Enjoy a Classic Jazz Performance from CCM’s Video Archives

Although the theaters and concert halls at the University of Cincinnati’s nationally ranked and internationally renowned College-Conservatory of Music are temporarily silent, audiences can still experience world-class performances through CCM’s new CCMONSTAGE Online video series. This week’s release features a classic jazz performance from CCM’s video archives.

On May 22, 2011, the CCM Jazz Ensemble was joined by Grammy Award-nominee, National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and Kennedy Center “Living Legend of Jazz” Gerald Wilson (1918-2014) for an unforgettable evening of big band music. The concert also featured the talents of Mary Ellen Tanner (1946-2014), a renowned jazz vocalist who taught at CCM for many years.

An acclaimed composer, arranger and band leader of modern jazz who was in his 92nd year at the time of this recording, Wilson’s talent was legendary among jazz insiders. His classic compositions include “Blues for Count Basie” written for Basie while Wilson was in his band and “Blues for Yna Yna,” which was the second jazz waltz ever written.

“Gerald Wilson is a living legend and a part of the golden age of the big band as a writer, arranger and trumpet player,” CCM Professor and Jazz department head Scott Belck commented in 2011, adding that Wilson was also “one of the most interesting cats you will ever meet.” Wilson passed away in Los Angeles in September 2014.

Wilson’s groundbreaking compositions, intricate arrangements and immediately recognizable sound put him in a league of his own. In his prolific seven-decade career as composer and arranger, Wilson was behind some of the greatest names in jazz, including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Carter, Nancy Wilson and Bobby Darin. Beyond his jazz accomplishments, Wilson’s symphonic compositions were performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the direction of Zubin Mehta. He even scored a top 40 pop hit with El Chicano’s 1970 version of his “Viva Tirado,” a song that has been recorded in at least 18 different versions, including a hip-hop rendition by Latino rapper Kid Frost.

This concert was originally streamed online with support provided by the Corbett Endowment for CCM and the Franklin L. Folger Trust. The performance was later broadcast on CET Cincinnati Public Television.

Receive updates on future CCMONSTAGE Online performances by subscribing to our mailing list at https://ccm.uc.edu/subscribe


Featured image at top: The CCM Jazz Ensemble in a March 2012 rehearsal. Photo/Dottie Stover/UC Creative Services.

CCM Video CCMONSTAGE Faculty Fanfare

Coronavirus COVID-19 Update

Although there have been no documented cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus within our campus community, the University of Cincinnati is making needed preparations to be able to quickly respond if COVID-19 is detected.

Based on the latest updates from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and following the University of Cincinnati’s updated public health practices, all CCM public performances scheduled March 12 through May 31, 2020, have been canceled or rescheduled.

As of March 17, 2020, all student recitals are also canceled until further notice.

Any ticket purchaser affected by a paid performance cancellation can contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 to request a refund.

This is an extremely fluid situation and guidelines are subject to change. Additional updates regarding CCM performances will be published at ccm.uc.edu and ccmonstage.universitytickets.com as they become available. General information updates and resources can be accessed at uc.edu/publichealth.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, patrons and communities remain our highest priority. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 if you have any additional questions or concerns. Please note that CCM’s Box Office will be closed due to UC’s Spring Break from March 15-22, 2020. We are grateful for your ongoing support and look forward to seeing you at a CCM performance in the near future.

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CCM Announces Michael Mergen as New Associate Professor of Trumpet

CCM Dean Stanley E. Romanstein has announced the addition of acclaimed trumpeter/cornetist Michael Mergen to the college’s roster of distinguished performance faculty members. Mergen’s appointment as Associate Professor of Trumpet begins on Aug. 15, 2020.

A portrait of new CCM faculty member Michael Mergen holding a trumpet.Known for his strong and beautiful sound, Mergen is currently a member of the trumpet/cornet section of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. He also performs with the Blossom Festival Band in Ohio and is a founding member of Valor Brass. In addition, Mergen has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., the Washington Symphonic Brass, the Singapore Symphony in the Republic of Singapore, the Harrisburg Symphony in Pennsylvania and the Choral Arts Society of Washington. He was a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Massachusetts, and attended the Aspen Music Festival. He has worked with conductors Seiji Ozawa, Leonard Slatkin, Osmo Vanska, John Williams and Bramwell Tovey.

