Roo News

The Student News Site of University of Missouri - Kansas City

Roo News

Roo News

Amidst the festive spirit of St. Patricks Day, the iconic symbol of luck, the clover, reminds us of the rich traditions and celebrations honoring Irish heritage.
Exploring St. Patrick's Day Alternatives in Kansas City
Aydan Stigler and Grace BeshoreMarch 14, 2024

  The annual St. Patrick's Day celebration is just around the corner, and with celebration comes large crowds.    The annual city parade...

Visit the City Market to explore local vendors.
Smart Saving Strategies for a Wallet-Friendly Spring Break
Emily Wheeler, Staff Writer • March 14, 2024

  UMKC students are ready for the upcoming week-long spring break, but are their wallets?   From travel adventures to staycations, spring...

Earth Mother by Sheron Smith
Her Art/Their Art Explores the Female Experience in the 21st Century
Elyse Bredfeldt, Staff Writer • March 12, 2024

  Her Art/Their Art is a collection that aims to answer the question: “What does it mean to identify, live, navigate, or be perceived by society...

Nina Simone: Four Women” playbook.
The KC Rep’s “Nina Simone: Four Women” is both timeless and poignant.
Maisy Blanton, Staff Writer • March 5, 2024

  The Kansas City Repertory Theater (KCRep) recently performed “Nina Simone: Four Women.” The show follows musician Nina Simone as she...

Around 1 million people were estimated to be in attendance at the parade.
One Dead, Several Injured During Chiefs Parade
Zach Gunter and Jazlyn SummersFebruary 14, 2024

Update:   As of 2:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon, the number of those injured at the Union Station shooting after the Chiefs Super Bowl parade...

UMKC Libraries “Shining a Light” on underrepresented composers

UMKC Libraries “Shining a Light” on underrepresented composers

You’re probably aware of who Mozart, Beethoven and Bach are, but did you know there are many more composers who aren’t just old, white men?

With UMKC Libraries’ new online exhibit, “Shining a Light,” you can now discover many 21st century composers from historically underrepresented groups.

Nara Newcomer, head of UMKC’s Music and Media Library, is a part of the project’s grant team along with UMKC Conservatory graduate students Bryanna Beasley and Andrew Stadler.

“Our ultimate goal is for people to perform, hear and study this music,” Newcomer said. “We want to create a more diverse and interesting repertoire of music at UMKC and around the world.”

“Shining a Light” allows people to listen to a variety of scores and learn more about the composers who come from marginalized communities.

Funding for the exhibit came, in part, from an Inclusive Excellence grant through the University of Missouri System.

The initiative, which funds projects that focus on diversity, inclusivity and underrepresented groups, awarded $50,000 to UMKC in spring 2019. The funding supports faculty and graduate students whose research and/or teachings focus on such issues.

The UMKC Libraries received nearly $2,000 to purchase scores for the collection. They also provided funds to purchase additional scores plus staff time to process the collection and create “Shining a Light.”

Scores have been coming in since last fall, most of them suggestions of students and faculty of the Conservatory.

“UMKC Conservatory students borrow many music scores from the library to study and perform, so we wanted to expand our collection to include more works of 21st century composers from underrepresented groups,” Beasley said.

According to a study by the Institute for Composer Diversity, in the 2019-20 “mainstage” season of 120 American orchestras, only 8% of programmed works are by women, and only 6% are by composers from underrepresented racial, ethnic and cultural heritages.

The grant team hopes to continue adding more works representing composers from a variety of cultures and different backgrounds. This will lead to more diverse performances from the Conservatory and expose students to different perspectives.

“I hope UMKC students and faculty are as excited as we are about this new resource to help promote diverse programming,” Stadler said. “Hopefully this exhibit inspires other performers here to do the same and explore new music from these phenomenal composers.”

You can access the online exhibit at For those interested, there will be a physical display of the collection on the ground floor of the Miller Nichols Library in March. More details yet to come.

[email protected]

Leave a Comment
Donate to Roo News

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Missouri - Kansas City. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Roo News

Comments (0)

All Roo News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *