Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra kicks off 10th season Friday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 9, 2014 —The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra kicks off its 10th season with a concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 12 at Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.

The season includes three performances and will feature internationally renowned pianist Anthony Padilla performing the beloved Grieg Piano Concerto, Drury’s own Stephen Bomgardner in the beautiful and rarely performed “On Wenlock Edge,” and a side-by-side performance with the Springfield Youth Symphony of the conclusion of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

“The SDCO has presented dozens of concerts for more than 18,000 patrons over the last decade and we are thrilled enter a new season this weekend,” says Dr. Christopher Koch, SDCO music director and conductor. “By bringing students from Drury and other schools together with musicians from throughout the community, the SDCO uses the arts to further Drury’s mission of community engagement.”

Tickets for Friday’s concert are available at the Hammons Hall box office by calling (417) 836-7678 or online at: Tickets are $12 adults, $10 seniors, $6 students with ID, kids ages 11 and under free.

About the Orchestra

The SDCO is southwest Missouri’s regional community orchestra. Founded in 2005, the 90-plus-member ensemble comprises a combination of Drury students, students from other southwest Missouri regional universities, professional performers and educators, and dedicated community members. The SDCO presents multiple performances of orchestral masterworks each year. SDCO is also in the third year of its Charles R. Hall Young Artist Competition, in which gifted high school musicians from southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas compete for the opportunity to perform with the orchestra.

For more information, visitsdco.drury.eduor find SDCO on Facebookand on YouTube.

SDCO 2014-15 Season Schedule

Friday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m. at Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts

  • Strauss – “Death and Transfiguration”
  • Grieg – Piano Concerto with Anthony Padilla, piano
  • Mozart – “Ah chi mi dice mai” from “Don Giovanni” with Sammi Sherron, soprano

Sunday, Nov. 2, 6 p.m. at Drury’s Clara Thompson Hall

  • Vaughn Williams – “On Wenlock Edge” with Stephen Bomgardner, tenor
  • Mozart – Symphony No. 39

Monday, May 4, 2015, 7:30 p.m. at Hammons Hall

  • Charles R. Hall Young Artist Award winner
  • Stravinsky – Symphony No. 1
  • Mussorgsky – “Pictures at an Exhibition” Finale with the Springfield Youth Symphony


Season’s final Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra concert features Mahler

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 29, 2014 — The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra (SDCO) will present its final concert of the year at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 1 at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts. The concert is free, although donations help insure the orchestra’s continued operations.

Finishing its season of “First Symphonies,” the orchestra will perform the mighty Symphony No. 1 (once subtitled “Titan”) by Gustav Mahler – marking the first time the SDCO has performed a work by this composer. The concert will also feature Charles R. Hall Young Artist winner pianist Mei Mei Chao, who will perform the Piano Concerto No. 2 by Camille Saint-Saens.

The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra is southwest Missouri’s regional community orchestra. Founded in 2005, the 90-plus-member ensemble comprises a combination of Drury students, students from most of Southwest Missouri’s regional universities, professional performers and educators, and dedicated community members. Now in its 9th season, the SDCO presents a yearly four-concert season of orchestral masterworks — all free and open to public.

For more information, visit or find the SDCO on Facebook.

Media contact: Dr. Christopher Koch, SDCO Music Director & Conductor, at (417) 873-7298 or


48th Annual Jazz Festival Brings Young Musicians to Drury

The sounds of swing will be heard on campus this weekend as the 48th Annual Drury Jazz Festival is held Saturday, March 1, at Clara Thompson Hall.

The all-day event features 18 high school and middle school jazz bands from Missouri and Arkansas. The festival is a competitive event that allows students and directors to perform for and receive comments from some of the top jazz musicians and educators in the country.

