The College of Music of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music merged in 1955 to become the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. It became the 14th college at UC in 1962.

Performer turned author captivates readers with fictional novels set at CCM

When Susan Jordan began writing her first novel, How I Grew Up, she had just finished directing Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Carousel for the second time in her career. Memories of her time as a student at CCM flooded her mind, inspiring her to write them down into what became The Carousel Trilogy.

Since graduating from CCM with a BFA in Vocal Performance in 1958, Jordan has enjoyed a prolific career in performing, teaching and now writing. Her novels, based on her own personal and professional experiences, tell the gripping stories of musicians faced with painstaking struggles, with whose plights we cannot help but feel a resounding sense of familiarity.

Two of the novels take place in our very own CCM, and the first revolves around Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, most recently produced at the conservatory only months ago in Fall, 2015.

Susan Jordan playing the harp in the pit orchestra for her high school's production of "Carousel."

Susan Jordan playing the harp in the pit orchestra for her high school’s production of “Carousel.”

The song from Carousel “You’ll Never Walk Alone” sets the stage for How I Grew Up. Set in the 1950s, this beautiful and haunting fictional tale reveals the transformative and healing power of music. The novel’s protagonist, Melanie Stewart, is based on a close friend of Jordan’s from high school whose parents were murdered just days before their high school audition for Carousel.

In How I Grew Up, Stewart bravely auditions for the musical within two weeks of her parents’ murder and wins the lead role of Julie Jordan.

In real-life, Jordan remembers her friend coping with the deaths in the only way she knew how — on the stage. It’s a story Jordan has shared with cast members each time she has directed Carousel and now she is sharing it with the world.

“Being part of the production helped her through a traumatic time, and I saw firsthand the power of creativity and how it can not only inspire, but be a healing force,” Jordan said of her friend. “Each of the times I directed the show, in 1994 and in 2013, I shared the story with my young cast members and it deepened their appreciation for what they were doing.”

The subsequent books, which can be read independently of one another, tell stories of two characters from different chapters of Jordan’s life.

Eli’s Heart, is the fictional retelling of the life of late concert and collaborative pianist Samuel Sanders, who suffered from a life-long debilitating heart condition. Jordan knew Sanders when he was just a boy, and a child prodigy with a brilliant career ahead of him. Set at CCM (Cincinnati College of Music) in the 1950s, Eli’s Heart tells the story of a brilliant young musician fighting for a career in music against all odds.

The College of Music of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music merged in 1955 to become the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. It became the 14th college at UC in 1962.

The College of Music of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music merged in 1955 to become the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. It became the 14th college at UC in 1962.

“Since this took place at the time I attended CCM, it gave me a wonderful opportunity to visit that time in my life in a place I loved,” Jordan said. “And the faculty members described in the book are actually portraits of some remarkable people I remember from the school.”

You are my Song, the third in Jordan’s series, brings readers back to the life of character Melanie Stewart. In the novel, Stewart’s close friend Jamie Logan, a promising young tenor, decides to pursue his career in music at CCM in voice. Jordan’s own husband was, in part, the inspiration for the character and life events that unfold in the captivating novel.

“Jamie’s challenges are not so dramatic as Eli’s, but they reflect the challenges, both professional and personal, a young singer encounters as he strives for a career in opera,” Jordan said of her novels. “Having known a number of people who set out on this journey — including some of my own voice students — and the time I spent as a director and working backstage, were greatly helpful in developing this book.”

Susan Jordan

Susan Jordan

Jordan has led a fascinating and productive life in the music industry. Shortly after graduating from CCM in 1958, Jordan moved to Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, where she would open a voice studio and begin her career as a director of musical theatre.

An ambitious entrepreneur, Jordan built her own musical theatre series from the ground up as part of the Pocono Lively Arts concert series. Her background in opera and musical theatre at CCM, as well as her professional experience as an administrative assistant for the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival and Edgecliff Academy of the Fine Arts, provided her the skills necessary to grow her series. She eventually came to direct as many as four theatre productions per year, in addition to co-directing a children’s musical theatre workshop.

Following her husband’s death in 2007, Jordan stepped back from some of her directing responsibilities in favor of pursuing her new passion — writing. Her upcoming novel, Jamie’s Children, will be the fourth in the Carousel series.

