CCM Faculty, Alumni and Programs Make Headlines This Summer

CCM continues to make headlines! See what the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Variety and more are saying about our faculty members, our alumni and our academic programs:

GABRIELLE-master675CCM Musical Theatre alumna Gabrielle Stravelli (BFA, 2001) received a glowing write-up in this Monday’s issue of the New York Times, with critic Stephen Holden calling her recent performance at the Metropolitan Room “intoxicating” and proclaiming that she, “recalled Ella Fitzgerald in her prime.” Stravelli next performs at the Metropolitan Room on July 29 and 31. Read the review here.

WorldsFairPlayFestivalThe New York Times also featured the World’s Fair Play Festival at the Queens Theater as its “Critics’ Pick” this week. A presentation of 10 original 10-minute long plays inspired by the 1939 and 19647 World’s Fairs, the festival has several notable CCM ties, with CCM Assistant Professor of Drama Brant Russell serving as a producer and director of the festival and Sarah Vargo (BFA, 2014) working as Assistant Director. Todd Almond (BM, 1999) was commissioned to write one of the festival’s new plays. The World’s Fair Play Festival runs through Sunday, July 27, 2014. Read the review here.

COUPLED2AC7867C7-CBDA-0EE2-860E9ACA54983621.jpg.pagespeed.ce.SnXKSdTksPCCM Drama alumna Diane Rogers (MFA, 1992) also received accolades this week for the new musical COUPLED. Rogers wrote the music, lyrics and book to COUPLED, which Broadway World deems a “must-see.” The show plays through Aug. 10 at the Jimmy Ferraro Studio Theatre in New Port Richey, Florida. Read the review here.

mickey-fischer-extantEarlier this month, Variety published an interview with Musical Theatre alumnus Mickey Fisher (BFA, 1995), whose show Extant is one of the summer’s most highly anticipated television events. Fisher wrote the script and will serve as an executive producer for Extant, a futuristic thriller produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin TV for CBS with Halle Berry starring. Read the feature here.

AChorusLineThe Times-Picayue recently profiled CCM faculty members Diane Lala and Robert Pavlovich in a feature on Tulane’s Summer Lyric Theatre production of A Chorus Line. Lala directed and choreographed this critically acclaimed production, which starred Pavlovich as formidable stage director Zach. Fellow CCM faculty member Roger Grodsky provided musical direction. Read the feature here.

RoscoeCCM alumnus/composer Evan Mack (MM, 2005; DMA, 2008) and CCM alumnus/librettist Joshua McGuire (MM, 2005) are getting attention for their new opera, Roscoe, which received an Opera Saratoga workshop performance earlier in the summer. Last month, the Times Union profiled the opera, which is an adaptation of the best-selling novel of the same name by Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Kennedy. Read the feature here.

EN-AB104_ORCHES_G_20140618101329Earlier this summer, CCM Prep’s New Horizons Orchestra was featured in the Wall Street Journal. The Journal reported on the growing popularity of ensembles for older players. Read the feature here.

See who else is making headlines by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/in-the-news.

CCM Professor Brett Scott Named Director of Cincinnati’s Musica Sacra Chorus

L. Brett Scott leading CCM's Chorale at the 2012 Moveable Feast gala event.

L. Brett Scott leading CCM’s Chorale at the 2012 Moveable Feast gala event.

We are happy to report that CCM Assistant Professor of Ensembles and Conducting L. Brett Scott has been appointed as Music Director of Cincinnati’s Musica Sacra Chorus.

Scott was nominated by Dr. Helmut J. Roehrig, who founded Musica Sacra in 1965. Dr. Roehrig will now assume the title and duties of Music Director Emeritus, and will continue to be involved in some decision-making aspects of the Chorus.

Scott has been a faculty member at CCM since 2007. He conducts the CCM Chorale and the Opera D’Arte undergraduate operas, and is also director of Cincinnati Camerata.

He is currently Vice President of the National Collegiate Choral Association, and has conducted, taught and lectured in Canada, Portugal and Cuba as well as throughout the United States. At the recent 2013 Portugal International Choral Festival, he conducted the ESML Chamber Choir to Gold and a first place finish in their category. Continue reading

CCM Productions Win Big at League of Cincinnati Theatres’ 2014 Awards Ceremony

League of Cincinnati TheatresWinners of the League of Cincinnati Theatres’ (LCT) 2013-14 Season Awards were announced on Monday night, with CCM faculty members, students and productions taking home a number of awards, including:

  • Best Musical (Tie): CCM’s Les Miserables (tied with Carnegie Theatre’s Chicago)
  • Choreography (Tie): Diane Lala and Patti James for CCM’s Singin’ in the Rain (tied with David Baum for Carnegie Theatre’s Chicago)
  • Music Direction: Steve Goers for CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Scenic Design: Mark Halpin for CCM’s Singin’ in the Rain
  • Ensemble in a Musical: CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Lead Actor in a Musical: Blaine Krauss in CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Featured Actor in a Musical: Matthew Paul Hill in CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Featured Actress in a Musical: Jenny Hickman in CCM’s Carrie

Faculty member Kelly Yurko also received a Special Contribution Award for her prosthetic design for Clifton Players’ production of The Whale. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners! Continue reading

Become a CCM Insider: Subscribe to THE VILLAGE NEWS

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Click here to subscribe to THE VILLAGE NEWS.

