CCM presents a special 40th Anniversary Concert of classical guitar music performed by students and alumni from the Department of Classical Guitar at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 6 in Patricia Corbett Theater. This performance is FREE and open to the public, and a gala reception will follow in the Baur Room in UC’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts.
The performance is the centerpiece of a celebratory weekend during which students, alumni and supporters of the Classical Guitar Department will gather at CCM to celebrate the department’s 40th year. The concert will showcase CCM talent at all levels, featuring the CCM Classical Guitar Ensemble, three young guitarists from the Preparatory Department and several alumni duos and trios.
The grand finale of this momentous program will be the premiere performance of “Guitarras Luminosas” (2013) composed by guitarist and composer Jeffrey Van, of the faculty of the University of Minnesota. This work was specially commissioned for this occasion and will include every guitarist in the concert, plus graduate students in guitar and some additional alumni.
Celebrating a Tradition of Excellence
The CCM Classical Guitar Department was one of the first full programs for classical guitar—including private instruction and classes in ensemble, pedagogy and repertoire—in the United States. Clare Callahan, chair of the department, says that CCM graduates have gone on to great things. “One of the first guitarists chosen to enter the Curtis Institute of Music’s new classical guitar program in 2011 as an Artist Diploma student was Jordan Dodson from CCM.” Other alumni have not only had successful performing careers, but have gone on to build their own classical guitar programs, study abroad, win competitions, and edit, arrange and compose new guitar music.
The program’s Classical Guitar Ensemble has toured twice a year for 40 years performing in schools, universities, art series, NPR programs, retirement homes and special gala occasions. “The goal is to spread the ‘gospel of guitar’ to new audiences,” says Callahan. “The instrument has a substantial, beautiful repertoire dating back to the Renaissance lute, and is popular throughout the world. Composers like Schoenberg, Schubert, Britten and Ginastera have been intrigued by its unique voice and colorful sounds.”
Callahan also says that the emphasis of these celebratory events is the students: “It is they who have made the 40 years so successful…their enthusiasm, hard work, creative contributions.” Of the faculty and students, she says, “[we] inspire each other and are on the same page because we love playing the guitar and hearing it played.” This special performance will be a fantastic and rare opportunity for anyone who enjoys hearing the beauty and versatility of the guitar.
About Clare Callahan and the Department of Classical Guitar
Clare Callahan studied classical guitar with Emile Bibobi (Wimbledon England), Sophocles Papas (Washington, D.C.) and Andrés Segovia (Spain). She was a scholarship winner to Música en Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and the author of a transcription of Jacques Gallot’s Pièces de Luth (1672). She has given recitals in England and the US on lute and guitar and also performed on the Area Artist Series for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as well as on the Taft Museum Chamber Music Series, NPR and PBS.
In 1972, Callahan was hired to the CCM faculty by Dean Jack Watson to create a program for classical guitarists that included the same opportunities and experiences available to other instrumentalists: private lessons and courses in repertoire, pedagogy, ensemble and chamber music. The new program offered a Classical Guitar Class open to any UC student. In 1983, a master’s degree program was added. The department has built up CCM’s library collection of classical guitar scores, recordings and DVDs over the years, and has given innumerable concerts at CCM and around the tri-state area. The program now also includes a summer Classical Guitar Workshop with activities for students at all levels, and a solid guitar program in the CCM Preparatory Department, chaired by Rodney Stucky.
Callahan is the 2013 recipient of the Guitar Foundation of America’s Distinguished Service Award. In her words, “We have laid a foundation. There is always work still to be done, it’s the way of life for musicians, to be constantly learning about the past and embracing the future. The field is very busy, stimulating, and rewarding. For me, it has been a dream job.”
This past August, Callahan was featured on the CBS special Teachers Rock 2012 in a segment featuring Academy Award-winning film actress Meryl Streep. “Without a doubt, the most important teacher in my life was my music teacher Clare Callahan,” Streep commented during the program. “She was full of energy, invention and… the belief in how important music was – just the pure joy of making music.”
7 p.m. Saturday, April 6
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati
This performance is FREE and open to the public.
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 directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation
Community Partner: ArtsWave