CCM Dance Showcase Spotlights Student Choreographers March 6-8

Photography by Will Brenner.

Photography by Will Brenner.

CCM’s Studio Series proudly presents the 2014 Dance Student Choreographers’ Showcase from March 6–8 in UC’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of CCM’s Dance Department with this all-new program, directed by Assistant Professor of Dance Deirdre Carberry. Admission is free, but reservations are required.

Subtitled “Six Dances at a Gathering,” this year’s Dance Student Choreographers’ Showcase will set the stage for the new work of six talented undergraduates. In order to be selected for the highly competitive showcase, CCM’s aspiring choreographers submit written proposals and perform excerpts of the proposed choreography for Carberry. The result this year is a phenomenal collection of budding talent presenting works in complementary styles.

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CCM Review Round-Up: ‘Les Misérables’ and ‘El Niño’

The critics can’t stop talking about CCM’s productions of Les Misérables and El Niño! Catch up with the latest “buzz” in today’s review round-up!

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical "Les Misérables," playing Feb. 27 - March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical “Les Misérables,” playing Feb. 27 – March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

  • Rick Pender calls CCM’s new production of Les Misérables “magnificent” in his CityBeat review, concluding, “Peeled back to its raw essence, CCM’s staging of Les Misérables is powerful and memorable, one of the best musical theater productions on a Cincinnati stage this season.” Read the full review here.
  • Paige Malott reviews the production for iSPYCiNCY and observes, “Capturing the larger-than-life Les Misérables with perfection, CCM put on a better-than-Broadway performance that is guaranteed 2-4-6-0-fun.” Read the full review here.
  • In his Talkin’ Broadway review, Scott Cain explains, “Musicals presented at… CCM always feature splendidly talented student performers who rarely disappoint. Their current production, Les Misérables, is no exception and does showcase many stunning voices and meticulously detailed acting.” Read the full review here.
  • In his review for The Sappy Critic, Kirk Sheppard suggests, “I’ve seen a lot of shows in Cincinnati over the last couple of years… [and] CCM’s Les Misérables just might be the greatest production I’ve ever seen.” Read the full review here.
  • Rafael de Acha reviews the production for Seen and Heard International and writes, “Keeping the entire undertaking tightly reined in and mercifully devoid of any Broadway clichés, [Aubrey] Berg delivers a fresh and finely-wrought production.” Read the full review here.
  • Emily Begely reviews Les Misérables for UC’s News Record and concludes, “An exemplary cast, a familiar plot and simple props created an unforgettable work of art.” Read the full review here.
Earl Rivers leads the CCM Philharmonia in a rehearsal for John Adams' EL NINO. Photography by Lisa Ventre/University of Cincinnati.

Earl Rivers leads the CCM Philharmonia in a rehearsal for John Adams’ EL NINO. Photography by Lisa Ventre/University of Cincinnati.

  • Janelle Gelfand reviews CCM’s “powerful” performance of John Adams’ El Niño for the Cincinnati Enquirer, and observes, “[Earl] Rivers balanced the work’s intimate emotions against powerful ones, propelled tempos well and drew excellent playing from the orchestra.” Read her full review here.
  • Mary Ellyn Hutton reviews El Niño for ConcertoNet and writes, “John Adams’ oratorio El Niño had its regional premiere in Cincinnati March 2, and it couldn’t have been in better hands. ” Read the full review here.

Performances of Les Misérables resume this evening (Tuesday, March 4) and run through Sunday, March 9. Learn more by visiting ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/lesmiserables.

CCM Brings NPR’s Hit Show ‘From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley’ to UC on April 2

The logo for NPR's 'From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley.'CCM is pleased to announce that From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley, the preeminent showcase for young musicians, will come to UC’s Corbett Auditorium to record a radio broadcast on Wednesday, April 2, 2014.

Heard weekly in the Greater Cincinnati area on WGUC 90.9 FM, the popular NPR radio program features the amazing performances and captivating personal stories of extraordinary young classical musicians from across the country. The From the Top episode recorded on April 2 will be presented by CCM to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Starling Chamber Orchestra, the college’s premier preparatory string ensemble.

The show will feature the Starling Chamber Orchestra, with conductor and CCM Violin Chair Kurt Sassmannshaus, and will include solo performances by several current and past Starling Chamber Orchestra participants. Twelve-year-old violinist Skye Park from Lexington, Kentucky, is a participant in the Starling Chamber Orchestra and previously appeared on From the Top in 2012 from a special show taped at CCM’s Great Wall Academy in Beijing, China.

Violinist and 2012 Naumburg Competition-winner Tessa Lark, 24, and violinist Jonathan Miron, 21, both Starling Orchestra alumni, will perform “Romance” by Joseph Hellmesberger, along with From the Top alumnus Charles Yang.

