Broadway's Cinderella.

CCM Alumna Stephanie Jae Park Performs in National Tour of ‘Cinderella’

CCM alumna Stephanie Jae Park.

CCM alumna Stephanie Jae Park.

We are thrilled to report that CCM alumna Stephanie Jae Park (BFA Musical Theatre, 2014) has been cast in the national tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, which is due at Cincinnati’s Aronoff Center early next year!

The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical from the creators of Oklahoma! and The King and I will delight local audiences Jan. 6 – 18, 2015.

Park’s previous credits include Tuptim in The King and I at the St. Louis Muny. At CCM, she played the role of Cosette in the acclaimed Mainstage Series production of Les Misérables. She also played Marcy Park in the Showboat Majestic’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Learn more by visiting www.stephaniejaepark.com.

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CCM alumnus Carmine Miranda. Photography by Cody Vickers.

CCM Alumnus Carmine Miranda Releases New Album to Rave Reviews

Album cover for Carmine Miranda's recording of Piatti's 12 Caprices.CCM alumnus and current doctoral candidate Carmine Miranda (BM Violoncello, 2010; MM Violoncello, 2012) is making waves with his latest recording project, which unearths Carlo Alfredo Piatti’s 12 Caprices for solo cello. This Navona Records release is already receiving rave reviews from music critics around the world.

“Piatti (1822-1901) was a renowned virtuoso and teacher whose name had faded into obscurity – except to cellists, who know his 12 Caprices from their studies,” explains Mary Ellyn Hutton in her review for Music in Cincinnati. “Miranda… seeks to return them to the active repertoire, to take their place beside Niccolo Paganini’s Caprices for Solo Violin and Bach’s Suites for Solo Cello and not treated ‘as mere etudes’,” she continues.

Fanfare Magazine describes the album as, “incredible performances of works that should interest every cellist and that should be in the library of anyone who appreciates the cello and hearing it played by a consummate master like Carmine Miranda.”

According to CCN, “at a mere 25 years of age, this recording places Carmine Miranda as the youngest cellist to professionally record and release this repertoire worldwide.”

Miranda’s Piatti: 12 Caprices for Solo Cello is available now through Amazon, iTunes, Classics Online, Spotify and the Naxos Music Library. Learn more about the album by visiting http://navonarecords.com.

About Carmine Miranda
Born in Valencia in 1988 to Italian immigrants and moving to the United States at an early age, Carmine Miranda is a Venezuelan/American cellist, international soloist and recording artist. Miranda began his musical studies at the age of seven at the Carabobo State Music Conservatory in Venezuela, where he studied his first years of Theory and Solfege, finally graduating from the Private Institute of Musical Education or I.P.E.M. He studied cello with cellists Luisa Fuentes, Valmore Nieves and William Molina, at the Latin-American Academy of Violoncello, and the Simon Bolivar Conservatory of Music (the institution that spawned the famous “El Sistema”). At the same time he was a member of the National Youth Orchestra and the Orchestra of Beethoven under the direction of maestro Giuseppe Sinoppoli.

At CCM, he studied with Lee Fiser and Yehuda Hanani, obtaining a Bachelors of Arts in music, Masters Degree and Doctorate’s degree candidacy. He has participated in several music competitions as a soloist and chamber player winning several recognitions and awards at a national and international level.

An avid soloist, Miranda has performed with several chamber ensembles, orchestras and has performed in prominent concert halls and music festivals including Carnegie Hall, the Aula Magna Hall (one of the largest and most important halls in Latin America), Bowdoin Music Festival, Close Encounters with Music Series in Great Barrington, NY, among others. Miranda has collaborated with recognized international artists such as Yehuda Hanani, Awadagin Pratt, Rodolfo Saglimbeni, Spanish composer Luis Serrano Alarcón and Grammy Nominated composer Michael Hoppé.