Most recently, Jordan was honored by being inducted into the Pocono Arts Council’s Performing Arts Hall of Fame for her lifelong dedication to music and contributions to the Pocono community.

You can learn more about Jordan’s life in the performing arts and her novels on her website.

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Story by CCM graduate student Charlotte Kies

 

CCM Alumni Applause
CCM/CSO Fellowship award winners, a cooperative program between CCM and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Photo by Andrew Higley.

CCM and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Announce the Inaugural Class of Diversity Fellows

Following a rigorous application and audition process, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) have selected five outstanding string musicians for the inaugural class of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows. Born out of a mutual desire to make American orchestras more inclusive, this groundbreaking fellowship program is made possible by a generous $900,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The inaugural CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows are: Emilio Carlo, 21 (viola); Diana Flores, 26 (cello); Blake-Anthony Johnson, 25 (cello); Vijeta Sathyaraj, 27 (violin); and Maurice Todd, 37 (double bass). The Fellows were selected through a rigorous series of auditions, which saw more than 100 talented musicians audition for CCM faculty members. Twelve string players were invited back to Cincinnati for a final round of auditions for CSO musicians on March 14, 2016.

“For this inaugural class, we have selected a cohort of astonishingly talented musicians, who come to us from a wide variety of backgrounds,” said CCM Dean Peter Landgren. “Our Fellows hail from New York, Georgia, Kentucky, Costa Rica and Hong Kong, and represent the future of American orchestras. Working in close collaboration with our partners at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, we will prepare these Fellows for long and fruitful artistic careers, while challenging the status quo of our industry.”

With this innovative Fellowship program, CCM and the CSO are providing new opportunities for underrepresented musicians, while simultaneously fostering a more inclusive environment in the world of professional orchestras. According to the League of American Orchestras, just over four percent of orchestra musicians are African-American or Latino. With that statistic in mind, the CSO and CCM want to foster an environment that promotes greater diversity on the stages of American orchestras. The program’s tagline – Bravos Without Barriers – gets to the heart of this mission.

This new two-year program, that is already garnering attention among leaders throughout the music world, consists of frequent performances with the CSO, focused mentorship by professional CSO musicians, and simultaneous instruction by CCM’s illustrious faculty.

“The level of musicianship on display during our final round of auditions is a testament to the merit of this program,” said CSO President Trey Devey. “Through our partnership with CCM and with the extraordinary support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we can provide a truly transformative experience for these exceptional performers at a crucial time in their careers. We look forward to welcoming our inaugural Fellows to Cincinnati this fall and we can’t wait to share their talents with the Greater Cincinnati community.”

How the Fellowship works

The inaugural class of Diversity Fellows will officially arrive in Cincinnati this August. CCM and the CSO will welcome a second class of five Diversity Fellows in the fall of 2017, bringing the number of Fellows in the program to ten during the 2017-18 academic year and orchestra season.

Each Fellow receives full tuition scholarship support from CCM, in addition to a $10,000 per year graduate stipend and a one-time Graduate School Dean’s Excellence Award of $3,000. Each Fellow also receives compensation of $8,000 per season while performing with the CSO. They will perform the equivalent of five weeks per season with the CSO in a progressive sequence of concert weeks based on program difficulty, with one week focused on community engagement and educational activities.

This unique educational opportunity is the first of its kind to pair a major conservatory with a major orchestra, bridging the pre-professional gap while also fostering a more inclusive environment within professional orchestras. The Sphinx Organization, a Detroit-based national organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts, will serve as an external evaluator and advisor.

Along with the professional performance experience, Fellows will receive focused mentorship from CSO musicians on top of regular instruction and guidance from CCM’s illustrious faculty. Their mentorship includes coaching sessions before each rehearsal cycle, ongoing stand partner coaching and post-performance feedback. There will also be non- performance related career counseling to prepare the Fellows for their future.

When asked about what made this new program so distinctive, incoming Fellow Emilio Carlo commented:

“Being raised in the Bronx, I would’ve never thought my future would involve classical music. When I attend orchestra concerts, there aren’t many musicians of color seen on stage. In fact, it’s always an ‘aha’ moment when I see a Latino or African American musician playing in a symphony. I knew the Fellowship was my top choice as soon as I read their mission statement: ‘We want to change the face of the American symphony.’”

Meet the Fellows

Emilio Carlo

Emilio Carlo. Photo by Andrew Higley.