Also featured on the show will be 17-year-old pianist Yilun Xu from New York City and 17-year-old horn player Avery Roth-Hawthorne from Oakland, California.

For tickets and information, contact the CCM Box Office at boxoff@uc.edu or 513-556-4183, or visit ccm.uc.edu/fromthetop.

From the Top may be heard locally on WGUC 90.9 on Saturdays at 9 a.m.; this episode will air nationally the week of May 5.

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CCM’s Mainstage Production of ‘Les Miserables’ Receives 5-Star Rating from the League of Cincinnati Theatres

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical "Les Misérables," playing Feb. 27 - March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical “Les Misérables,” playing Feb. 27 – March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

Panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized CCM’s production of the long running musical classic Les Misérables with a Five Star Rating! Congratulations to everyone involved with the show!

Panelists praised the production as, “Spectacular… an outstanding and phenomenal production… Bravo for everyone involved for taking a musical I have seen multiple times and making it as fresh, exciting and powerful as the first.”

Director Aubrey Berg was praised for his “seamless” direction: “Aubrey Berg said he had waited over 20 years to direct this musical at CCM and he could not have done it more effectively, with some masterful choices.” Musical Director Steve Goers also was commended for his, “direction of these fine voices and in the outstanding orchestral accompaniment;” he did a, “wonderful job with taking a beast of a show and making it sing beautifully”.

The panelists were impressed by the entire ensemble: “the show absolutely showcased the incredible depth of CCM‘s students… the talent level continues to amaze.” Blaine Krauss, as Jean Valjean, “gave a sensitive, true portrayal of the character… his voice was moving… he should go directly to Broadway.”

Panelists also singled out Colin Kessler, as Javert, for his “outstanding” performance and “remarkable voice”, as well as Matthew Paul Hill’s portrayal of Thenardier: “hilarious in an evil and unctuous manner. He almost stole the show.”

Note: this review was based on the opening night cast. On alternate nights, the roles of Jean Valjean and Javert are also played by Julian Decker and Noah Ricketts, respectively.

Final LCT awards will be determined at the end of the season and announced at the LCT gala in the spring. You can learn more about CCM’s production of Les Misérables here.

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.

‘Metamorphoses’ Earns Four Star Rating by the League of Cincinnati Theatres

CCM's presents ' Metamorphoses' Feb. 5 (preview) - 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s presents ‘ Metamorphoses’ Feb. 5 (preview) – 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

We are delighted to report that panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized our Mainstage Series production of Metamorphoses with a Four Star Rating! Congratulations to everyone involved with the show!

Panelists praised Metamorphoses as “a rare, exemplary experience to behold in a theater. The pool, lighting, use of space, direction, transitions, performances and the stories–Myths of Ovid–were compelling, touching, sad, hopeful and even risky.”

D. Lynn Meyers was commended for her direction: “In her hands, Ovid’s dreams ‘were magically realized and lushly furnished with a vision as tender as it was daring’.”

Dana Hall, for scenic design, and Wes Richter, for lighting design, were singled out for designs that were “beautifully evocative, integral to the story-telling, and well-executed”.

Finally, the entire ensemble was lauded for their work: “Bravo to the cast who cast a spell upon this audience member.”

Metamorphoses plays through tomorrow afternoon (Sunday, Feb. 9). For more information about the production, visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/metamorphoses.

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Cincinnati CityBeat Shows CCM Student, Alum and Upcoming Production Some Love in Latest Issue

CityBeat's "Love List" issue is on newsstands now.

CityBeat’s “Love List” issue is on newsstands now.

The Feb. 5 – 11 issue of CityBeat is on newsstands now and we are delighted to report that the magazine’s “Love List” features CCM alumnus Drew Klein and senior musical theatre major Blaine Krauss!

A graduate of CCM’s Electronic Media program, Klein has been making a name for himself as the Contemporary Arts Center’s first-ever performance curator. You can read his full profile here.

Krauss can next be seen as Jean Valjean in CCM’s upcoming Mainstage Series production of Les Misérables, playing Feb. 27 – March 9 in Patricia Corbett Theater. You can read his full profile here.

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, Rick Pender also previews this week’s production of Metamorphoses at CCM (also in Patricia Corbett Theater) and NKU’s upcoming production of Arabian Nights, both written by Mary Zimmerman.

Visit citybeat.com/cincinnati to view the full issue online.

CCM Student Bradley Harris Wins East Central Division in MTNA Composition Competition

Composer and CCM graduate student Bradley Harris.

Composer and CCM graduate student Bradley Harris.

We are delighted to report that Bradley Shane Harris is the East Central Division Winner in the Music Teachers National Association‘s (MTNA) Student Composition Competitions! Harris will now advance to the national level of the competitions, alongside six other young artists. You can view a complete list of national finalists here.

