2021 was a tough year. We attempted to open but the pandemic was unforgiving, until mid-Summer in Missouri. We managed to stay open with mask requirements. 6 months later, we will likely continue to be masked, at least a few more months.
I applaud all the musicians for keeping brave optimism alive by relentlessly continuing to practice their art. I also applaud all of YOU, even louder, for your support for the local artists, many who are your friends and neighbors.
Past photos make Odyssey look unaffected. But we had no audiences for the first half of 2021, our videographer was overworked to make livestreaming and YouTube videos look good for us, we missed a full chamber ensemble for Baroque last winter, and the 10th Plowman Competition was postponed to 2023. There were changes to original programs, Colorado Quartet Fall Reunion, for example: Odyssey prioritized safety of everyone.
Join us, in-person or online, for Odyssey's 2022 productions. We look forward to seeing you soon.
Here's to all the music lovers - Happy New Year!
Executive and Artistic Director
Enjoy the lively conversation with Odyssey director Ayako Tsuruta and composer Fred Onovwerosuoke about his Two Piano Sonata No. 3 that is actually composed for a symphony. "Raging River Dance" is colorful and catchy, it also appears in his other works, as Piano Etude No. 24.
The journey of getting acquainted with African art music and learning FredO's energetic two-piano sonata has been a wonderful experience to say the least. While Peter Miyamoto and I toil to bring the last movement up to speed, I am reminded of the time Hungarian composer Bartók was inspired by and infused folk songs into his compositions into formal art forms such as sonatas and rhapsodies. FredO works in a similar manner, but I feel his work is more honest - there is no embellishments in these movements, but rather just intense emotions and perpetual movement with an interval know as 'Incantation" in the second movement.
FredO's Sonata No. 3 for two pianos opens with a magnificent fanfare of brass. I have not (yet) seen the symphonic score, but I am betting that's exactly how it is scored: A call for all humanity, of sheer magnificent energy.
I hope you enjoy the concert next Thursday (Jefferson City) and Friday (Columbia)!
When one lives in a small community like Columbia, Missouri, finer details you contribute are much appreciated - especially the arts. We are also incredibly lucky to be living in a community filled with dynamic individuals as Diana Moxon, David Spear and Joy Powell. I am not only humbled to be included in this conversation with Diana, but also immensely grateful that she brought me together with composer Fred Onovwerosuoke whose two-piano Sonata No. 3 I will perform next week at Odyssey. Find out the details of Fred's incredible work before you enjoy it LIVE, in-person concert - FREE ADMISSION!
"Speaking of the Arts" with Diana Moxon: https://www.kopn.org/programs/speaking-of-the-arts/www.kopn.org/programs/speaking-of-the-arts/
Odyssey concert, "COMO Bicentennial"
July 1, 2021 (Thu) 7pm - First Christian Church, 327 E Capitol Ave, Jefferson City, MO 65101
July 2, 2021 (Fri) 7pm - First Baptist Church, 1112 E Broadway, Columbia, MO 65201
FREE ADMISSION | Donations are gratefully accepted; checks are payable to "Odyssey"
Odyssey is very fortunate to have the support of First Baptist Church of Columbia, which continues to be our home for the next Season 18!
In a time of isolation during this pandemic, we recognize that the need for music and musicians in our lives, here in our community, has never been greater. We hope you can still enjoy our performances on YouTube videos FOR FREE by subscribing to "OdysseyPlowman ." The livestream videos are available for one week only, after which they may be available from time to time.
Great news! "Vox Nova" on May 30 is fully open to the public FOR FREE, regardless of the venue. We hope to be outside of the Broadway Christian Church on 2601 W Broadway in Columbia, but if it rains, we will be at the First Baptist Church of Columbia at 1112 E Broadway. Call (573) 825-0079 or check back to this web site to see where we will be. Masks are optional. Here's hoping for a sunny Sunday!
Other changes were adopted and/or further recognized this season, in an effort to improve our programming content to the best of our abilities, to be more diverse and inclusive in our repertoire. We will continue to work on this. Our statement against racism can be found here: https://conta.cc/2UeyvWt
While we are able to begin enjoying the light at the end of this tunnel, so many of our friends around the world are still on their way out of this unprecedented pandemic. Our thoughts are with you, and please take care.
Executive and Artistic Director
Summer is Odyssey's off-season, but we are very busy preparing for our next season amidst so much uncertainty during this global pandemic. Our goal is to make a formal announcement of our Season 17, while keeping the safety of our audiences and musicians in mind.