Emilio Carlo, Artist Diploma Viola
Emilio Carlo is a native of the Bronx, New York, and currently resides in Washington D.C. He is a first-year Artist Diploma student at CCM and recently graduated from the conservatory with a Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance. He previously studied with Catharine Carroll-Lees and Masao Kawasaki and is currently under the tutelage of Jan Grüning of the Ariel Quartet.

In previous years, he has attended the Aspen Music Festival and Japan’s Pacific Music Festival. He was also appointed as Principal Viola for a concert tour under the direction of Maestro Yutaka Sado. Outside of music, his hobbies include attending jazz concerts, cooking and exercising.

Carlo is a 2012 recipient of the Brewster Award for young artists from the John. F Kennedy Center for the performing arts. He is honored to be a member of the inaugural class of the Diversity Fellowship, which he feels will prepare him to win a professional orchestra audition in the near future.

Diana Flores

Diana Flores. Photo by Andrew Higley.

Diana Flores, Artist Diploma Cello
Cellist Diana Flores has performed extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Brazil, China and her home country of Costa Rica. At age nine, she started playing cello at the Instituto Nacional de Musica in San José. Ten years later, Flores moved to Boston to complete her undergraduate studies at the Longy School of Music, where she studied under Mihail Jojatu.

During her years in Boston she performed with the Boston Pops and Boston Philharmonic Orchestras. She was a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in the summers of 2012 and 2013 and is a former member of Youth Orchestra of the Americas. She also traveled to Japan to participate in the Pacific Music Festival.

After moving to Chicago in 2013, she became a member of the Civic Orchestra, a two-year training program with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. While there, she joined the MusiCorps String Quartet, a music education and advocacy program in which she performed in many Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Park Districts. Flores is finishing her Masters Degree at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, studying under Richard Hirschl.

Blake-Anthony Johnson

Blake-Anthony Johnson. Photo by Andrew Higley.

Blake-Anthony Johnson, Artist Diploma Cello
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Blake-Anthony Johnson began playing cello at age 12 and was self-taught until the age of 18. He has performed and recorded works by Richard Danielpour, Claudio Gabriele, Adam Schoenberg and Poul Ruders. As a soloist and guest Principal cellist, he has worked with conductors across the United States including JoAnn Falletta, David S. Wiley and Carl Topilow. Passionate about chamber music, Johnson is a founding member and former cellist in the Läc Quartet. As the recipient of the Vanderbilt Music Académie grant, the quartet received commissions and residency in Festival d’Aix held in Aix-en-Provence, France.

Additional performances include both orchestral and chamber music at the Spoleto Music Festival, Lev Aronson Legacy Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, National Music Festival and Brevard Music Festival. He is the former chair and founding member of the Music Education and Youth Initiative, which served underprivileged children in the greater Metropolitan area of Nashville, Tennessee. Johnson was a prizewinner in the MTNA Young Artist Competition, the World Competition; the Daniel Rains, and Brevard Music Festival Concerto competitions.

Johnson received his Bachelor of Music degree under Felix Wang and Kathryn Plummer at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University and later studied under Bryan Dumm and Alan Harrell of the Cleveland Orchestra for his Master of Music diploma. His most recent education was in the prestigious Orchestral Program at the Manhattan School of Music studying with Alan Stepansky with additional studies under David Geber and Wolfram Koessel.

Vijeta Sathyaraj

Vijeta Sathyaraj. Photo by Andrew Higley.

Vijeta Sathyaraj, Artist Diploma Violin
Born in Macau, China, Vijeta Sathyaraj began violin studies in the Philippines at the age of 3.  By age 6, she was featured on the Philippine National Broadcast and was studying with Basilio Manalo.  She went on to study with Fan Ting at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, and later took lessons from Dennis Kim. Sathyaraj graduated from Idyllwild Arts Academy, where she studied with Vesna Gruppman. She later earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Conservatory and her Master of Music degree from Lynn Conservatory.

Sathyaraj has performed solo recitals in Denmark, India, Hong Kong and the United States. In 2001, she was featured in a CNN broadcast, and in 2004, she organized and performed in a piano trio to raise $3,000 for development work in Hanoi, Vietnam. She has performed in the Idyllwild Arts Festival Orchestra and she joined the Oberlin Symphony for a performance in Carnegie Hall under Robert Spano in 2007. She has attended the Meadowmount School of Music, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, and the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival.

