Foley announces $2 million donation to the School of Music

Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield have donated almost $15 million to support composition at MU.

Interim Chancellor Hank Foley announced Monday that Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield will donate $2 million to the Mizzou New Music Initiative, which provides a wide range of programming and aims to help the School of Music become a leader in composition and new music.

College of Arts and Science Dean Michael O’Brien said the money will provide stipends for graduate students in the New Music Ensemble. It will also allow MU to continue funding two annual full tuition undergraduate composition scholarships and fund one additional annual runner-up scholarship.

The donation through the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation marks the Sinquefields’ third to the Mizzou New Music Initiative, which they created in 2009.

After the $2 million donation, the Sinquefields will have donated almost $15 million to support composition at MU.

“This is totally unauthorized and probably illegal,” Rex Sinquefield joked, followed by audience applause. “I want to thank (my children). I think it’s wonderfully courageous and self-immolating for you to be here as you watch us give away your inheritance.”

Last spring, the Sinquefields also helped fund the construction of a new School of Music building with a $10 million donation, which is still underway.

“It’s an important time for philanthropy at our university,” Foley said. “Gift announcements are always very exciting because they offer inspiring possibilities as well as an affirmation of the work at the university, its faculty, and most of all, it’s students.”

The donation will also help provide continued funding for the 20-member group “Alarm Will Sound”, which includes two members of MU's music faculty, and will provide funding for the Mizzou International Composers Festival, which will be held at the Missouri Theatre in July.

Additionally, the donation will continue to provide financial support for a full-time, non-tenured track faculty member, a full-time staff member, adjunct faculty and a postdoctoral fellow for the School of Music.

“The donation reasserts the Sinquefields’ belief and pride in MU during what are obviously challenging times,” Foley said. “The Sinquefields’ most recent gift helped position the music school as a recognized leader in composition nationally and throughout the world.”

Foley said that with their financial support, the Sinquefields have found a meaningful way to showcase their passion for musical composition and a love for the performing arts.

“Jeanne is passionate about music,” Foley said. “She plays in two orchestras herself, but she found an area where she could make Mizzou become stronger. Jeanne and I agree, it’s really all about the bass. She plays that instrument. You can see that on YouTube.”

Edited by Waverly Colville |

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