Dedicated to education, Mergen currently serves as guest artist and applied faculty at the Penn State Honors Music Institute teaching trumpet. In addition, he has given numerous master classes at world-class institutions including The Juilliard School, University of Michigan, Eastman School of Music, University of Illinois and many others. He has brought his passion for music education to middle and high schools in the Washington D.C. area as part of the Marine Band’s “Music in the Schools Initiative,” formulating a rich program for brass quintets, which he has led in numerous performances. Mergen also maintains a studio of private trumpet students.

As an active soloist, Mergen’s solo performances include numerous appearances with the “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band and most recently with the Allentown Band, which was televised in Pennsylvania. He sounded Taps for the White House moment of silence in observance of 9/11 in 2018 and 2019 as well as the 2017 nationally televised Memorial Day Concert at the US Capitol. He also co-commissioned Hanging by a Thread, a four-movement work for solo trumpet and solo tuba with wind ensemble by James Stephenson and with his brother Paul gave the U.S. premiere with the DePauw University Concert Band in 2018. Recordings of his solo performances can be heard on both the “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band YouTube channel and website. Additional non-solo recordings include numerous volumes of the U.S. Marine Band’s annual recording as well as the Valor Brass recording Inaugural.

Mergen began his musical journey at age nine. His early studies included The Juilliard School Pre-College and the Kinhaven Music School summer program. He received his Bachelor in Music degree in both Trumpet Performance and Music Education from the University of Michigan, his Master of Music degree in Trumpet Performance from Eastman School of Music, and he completed the Doctor of Music Arts degree in Performance from The Catholic University of America in 2008. He is honored to have studied with Charles Daval, Charles Geyer and the late Armando Ghitalla.

A lifelong learner, when not performing or teaching, Mergen further channels his passion for music into creating arrangements for brass quintet and trumpet ensemble, and exploring the history of the trumpet and cornet.

“Michael Mergen is a superb addition to our faculty and a wonderful successor to our distinguished colleague Professor Alan Siebert, who retires this spring after a nearly 30-year tenure at CCM,” said Romanstein. “Michael’s expertise as both an international performing artist and an accomplished educator will help us continue to prepare future generations of students for positions on the world stage. I am grateful to Trumpet Search Committee Chair Scott Belck and committee members Sandra Rivers, Denise Tryon, Timothy Anderson and Timothy Northcut for their work finding CCM’s next great trumpet professor.”

Please join us in welcoming Professor Mergen to the CCM family!

About CCM

Nationally ranked and internationally renowned, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is a preeminent institution for the performing and media arts. The school’s educational roots date back to 1867, and a solid, visionary instruction has been at its core since that time.

CCM offers nine degree types (BA, BM, BFA, MFA, MM, MA, AD, DMA, PhD) in nearly 120 possible majors. The synergy created by housing CCM within a comprehensive public university gives the college its unique character and defines its objective: to educate and inspire the whole artist and scholar for positions on the world stage.

CCM’s world-class facilities provide a highly creative and multidisciplinary artistic environment. In 2017, the college completed a $15-million renovation of its major performance spaces, ensuring that CCM’s facilities remain state-of-the-art.

The school’s roster of eminent faculty regularly receives distinguished honors for creative and scholarly work, and its alumni have achieved notable success in the performing and media arts.

For more information about CCM, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.

CCM News Faculty Fanfare

CCM’s Music Theory and Musicology Society Hosts Student Conference April 3-4, 2020

CCM’s Music Theory and Musicology Society (MTMS) hosts its eighth biennial student conference on April 3 and 4, 2020.

Entitled “Conversations in Music,” the conference is designed to engage both UC students and students from other institutions in the broad field of music scholarship.

The conference features keynote speakers Danuta Mirka (Northwestern University) and Daniel Goldmark (Case Western Reserve University). It will be held in conjunction with the long running Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Thinking About Music Lecture Series at CCM.

This year’s conference will also include a workshop led by ethnomusicologist and CCM faculty member Scott Linford, PhD, inviting conference participants to engage in an interactive analysis of conversations among musical cultures.