Sathyaraj recently completed her Professional Performance Certificate at Lynn University where she studies under Carol Cole. Former mentors include Milan Vitek, Andrew Jennings, Sally Thomas, Ann Setzer, and Midori. Sathyaraj’s commitment to outreach and diversifying audiences to Western classical music led her to apply to CCM.

Maurice Todd

Maurice Todd. Photo by Andrew Higley.

Maurice Todd, Artist Diploma Double Bass
Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Maurice Todd received his Bachelor of Music in Double Bass Performance from CCM. He is a current section bassist in the Lexington Philharmonic. In addition to being a seven-time Aspen Fellowship recipient, Todd previously won the Dayton Philharmonic Minority Fellowship, was the low string winner of the CCM concerto competition, earned the National Symphony Orchestra League Scholarship and was a fellowship recipient in the Spoleto Italy Opera Festival. Most recently, he received the distinguished Excellence in Teaching Award from the UC Graduate School.

Todd has performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, Grand Rapids Symphony, Richmond Symphony and Kentucky Symphony. He has been a soloist with the Louisville Orchestra, Seven Hills Sinfonietta, Wired and the CCM Concert Orchestra.

This year, Todd will graduate from CCM with a Master’s Degree in Double Bass Performance, where he serves as the graduate assistant for the double bass studio under the tutelage of Professor Albert Laszlo. His former mentors include Owen Lee, Edgar Meyer, Chris Hanulik, Bruce Bransby, Rob Oppelt, Eugene Levinson and Hal Robinson.

CCM News Student Salutes
Corbett Center Night Fisheye

CCM Alumnus Ty Olwin stars with Kristen Stewart in International film ‘Personal Shopper’

Ty Olwin in CCM's production of 'Coram Boy.'

Ty Olwin in CCM’s production of ‘Coram Boy.’

Ty Olwin has had a busy and successful career since he graduated from CCM with a BFA in Drama in 2013. He has appeared in plays, television shows, and will soon co-star with actress Kristen Stewart in Personal Shopper, an international film about a ghost story that takes place in the fashion underworld of Paris.

Personal Shopper is set to appear in the Cannes Film Festival in France May 11-22. Olwin, 25, was cast to play Stewart’s boyfriend, Gary, in the film. The film reunites Stewart with French Director, Oliver Assayas — the two worked together in Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria (2014). Stewart became the first American actress to win a Cesar award for her role in Clouds of Sils Maria, which went on to receive five additional Ceasar nominations.

Olwin is a Chicago-based actor who has made his mark in the Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s productions of Lord of the Flies, East of Eden and Russian Transport. He has also appeared in Brilliant Adventures at Steep Theatre Company, Season on the Line at The House Theatre of Chicago, and the Raven Theatre’s production of Tennessee Williams’ Vieux Carre. In addition, Ty has landed guest starring roles on Crisis and Chicago Fire on NBC.

While enrolled at CCM, Olwin was recognized by the League of Cincinnati Theatres with an award for Leading Actor in a Play for his role in the conservatory’s production of Coram Boy. As a sophomore, he earned an Acclaim Award nomination for his role in CCM’s production of Red Light Winter. Olwin’s other CCM credits include The Three Sisters, Picnic, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Time of Your Life.

Most recently, he has worked with playwright Rebecca Gilman and Director Robert Falls in a new play Soups, Stews and Casseroles: 1976, which will run from May 21- June 19 at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. The play examines workers’ rights and the effects of big business on small town lives.

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News
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CCM Doctoral Candidate wins $15,000 award from International Organization

Congrats to CCM doctoral candidate Alyssa Morris, who is one of 90 students in the U.S. and Canada selected to receive this year’s Scholar Award from the P.E.O. Sisterhood. This one-time merit-based award in the amount of $15,000 is for women in pursuit of a doctoral-level degree who have high academic achievement and potential for having positive impacts on society.

Alyssa Morris is pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree under CCM Professor of Oboe, Dr. Mark Ostoich. She received her undergraduate and masters degrees in oboe performance from Brigham Young University, where she studied with Dr. Geralyn Giovannetti.

