CCM Sound Design Alumnus Matthew Tibbs Named Visiting Assistant Professor

Matthew Tibbs

CCM Interim Dean bruce mcclung has announced the appointment of Matthew Tibbs to the position of Visiting Assistant Professor of Sound Design. Tibbs’ appointment will officially begin on Aug. 15, 2018.

A sound designer with experience in live performance, film and advertising, Tibbs’ nearly 100 sound designs have been seen on stages nationally, including in New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City and Portland. His film work has been seen at national and international film festivals and his advertising work has been distributed on the West Coast in local and regional TV markets.

Tibbs’ theatrical sound design has been featured at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Salt Lake City’s Pioneer Theatre Company, the Clarence Brown Theatre at the University of Tennessee, New York City’s Fresh Fruit Festival and Utah Shakespeare Festival. For the past seven years, Tibbs has regularly designed for the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Minnesota.

An experienced educator, Tibbs most recently served on the faculty of Ball State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance. He previously spent three years as Resident Sound Designer for the Pioneer Theatre Company and served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Utah. He has also taught as visiting faculty at Pacific University and as a graduate assistant at CCM.

Tibbs is a member of the designers’ union United Scenic Artists Local 829 and serves as a secretary for the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association (TSDCA).

He holds a MFA in Sound Design from CCM (2007) and a BA in Communication Arts from George Fox University (2004).

On the announcement of Tibbs’ appointment, mcclung commented:

“CCM alumnus Matthew Tibbs’ extensive professional experience as a sound designer for such companies as the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Great River Shakespeare Festival and Indiana Repertory Theatre will be valuable for CCM’s BFA and MFA students.”

Please join us in welcoming Matthew Tibbs to the CCM family!

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CCM Welcomes Judith Mikita As Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance

Judith Mikita

CCM Interim Dean bruce mcclung has announced the appointment of Judith Mikita to the position of Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance, with a focus in modern choreography. Mikita has served as an adjunct dance instructor at CCM for more than 20 years. Her new appointment will officially begin on Aug. 15, 2018.

Mikita is a choreographer and performer with more than 30 years of professional experience. Her choreography has been presented by the American Dance Festival, the New York International Independent Film Festival, Cincinnati’s Aronoff Center and the Biagiotti Art Gallery in Florence, Italy, among others. She has also choreographed for Cincinnati’s Contemporary Dance Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cleveland Fringe Festival, Covington’s Carnegie Art Center and New York’s White Mountain Dance Festival.

As an artist and educator, Mikita has served on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Columbia College and Antioch College and as artist-in-residence at Wright State University and the University of Utah. She has also choreographed at Miami University, Northern Kentucky University and Interlochen Center for the Arts.

As a performer, Mikita has toured nationally with the Chicago-based dance companies of Shirley Mordine, Jan Erkert and Bob Eisen. She has worked with Martha Clarke of Pilobolus Dance Theatre, Lucas Hoving of the José Limón Dance Company, Marnie Thomas of the Martha Graham Dance Company and Gus Solomons, Jr. of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

Mikita is a founding member of the Greater Cincinnati Dance Alliance and has served on the board of directors for OhioDance and Cincinnati’s Contemporary Dance Theater. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Dance from Indiana University and a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from University of Michigan.

On the announcement of Mikita’s appointment, mcclung commented:

“Judith Mikita’s extensive experience in modern dance and professional work with arts institutions, festivals and dance companies throughout the country will benefit CCM’s BFA students in refining their contemporary dance technique.”

Please join us in welcoming Judith Mikita to the CCM family!

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CCM Alumnus Marcus Shields Returns As Visiting Assistant Professor of Opera Directing

UC College-Conservatory of Music Interim Dean bruce d. mcclung has announced the appointment of CCM alumnus Marcus Shields (MM, 2015; AD, 2017) to the position of Visiting Assistant Professor of Opera Directing. Shields’ appointment will officially begin on Aug. 15, 2018.

Shields is a New York City-based director who specializes in the presentation and performance of classical music and opera. His experience ranges from installation/performance art to fully produced theatre, blending his artistry as a pianist, singer, visual artist and director into works that probe the boundaries of genre.

He has served on the directing staff of the Lyric Opera Chicago, Atlanta Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Wolf Trap Opera and the Curtis Institute of Music. Directing credits include La Vida Breve with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and Northern Kentucky University School of the Arts, and a touring production of The Bolcom Cabaret with engagements at the Neue Galerie in New York and the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, DC.