Each band is scheduled for a 30-minute slot starting at 7:30 a.m., and continuing throughout the day. The final event of the day is a free concert by the Drury Jazz Ensemble at 5:15 p.m. in Clara Thompson Hall. The concert is open to the public and will last about 30 minutes. The performance will feature the Drury student musicians and percussion instructor Robin Hendry on drums.

“Competitions are a great way for students to hone their performance chops and get feedback from professional musicians and college educators,” says Bob Holden, adjunct professor for jazz ensembles at Drury.

Clara Thompson Hall is located on Benton Avenue. Media are invited to cover any portion of the day’s competition and closing concert.

For more information, contact: Bob Holden, adjunct jazz instructor, at


Drury will have two Vespers services in December

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 15, 2013 — Drury’s annual Christmas Vespers will feature two performances this year on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.  Tickets will be required for the event; however, they are free of charge and can be reserved online by filling out the ticket request form.  Once the request has been processed, tickets will be mailed to the address listed.  Tickets cannot be picked up at the door.

The Vespers Christmas service will feature a candlelight ceremony and music from both the Drury Singers and Concert Choir.  Dr. Allin Sorenson, the director of Drury Singers, said, “I’m excited that this has grown to the point where we require two services to accommodate everyone. We’ve had to turn people away in the past—it’s one of the most popular events in town.”  Sorenson encourages local residents to attend the later concert because many out-of-town guests will need to attend the earlier service.

Video highlights from the 2012 Vespers performance can be viewed here.

For questions regarding the event, email or call Nancy Johnston, (417) 873-7296.


Two Drury traditions: Christmas Vespers and Allin Sorenson

Drury University will celebrate its annual Christmas Vespers series on Sunday, Dec. 2, at 4 p.m. in Stone Chapel. The service features both traditional and contemporary Christmas music with readings and music illuminating the texts from Nine Lessons and Carols.

Dr. Sorenson conducting a past Vespers concert

Not only is this holiday tradition a delight for the audience, but this year also marks Music Department Chair and Conductor Allin Sorenson’s 25th anniversary with Drury. Since being hired in1988, Sorenson has conducted over 100 concerts and taught well over a thousand students. “I don’t know where the time went,” said Sorenson. “It’s been a wonderful place to work, primarily because of the great students and faculty. I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.”

Sorenson came to Drury in 1988 as the Director of Choral Activities. He still holds that title as well as department chair. For a quarter century, Vespers has been a part of Sorenson’s life and that reality may not sink in until Sunday’s performance.

“I suspect it will hit me during Silent Night. It’s always an emotional moment for me when I’m conducting and the choir surrounds the audience with candles. It’s my favorite moment,” Sorenson said.

Vespers will be performed by:

  • Drury Singers and Chamber Choir, directed by Allin Sorenson
  • Drury Concert Choir, directed by Mark Lawley
  • Stanton Strings
  • Earline Moulder on the organ
  • Brass Quintet, directed by Tijuana Julian
  • Sungsil Kim, piano
  • Angel McGlasson, oboe

The Christmas Vespers concert is a very popular attraction, and audiences are advised to arrive early for a seat. Admission is free and the performance is open to the public. For additional information contact the Drury Music Department at 417-873-7291.


Story by Amber Perdue, a senior advertising and public relations major at Drury.

Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra to perform at Evangel on Tuesday, May 1

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 25, 2012 — The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra (SDCO) will hold its final performance of the season on Tuesday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Evangel Chapel Auditorium.

Simfoniya Poema will feature Maurice Ravel’s Bolero, Joseph Haydn’s Concerto for Cello and Aram Khachaturian’s Symphony No. 3. Khachaturian’s work was written to celebrate the end of World War II and features a large orchestra, a choir of 15 trumpets and a virtuosic piece for pipe organ.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit the SDCO website.