As a performer, Morris has achieved national acclaim. She was awarded first place in the Utah State Fair Young Artist Performance Competition in 2004, 2005 and 2006. She received first place in the Utah MTNA Young Artists performance competition in 2005, and second place in the Western United States Regional MTNA Young Artists performance competition in 2005. In August of 2014, Morris performed one of her own compositions at the International Double Reed Convention in New York City. Morris has frequently played with the Utah Lyric Opera, the Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra, the Utah Baroque Ensemble, the Wasatch Winds and the Orchestra at Temple Square. Morris was also a member of the Utah Wind Symphony, a professional wind band based in Salt Lake City.

As a composer, Morris has been commissioned to write music for the Arizona State University faculty wind quartet, the Eastern Kentucky University faculty wind trio, Brigham Young University’s Sundance Trio, Ohio University’s Athenia Chamber Ensemble, a Trevco Music Publishing consortium of bassoonists from around the world and the Brigham Young University Symphonic Band. Her piece Four Personalities for oboe and piano has been performed at three of the International Double Reed Conventions since 2008. Her works have been presented at the Society of Composers Inc. National Convention and the International Double Reed Convention. Morris had three of her compositions performed at the 2014 IDRS convention in New York City. Morris’ music has been recorded on the Centaur and MSR Classics labels and published by Trevco Music Publishing.

About the P.E.O. Scholars Award

Founded in 1869 at the Iowa Wesleyan College, the P.E.O. Sisterhood is a philanthropic educational organization dedicated to supporting higher education for women. The P.E.O. Scholar Awards were established in 1991 and are one-time, competitive, merit-based awards for women of the United States and Canada who are pursuing a doctoral level degree at an accredited college or university. In addition to recognizing and encouraging excellence in higher education, these awards provide partial support for study and research for women who will make significant contributions in their varied fields of endeavor. Priority is given to women who are well established in their programs, study or research. The numbers of awards are determined each year in accordance with the funds available. The current maximum award is $15,000.

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Story by CCM graduate student Charlotte Kies

CCM News Student Salutes
CCM Presents 'Swan Lake'

CCM Slideshows: Tchaikovsky’s ‘Swan Lake’

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CCM’s Mainstage Series comes to a close this weekend with the lavish new production of Tchaikovsky’s ‘Swan Lake.’ Join us for this timeless tale of love and magic and watch the skilled performance from CCM’s BFA Ballet program April 22-24 in Corbett Auditorium.

Co-directed by Dance Department Chair Jiang Qi and Associate Professor of Dance Deirdre Carberry, fully staged ballet features accompaniment by CCM’s Concert Orchestra under the direction of Assistant Professor of Music Aik Khai Pung.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 22
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 23
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, April 24

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Swan Lake are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 for UC students with a valid ID.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/swan-lake.

Parking and Directions

Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.

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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Production Sponsors: Rosemary & Mark Schlachter, Teri Jory & Seth Geiger and Graeter’s

CCM News CCM Slideshows
Lotte Lenya Competition Graphic.

CCM Students Talya Lieberman and Reilly Nelson Win Top Prizes in 2016 Lotte Lenya Competition

We are delighted to report that current CCM students Talya Lieberman and Reilly Nelson took home top prizes during the final round of the 2016 Lotte Lenya Competition. Sponsored by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, the prestigious competition was held on April 16 in Kilbourn Hall of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

Lieberman won a Third Prize, which includes a cash award of $7,500. Nelson received a Carolyn Weber Award in recognition of outstanding creativity in the design of a diverse program and exceptional sensitivity to text/music relationships, which includes a $3,500 prize.

Nine awards and a total prize purse of $79,000 were given in the competition’s most competitive year yet. Foundation President and founder of the competition Kim Kowalke said of this year’s competition:

“The total amount and number of prizes awarded reflects the high level displayed at this year’s contest. It is a testament to the competition’s growth over nearly two decades.”

You can learn more about all of this year’s winners by visiting www.kwf.org.

Winners of the 2016 Lotte Lenya Competition, including CCM student Talya Lieberman (second from right).

Winners of the 2016 Lotte Lenya Competition, including CCM student Talya Lieberman (second from right).

Both Lieberman and Nelson also made strong showings in last year’s Lotte Lenya Competition. Nelson advanced to the semifinal round of the competition (along with three other CCM-trained singers), while Lieberman won the Lys Symonette Award for Outstanding Performance of an Individual Number during 2015’s final round.

