Percy Grainger - Springfield Missouri
--a brief study of Percy Grainger’s residency in Springfield, Missouri
NOTE: This presentation will be broadcast live on Marissa's Facebook page at 2 pm EDT on May 11. (Later, also posted on International Percy Grainger Society FB page.)
For residents of Springfield, Missouri, it is not uncommon to hear rumors that the world-famous composer and pianist, Percy Grainger (1882-1961), had once lived in the same city. Though it is known by Grainger enthusiasts that the Australian-born musician moved to the United States and made his residence in White Plains, New York, his “Springfield Years” are often overlooked or even disregarded altogether without explanation.
Marissa Kyser is currently writing a master’s research paper on the many questions that surround Grainger’s time in Springfield. Though many tall tales and rumors have circulated over time about the legendary composer, Marissa’s mission is to identify factual evidence regarding Percy and Ella’s decision to move to Missouri.
Why did he move to Springfield? Where did he live and how much did it cost? Did he like living in Springfield? Did he accomplish anything significant? When did he return to White Plains?
After over a year of research, Marissa’s findings construct a detailed timeline and illuminate this period of his life (1940-1943). In addition to completing an in-depth investigation of resources in Springfield, Marissa has recently returned from a quest for information at the Grainger Museum and University of Melbourne in Australia. Her studies have led her to explore many newspaper articles, letters, financial records, concert dates, and other resources that serve as key puzzle pieces to the vast jigsaw that is Percy Grainger.
Marissa Kyser is a trumpet player and conducting graduate student at Missouri State University studying wind band conducting. She holds a degree from Missouri State University (BME) and will graduate with her second degree (MM) in May of this year.