In the meantime, enjoy a live stream concert on July 19, Sunday 2:30pm featuring tenor Kyle Stegall and violinist Holly Piccoli with Odyssey director, pianist Ayako Tsuruta. This is a fundraiser concert for Room at the Inn (RATI) in Columbia, which First Baptist Church of Columbia also assists in the winter. While we have our own fundraiser we would love for you to consider, if you are able, please consider donating to RATI.
Please stay safe.
June 5, 2020
Dear Odyssey Families and Friends,
Thank you for joining us in Season 16. I hope you enjoyed Vox Nova’s performances on video, posted on our website last weekend. As we officially wrap up this season, we look forward to hopefully seeing you in the fall.
As many of you are aware, the recent health crisis has placed racial and socioeconomic inequity in the spotlight. The COVID-19 pandemic has been decimating Native Americans, as well as countless Americans of all colors – but notably African Americans.
To add to this stress, Ahmaud Arbery was killed while he was jogging in February. In March, Breonna Taylor was shot, and 10 days ago, George Floyd was murdered. That same Memorial weekend, Chris Cooper was threatened by a white woman. Unfortunately, we also know these racially based events were not isolated, yet again prompting a cry for help, #BlackLivesMatter.
Odyssey acknowledges the great anguish felt by many, but especially those within the black community.
We are thankful for the amazing collaborations Odyssey enjoyed in recent years with Marques Jerrell Ruff and his friends, and with Wontanara. Tears and laughter were shared first at the Second Missionary Baptist Church, and a year later at the First Baptist Church. Everyone, adults and children alike, was inspired by these exchanges of culture and music.
As the topic of racism takes center stage, I believe music has an important role to play in healing our society. We recognize the systems that exclude people of color from classical music training and opportunities. Odyssey is committed to doing the work to improve for all of its constituents. To start, we will present more diverse and inclusive programming of underrepresented composers beginning next season. Odyssey remains dedicated to being a multi-cultural, multi-racial organization of performers, audience and programming.
In these difficult times, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns at info@OdysseyMissouri.org.
Ayako Tsuruta, Odyssey Executive and Artistic Director
and the Odyssey Board
This Sunday would have been Vox Nova's 3rd and final concert as Odyssey's Ensemble-in-Residence. We are working to reschedule this postponed concert - in hopes that we will be able to get together in May 2021.
Here is Vox Nova's performance at Odyssey's Season 12. The video begins with more excited Lieberman's last "Elizabethan Songs." For Vox Nova's signature performance, go to 1:15 for Tallis' "O Nata Lux."
Visit odysseymissouri.org/programs.html to revisit Vox Nova performances from Season 12 and 15. Then, consider donating to Odyssey so that we can continue to celebrate these great music and dedicated musicians with you!
Dear Odyssey Friends-
What an extraordinary times we are living in. COVID-19 pandemic has rattled everyone and everything around the world.
For free-lancing musicians, this pandemic has been devastating. I thought well established organizations like the Metropolitan Opera or Los Angeles Philharmonic would remain invincible, and did not imagine that its (temporary) closure would be caused by an illness.
I am also painfully aware that all this talk is privileged, compared to the poorest communities, here in Columbia and in other countries around the world, where keeping a distance of 6 feet is not even possible.
But music truly matters. In a time of dire need, we console ourselves with our favorite songs or songs that bring some solace. In a time of greatest joy, we celebrate the occasion or our lives with music to express our utmost feelings, indescribable in words. We use music to communicate our complicated emotions and feelings, where words fail.
Therefore, the well being of our musicians must be observed carefully. Financial support has never been more critical, especially at a time grant opportunities are severely compromised.
May I ask you to consider to donate to Odyssey to support its musicians? While "Women Composers" had to be cancelled, we have some of their music to share with you, performed exclusively by the Odyssey performers. You can see them at: https://conta.cc/3biZ6Y1
Thank you for your consideration.
Executive and Artistic Director
Season 14 wrapped up with Vox Nova as our featured Season Finale ensemble on June 3 - and just realizing only now that I had neglected posting 'Blogs' at all this past season, however sporadically I have in the past.
Thank you for sharing with us another spectacular season! We had a great turn out of audiences and musicians alike, and certainly a wonderful variety of world class chamber music.
Please plan to join us for Season 15! We kick off the season with a special presentation and production of the musical segment beginning with field/work songs all the way to the arranged spirituals of H. T. Burleigh, Margaret Bonds, and Moses Hogan to name a few. Co-curated by Dr. Maya C. Gibson and Dr. Stephanie Shonekan, this concert features former Chanticleer member Marques Jarrell Ruff and special guest soloist, international Opera, Jazz and Gospel artist Jolie Rocke Brown, with MU's new Assistant Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Brandon A. Boyd on the piano.
Then reserve the dates for other Season 15 gems - including the 9th Plowman Chamber Music Competition!
More exciting news will follow. Stay tuned!