We regret to announce the passing of Nevin A. Almquist, 78, on March 17, 2020.
Through the years Nevin participated in many Sedalia area volunteer activities: he served as President of the Sacred Heart School Board, President of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, President of the Scott Joplin Foundation (he was our hands-on Mr. Fixit during the Festival), unofficial team Doc for his children's sports teams, member of the Pettis County Community Partnership and sang in a barbershop chorus.
But perhaps his most enjoyable duty was to be with his wife as the unofficial door greeter at the Scott Joplin ‘afterglow’ later in the evenings of the Festival. Everyone knew Nevin and his wife Jean, and the contributions they made to the community.
He was born on May 18, 1941, in Osage, Iowa to Delmar and Irma Almquist. He graduated from Osage High School in 1959 and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the State College of Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa in 1963. He then moved to Amarillo, Texas teaching biology and serving as Athletic Trainer for Caprock High School. He left Amarillo in 1965 to attend Indiana University, receiving a master's degree in Health and Safety in 1966. The following year he received a degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Iowa.
Once he had his Physical Therapy degree, he moved to Sedalia as the Director of the Physical Therapy Department at Bothwell Regional Medical Center. After many years in this role he expanded his duties to include community out-reach.
Nevin was preceded in death by his parents and survived by his wife, Jean, daughter Denise, son Kevin (Suzanne), four grandchildren, and a brother, David (Marita) Almquist. With the current Covid-19 precautions, we are unfortunately unable to celebrate Nevin's life as a big group. Instead, we plan to have a celebration of his life at a later date when we can all get together and share stories of his life and times!
The family suggests contributions to the following organizations: The Bothwell Foundation c/o Nevin Almquist Memorial at 601 E. 14th Street, Sedalia, MO 65301 or online at: this address. In the comments section notify funds are for the Nevin Almquist Memorial – this will be a fund specifically used for those interested in pursuing a degree in Physical Therapy, or The Canon Cancer Center at Bothwell Regional Health Center.
Arrangements are under the direction of McLaughlin Funeral Chapel.
With all factors considered associated with the corona-virus, a decision has been made to cancel the 2020 Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival. This decision is supported by festival partners - the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Foundation Board, the Sedalia Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Sedalia Area Tourism Commission, and the City of Sedalia.
The decision to cancel now, rather than later, permits the Foundation to secure deposit refunds on pianos, venues, marketing, insurance and other expenses incidental to the operation of the 2020 Festival. We’re disappointed to announce this decision but we’ve already received many requests for ticket cancellation and don’t expect virus concerns will abate soon enough for us to proceed confidently with Festival plans this year.
We wish you good health and urge you to remain vigilant as the Covid-19 virus crisis unfolds in the coming weeks or months. We will re-focus on the 2021 Festival (June 2-5, 2021) and continue to promote ragtime and our Festival through our web site and Facebook page.
The Scott Joplin International Ragtime Foundation (SJIRF) of Sedalia, Missouri is proud to announce Ragtime Kids, an innovative program to inspire young performers and researchers to create new ragtime music and discover more of its history. The objectives include activities to educate junior high and high school students on the significance of ragtime music, on the influence of Scott Joplin, and on the American music history that was made in Sedalia.
Funding for the program comes from public contributions to the Foundation in memory of Larry Karp, a ragtime enthusiast and important author on ragtime history. Karp wrote the definitive biography of ragtime legend Brun Campbell (Brun Campbell: The Original Ragtime Kid, 2016).
SJIRF President, John Simmons, said “Our foundation is committed to advancing the reach of our ragtime heritage and culture. It is our mission to educate and promote ragtime’s contribution to American music. The Ragtime Kids program is well suited to the enthusiasm that youth have for this music once they discover it. Building on that excitement, with an outlet and pathway that they can travel, builds a foundation for future generations”.
Through an application and selection process, a winner will receive a $500 cash award to be applied toward continuing music education and for offsetting expenses to attend the SJRF Festival. Complimentary items include a Festival ticket package and Festival memorabilia. The real bonuses are the opportunities to meet and mingle with ragtime performers, to perform on stage with festival headliners, and to assist in the development of future festivals.