Lieberman and Nelson are the latest in a long line of CCM students and alumni who have reached the final rounds of the Lotte Lenya Competition. CCM alumna Lauren Roesner (BFA Musical Theatre, 2013) took Third Prize in the 2013 installment of this prestigious international theatre singing contest. CCM alumna Caitlin Mathes (MM Voice, 2009; Artist Diploma in Opera, 2010) earned First Prize in 2011 and fellow alumna Alisa Suzanne Jordheim (BM Voice, 2008; MM Voice, 2010; DMA candidate) progressed to the final round of the competition that same year.

For this year’s competition, each finalist presented a 15 minute program of four selections in the daytime round. An evening concert followed, in which contestants sang only a segment of their programs.

All finalists received a minimum cash award of $1,000, with additional discretionary awards of $3,500 each, and top prizes ranging from $7,500 to $15,000.

The panel of judges included international opera star Teresa Stratas, Rodgers & Hammerstein President Theodore S. Chapin and Broadway music director and conductor Andy Einhorn. Finalists were selected from an initial pool of 224 contestants later narrowed to 31 semi-finalists, who were adjudicated and coached in the semi-final round by Tony Award-winners Jeanine Tesori and Victoria Clark. Clark, who last judged the competition in 2012, noted:

“I can feel the leap in overall talent from the last time I judged.”

Now in its 19th year, the Lotte Lenya Competition recognizes exceptionally talented singers/actors, ages 19-32, who are dramatically and musically convincing in a wide range of repertoire, with a focus on the works of Kurt Weill. Since 1998, the Kurt Weill Foundation has awarded more than $750,000 in prize money and continues to support previous winners with professional development grants.

Previous Lenya Competition winners enjoy successful careers performing in major theaters and opera houses around the globe.

About the Kurt Weill Foundation
The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc. is dedicated to promoting understanding of the life and works of composer Kurt Weill (1900-50) and preserving the legacies of Weill and his wife, actress-singer Lotte Lenya (1898-1981). The Foundation administers the Weill-Lenya Research Center, a Grant Program, the Kurt Weill Book Prize and the Lotte Lenya Competition, and publishes the Kurt Weill Edition and the Kurt Weill Newsletter. Learn more by visiting www.kwf.org.

CCM student Talya Lieberman.

CCM student Talya Lieberman.

About Talya Lieberman
Originally from Forest Hills, New York, soprano Talya Ilana Lieberman is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at CCM as a student of Professor William McGraw.

Recently described by Opera News as “poetically compelling,” “delectably stylish” and “technically refined,” Lieberman is equally at home with operatic, art song and musical theatre repertoire. Starting in September 2016 she will be seen frequently on stage at Komische Oper Berlin, where she will be assuming the soprano position in the Opernstudio. Her upcoming performances include debuts with Cincinnati Opera and Opera Columbus, as well as the title role in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen.

Lieberman returned to Cincinnati this fall after completing a summer as a Filene Young Artist with Wolf Trap Opera, where her ability to “make a point with the merest flick of a finger” (Washington Post) shined in a highly lauded run as Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. She also appeared in concert with Steven Blier at Wolf Trap in a program celebrating the Broadway legacy of the Rodgers family (The Rodgers Family – A Century of Musicals).

Lieberman is a convert from the orchestra pit and started singing after receiving her master’s degree in trumpet performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the tutelage of Judith Saxton. She completed her BA at Duke University with highest distinction in linguistics (Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude). She is a two-time winner of full tuition and stipend—winning the Russell-Seybold and Italo Tajo Awards, respectively—at CCM’s Opera Scholarship Competition.

CCM student Reilly Nelson. Photography by Kate Lemmon (http://www.katelphotography.com).

CCM student Reilly Nelson. Photography by Kate Lemmon (http://www.katelphotography.com).

About Reilly Nelson
Born in the coastal town of Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario, Canada, Reilly Nelson attended the Eastman School of Music where she received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and CCM where she completed a Master of Music in Vocal Performance.

Nelson is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at CCM.

At CCM she performed Hansel in Hansel and Gretel and Mary in Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star. She also performed Hansel, as well as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, at Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center.

The mezzo-soprano was a vocal fellow at the renowned Tanglewood Music Festival for the summers of 2014 and 2015, performing Les nuits d’été, Op. 7 and Folk Songs by Bernard Rands.

