Goodbye to the MSPIC

After 20 years, Vivian León is packing her bags.

The Missouri Southern International Piano Competition has been a fixture not only on Missouri Southern’s campus, but in the world musical community for two decades. The competition, known world wide, brought prestige and culture to our small school in the Midwest.

“To make Missouri Southern and Joplin a cultural center of the region. That was the purpose in the beginning, and we fit into the international mission just perfectly,” León said.

Now, with León’s retirement, the door to an era will close with the emptying of her small office in Taylor Auditorium.

While the competition faced criticism both from students and members of the community, the MSIPC brought national attention to Southern, with a bare minimum cost to the University.

“Just imagine, the poster is on the display case outside of Carnegie Hall and it says Missouri Southern,” León said. “You look at it and you say ‘How did we get here, how did Missouri Southern get it’s name here?”

Sadly, those posters will no longer hang outside Carnegie Hall. After 20 years, the MSIPC will die, and we, along with so many others, will mourn its passing.