An application can be downloaded by clicking here.
Applications must be received by April 1, 2020.
Winners will be contacted after April 1 and announced at the 2020 Festival May 27-30.
Sedalia resident, Nancy Moss, was presented with the Chrysanthemum Award at the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival May 30, 2019. Moss told the crowd during the presentation at a concert intermission “I’m truly honored”. She also thanked her family for “putting up with me in my Scott Joplin mode for more than 23 years”.
John Simmons, President of the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Foundation, noted the first-ever Chrysanthemum Award is a “pinnacle” award that won’t be given annually. Instead, it will be presented periodically to those who are found to be a ‘curator of ragtime culture’.
Nancy has attended every Festival since its inception in 1974. She has also served on the Foundation’s Board of Directors for 22 years and given monetary contributions for 28 years. She also began the Festival’s Hospitality Room 20 years ago to provide refreshments and food to ragtime performers between performances.
Simmons noted, “she’s got that institutional knowledge and you can count on Nancy not to let something slip by…I can’t say enough about her focus, her passion and sense of duty”.
Information sourced from Faith Bemiss’ article in the Sedalia Democrat
During the Music Hall concert Saturday, June 1, 2019, Peter Lundberg received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival in Sedalia, Missouri.
Peter was one of the first researchers and performers in modern times to travel around the US and document our ragtime history. He has been a featured performer over numerous years at our festival and elsewhere.
On his own initiative in 1963, he ventured from his home in Gothenburg, Sweden to many of the most significant locations related to the music's development. He made important observations, and met contacts along the way, which led to further research, all the while connecting dots that we now take for granted. He was one of the few people at the time to actively reach out to Mrs. Joe Lamb, Rudi Blesh, Eubie Blake, Charles Thompson, Wally Rose, Trebor Tichenor, Max Morath, Bob Darch (who mentored Peter), John Stark's daughter Carrie, and others in his cross-country journeys. His stops also included the WC Handy Music Company Building, (meeting Handy's children), the QRS piano roll company, the Library of Congress, and numerous historically important performance venues.
Following his initial journey, Peter kept up on correspondence, pursuing questions, publicizing his discoveries, and, most importantly, inspiring young American and European players to perform and study ragtime. He has given talks on his travels, and there is always great interest in his work from serious ragtime aficionados.
It should be noted that Peter was doing his work long before the 1970s rediscovery of ragtime in the US, the start-up of regular festivals, and the Internet and email. So his dedication is that much more impressive and worthy. Also, he has contributed to the repertoire of music through his many popular compositions. I feel that Peter Lundberg is an excellent choice for this year's award.
---Courtesy of David Reffkin's Nomination
The Scott Joplin Foundation is pleased to announce Richard Dowling as our 2018 Artist in Residence. Dowling, of New York City, will be in Sedalia Jan. 29 to Feb. 1 visiting the schools in and around Sedalia.
The Artist in Residence is a component of the Local Awareness Campaign and is part of a youth based Ragtime Curriculum Package designed to introduce grade-school students to: Scott Joplin as the King of Ragtime, Classic Ragtime as the root of American music, and Sedalia’s connection to American music history. The Artist in Residence Program reaches approximately 3,000 students each year and has been sponsored by the Sedalia Rotary and local PTA’s since 1997.
Dowling gave two concerts at Carnegie Hall on April 1, 2017, exactly 100 years from the death of Scott Joplin. In the four hours of concerts, he played all 53 pieces written by Joplin, becoming the first-ever solo performer to play all of Joplin’s works in concert. Since that time, he has traveled the U.S. giving those two concerts, and has more booked for 2018. We are extremely glad to have him scheduled for the week here.
In addition, Dowling will perform for a silent movie at the Liberty Center in downtown Sedalia. The silent movie selection, “Safety Last” featuring Harold Lloyd, will begin at 7 p.m, Tuesday, January 30th. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.