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 Students and Alumni Featured in NANOWorks’ Season Closing Productions June 27 – 29

Composer (and CCM alumna) Jennifer Jolley.

Composer (and CCM alumna) Jennifer Jolley, co-founder of NANOWorks.

We are delighted to report that North American New Opera Workshop’s (NANOWorks) season-closing production of Marie Incontrera’s At the Other Side of the Earth and Eric Knechtges’ Last Call will feature a number of current and former CCM students!

This exciting double-bill production opens with the Midwestern premiere of Incontrera’s riot girl opera, showcasing the talents of sopranos Molly Hanes (MM, 2013), Autumn West (MM, 2013) and Esther Kang (MM, 2012), along with bass-baritone Ben Flanders (MM, 1998). Instrumentalists for this piece include violinists Nick Naegele (BM, 2007; MM, 2008; AD, 2010) and Dylan Firlie (current BM student), along with rehearsal pianist Stephen Variames (AD, 2014).

The production also features the world premiere of Knechtges’ Last Call, an opera loosely based on Cincinnati’s gay bar scene. That work features mezzo-soprano Lauren McAllister (MM, 2014) and sopranos Stacey Sands (MM, 2010) and Katherine Krueger (MM, 2012).

Aik Khai Pung (MM, 2009) conducts both operas.

NANOWorks’ season-closing double-bill runs June 27 – 29 at the Cabaret Room above the Below Zero Lounge. Learn more about both works by visiting www.nanoworksopera.com.

NANOWorks was co-founded by CCM alumna Jennifer Jolley (MM, 2009; DMA, 2012) and is dedicated to raising the spotlight on young singers, composers, librettists, directors, choreographers and other company artists in order to give them a stepping stone to national attention.

Last July, Opera News’ Kyle MacMillan profiled Jolly and observed that NANOWorks is based in Cincinnati “partly because Jolley and her collaborators live there and partly because of the rich pool of vocal talent there, due to the presence of the respected University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.”

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 Video: Imagine the Possibilities with CCM Drama

Graduating CCM E-Media student Tim Neumann (BFA, 2014) has created a stunning video exploration of CCM’s acclaimed Department of Drama.

Described by Backstage magazine as a “first-rate BFA program in acting, ” CCM Drama creates graduates who go on to careers in theatre, film, television and national media. Watch the video above and imagine the possibilities.

With programs like E-Media and Drama living side-by-side, it’s easy to see why CCM is considered a preeminent institution for the performing and media arts!

Learn more about CCM’s Department of Drama by visiting ccm.uc.edu/theatre/drama.

Learn more about CCM’s Division of Electronic Media by visiting ccm.uc.edu/emedia.

Three CCM Students Named As League of Cincinnati Theatres’ 2014 Rising Stars

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The League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) has announced its 2014 Rising Star Award-recipients and this year’s winners include current and former CCM students Kaitlyn Adams, Blaine Krauss and Kevin Semancik, along with recent Xavier University graduate Patrick Phillips. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!

All four young artists have been awarded for their exemplary contributions to local theatre courtesy of Diet Dr. Pepper and Pepsi Beverages. This year’s winners were chosen from a pool of nominees recommended by their university or a theatre they have worked for. CCM’s Matt Hill and Shaun Sutton were runners up.

Rising Stars must be under 25 years of age and are nominated for their body of work by academic and theatre personnel. The award was created to recognize talented young people who have and will contribute to professional theatre in Cincinnati and the industry at large.

This year’s committee was chaired by LCT Board Members Cathy Springfield and Kirk Sheppard. Each winner receives $1000 to help them as they continue their careers courtesy of Diet Dr. Pepper and Pepsi Beverages, facilitated by Rick Gill.

You can learn more about Kaitlyn Adams, Blaine Krauss and Kevin Semancik below! Continue reading

Cincinnati Children’s Choir Featured on CET Arts Channel

Cincinnati Children's Choir, Ensemble-In-Residence at CCM.

Cincinnati Children’s Choir, Ensemble-In-Residence at CCM.

The award-winning Cincinnati Children’s Choir is coming to a television set near you this weekend! CET Cincinnati Public Television‘s arts and culture series SHOWCASE with Barbara Kellar will spotlight the CCM ensemble-in-residence at 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 18.

In addition to a conversation with Choir Founder and Managing Artistic Director Robyn Reeves Lana and Executive Director Mary Kay Koehler, the program will also feature nearly 80 members of the Cincinnati Children’s Choir performing two songs.

The Cincinnati Children’s Choir is an educationally based choral ensemble program that provides high quality music education to children ages 6-18 in the Greater Cincinnati community. This program offers its participants the opportunity to demonstrate their musical understanding, artistry, and achievement by performing and collaborating with premier ensembles and children’s choirs throughout the world.

This episode of SHOWCASE with Barbara Kellar airs at 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 18, on CET Arts, which is available over-the-air on channel 48.3, on Time Warner Cable channel 987, on Cincinnati Bell Fiberoptics channel 248 and on Insight Cable channel 192. Learn more about CET Arts by visiting www.cetconnect.org/cet-arts.

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 Students and Alums Featured in Queen City Chamber Opera’s Upcoming Production of ‘Die Walküre’

Queen City Chamber Opera presents 'Die Walküre.'

Queen City Chamber Opera presents ‘Die Walküre.’

A number of current and former CCM students will be featured in Queen City Chamber Opera‘s upcoming production of act one of Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre.

Presented at the Dunham Arts Center on May 23 (the day after Wagner’s 201st birthday!) and 25, the fully staged production will last roughly 75 minutes.

CCM alumnus Isaac Selya (DMA, 2014) serves as Artistic Director of the Queen City Chamber Opera and will conduct these performances. Cincinnati Wagner Society President James Slouffman directs.

CCM alumnus and International Wagner Competition finalist Ric Furman sings the role of Siegmund, while CCM artist diploma candidate William Tvrdik sings the role of Hunding. Tvrdik recently sang the title role in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Don Pasquale.

The role of Sieglinde will be sung by Kimberly Buczek, who is currently on the voice faculty of both Wright State University and Wittenberg University.

The production will be accompanied by a 40-piece orchestra, featuring many CCM students and alumni!

Continue reading