Interested in attending? Register for the conference online. Please e­mail all inquiries to MTMS Executive Board Members Bryce Newcomer and Carly Barnes at ccm.mtms@gmail.com.

About MTMS
CCM’s Music Theory and Musicology Society engages all interested members of the UC community to discuss issues relating to music theory and musicology. The MTMS regularly maintains forums for the purpose of discussing theoretical, historical and cultural topics in music. Past MTMS Conference programs are available online.

CCM News
CCM Professor of Bassoon William Winstead.

In Memoriam: CCM Professor William Winstead

It is with heavy hearts that we share news of the sudden passing of CCM Professor William Winstead, a cherished member of both the CCM family and the Greater Cincinnati arts community. After a period of hospitalization, Bill passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 12.

CCM Professor of Bassoon William Winstead.

CCM Professor of Bassoon William Winstead.

Appointed as professor of bassoon at CCM in 1989, Bill was a dedicated member of our faculty for 30 years. A recipient of UC’s Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award, he guided multiple generations of students towards successful careers as performers and educators. In December of 2017, many of our alums traveled great distances to return to campus to participate in a special CCM concert celebrating Bill’s 75th birthday. Prior to his appointment at CCM, he was a faculty member at Oberlin Conservatory, Florida State University and West Virginia University.

Bill also performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for over 30 years before retiring as Principal Bassoon in 2018. At the time of his retirement, the majority of the bassoon section of the CSO consisted of his former students.

In addition to his performance career, Bill was also an accomplished composer whose music has been performed by ensembles like the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 1976, he received an NEA grant for a bicentennial work for narrator and orchestra.

When the CSO celebrated its 125th birthday weekend this January, the performance opened with the world premiere of Bill’s “Passages in Time,” which was commissioned specifically for the anniversary celebration. The performance celebrated multiple generations of CSO musicians and featured the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra in addition to current Orchestra members. Enthusiastically received by the audience, that recent performance truly spoke to the breadth of Bill’s influence and legacy.

A native of western Kentucky, Bill began his musical training as a pianist and composer before studying the wind instruments. He later received the Artist Diploma and the BM degree in bassoon from the Curtis Institute of Music and the MM degree in theory and composition from West Virginia University.

Read Janelle Gelfand’s “Lives Remembered” piece on William Winstead in the Cincinnati Business Courier.

A public visitation will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23, in Corbett Tower at Music Hall, 1241 Elm Street (45202). A funeral will follow at 6:30 p.m.

Please remember that the entire CCM Family is here for you during this difficult time. Also remember the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) resources available to all students 24/7 at uc.edu/campus-life/caps or 513-556-0648.

Please join us in sending your thoughts, prayers and condolences to Bill’s friends and loved ones. Bill enriched our entire community with his presence and he will be greatly missed.

CCM News

In Memoriam: CCM Professor Emeritus R. Terrell Finney, Jr.

It is with great sadness that we share news of the passing of emeritus faculty member R. Terrell Finney, Jr. Devoted husband of Dr. Susan N. Finney, loving father of Blake Finney (Alice Tang) and Sarah Finney (Sean Peters), cherished grandfather of Ronin and Hollis Finney, beloved son of the late Audrey and Robert (Bob) Finney, and an esteemed member of the CCM family for more than 30 years, Finney passed away on Jan. 23, 2020, at the age of 66.

A portrait of CCM Professor Emeritus R. Terrell Finney, Jr. from 2015.

CCM Professor Emeritus R. Terrell Finney, Jr. (2015).

Finney was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and Speech in 1975. He then earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in Directing from Boston University in 1978. While there, he was fortunate to study with such notable American directors as Alan Schneider and Zelda Fichandler. Additional training saw him spend the summers of 1992 and 1995 at the Royal National Theatre Studio in London, where his instructors included legendary voice and speech specialists Patsy Rodenburg and Cicily Berry and actors Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen, among others. He was a member of the Actors’ Equity Association throughout his theatrical career.