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Story by Curt Whitacre

CCM News Student Salutes
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Two CCM professors honored in UC Faculty Awards

Sixteen distinguished faculty members were awarded in UC’s university-wide Faculty Awards Celebration on Tuesday, April 19. Each year, the university pays tribute to outstanding faculty members who go above and beyond for their students. They were each nominated by students, staff or other faculty members in December and given awards during Tuesday’s ceremony in Tangeman University Center’s Great Hall.

Along with the other award winners, two CCM professors were saluted in this year’s celebration: Kimberly Daniel de Acha, adjunct associate professor of Musical Theatre/Voice, and Jonathan Kregor,  professor within the Department of Composition, Musicology & Theory.

Visit the UC Magazine website to read profiles on each of the 16 awarded faculty members.

Kimberly Daniel de Acha – Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award

Kimberly Daniel de Acha

Kimberly Daniel de Acha, adjunct associate professor of musical theater and voice, in studio at CCM. Photo by Andrew Higley.

The extraordinary success of Kimberly Daniel de Acha, CCM’s accomplished adjunct associate professor of musical theatre voice, is exemplified in her former students by their leading and supporting roles on Broadway and touring Broadway shows, as Tony Award nominees and as working professionals in theaters nationally.

In addition to her own success as an award-winning performer and theater professional,
de Acha’s outstanding musical theatre voice pedagogy successfully edifies the significance of developing a positive self-image, which her students say is key for rising to one’s full potential in the theater.

According to student testimony, de Acha’s tough-love teaching style is really not so tough. Instead, it is wrapped in a nurturing understanding of each of her student’s unique talents, encouraging them to carve a niche for their own success.

De Acha’s “claim what is yours” teaching mantra has fueled the passion in each of her students to build on their unique abilities, and to claim their place on the professional stage. By exemplifying this herself, she inspires this in her students.

De Acha sits on the CCM Power Board and co-directs and underwrites the costs of “Music for All Seasons at Historic Peterloon,” an annual four-concert music series that features CCM students, faculty and area professionals, and helps to bring community awareness to CCM. All proceeds are donated for student scholarships.

In de Acha’s 46th year as a performer and teacher, she refers to teaching at CCM as “the gift she gives herself.” And, her students and colleagues are unanimous in their praise for her unwavering commitment to community outreach and charitable efforts, but especially for her keen ability to recognize and enhance the distinctive best in each one of her students — which changes their lives forever.

Jonathan Kregor – George Rieveschl Jr. Award for Creative and/or Scholarly Works

Jonathon Kregor

Jonathan Kregor, professor of the department of composition, musicology and theory at CCM, leads an in-class discussion. Photo by Andrew Higley.

In moving from assistant to full professor of musicology in only eight short years, Jonathan Kregor’s career has followed a trajectory that might be referred to in musical terms as prestissimo.

Since coming to the College-Conservatory of Music in 2007, he has produced extensive publications and given numerous invited talks in North America and Europe that have brilliantly opened visual and acoustic windows into the lives, politics and musical activities and works of 19th-century classical composers — most particularly into the complex and fascinating life of the Hungarian composer-pianist Franz Liszt.

While Liszt’s own compositions form a central — albeit still controversial — part of today’s musical canon, Kregor has focused in depth on an overlooked part of Liszt’s musical activities: his transcriptions of other composers’ works. By detailing the significance of Liszt’s reproductions for the piano of orchestral and large-scale vocal compositions by Wagner, Mozart, Berlioz, Beethoven and others, Kregor’s scholarship sheds a unique light on the impact that Liszt and his contemporaries all had on the broader intellectual context of 19th-century Europe. And Dr. Kregor’s expertise as the leading Liszt scholar of his generation has also evolved into him becoming an equally respected authority on 19th-century program music.

Through his vast array of scholarly publications that include monographs, articles and essays and critically edited music, Kregor has helped shape the understanding of 19th-century music by skillfully inviting everyone to reconsider assumptions about classical creativity and the compositional process.

Owing to frequent testimony, Jonathan Kregor continues to enrich the lives of his students, collaborators and colleagues as a beacon in the field of historical musicology: not only through his distinguished scholarship, but also — as a student of a student of a student of Liszt himself — by transforming its results into musical practice.

 

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