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Harris is a second year master’s degree student at CCM, where he studies with Douglas Knehans, Norman Dinerstein Professor of Composition Scholar.

In 2013, Harris’ piece for alto saxophone and piano (Perspectives) garnered a first prize award in the Collegiate Division of the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs’ (OFMC) Composition Competition.

During that same year, Harris received a grant that allowed him to study in Milna, Croatia, with CCM Professor of Composition Joel Hoffman. With his spare time, Harris enjoys racquetball and volunteering at the local soup kitchen.

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CCM’s Bearcat Piano Festival and Pianopalooza Showcase Return Feb. 6 – 16, 2014

CCM's 2014 Bearcat Piano Festival.

Next month, CCM celebrates the art of the piano with a star-studded series of master classes, guest artist concerts and more! Launched in 2010 by Piano Department Chair Awadagin Pratt, the 2014 Bearcat Piano Festival welcomes a plethora of visiting pianists this February, including:

The celebration culminates with the return of Pianopalooza on Feb. 16. In honor of the Valentine’s Day holiday, this year’s concert celebrates “Keys to Love and Romance!”

For a complete schedule of festival events and additional information, please visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/bearcatpianofestival. Some performances require paid admission.

Stay tuned for even more information about this exciting series of events!

CCM Performances and Collaborations Highlighted on Several “Best of 2013″ Lists

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As we ring in a new year, several local arts writers have released their “year in review” lists for 2013. Rafael de Acha, Mary Ellyn Hutton, Kirk Sheppard, Rick Pender and Janelle Gelfand help us take a look back at the year that was:

In his “best of” roundup for Music for All Seasons, Rafael de Acha commented, “(CCM) consistently achieves professional level in its numerous productions of operas, musicals and concerts which approached the four-digit mark this past year.” Last spring’s original production of Into a Lamplit Room: The Songs of Kurt Weill and the recent concert production of Verdi’s Don Carlos, along with CCM’s Mainstage Series productions of Singin’ in the Rain and Owen Wingrave, all received special mention in de Acha’s review.

Mary Ellyn Hutton presented her top 16 performances for Music in Cincinnati, which included three CCM productions: Verdi’s Don Carlos, Bach’s St. John Passion and Britten’s Owen Wingrave. Of Verdi’s Don Carlos, Hutton commented, “This gets my vote as perhaps the single finest concert of 2013 in Cincinnati.”

Compiled for The Snappy Critic, Kirk Sheppard‘s list of favorite theatre productions of 2013 included last spring’s Mainstage production of The Threepenny Opera and the Studio production of Parade produced in collaboration with the Carnegie in Covington. This past fall’s CCM productions of Carrie and Singin’ in the Rain also made Sheppard’s list.

Rick Pender included two CCM productions in his 2013 round up of theatre in Cincinnati for CityBeat. Last spring’s co-production of Parade with the Carnegie and the recent Mainstage production of Singin’ in the Rain received special attention.

Janelle Gelfand also included CCM’s massive concert production of Don Carlos in her list of “Top 13 Classical Music Shows in 2013″ for the Cincinnati Enquirer. In addition to her performance-specific list, she published a summary of “arts highlights” for the year, which included the work of the MYCincinnati after-school program in East Price Hill (learn more about CCM’s connection to the organization here) and the new partnership between Cincinnati’s World Piano Competition, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and CCM.

What were your favorite performances of 2013? What are you looking forward to most in 2014? Get a first look at what’s coming up at CCM in 2014 here!

CCM Lighting Design Student Receives Electronic Theatre Controls’ 2013 Student Sponsorship Award

Lighting Design graduate student Angelina Vyushkova.

Lighting Design graduate student Angelina Vyushkova.

Congratulations to MFA Lighting Design candidate Angelina Vyushkova on receiving Electronic Theatre Controls‘ (ETC) 2013 LDI Student Sponsorship. Now in its 14th year, this program awards exceptional lighting design and stage technology students an all-expense-paid trip to the LDI 2013 trade show, where they will get a behind-the-scenes look at new technology and get to network with industry professionals.

Vyushkova and six other sponsorship recipients are also matched with industry luminaries, who offer individual support, advice and encouragement to the students as they launch their careers. You can learn more about ETC’s 2013 LDI Student Sponsorship recipients here.

Now a CCM graduate student, Vyushkova received a bachelor of fine arts with an emphasis on theatre design and production from Texas Christian University in 2012. Originally from Russia, she earned a diploma from Perm Art College #1 in 2004. Her light designs have been seen on stage at the Hardy and Betty Sanders Theatre, the W.E. Scott Theatre, and Bass Hall in Fort Worth, Texas.

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