Finney was a faculty member at his alma mater, Birmingham-Southern College, from 1978 until his move to Cincinnati in 1984. He then began teaching at Cincinnati’s School for Creative and Perform­ing Arts and at CCM. He was soon named head of the Division of Opera, Musical Theatre, Drama and Arts Administration (now known as the Division of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration) at CCM, a post he held for over 20 years.

CCM Professor Emeritus R. Terrell Finney, Jr. (right) with drama student Dennis Whetsel, featured in the July 1992 issue of "Artscape: Classical WGUC's Monthly Arts Magazine."

CCM Professor Emeritus R. Terrell Finney, Jr. (right) with drama student Dennis Whetsel, featured in the July 1992 issue of “Artscape: Classical WGUC’s Monthly Arts Magazine.”

In a 1992 interview with Artscape: Classical WGUC’s Monthly Arts Magazine, Finney commented, “I like the process of nurturing young talent. I really enjoy seeing students mature as they develop and refine the craft, whether it be acting, directing or design.”

CCM Professor of Acting and Directing Richard Hess recalls:

“We referred to him as the energizer bunny, because his life force was so strong. If someone needed help he’d say ‘I’ll do it’, raising his hand, taking on monumental tasks with ease that helped thousands of CCM graduates and faculty. His compact frame belied surging energy; he was a Southern gentleman through and through. As a result, he was always a towering figure at CCM. His talent and leadership and love were one of a kind.” [View Hess’ full remembrance in the comments section.]

In addition to his administrative work, Finney taught voice and speech for students in the musical theatre and drama departments and directed productions for each. He was also Artistic Director of the Showboat Majestic, where selected productions included Crimes of the Heart and They’re Playing Our Song, and produced many seasons of CCM’s acclaimed Hot Summer Nights series. In 2010, he was named Associate Dean for Aca­demic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies at CCM, a position he held until his retirement in 2016.

Finney’s numerous directing credits include Charley’s Aunt, Floyd Collins, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Diviners, Myths and Hymns, As You Like It, Lend Me A Tenor, Chekhov in Yalta, Blithe Spirit and the world premiere of Clever Dick for CCM/Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, among others. He also directed The Importance of Being Earnest for the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival. Acting credits include Nurse Nanny Fanny in ETC’s Snow White, Hysterium in the Hot Summer Nights production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Argon in CCM’s The Imaginary Invalid. He also served as narrator for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

At the national level, Finney was the immediate past president of the National Association of Schools of Theatre and continued to serve on its Board of Directors until his death. He was also a board member of the University/Resident Theatre Association and an advisor to the American High School Theatre Festival. He was in great demand as a consultant and worked with college and university theatre programs across the U.S. Locally, he was a loyal member of the Literary Club of Cincinnati.

Friends and family are invited to a public visitation on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, from 9-11 a.m. at Spring Grove Funeral Homes, 4389 Spring Grove Avenue (45223). A celebration of life will be held immediately thereafter at 11 a.m.  Inurnment will take place in the cremation woodlands at Spring Grove Cemetery at a later date.

Condolences at springgrove.org. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Please join us in sending your thoughts, prayers and condolences to the entire Finney family. Terrell was a guiding force at CCM for more than three decades. During that time, he influenced multiple generations of students, colleagues and arts lovers. He will be deeply missed.

CCM News

CCM Welcomes Emilee Suchomski to its Admissions Team

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music is delighted to welcome Emilee Suchomski as the newest member of its Admissions Office team. Suchomski will serve as an Admissions Counselor and Undergraduate Admissions Officer at CCM.

A provided photo of CCM Admissions Counselor Emilee Suchomski.

CCM Admissions Counselor Emilee Suchomski.

Prior to her new role at CCM, Suchomski worked in undergraduate admissions at Miami University for nearly six years, most recently as Miami’s Assistant Director of International Recruitment.

Originally from Chicago, Suchomski relocated to Cincinnati five years ago and previously worked for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. She has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Beloit College, where she also played in both the wind ensemble and the orchestra. She earned a master’s degree in Education from Miami University.

Suchomski plays both bassoon and clarinet and describes herself as an avid musical theatre enthusiast. Her appointment in CCM’s Admissions Office begins Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020.

Please join us in welcoming Emilee Suchomski to the CCM family!

CCM News