At the age of 22, Miranda recorded the Six Cello Suites by Johann Sebastian Bach under the label Centaur Records, joining the ranks of the youngest in the world to record the entire work. In 2013 Carmine completed the United States premiere of Nikita Koshkin’s “L’istesso Tempo” composition for cello and guitar. He was also selected to represent the University of Cincinnati as a soloist for a multi-state American tour with the CCM Wind Orchestra culminating with an opening night performance at the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) National Conference in North Carolina’s Aycock Auditorium. Currently Miranda is a recording artist for Parma Navona Records and plays on a 2005 Jules Azzi cello made in New York City.

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CCM alumnus Michael Shults.

CCM Alumnus Michael Shults Joins the Faculty of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

CCM alumnus Michael Shults.

CCM alumnus Michael Shults.

We are happy to report that CCM alumnus Michael Shults (MM Jazz Studies, 2012) recently accepted a tenure track position as assistant professor of saxophone at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He teaches applied jazz and classical saxophone, coaches saxophone quartets and jazz combos, and teaches jazz improvisation.

Shults served as a graduate assistant in the Department of Jazz Studies during his time at CCM, teaching improvisation and coaching combos and big bands. He studied saxophone with James Bunte and Rick VanMatre, improvisation with Phil DeGreg and composition with Kim Pensyl.

Shults has been praised for his “strong, imaginative” improvisations (Downbeat Magazine) and “fresh and intelligent musical ideas” (The Pitch). As a jazz saxophonist, he was a finalist in the 2012 North American Saxophone Alliance Jazz Artist Competition, and was the winner of the Graduate College Soloist category in the 2012 Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards Issue. He was a featured soloist on Bobby Watson’s 2010 release The Gates BBQ Suite which reached as high as #4 on the Jazzweek National Radio Airplay Charts. Also adept as a concert saxophonist, Shults has been praised for his “jaw-dropping” and “authoritative” technique (Bill Brownlee of the Kansas City Star) and has performed by invitation at the North American Saxophone Alliance biennial conference and the University of Iowa Festival for New Music.

He is currently a DMA candidate at the the University of Missouri-Kansas City under the tutelage of Zach Shemon of the PRISM Quartet. Before coming to CCM for his graduate studies, Shults earned dual BM degrees in Saxophone Performance and Jazz and Studio Music from the UMKC where he studied with noted saxophonists Bobby Watson, Tim Timmons and Dan Thomas.

Learn more by visiting www.michaelshultsmusic.com.

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Senior Musical Theatre major Max Clayton is Don Lockwood in CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Singin' in the Rain,' running Oct. 31 – Nov. 3 in Corbett Auditorium.

CCM Alumnus Max Clayton Cast in Broadway-Bound Revival of ‘Gigi’

CCM alumnus Max Clayton.

CCM alumnus Max Clayton.

We are thrilled to report that CCM alumnus Max Clayton (BFA Musical Theatre, 2014) has just been cast in the Broadway-bound revival of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s Oscar and Tony Award-winning musical Gigi.

Gigi is set to play a pre-Broadway engagement in the Eisenhower Theater at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The show will officially open on Jan. 29, 2015, and will play a limited engagement through to Feb. 12, before moving on to the Great White Way later next year.

Clayton has kept busy since graduating just last spring. He was recently seen as Gabey in On the Town at the Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre in Chicago and as Slim in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Oklahoma! The Chicago Tribune hailed Clayton’s performance in On the Town, calling him “an excellent lead.”

CCM audiences last saw Clayton as Don Lockwood in Singin’ in the Rain and as Macheath in The Threepenny Opera.

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Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Production of ‘Legally Blonde’ Receives a 4.5 Star Rating from the League of Cincinnati Theatres

Senior Lawson Young as Elle and junior Chris Collins-Pisano as Emmett in CCM's production of LEGALLY BLONDE, playing Oct. 23 - Nov. 2, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

Senior Lawson Young as Elle and junior Chris Collins-Pisano as Emmett in CCM’s production of LEGALLY BLONDE, playing Oct. 23 – Nov. 2, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

We are tickled pink to report that panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Legally Blonde – The Musical with a 4.5 star recommendation.

