Drury’s Wind Symphony and Chamber Orchestra to perform on Tuesday, Nov. 29

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 21, 2011 —The Drury University Wind Symphony and Chamber Orchestra will present their fall concert in Clara Thompson Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Also featuring the Drury String Quartet, String Ensemble and Woodwind Quintet, the concert will involve the music of Grainger, Mozart, Newman, Daugherty, Bach, and Holsinger.

The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact the Drury Music Office at 873-7296.


Halloween is every day at Drury’s Clara Thompson Hall

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 31, 2011 — When Drury music students are practicing alone in Clara Thompson Hall, they’re often joined by a music lover who listens quietly, but no one has ever seen this spectator or can actually say that he/she exists. The music fan is known as the ghost of Clara Thompson Hall.

Drury's Clara Thompson Hall

For years, students practicing on Clara Thompson Hall’s stage have reported that when they’ve finished playing, they’re heard one of the theatre seats rise as if someone had just stood up after sitting—but all the seats are empty. Also, students have reported hearing the rustling of a dress, sightings of an apparition in the balcony and even experiencing the feeling of an embrace. “This is some sort of benign spirit that is not threatening at all,” says Bill Garvin, Drury archivist. “It’s a spirit that enjoys music.”

Who is this spirit? Many believe the ghost could be that of the building’s namesake Clara Wallace Thompson. The former Drury music student died in September 1895, shortly after the birth of a child, at the age of 21. An obituary in Drury’s student newspaper The Mirror from October 1895 said, “She was possessed of musical talent to a marked degree and soon developed into the finest pianist in the city.”

Clara’s mother Louise Wallace made a donation to build Clara Thompson Hall as a memorial to her daughter.

Others have suggested that the ghost might be Thomas Stanley Skinner, the dean of the Drury Conservatory of Music from 1920-1950. Many question this theory because ghost stories in Clara Thompson Hall pre-date Skinner’s death.

No matter the spirit’s identity, thankfully, it seems to mean no harm. As the former head of Drury’s music department told The Mirror in 1987, “I know it is gentle and I feel like it watches over us. I believe activity, especially with music, makes it happy. For example, the only times I have heard the moaning sounds have been over breaks or weekends when the building is deserted. It was at those times I felt that maybe the ghost was lonely and unhappy.”

Lucky for the ghost, and all other living patrons, music continues to fill Clara Thompson Hall, while the mystery of its ghost continues to provide whispered tales on campus this time of year.


The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra to perform Thursday, Oct. 6

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 3, 2011 — The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra (SDCO) presents its first concert of the season with a performance titled “Inextinguishable” on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will be held at the Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.

The performance features tenor Stephen Bomgardner in an aria from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and the exultant Symphony No. 4 “Inextinguishable” of Carl Nielsen–an epic and powerful work celebrating the promethean energy of life itself. Antonin Dvorak’s delightful Slavonic Dance No. 8, op. 46 completes the program.

SDCO performs in Hammons Hall in 2008

Founded in 2005, the Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra is made up of more than 90 talented professionals, students and enthusiasts; the SDCO presents a 2-concert season of orchestral masterworks, all free and open to the public.

For news, concert season, or audition information, please visit the SDCO website at

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


The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra announces its 2011-12 season

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 23, 2011–The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra announces its 7th season, featuring showpieces by Khachaturian and Nielsen, a return to Hammons Hall, and the orchestra’s debut performance at Evangel University.

On Thursday, October 6 at 7:30 p.m., the orchestra returns to Hammons Hall for its opening performance of the 2011 season, featuring tenor Stephen Bomgardner in an aria from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and the exultant Symphony No. 4 “Inextinguishable” of Carl Nielsen–an epic and powerful work celebrating the promethean energy of life itself.  Antonin Dvorak’s delightful Slavonic Dance No. 8, op. 46 completes the program.

On Tuesday, May 1 at 7:30 pm, the orchestra makes its first appearance in the Evangel University Chapel Auditorium with a concert of ravishing extremes:  the sensual beauty of Maurice Ravel’s Bolero and the martial grandeur of Aram Khachaturian’s Symphony No. 3.  Written to celebrate the end of World War II, this enormous work features large orchestra, a choir of 15 additional trumpets, and possibly the most virtuosic pipe organ writing in the orchestral literature.  Drury Concerto-Aria Competition winner Colin Barker will perform Joseph Hadyn’s Concerto for Cello.

Comprising a combination of students, professional musicians, dedicated enthusiasts, and led by Music Director Christopher Koch, the 90-member SDCO presents a full season of great orchestral masterworks, all free and open to the public.  Donations are gratefully accepted.  For additional information, please visit the SDCO on Facebook, on the web at or call the Drury University Department of Music on 873-7296.


Drury University hosts a camp for jazz hipsters

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 13, 2011 — The public is welcome to experience several performances of great jazz music the week of June 20 as Drury University hosts the Drury Jazz Camp; one of the longest running camps in the state of Missouri. It dates back to the 1970s when the Stan Kenton Orchestra served as the artist in residence for the camp.

Led by Drury’s Director of Jazz Studies Tina Claussen, the camp faculty will perform Monday, June 20, Tuesday, June 21 and Wednesday, June 22 at 7 p.m. The concert on June 20 will also feature the Jazz Educator’s Big Band, a local group led by Bob Holden. All of the concerts are in Clara Thompson Hall. They are free and open to the public. Following each of the faculty concerts, students  will have the opportunity to jam informally.

