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.”

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 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!

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CCM Celebrates Class of 2014 with Graduation Convocation Ceremony on April 26

Photography by Dottie Stover.

Photography by Dottie Stover.

CCM will celebrate the Class of 2014 with a Graduation Convocation Ceremony at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 26 in Corbett Auditorium.

Students receiving baccalaureate, masters, doctoral and artist diploma degrees in April 2014 will be recognized at the Convocation. The ceremony will be in full academic regalia, and will feature a faculty and student procession and recognition of this year’s distinguished alumni and service award recipients! Tickets are required for this ceremony.

Line up for CCM’s Graduation Convocation Ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. in the Cohen Family Studio Theater.

Following the University’s 9 a.m. commencement ceremony, CCM will host a cookout in room 300 of the Dieterle Vocal Arts Center. The luncheon is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. and graduates, parents and friends are welcome to attend.

Learn more about the University of Cincinnati Commencement by visiting uc.edu/commencement.

CCM E-Media Premieres Student-Produced Adventure Race Documentary Film

2013GoldPoster2014CCM’s Division of Electronic Media proudly presents a premiere screening of the documentary film 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 23, in UC’s MainStreet Cinema in the Tangeman University Center. Admission to this screening is free.

The latest in a series of UC student-produced documentaries, this film follows the “Gold Rush Mother Lode” adventure race, which is one of the foremost adventure races in the world. The documentary follows the story of 56 international racers as they run, mountain bike, kayak, orienteer and climb cliffs during a non-stop, grueling week of competition in California.

Originating in CCM E-Media, the Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary series is sponsored by the UC Forward initiative in the Provost’s Office. The 2013 installment was produced by 31 students from seven different academic programs at CCM, UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) and UC’s McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

In September of 2013, nine students from all three colleges flew to the Sierra Nevada mountains of California to film this documentary with distinguished CCM alumnus Brian J. Leitten (BFA, 2001), a professional film and television producer/director. Upon their return, the larger group began editing the documentary, working closely with Associate Professor Yoshiko Burke and her group of eight designers from the Graphic Communication Design program at DAAP.

CCM alumnus Brian J. Leitten.

CCM alumnus Brian J. Leitten.

About Brian Leitten
Brian J. Leitten is a 2014 recipient of UC’s Jeffrey Hurwitz Young Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award. An accomplished graduate of CCM E-Media, Leitten began his entertainment career with a five-year stint in the Music and Talent Department at MTV in New York working on music programming, development and events such as the VMAs, New Year’s Eve and the Movie Awards. From there he moved to producing and directing the MTV program MADE, ultimately winning an Emmy for his work. Many other projects followed, including establishing his own production company, Hyperion XIII, in 2011, and later becoming the Director of Productions for Vevo, the world’s leading all-premium music video and entertainment platform. He has also produced for Comedy Central and Fuse TV. Continue reading

CCM Announces 2014 Opera Scholarship Competition Results

Five voice students were named winners of CCM 2014 Opera Scholarship Competition, which was held Saturday, March 15, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. The annual competition welcomes current and incoming CCM voice students to compete for scholarships and cash prizes, and a panel of judges composed of opera industry professionals selects each year’s class of prizewinners.

The 2014 CCM Opera Scholarship Competition winners are:

Edward Nelson (Candidate – Artist Diploma)
From Saugus, Calif., studying with William McGraw
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Corbett Award ($15,000)
This award is supported by the Corbett Foundation in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. This award also guarantees a stage audition with New York City Opera.

Talya Lieberman (Candidate – Artist Diploma)
From Forest Hills, N.Y., studying with William McGraw
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Italo Tajo Memorial Award ($15,000)
This award is supported by the Italo Tajo Memorial Scholarship Fund (established by Mr. Tajo’s wife, Mrs. Inelda Tajo) in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Christopher Bozeka (Candidate – Master of Music)
From Akron, Ohio, studying with William McGraw
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Andrew White Memorial Award ($12,500)
This award is supported by the Andrew White Memorial Scholarship Fund in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Alec Carlson (Candidate – Master of Music)
From Red Oak, Iowa, studying with Kenneth Shaw
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Seybold-Russell Award ($10,000)
This award is supported by the Seybold-Russell Scholarship Fund in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Jasmine Habersham (Candidate – Artist Diploma)
From Macon, Ga., studying William McGraw
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the John Alexander Memorial Award ($10,000)
This award is sponsored by the John Alexander Memorial Scholarship Fund in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

The following students also received an award as part of the competition:

Jessica Faselt (Incoming – Master of Music)
From Iowa City, Iowa
Prize: Corbett Incentive Award for new Master of Music students ($2,000)
This award is supported by the Corbett Foundation in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Ann Toomey (Incoming – Master of Music)
From Shelby Township, Mich.
Prize: Corbett Incentive Award for new Master of Music students ($2,000)
This award is supported by the Corbett Foundation in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

The judges’ panel for CCM’s 2014 Opera Scholarship Competition included:

  • Cori Ellison, Chief Dramaturg of the Glyndbourne Festival and Dramaturg at American Lyric Theatre in New York;
  • Neal Goren, Artistic and General Director of the Gotham Chamber Opera in New York; and
  • Craig Terry, Music Director of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

About CCM Opera
The Department of Opera at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music boasts one of the most comprehensive training programs for opera singers, coaches and directors in the United States. Students at CCM work with some of the most renowned teachers and artists active in opera today.

