Thursday, September 4, 2008

Journalism is dead, long live Mizzou J-School!

The internet gave print media a whole lot more competition for gathering and distributing news (and everything else), while simultaneously cutting into their revenue base. Now is not a good time to ask a journalist at a daily newspaper - especially, the shrinking St. Louis Post-Dispatch - how they feel about their job.

Which makes it an odd time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. But, hey, you can't pick your anniversaries, you take them as they come, and The Sheldon is throwing a party for this centennial.

On Friday, October 3, 2008 at 8 p.m. The Sheldon will present the University City Symphony Orchestra “Pictures of the Year” exhibit opening concert, with a program featuring compositions tied to the year the J-school was founded (1908) - Ravel’s’ Ma Mere L’Oye (composed in 1908), “The Typewriter” by Leroy Anderson (who was born in 1908) - plus a commissioned piece about the school, Telling the Story: Fair and True by Sheldon Executive Director Paul Reuter.

Reuter's piece will incorporate photographs from Mizzou’s Pictures of the Year International archives, a selection of which is currently on view in the Sheldon Art Galleries.

Reuter is himself a Mizzou grad (School of Music, not of journalism), student of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and formerly music director of KBIA-FM in Columbia and executive director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

The University City Symphony Orchestra is directed by Leon Burke III, who has been conducting since he was a lad of 16, has been a Fulbright Fellow in Paraguay, and still has a hell of a lot on the ball. Besides conducting the U. City Symphony Orchestra, he is assistant conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, choir director at Eliot Unitarian Chapel in Kirkwood, conductor for the Metropolitan Ballet of Topeka, conductor for the Metro East Junior Orchestra in Belleville and an adjunct faculty member at East Central College in Union, Missouri.
For those who track such things, Leon is an African American.
The U. City orchestra often features my friend Chris Voelker somewhere in the pit, though I don't know if he is on this gig or not.

Tickets for this show are $15 orchestra/$10 balcony and are available through MetroTix at 314.534.1111 or at


Picture of students of the J-school's first graduating class clowning is from The University of Missouri School of Journalism Scrapbooks.

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