Recently, Shields directed Bernstein’s Mass at Cincinnati’s May Festival, which attracted a sold-out crowd at Music Hall. At CCM he directed a semi-staged production of Arthur Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake and the 2017 Mainstage Opera production of Mozart’s Idomeneo, which was praised by arts reporter Janelle Gelfand as “striking” and a “rare treat.” In the fall of 2018, Shields will direct Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca at New York City’s Madison Theater.

Recipient of the 2018 Stage Directing Fellowship at San Francisco’s Merola Opera Program, Shields holds a Master of Music degree in Voice and an Artist Diploma degree in Opera Direction from CCM. In 2017 he was a recipient of the Drama League Opera Directing Fellowship in conjunction with the Metropolitan Opera and Wolf Trap Opera.

On the announcement of Shield’s appointment, mcclung commented:

“CCM opera and voice students will benefit from Shields’ expertise as an opera director, visual artist and diction coach. His experience at San Francisco’s Merola Opera Program, Atlanta Opera and Chicago’s Lyric Opera promises to enrich CCM’s renowned opera program, ranked third in the country according to the most recent U.S. News and World Report ranking. I am grateful to the Search Committee Chairs Alan Yaffe and Robin Guarino for their collaborative effort on this successful search.”

Please join us in welcoming Marcus Shields to the CCM family!

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The Voices of Unity Youth Choir.

‘Soul-Fege’ Documentary Shares CCM Music Education Professor’s Journey from Soulful Genres to the Classics

The Organization of American Kodály Educators recently released a documentary showcasing a collaboration between CCM Music Education Professor Eva Floyd and the award-winning Voices of Unity Youth Choir (VOUYC). “Soul-Fege” A Journey from Soulful Genres to the Classics shares the gospel choir’s experience and Floyd’s teaching techniques as they prepared to travel to Budapest, Hungary, for the 2016 Laurea Mundi International Honor Choir Festival.

Floyd is a specialist in the Kodály approach to choral music education, which is based on the internationally acclaimed Hungarian teaching system for music literacy and ear training. She used Kodály-inspired teaching techniques to show the youth choir how to bridge the stylist gap between gospel and classical music.

The Voices of Unity Youth Choir.

The Voices of Unity Youth Choir.

The Voices of Unity Youth Choir, which is based in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and directed by Marshall White, trained with Floyd for more than four months to prepare for the international honor choir festival. The singers were accustomed to singing “soulful” genres with intense expression, so, at first, they struggled to find how their experience could relate to the classical genre, Floyd says.

They found a common foundation for music making hidden in the symbols and vocabulary of the music scores, which they used as cues from the composer to help bring the classical pieces to life with expression.

“They began to embrace singing a new genre with ownership and pride,” Floyd says. “Focusing on the expression markings in the music gave them confidence and helped foster a connection between reading music notation and singing with heart.”

The choir was very open to learning new techniques and new repertoire, Floyd says. They became leaders at the honor choir festival in Budapest. Floyd says that one of her favorite memories of the collaboration is from a rehearsal in Budapest. When the conductor asked the choir about the meaning of the Czech folk song they were singing, a singer raised her hand and explained the meaning with pride.

“The choir was very apt at digging into the core meaning and message of the songs,” Floyd remembers. “It was very important for them to sing with expression and emotion, and understanding the meaning of the text was the connecting point between singing soulful music and classical music.”

Eva Floyd

Eva Floyd

Floyd teaches choral methods, literature for school choir, history and philosophy of music education and Kodály musicianship classes for music education students at CCM. In 2015, she organized CCM’s first study abroad trip for the music education program, where students traveled to Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg and Paris on a 12-day adventure to deepen their appreciation and understanding of music. Floyd recently finished co-teaching a study abroad course “Vienna as a city of Music” with a mix of UC Honors students and CCM students, which she plans to offer again in two years.

The “Soul-Fege” A Journey from Soulful Genres to the Classics DVD-ROM includes preparation materials and lessons plans for the instructional unit Floyd created for the Voices of Unity Youth Choir. These materials can be utilized by any choral director who seeks to make classical music accessible to singers with a strong background in soulful music. The DVD is available for purchase through the Organization of American Kodály Educators website at https://www.oake.org/publications/.

“This experience has taught me that there are multiple pathways toward achieving artistry,” Floyd says. “I hope to help my CCM students learn that music education is most effective when it is multi-faceted, as we have opportunities to reveal the joy of learning about music in a variety of learning contexts.”

About Voices of Unity Youth Choir
The World Champion Voices of Unity Youth Choir (VOUYC) is Unity Performing Arts Foundation’s acclaimed Youth Choral Program. It is the premier soulful choral group comprised of youth ages 7 to 19 from various backgrounds in the Fort Wayne community and beyond. The program’s goal is to equip, educate, and empower youth to excel in the world before them. It prepares them to be successful leaders who will give back to their society and make a difference in their college life, adult life, and in their professional careers. Learn more at http://www.upaf.com/voices-of-unity/.