What’s the best way to keep up with CCM’s remarkable faculty, students, alumni, friends and benefactors? Subscribe to THE VILLAGE NEWS, CCM’s new electronic newsletter.

  • Learn about the CCM student and alumni-led Whiz Kids Music Program, which is making a difference in disadvantaged schools throughout Cincinnati.
  • Watch all 75 current Musical Theatre majors perform CCM alumnus Stephen Flaherty’s (BM, 1982) “On the Wings of a Dream” in tribute to UC alumnus and supporter Otto M. Budig Jr.
  • Find out where CCM’s latest Fulbright grant-recipient will be studying next year.
  • Read what the New York Times had to say about CCM’s string quartet-in-residence, the Ariel Quartet.
  • Get to know CCM’s newest faculty members.

Subscribe to THE VILLAGE NEWS and we will deliver these transformational stories to your inbox throughout the year. If you missed our SUMMER 2014 issue, sign up today and we’ll send you a copy!

Have a story of your own? Share it with us today.

And don’t worry: we will continue to provide you with breaking news through the CCM Blog, too!

Find out more about THE VILLAGE NEWS by visiting ccm.uc.edu/villagenews.

League of Cincinnati Theatres Announces 2014 Awards Finalists

League of Cincinnati TheatresThe League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) has announced the finalists for this year’s LCT Awards Celebration and we are delighted to report that CCM productions have received a staggering 23 nominations (CCM Professor Kelly Yurko and CCM student Brianna Barnes also received nods for work on non-CCM productions this year, bringing our unofficial tally up to 25 nominations)!

The annual LCT Award Celebration is designed to honor the best of Cincinnati professional theatre each season.

CCM’s 2013-14 productions of Carrie, Singin’ in the Rain, MetamorphosesLes Misérables, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Living Dead in Denmark all received nominations in at least one category.

CCM faculty members Aubrey Berg, Vince DeGeorge, Steve Goers, Mark Halpin, Patti James, k. Jenny Jones, Diane Lala, Reba Senske and Kelly Yurko each received nominations in at least one category.

CCM students singled out in this year’s nominations included Brianna Barnes, Sara Bishop, Hannah Freeman, Dana Hall, Jenny Hickman, Matt Hill, Colin Kessler, Blaine Krauss, Wes Richter and Ryan Sigurdson.

Finalists were chosen from the nominations made by trusted panelists who saw the shows during the year. One winner from each category will be announced at the Awards Party on Monday, June 16, at Arnold’s Bar and Grill in Cincinnati. Continue reading

CCM Alumna Marie Speziale to Receive Pioneer Award at International Women’s Brass Conference

CCM alumna Marie Speziale (BM, 1964).

CCM alumna Marie Speziale (BM, 1964).

We are thrilled to report that CCM alumna and former faculty member Marie Speziale (BM, 1964) will be presented with a Pioneer Award at the International Women’s Brass Conference (IWBC) at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 4, at Northern Kentucky University’s Greaves Hall.

Acknowledged as the first woman trumpeter in a major symphony orchestra, Speziale served as Associate Principal Trumpet with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for 32 years, from 1964 until her retirement in November of 1996. At this year’s conference, she will be honored as a musician whose career and spirit exemplifies the goals and traditions of the IWBC. Congratulations!

At each IWBC, beginning with the first in 1993, the IWBC has recognized women who have been pioneers in the top levels of brass performance, breaking down barriers and living their lives effecting change for those who followed. A full list of past award recipients may be found on the IWBC web site at myiwbc.org/about/iwbc-pioneers.

Continue reading

CCM Alumnus Carmon DeLeone Celebrated at Carnegie Theater on May 22

CCM alumnus and former faculty member Carmon DeLeone.

CCM alumnus and former faculty member Carmon DeLeone.

Our friends at the Carnegie Theatre in Covington, Kentucky, will honor distinguished CCM alumnus Carmon DeLeone (BM, 1964; BS, 1965; MM, 1967) and his storied career in Cincinnati with a special program entitled Birdie to Brice: 50 Years of Carmon DeLeone at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 22.

With DeLeone at the podium, this concert will feature his Middletown Symphony Orchestra in an evening of musical theatre favorites including selections from Bye Bye Birdie, Funny Girl and Man of La Mancha.