Panelists loved the CCM production, with one individual reporting: “Going back to college for the opening night of CCM‘s Legally Blonde did not disappoint! The stage becomes a powerhouse of song and dance… Ohmigod you guys, just go see this show and have a lot of fun.”

Panelists praised Diane Lala’s “well designed and executed” choreography (“the highlight of the show”) and guest scenic designer/CCM alumnus Joe Leonard’s “spectacular” scenic design: “Sophisticated…transforms constantly and seamlessly.”

Lead actress Lawson Young as Elle, lead actor Chris Collins-Pisano as Emmett, and supporting actress Madeline Lynch as Paulette were all singled out for their outstanding performances, but panelists gave kudos to all the performers: “The real strength of this musical was the total ensemble singing and dancing their hearts out for the pure joy felt by the audience.”

Legally Blonde plays tonight through next Sunday, Nov. 2, in Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now. Learn more by visiting ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/legally-blonde-mainstage.

About the League of Cincinnati Theatres
The League of Cincinnati Theatres was founded in 1999 to strengthen, nurture and promote Cincinnati’s theatre community. LCT provides its member companies and individual members with education, resources and services to enhance the quality and exposure of the theatre community in Cincinnati and increase community awareness, attendance and involvement. Learn more about the LCT here.

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Colorado Symphony.

CCM Alumnus Austin Larson Joins the Colorado Symphony

CCM alumnus Austin Larson. Photography by Pete Checchia.

CCM alumnus Austin Larson. Photography by Pete Checchia.

We are delighted to report that CCM alumnus Austin Larson (BM French Horn, 2012) has joined the Colorado Symphony as Assistant Principal Horn.

Larson has previously held the Second Horn position with New Jersey’s Symphony in C (formerly the Haddonfield Symphony) in addition to summer positions with the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra and Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland.

Larson has been highly successful in many competitions, including First Prize wins in both the International Horn Competition of America and the International Horn Society’s Premier Soloist Competition. Larson has also appeared as a soloist at the Music for All Symposium, International Horn Symposium and twice on Wisconsin Public Radio. You can learn more about some of Larson’s competition wins here.

A native of Neenah, Wisconsin, Larson holds degrees from both CCM and the Curtis Institute of Music. While at CCM, he studied with Professor of Horn Randy Gardner.

A strong believer in music advocacy, Larson has also been involved with numerous charitable organizations, including Horns a Plenty Christmas and Classical Revolution, and has raised funds for music scholarships both at UC and in the Northeast Wisconsin area.

For more information, visit www.austin-larson.com.

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CCM Alumni Create Thrills and Chills in ‘Gone Girl’ Movie

CCM alumnus Cooper Thornton as Dr. Benson, leaning over Ben Affleck in the film 'Gone Girl.'

CCM alumnus Cooper Thornton as Dr. Benson, leaning over Ben Affleck in the film ‘Gone Girl.’

While movie audiences were gasping for the last few weekends, two CCM alumni were grinning. Not that the grads had morbid senses of humor, but they were appreciating the fact that their creative talents were partially responsible for Ben Affleck’s new thriller, Gone Girl, taking top box-office honors at $38 million during its Oct. 3-5 debut. Dawn Swiderski (BFA Theatre Design & Production, 1989) was the film’s art director and actor Cooper Thornton (MFA Dramatic Performance, 1992) played the role of Dr. Benson.

Affleck portrays a man whose beautiful wife goes missing on their fifth wedding anniversary. “ Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble,” say Twentieth Century Fox’s promotional materials. “Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question.”

David Fincher directed the film, based upon Gillian Flynn’s bestseller.

Swiderski and Thornton both have a long list of movie and TV credits attached to their names. Some of Swiderski’s best known works are The Girl with the Dragon TattooX-Men: First Class and Angels & Demons, starring Tom Hanks — a film in which the Art Directors Guild nominated her for best production design.

Thornton, known as Ray Thornton in college, is an actor, writer and producer, who is best known for his appearances on a variety of TV shows, including Parks and Recreation in the recurring role of Dr. Harris, “NCISNCIS: Los Angeles and House.

Learn more via Deborah Rieselman and  UC Magazine here.

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