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New Work by Professor Douglas Knehans Premieres at New York Opera Fest

It’s been an exciting and busy year for CCM Norman Dinerstein Professor of Composition Scholar Douglas Knehans, a recent winner of the Ohio Arts Council’s 2018 Individual Excellence Award.

His most recent album Unfinished Earth, released on April 6, has already won five international awards including best classical album at the spring 2018 Clouzine International Music Awards, best contemporary classical album at the Independent Music Awards and three silver medals at the Global Music Awards.

Now, Knehans is preparing for the world premiere of his operatic monodrama Backwards from Winter during the New York Opera Fest. Directed by CCM alumna Jennifer Williams (AD Opera Stage Directing, 2012), the work premieres this Friday, May 25, 2018, presented by the Center for Contemporary Opera at Symphony Space.

With a libretto by Juanita Rockwell, Backwards from Winter explores a single woman’s reflection on love and grief after she loses her partner in an automobile crash. It uses live voice, live electronic/computer music and video streams to trace the unnamed woman’s past year with her beloved.

“We tell a story of love and loss, though do so in a way that constantly asks questions rather than gives answers,” Knehans says. “We follow the inception and ultimate tragic demise of a relationship but told in a reverse chronology and linked to a reverse cycling of the seasons — Backwards from Winter.”

Knehans and Rockwell began collaborating on Backwards from Winter in 2010. He completed the composition in 2013, using only the resources of electric cello, electronically processed soprano voice and computerized sound. Knehans says the cellist will also sing, hum and intone words throughout the production, adding an extra layer of dramatic friction to the music.

“Douglas is a truly interdisciplinary artist,” says Williams. “Backwards from Winter, like much of his work, brings together modern technology and timeless lyricism. His score puts a variety of musical styles and compositional techniques in conversation with each other.”

“He is a composer who is genuinely interested in the ideas of the artists performing his work. Working with him is a very collaborative and adventurous experience.”

Williams makes her New York directorial debut with the premiere of Backwards from Winter. The production features a set designed by CCM alumnus Ryan Howell (MFA Stage Design, 2013) and video projections created by Yee Eun Nam.

“A stark, dramatic Noh-like approach to stage will be used,” says Knehans, comparing Backwards from Winter’s staging to the Noh traditional Japanese theatrical form. “This element will also permeate the symbiotic lighting, set design and video creation to evoke the external natural world that stands as a counterpoint to the rich internal questions asked by the protagonist and the music.”

The video projections represent the character’s emotional process as she confronts her grief. The woman always initiates the images seen in the projections, Williams adds. The set is composed of car debris and white, ashen boxes that represent the compartments of her memory.

“She opens one – the inside is a vibrant color, different from the rest of the world of the set – and a sapling tree grows out of it, or a gust of leaves blows out of it,” Williams says describing how the set interacts with the video projections. “The videos are an expressive extension of her action.”

Williams says she brings a feminist perspective and an interest in new technology to the productions she directs. When she first came to opera, she didn’t like how the women were nearly always victims, so she works to dig deeper into the music and underlying story elements to present women as empowered and in control of their own destinies.

Other directors have chosen to invent a husband character as a looming presence in Backwards from Winter, but Williams says the woman’s conflict isn’t with her deceased partner — it is with her own grief. Additionally, the libretto for Backwards from Winter doesn’t specify that the woman’s lost love was male.

“I wanted to avoid inventing a husband character to keep the story inclusive,” Williams says. “I want everyone in the audience to be able to see themselves and their own experience in the story. A more expressive and less traditional, cinematic approach to video design leaves space for that — it invites more perspectives into the story.”

Knehans is very proud and excited that Backwards from Winter will premiere at New York Opera Fest this Friday, May 25. There will also be a new production of the monodrama presented at the Dark Mofo Festival in Australia on June 20-23.

Douglas Knehans.

Douglas Knehans. Photo by Tina Gutierrez.

About Douglas Knehans
Douglas Knehans has received awards from the American Music Center, the NEA, the Australia Council Performing Arts Board, Yale University, the MacDowell Colony, Opera Australia, The Cannes Film Festival, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The National Symphony Orchestra, The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Meet the Composer and a host of others.

His music has been praised by the Washington Post as “beautiful,” by the Miami Herald as “wildly inventive,” by the Australian as “brilliantly catchy and eerily bright” and by Fanfare Magazine as “…effective…incisive… and hauntingly beautiful.”

Knehans’ music is available on ERM Media, Crystal Records, Move Records, New World Records and ABLAZE Records. His full biography is available online at douglasknehans.com.

