will have this opportunity,” says Dr. Christopher Koch, director of orchestras and wind symphony at Drury. “With much of the group returning after last spring’s strong performance at the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference, I wanted to give the students another opportunity to perform on a wider stage – and being able to connect with and help promote the ChiMOP will be something I know they will never forget.”

“Our jazz students will share the stage with the Wind Symphony and also hold some of their own performances,” says Dr. Tina Claussen, director of jazz studies at Drury. “The majority of the program is ‘new,’ featuring cutting edge works and arrangements of lesser-known jazz standards as well as original compositions written by myself and our students.”

The Wind Symphony will also play recently composed music and will host at least one of the composers, Nebojsa Macura, at their events. The group will perform Macura’s work, “Chochek Rhapsody,” while in Chicago.

“This tour demonstrates and celebrates the strong support for a robust arts program here at Drury,” says Dr. Allin Sorenson, chair of rine and performing arts. “The arts help to bring any community together, and in a complex world we need them more than ever.”

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Tickets for Drury’s annual Christmas Vespers available Nov. 2

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., October 21, 2015 — Fans of Christmas traditions will want to mark two upcoming dates on their calendars. Tickets for Drury’s annual Christmas Vespers choral concert will become available in two weeks, beginning Monday, November 2. Due to high demand in recent years, there will again be two Vespers performances this year at 3 and 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 6 in Stone Chapel.

Tickets will be available via the Drury website at www.drury.edu/music. They are free of charge; however there is a limit of four tickets per order. Tickets must be ordered online and cannot be reserved by phone. Tickets tend to go quickly, so please order early. Guests will be able to pick up their tickets at Stone Chapel one hour prior to the performance.

In-town guests are encouraged to attend the 7 p.m. performance, and out-of-town guests, such as parents of Drury students, are encouraged to attend the 3 p.m. performance. Vespers is a celebration of classic carols such as “Silent Night” and “O, Come All Ye Faithful,” and has taken place at Drury for more than 60 years.

Video highlights from the 2014 Vespers performance can be viewed online. For more information regarding the event, please call the Drury Music Department at (417) 873-7296.

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