Media Contact: Dr. Christopher Koch, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Orchestra & Wind Symphony, Office: (417) 873-7298, E-mail:


Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra brings music to life for area schools

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 2, 2012 — The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra (SDCO) will launch Symphony in the Schools, a new cultural outreach program aimed at involving children and families in orchestral music. The program will debut with a concert at the Evangel University Chapel Auditorium on Tuesday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

With the launch of this new program, the SDCO will work closely with three to fourschools at a time, inviting students and families to attend one of its free concerts. The orchestra will return a percentage of donations collected at the concert toeach school’s music program. For the first concert in May, Wilder, Field, Pershing, and Hickory Hills elementary schools will serve as beneficiaries.

“We love music because it channels those grand feelings we often associate with iconic moments of our lives, but we don’t always seem to associate it with the orchestra,” said Christopher Koch, music director and conductor of The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra. “We’re going to try something a little different than standard arts outreach.”

For more information, visit the SDCO website.

Media Contact: Dr. Christopher Koch, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Orchestra & Wind Symphony, Office: (417) 873-7298, E-mail:


Campus Consciousness tour with rapper J. Cole is coming to Drury in April

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 6, 2012 — Grammy nominated rapper J. Cole will headline the Campus Consciousness tour when it comes to the O’Reilly Family Event Center on Monday, April 23. Tickets go on sale Friday, Feb. 10. Prices range from $20-$38 plus service fees. Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling (417) 873-6389, or in person at the O’Reilly Family Event Center box office.

The Campus Consciousness tour describes itself as, “Half music tour, half environmental campaign, the Campus Consciousness Tour aims to inspire and activate students in an electric atmosphere while leaving a positive impact on each community the tour visits. In addition to educating and mobilizing students, the tour includes many greening elements and is run to have a minimal environmental footprint.”

J. Cole is nominated for the Grammy for best new artist. His last album, Cole World: The Sideline Story debuted at number one on the billboard top 200. His current single, Work Out is a top 15 track on the Billboard 100, and is number eight on the Billboard Radio chart.

“In the past, the Campus Consciousness Tour has mostly been to large universities and mainly on the east coast,” said Hunter Abbey, marketing and events coordinator for the O’Reilly Family Event Center. “Drury is one of the few tour stops in the Midwest, which says a lot about Drury’s commitment to sustainability.”


Drury’s Mark Lawley named President-elect of a regional choral association

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 3, 2012 — Drury’s Director of Music Education, Mark Lawley, has been named President-elect of the Southwestern Division of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). He will serve a six-year term leading choral directors in a seven state region including Missouri, Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico.

Prior to being named President-elect, Lawley, who is in his first year at Drury, served as

Mark Lawley

the Repertoire and Standards Chair for the Southwestern American Choral Directors Association. Lawley is also the past president of both the Missouri Choral Directors Association and South Central Missouri Music Educators Association. His choirs have given invitational performances for National ACDA, National MENC, Regional ACDA, and MMEA.

Lawley earned his undergraduate degree and certificate recital award in piano at Evangel University and a Master of Music degree in conducting at Missouri State University. In 2011, Lawley was the recipient of the Luther T. Spayde award and received the Outstanding South Central District Director award given by the Missouri Choral Directors Association.

The ACDA is a nonprofit music-education organization whose central purpose is to promote excellence in choral music through performance, composition, publication, research, and teaching. In addition, ACDA strives through arts advocacy to elevate choral music’s position in American society.

Media Contact: Mark Lawley, Director of Music Education, Office: (417) 873-4079, E-mail:


Annual Steve Good concert at Drury honors former academic dean

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 5, 2011 — Drury Jazz Ensemble I and II will perform The Stephen H. Good Memorial Concert honoring the memory of Dr. Stephen Good, the academic dean at Drury for more than 20 years. The concert will be performed on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Clara Thompson Hall at Drury University. This event is free and open to the public.

Drury University’s 2011-2012 convocation series, The Changing Planet: Our Role in Nature’s Economy, considers human connections to the environment, while also examining potential solutions to current problems.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For more details and information, please visit or contact the Drury University Music Department at (417) 873-7296.