Two Cincinnati students who participated in the Educational Theatre Association’s JumpStart Theatre program will have the opportunity to attend the CCM Experience performing arts camp at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. Thanks to a generous gift to CCM from the Cincinnati Symphony Club, JumpStart Theatre students Keyshawn Townsend from Aiken New Tech High School and Tychod “Jay” Smith from Oyler School will each receive a grant that will cover camp tuition for the students to attend July 9-20.

Tychod “Jay” Smith at JumpStart Theatre.

Tychod “Jay” Smith at JumpStart Theatre.

JumpStart Theatre is a three-year scalable program designed to bring musical theatre into schools that currently do not have a performing arts program, created by the Cincinnati-based national association, Educational Theatre Association, in collaboration with New York City-based companies iTheatrics and Music Theatre International (MTI). Townsend and Smith participated in the program during the 2017-18 school year, which culminated in a showcase performance at Memorial Hall in May.

CCM has contributed to JumpStart Theatre by sharing resources of costumes and props for student productions. The two organizations are also connected through CCM Preparatory and Community Engagement (CCM Prep) instructors Becca Kloha Strand and Dee Anne Bryll, who are both program coordinators at JumpStart Theatre. Strand is the director of the musical theatre track at the CCM Experience, where Bryll is a guest artist. CCM Prep Coordinator of Special Projects and Programs Amy Dennison is the director of the summer arts camp.

Keyshawn Townsend at JumpStart Theatre.

Keyshawn Townsend at JumpStart Theatre.

Strand said, “Keyshawn performed the role of Horton the Elephant in Seussical, Jr. last year at Aiken New Tech, as a part of the JumpStart Theatre program. As a leader both on stage and off, he truly embodied the role of Horton. The CCM Experience camp will be a wonderful opportunity for Keyshawn to exercise and grow his talents as a younger performer.”

Tiffaney Hamm, enrichment program manager at Oyler said, “Tychod is a special young man with a lot of talent. We chose him for this camp because his dream is to perform on stage, as he wants to have a life of acting and performing. This was Jay’s first year at Oyler and he came alive, forming great connections with his cast mates and peers. He continues to work hard in school even when obstacles get in the way. He is a really great kid, and I am proud to have him as a student.”

Offered through CCM Prep, the CCM Experience is an exciting new two-week summer program that combines dance, theatre and music for students ages 8-15. Students study at one of the finest performing arts schools in the country and take classes in multiple areas of concentration including instrumental music, acting, musical theatre, voice or dance. Each day students will have the opportunity to try something new, take a tour, make their own props, costumes and instruments, and learn more about how to be a professional artist. The program culminates with a fantastic showcase where students are put front and center on one of CCM’s stages.

“We look forward to our first CCM Experience Camp and are excited to welcome the two Cincinnati Symphony Club scholarship recipients from JumpStart Theatre,” said John Martin, Assistant Dean of CCM Preparatory and Community Engagement. “CCM Prep, the Cincinnati Symphony Club and the Educational Theatre Association share the same goal — to support excellence in the performing arts and provide engaging and accessible arts education to the community at large.”

Learn more about the Educational Theatre Association online at schooltheatre.org/about/mission.

About Jumpstart Theatre
The JumpStart Theatre pilot started in Cincinnati in the 2015-16 school year, and three schools moved to self-sustainability this year after completing three years in the program: Holmes Middle School, Finneytown Middle School, and James N. Gamble Montessori High School. In November 2017, the first expansion to St. Louis and San Diego was announced, and in June, 2018 an expansion to Atlanta for the 2019-20 school year was announced. In total 39 middle schools will have sustainable musical theatre programs where there previously were none.

About CCM Preparatory and Community Engagement
CCM Prep offers a wide variety of programs in music, dance and theatre arts for all ages and levels — pre-professional students preparing for a future in the performing arts and arts enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. Programs are offered throughout the year for youth, teens and adults at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and through numerous satellite locations and community partnerships. We aim to provide excellent and accessible arts opportunities within a highly creative environment that educates and inspires the whole student, serving as a catalyst for transforming and empowering our communities. Learn more at ccm.uc.edu/prep or contact CCM Prep directly by emailing ccmprep@uc.edu or calling 513-556-2595.

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