For more information on CCM’s Division of Composition, Musicology and Theory visit ccm.uc.edu/music/cmt.

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Scott Linford, incoming Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at CCM.

CCM Welcomes Scott Linford as Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology

Scott Linford, incoming Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at CCM.

CCM Interim Dean bruce d. mcclung has announced the appointment of Scott Linford to the position of Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at CCM. Linford’s appointment will officially begin on Aug. 15, 2018.

A scholar, filmmaker and performing musician, Linford has conducted fieldwork in West Africa, Central America and the United States around themes of participation and musical experience, ethnicity, gender and politics. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he holds an MA and PhD in Ethnomusicology from UCLA and most recently served as Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts (Music History) at the Berklee College of Music.

In addition to his dissertation, “Interweaving Worlds: Jola Music and Relational Identity in Senegambia and Beyond,” Linford’s work has appeared in Ethnomusicology Review and the Yearbook for Traditional Music. He has presented papers at annual meetings of the Society for Ethnomusicology and the African Studies Association, and has presented invited lectures at UCLA, Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, and Centro Nacional de las Artes in Mexico City.

A guitarist, bassist, fiddler and award-winning banjoist, he directed the UCLA Bluegrass and Old Time String Band, which won numerous awards at regional music festivals. Linford has also directed three documentary films focusing on musical communities.

On the announcement of Linford’s appointment, mcclung commented:

“CCM students will benefit from Linford’s expertise as an ethnographic researcher, documentarian and performer. He makes an excellent addition to our Composition, Musicology and Theory Division. I am grateful to Search Committee Chair Jonathan Kregor and committee members Jenny Doctor, Stefan Fiol, Jeongwon Joe, Stephen Meyer, Matthew Peattie and Stephanie Schlagel for their collaborative effort on this successful search.”

Please join us in welcoming Scott Linford to the CCM family!

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CCM Offers New Summer Master’s in Music Education Degree for Active Teachers

CCM is now accepting applications for a new master’s degree in Music Education that will be offered beginning in June 2018. Designed for those who want to remain active in the classroom while continuing their education, the practical degree program can be completed in three summers and provides a high-quality, individualized curriculum for all music teachers.

CCM Associate Professor of Music Education Eva Floyd.

CCM Associate Professor of Music Education Eva Floyd.

Core music education course work focuses on the development of music mastery and advanced pedagogy, and students can choose from a wide range of electives to expand their areas of expertise. Each summer course load consists of a 5-week term with schedules that provide free time in the afternoon to study, practice and maintain personal or professional commitments.

CCM Master’s in Music Education students have the opportunity to refresh their piano skills, study conducting, or advance their performance techniques through applied study. All courses are led by CCM’s world-renowned faculty, with experts from multiple divisions of the college.

The master’s in Music Education program also features enrichment opportunities unique to the summer curriculum, including Orff-Schulwerk or Kodály certifications for music teachers and study-abroad experiences.

PROGRAM SNAPSHOT
All courses occur in person and require residency in Cincinnati for five weeks each summer.

Core Music Education:

  • Curriculum and Assessment
  • Sociology and Psychology
  • History and Philosophy
  • Intro to Scholarship (Research)

Core Music Studies:

  • Theory Fundamentals (Piano-based)
  • Graduate Musicianship
  • Intro to Ethnomusicology
  • School Music Literature
  • Ensembles or Applied Lessons

Specialized Electives:

  • Choral Music
  • Conducting
  • Classroom Music (K-12)
  • Instrumental (Band, Orchestra, Jazz)
  • Musical Theatre
  • Pedagogy
  • Strings
  • Technology for Music Teaching
  • Urban Music Education

Capstone Project or Exam

  • Curriculum Design Project
  • Oral and Comprehensive Exam

APPLICATION INFORMATION
Apply by June 1, 2018 in order to enroll in the inaugural semester of CCM’s new master’s in Music Education program; courses begin in June 2018.

Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree in music education (or equivalent) and have a minimum of two years full-time teaching experience.

Application materials include a copy of current teaching license as certified music teacher, a current curriculum vitae or resume, a written philosophy of teaching, submission of “best piece” writing sample, a teaching video or a live/recorded audition and two letters of recommendation. Learn more at grad.catalyst.uc.edu/apply/

For application information, please contact CCM Admissions at 513-556-9478 or email ccmadmis@uc.edu.

For more information about the new graduate program, contact CCM Music Education Division Head Ann Porter at 513-556-9527 or email ann.porter@uc.edu.
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Nationally ranked and internationally renowned, CCM is a preeminent institution for the performing and media arts. Learn more at ccm.uc.edu

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