CCM students frequently advance to the final rounds of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Furthermore, CCM’s Mainstage and Studio Series of Opera have received some of the National Opera Association Production Competition’s highest honors throughout the years, taking home six of the 18 nonprofessional prizes awarded in 2010 and four prizes in 2011.

CCM Opera graduates have performed on the stages of the world’s greatest opera companies, including Cincinnati Opera, Metropolitan Opera (New York), Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera (London), La Scala (Italy) and more.

CCM’s 2013-14 opera season concludes next month with Donizetti’s beloved Don Pasquale (April 3-6), conducted by Mark Gibson with stage direction by Omer Ben-Seadia. Learn more about that production by visiting ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/donpasquale.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM Prep Musicians Featured in Ohio All-State Jazz Ensemble

The 2014 All-State Jazz Ensemble.

The 2014 All-State Jazz Ensemble.

We are delighted to report that a record number of students from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s Preparatory Department (CCM Prep) will be featured in Ohio’s 2014 All-State Jazz Ensemble. Of the 20 musicians chosen from throughout the state to participate in this ensemble, six study at CCM Prep. All members of CCM’s Cincinnati Youth Jazz Orchestra, the six are:

  • Sam Beiting (lead alto saxophone),
  • Kevin Everson (drums),
  • Ryan Guard (trombone),
  • Andrew Haug (piano),
  • Drake Samuels (trumpet) and
  • Christopher Thompson-Taylor (lead tenor saxophone).

The All-State Jazz Ensemble consists of the 20 top high school jazz musicians in Ohio, all chosen after proving their abilities in a highly competitive statewide audition held last May.

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CCM Featured on NPR’s ‘Morning Edition’

Kanniks with the choir at St. Johns Unitarian Church in Cincinnati in 2004.

Kanniks with the choir at St. Johns Unitarian Church in Cincinnati in 2004.

Earlier this week, NPR’s Morning Edition spoke with CCM Musicology adjunct faculty member Kanniks Kannikeswaran and freshman Music Education/Music History major Vidita Kannikeswaran about the award-winning Greater Cincinnati Indian Community Choir (and Indian choral music in general)!

You can listen to the entire Morning Edition segment here.

Kanniks Kannikeswaran is a pioneer of the Indian American choral movement. His far reaching work in this area has led to the founding of Indian community choirs in not only Cincinnati, but also Washington, D.C.; Houston; Tampa and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Allentown, Pa.; Toronto; and, most recently, The Hague.

He has collaborated with artists such as Lakshmi Shankar, Mallika Sarabhai, with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and with institutions such as the National University of Singapore in producing crisp innovative works that convey the message of universal connectedness.

His magnum opus Shanti – A Journey of Peace has personally touched the lives of over 900 performers and has been seen by over 9000 even as many more communities are gearing towards performing this work.

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IT’S A SMASH! Rave Reviews for CCM’s ‘Singin’ in the Rain’

CCM’s proudly presents ‘Singin' in the Rain,’ running through Sunday, Nov. 3. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s proudly presents ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ running through Sunday, Nov. 3. Photography by Mark Lyons.

The reviews are in and the critics are calling CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Singin’ in the Rain a must-see theatre event!

In his review for Theatre Reviews Limited, Rafael de Acha suggests: “the show is one of the best, if not the best production of a musical I’ve seen in my three years in Cincinnati.” Read the full review here.

Rick Pender calls the production “a fabulous recreation of the iconic 1952 movie that featured Gene Kelly” in his CityBeat review. “If you love musicals,” he explains, “you should run, don’t walk to the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music this weekend for the short run of Singin’ in the Rain.” Read the full review here.

David Lyman calls the production “a delight” in his review for the Cincinnati Enquirer, concluding: “It’s pleasurable and immensely satisfying. It is, as Lala wrote in her program notes, like visiting an old friend.” Read the full review here.

In his review for Talkin’ Broadway, Scott Cain says, “The show flows at a quick pace and has apt tone and blocking. The dances, including lots of wonderful tap numbers, are vibrant, fun, and well-executed. Ryan Sigurdson leads a lush 27-piece orchestra that couldn’t sound any better.” Read the full review here.

Singin’ in the Rain runs through Sunday, Nov. 3, in Corbett Auditorium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.

Tickets and subscription packages are on sale now, but only a handful of seats remain, so don’t delay – contact the CCM Box Office today!

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