The Southside Philharmonic Orchestra assembles some of the region’s finest musicians to present high-quality performances of classical music to promote and enhance our local musical community, contribute to the revitalization of Jefferson City’s historic Southside/Munichburg district, and strengthen the cultural fabric of Central Missouri.
SPO is a community arts outreach program within the Central United Church of Christ in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Leigh Anne Torres
***Artistic Director and Founder
Patrick David Clark was born in St. Louis, MO, and is a composer, conductor, and also founder and Artistic Director of the Southside Philharmonic Orchestra. Patrick is conductor and musical director of the Jefferson City Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Director of Music at Central United Church of Christ, frequent guest conductor for the Columbia Civic Orchestra and Mizzou New Music Ensemble, and musical director for many productions by The Little Theater, including Bye Bye Birdie, Rent, The Odd Couple, and Peter Pan.
As a composer Patrick has been commissioned by the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and many American and European chamber ensembles and soloists including his work for piano solo, Snow Coming, for St. Louis Symphony pianist Peter Henderson, and a chamber work for The Odyssey Chamber Concerts Series in Columbia, MO. Orchestral works by Patrick have been programmed by the Seattle Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Spokane Symphony, and the Nederlands Ballet Orkest. Chamber works by Patrick have been performed and recorded in The Netherlands and Israel. Recent performances include a performance by the Roosevelt University Contemporary Music Ensemble of Glancing Blade for chamber orchestra, March 2017. The Dutch new music ensemble, But What About..,(BWA), whose formation has centered on a specific work of Patrick’s, Light Bending Forward, which is based on texts drawn from Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, includes this work in their regular performance repertoire. Light Bending Forward has been listed in the Italian Journal Modern Accordion Perspectives: Critical Selection of Accordion Works Composed Between 1990 and 2010. Patrick is currently working with the American Composers Alliance in planning a tour for BWA to New York City to perform new works by American composers including new one of his own: Tao de ching. Dr. Clark has worked with American Voices as Composition faculty on several trips to Kurdistan, Thailand, and Lebanon.
Patrick holds his Bachelor’s degree in composition from the University of Missouri, Columbia, earned his Master’s degree from the University of Arizona, studying with Dan Asia, and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition from the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University. Patrick is a Tanglewood Fellow (1997), participated as a composer at June in Buffalo and studied with Louis Andriessen at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague in Holland on a Netherlands-America Foundation Grant (Fulbright).
Patrick works regularly with the MU composition faculty in the Summer COMP (“Creating Original Music Project”) and the Mizzou International Composers Festival. His own work written for this festival, Ptolemy’s Carousel, and many other works by Patrick can be heard at:
The Southside Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) is the result of a “perfect storm” of two intersecting interests – the Central United Church of Christ and the Old Munichburg Association.
Central United Church of Christ (CUCC) has a new pastor, Rev. Rushan Sinnaduray, who is making strides to increase the community outreach and visibility of the church. CUCC was once a cornerstone of the Old Munichburg neighborhood, particularly notable in its contribution to local music through Carl Burkel. Mr. Burkel was a true maestro in his ability to assemble the youth in various choirs and orchestras inspiring a common cause in music, and has left a legacy of memories that one might call a “golden age” in the Jefferson City musical arts. Everyone fondly remembers Mr. Burkel. We have plans for a continuing concert series with various presentations of music including those that feature the tremendous organ in the CUCC sanctuary made famous by Carl Burkel and extended to the present by our organist Shirley Klein.
The Old Munichburg Association has a long-term mission of re-vitalizing the Southside neighborhood. Walter Schroeder is creating enthusiasm with his historical documentation of the life of this neighborhood from its birth as a German community. Octoberfest is an annual celebration here that brings attention to the German past but also has a contemporary feel. Rehabilitation of the classic old homes and streets is on the agenda. In any case, the nostalgic past is embracing a more progressive future on the Southside of Jefferson City.
As a conductor and composer, I receive endless gratification in putting people together for musical projects. The SPO was created as a semi-professional orchestra for the purpose of playing a variety of music that doesn’t always fit the ensembles already established in Jefferson City—something like the “new wine in old wineskins” question. Larger productions find an apt venue with the Jefferson City Symphony Orchestra which performed the opera “Hansel & Gretel” on February 7th, 2017. The opera required a large orchestra with a large cast including MOstly Opera.
I think of SPO as a more nimble chamber orchestra, capable of playing the classics in a clean and transparent manner. We have performed major works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, and Bach. Most recently we collaborated with Columbia’s Bach Community Chorale for Bach’s Mass in B minor. The old meets the new with the Southside Philharmonic.
Above all, we wish to present a fresh sound as the SPO—A sound of brilliance and agility. Comprised primarily of some of the most accomplished musicians in Jefferson City and augmented with some superb young players from Columbia, Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield, and Chicago, our performances are held in the acoustically-ideal CUCC sanctuary.