Distinguished CCM alumnus and Tony nominee Lee Roy Reams (BM, 1964; MA, 1982; HonDoc, 1998) will also be featured on the program.

Tickets to 50 Years of Carmon DeLeone are on sale now through the Carnegie Box Office. Call 859-957-1940 or click here for details.

Continue reading

CCM Jazz Ensemble Wows Audiences With Jazz At Lincoln Center Debut

Professor Scott Belck and the CCM Jazz Ensemble. Photography by Dottie Stover.

CCM’s acclaimed Jazz Ensemble made its Jazz at Lincoln Center debut last week, kicking off this month’s CINCYinNYC activities. If you were unable to catch any of the ensemble’s three sets at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola on May 6, you can enjoy video highlights courtesy of WCPO’s Matt Peiken here.

The Cincinnati Enquirer‘s Janelle Gelfand also provided a recap of the evening and declared, “if the enthusiastic response of the sold-out crowd at Dizzy’s club is any indication, New York is in for a treat.” You can read her full review here.

CCM’s CINCYinNYC offerings continue at 7:30 p.m. this evening (May 12), as the 92nd Street Y presents the Ariel Quartet. You can learn more about that performance here.

CCM Welcomes Accomplished Pianist Lydia Brown to its Opera Faculty

Please join us in welcoming Lydia Brown to CCM’s Department of Opera!

Please join us in welcoming Lydia Brown to CCM’s Department of Opera!

CCM Dean Peter Landgren has announced the appointment of pianist Lydia Brown to the faculty of CCM’s Department of Opera. Brown joins CCM as Associate Professor of Music in Opera/Voice Coaching beginning in August of 2014.

Brown has performed extensively as a soloist and collaborative pianist throughout the world. A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, she currently serves as assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera.

Brown won the Second Prize of the 1996 New Orleans International Piano Competition and was honored as an NFAA Presidential Scholar in the Arts.

Her recital appearances include notable venues such as the Salle Cortot, the Theatre des Champs-Elysees, the Dusseldorf InselFestival, Alice Tully Hall, 92nd St. Y, Caramoor, the Goethe Institute of New York, the Phillips Gallery and Steinway Hall, among others.

Brown holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano from the Juilliard School as well as degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Yale University. She studied art song with Elly Ameling and pianist Rudolf Jansen and has served on the musical coaching staffs of the Spoleto Festival USA, Opera Cleveland, Chautauqua Institute Voice Program, the Marlboro Music Festival and the Ravinia Steans Institute.

Learn more about CCM’s accomplished faculty by visitingccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/faculty.

CCM Welcomes Acclaimed Director Emma Griffin to its Opera Faculty

Please join us in welcoming Emma Griffin to CCM’s Department of Opera! Photography by Heather Phelps-Lipton.

Please join us in welcoming Emma Griffin to CCM’s Department of Opera! Photography by Heather Phelps-Lipton.

CCM Dean Peter Landgren has announced the appointment of stage director Emma Griffin to the faculty of CCM’s Department of Opera. Griffin joins CCM as Assistant Professor of Music in Opera/Directing beginning in August of 2014.

Lauded by the New York Times for her “intelligent staging,” Griffin earned her BFA in Theatre from New York University in 1994 and has served as adjunct faculty in directing at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts since 1999.

She is the Artistic Director of the OBIE-award winning Salt Theater. Highlights with Salt include Stage Door where she was awarded a FringeNYC Excellence Award for Best Director, Rinne Groff’s Inky, The Cherry Orchard and Conquest of the Universe.

Griffin has also directed work at theaters such as Perseverance Theater, Geva Theater Center, Syracuse Stage, Southern Rep, Actor’s Express, Virginia Stage and Williamstown Theater Festival.

She is a frequent collaborator on new music and theater pieces, including Corey Dargel’s Removable Parts, which received an “Outstanding Performance Art Production” at the New York Innovative Theatre Awards and Thirteen Near Death Experiences; Susan Bernfield and Rachel Peters’ Stretch, a fantasia; and Phil Kline’s Out Cold & Zippo Songs at BAM’s Next Wave Festival.

Griffin’s opera credits include The Cunning Little Vixen and Wozzeck at the Opera Philadelphia/Curtis Opera Theater; I Capuleti e i Montecchi, The Rake’s Progress, Postcard from Morocco and The Magic Flute at Curtis Opera Theater; and Les Mamelles de Tirésias and The Cunning Little Vixen at Juilliard Opera. The New York Observer hailed her production of The Cunning Little Vixen as one of the “Top 10 Performances of 2013.”

Griffin is currently developing the performance piece Backstage Door with playwright Sybil Kempson and The Three Christs, a new work by composer Corey Dargel for the NEWSPEAK ensemble.

Learn more about CCM’s accomplished faculty by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/faculty.