The camp is open to high school and middle school students with a minimum of one year of experience on their musical instrument and to adults with previous jazz instrument experience.

In addition to Claussen, the camp’s faculty includes:

  • Jamey Simmons, trumpet-Middle Tennessee State
  • Rob Tapper, trombone-University of Washington
  • Ned Wilkinson, bass-Springfield/Branson freelance musician
  • James Miley, piano-Willamette University
  • John Strickler-guitar, Drury University
  • Brian Hamada, drums-Fresno, Calif. freelance musician


Radio Flyer concert on Thursday features Drury faculty

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 26, 2011 — Bluegrass band Radio Flyer will perform a reunion concert and convey stories of their years together on Thursday, April 28 at 11 a.m. in Clara Thompson Hall at Drury University.

Radio Flyer was formed in 1984 and has played together for two decades in several iterations. The band originally consisted of longtime friends David Wilson, Roger Matthews, Steve Duede and Dudley Murphy. Murphy is the director of Drury’s visual communication program and an associate professor of art.

The band will present a program of music related to memory and will interweave stories of the group’s formation and life touring on the road.

Drury University’s 2010-2011 convocation series The Persistence of Memory, Perspectives on the Past examines history and how it relates to our understanding of the present.

All events are free and open to the public. For more details about speakers visit or contact Theme Year Director Bill Garvin at (417) 873-7482.


Drury wind symphony and chamber ensembles present their final concerts of the year on April 19

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 15, 2011 — The Drury University Wind Symphony and Chamber Ensembles will present their final performance of the year in Clara Thompson Hall on Tuesday, April 19 at 7:30 pm.

The concert will feature the music of Ginastera, Holsinger, Barber, Milhaud and Ferenc.

Admission is free. For additional information, please contact the Drury Music Office at 873-7296.


A Palm Sunday concert honors recently deceased Drury religion faculty

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 5, 2011 — Drury University will honor the late Drs. Allen Eikner and Sam Smith with a memorial benefit concert in Stone Chapel on Palm Sunday, April 17 at 7 p.m. The National Avenue Christian Church Chancel Choir, directed by Kevin Williams, will perform selections from Mozart’s Requiem. The concert is free and open to the public.

Dr. Allen Eikner, a 1949 Drury graduate, served as dean of the Drury School of Religion, professor and chair of philosophy and religion, and dean of the college. Eikner recently died at age 91.

Dr. Smith played a prominent role in Drury’s School of Religion, teaching students from 1959-1988.  Smith passed away in the fall of 2010 at the age of 87.

Donations and pledges will be collected at the concert for two newly created endowments honoring both men.  The Smith Endowment will support the various activities of the Disciples on Campus student fellowship each year.  The Eikner Endowment will establish the annual religion lectureship in Dr. Eikner’s name. In addition to benefiting Drury students for years to come, both funds will preserve a lasting legacy for these outstanding professors.

For more information about how to give to either endowment contact Darla Harmon, Director of Alumni and Development, at  (417) 873-7478 or


Drury’s Opera Workshop and Chamber Orchestra present moments from great operas

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 30, 2011 — The Drury University Opera Workshop will present a program of scenes from the operas Dido and Aeneas, The Pirates of Penzance, Hansel and Gretel,The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro on April 8 and 9. Joining the Opera Workshop is the Drury Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Christopher Koch. All the scenes will be performed in English.

Performances are Friday, April 8 at 4:00 pm, and Saturday, April 9 at 7:30 pm in Clara Thompson Hall on the Drury University campus. Both performances are free and open to the public.

These scenes represent some of the most beautiful music ever written, particularly the Evening Prayer and Sandman’s Song from Hansel and Gretel and the witches’ scene from Dido and Aeneas. Along with these will be some of the funniest scenes in all of opera: the ‘paradox’ trio from Pirates and the Figaro-Rosina duet from The Barber of Seville.  The performance ends with the Act II finale from The Marriage of Figaro, a rollicking ensemble with some of Mozart’s finest music.

Dr. Stephen Bomgardner, Director, Opera Workshop, Phone: (417) 873-7388, Email:


Internationally renowned organist to perform at Drury University

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 29, 2011 — Famous Polish organist Witold Zalewski (Vee-tolt Zah-lev-skee) will perform at Drury University on Thursday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. in Stone Chapel located at the corner of Central Street and Benton Avenue. The performance is free and open to the public.

Zalewski was scheduled to perform last year at Drury, yet was unable to arrive on campus on time due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland and the resulting ash cloud which grounded many flights out of Europe.  Since 1995, Zalewski has taught at the Archdiocesan Organ School in Poland, and is the organist at the Royal Cathedral in Wawel Royal Castle, a coronation site of Polish monarchs and burial ground for Polish royalty, national heroes, poets, saints and bishops.

Zalewski is currently a singer in the choir of the Polish Radio and organist at the church of St. Peter and Paul in Krakow, Poland.

For more information, please contact Dr. Earline Moulder at or (417) 873-7376.

Contact: Dr. Earline Moulder, University Organist and Special Instructor of Music, Office: (417) 873-7376, E-mail: