St. Louis-based composer writes journalism-inspired arrangement for MU creed

Performance is 8 p.m. Friday night at Mizzou Arena as part of the closing ceremonies for the Centennial
Thursday, September 11, 2008 | 11:17 p.m. CDT; updated 11:13 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, October 8, 2008

COLUMBIA - "Telling the Story: Fair and True" is steeped in journalism. The recitation of the Journalist's Creed halfway through, as well as the more subtle use of an old-fashioned typewriter as a percussion instrument, reveals composer Paul Reuter's sources of inspiration.

The MU School of Journalism asked Reuter, executive director of the Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries in St. Louis, to write an original composition for the closing ceremony of the centennial. The inclusion of the creed, written by Journalism School founder Walter Williams, was the major stipulation when the school commissioned Reuter.

If you go

When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Mizzou Arena
What: The Journalist’s Creed will be recited to music originally composed for the centennial at the centennial's closing ceremony.

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The document outlines how journalists should guard the public's interest and "that acceptance of a lesser service than the public service is betrayal of this trust." Six narrators will read the entire creed with the orchestra's accompaniment.

The creed isn't the only part of MU history that has found its way into "Telling the Story."

"I did actually take bits and pieces from three other songs: the Mizzou fight song; the school's alma mater, ‘Fair Mizzou'; and the old song, ‘The Missouri Waltz,' " Reuter said.

Although the audience might not immediately recognize the songs, he said, they're there. Reuter deconstructed each tune and wove the themes together as a starting place for the composition.

"They were the building blocks," Reuter said.

As for inspiration, Reuter cites images from the Pictures of the Year International competition, an annual contest for photojournalists held at MU. During the performance Friday night, photos from the competition's catalogue will be projected behind the musicians on a 40-foot-wide screen, said Rick Shaw, the competition's director.

"We pulled about 300 of the most memorable photos of our history," he said.

About 260 images will appear in the final slideshow, divided into four categories - sports, conflict, lifestyle and the presidents - to match the theme of the composition's four sections. The slideshow includes images from some of the best photographers in the world, Shaw said.

The orchestra will consist of both faculty and students from the MU School of Music, said Eva Szekely, professor of violin and chamber music.

Edward Dolbashian, associate professor of orchestral conducting, will conduct the orchestra.

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