Photography by Will Brenner.

Alum James Cunningham Choreographs New Work in Classics with a Twist at CCM

Alumnus James Cunningham (BFA Ballet Performance, 2010) returns to CCM to choreograph the world premiere of La Nymphe Brisée, one of the four short dance pieces that make up CCM’s final Mainstage performance of 2016, Classics with a Twist. The dance performance opens at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1 and continues through Sunday, Dec. 4 in Patricia Corbett Theater.

James Cunningham with Youngwon French and Bradley Harris.

James Cunningham with Youngwon French and Bradley Harris.

Cunningham, a soloist with the Cincinnati Ballet, says La Nymphe Brisée loosely revolves around how people can become entangled with negative influences. The score was written by two composers — Youngwon French, who works as a pianist with the Cincinnati Ballet, and CCM composition graduate student Bradley Harris.

“Youngwon came to me one day last winter with this piece of music that she wrote late one night,” recalls Cunningham. “Immediately when I heard it, I was drawn to its haunting sorrow and simplicity.”

Cunningham says they originally didn’t have an outlet to make the work come to life but then he was approached by Jiang Qi, CCM Dance Department Chair, about guest choreographing for Classics with a Twist.

“I figured it would be the perfect chance to use this beautiful piece of music,” Cunningham says. “With a high energy beginning, a beautiful middle and a lyrical and peaceful ending, I set out to make a dance.”

Youngwon French’s piece became the central movement of the three-part work. Bradley Harris wrote two pieces to serve as bookends, the first upbeat and the second lyrical and serene. It’s certainly unusual for music of any kind to have multiple composers, but the collaborative experience of pairing fresh choreography with original music is also new to Cunningham.

“With this new composition I had the chance for the first time to be able to discuss directly with the composer and make adjustments. While respecting each other’s creativity, of course. I believe this makes the collaborative final product a much richer piece of art.”

Many CCM alumni visit the college as guest artists to coach students who share the same goals, dreams and worries that they once held, and perhaps still do. It can be a nostalgic and inspiring experience for the alumni but it also connects students with like-minded professionals as they pursue their careers.

“It brings back a lot of memories for sure,” Cunningham says. I think similar shared experiences with professors and classes has helped me to bond and break the ice with this new generation of students. The whole feeling is kind of full circle to me. It’s about giving back and touching the future. All art is cyclical and passed on, dance is no exception.”

Not only did Cunningham learn the art of ballet as a student at CCM, but he also honed a number of new skills that have made him a better dancer and choreographer.

Because of his time at CCM, Cunningham can confidently apply “out-of-the-ordinary” stage make-up and discuss stage lighting with lighting designers. He adds that courses in anatomy and injury prevention have done “wonders to save [his] career, too.”

“CCM gives you more than just how to smile under the spotlight onstage,” Cunningham says. “It provides a full range of knowledge of the performing world around you.”

Cunningham is now in a position to share all of that knowledge, both experiential and academic, with current CCM students as they work to create an entirely new piece of art.

To see La Nymphe Brisée, make plans to attend Classics with a Twist, which runs from Dec. 1 through Dec. 4 at CCM.

The performance also includes Schubert’s Winterreise choreographed by Jiang Qi, Alexander Glazunov’s Scènes de ballet choreographed by Michael Tevlin and Warm Hearts and Hot Feet, a collage of iconic works from the ’40s and ’50s, choreographed by André Megerdichian.

Visit the CCM Box Office website for more information and to purchase tickets.

Performance Times
8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1
8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2
8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3
3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater
College-Conservatory of Music
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Classics with a Twist 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.

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. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors.

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

The Dance Department gratefully acknowledges the support of the Corbett Endowment at CCM
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Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News Student Salutes
Alum Julie Eicher teaches a masterclass for dance students at CCM.

CCM Slideshows: Dance Alum Returns to Lead Masterclass for Students

Alumna Julie Eicher (BFA Ballet Performance, 2012) taught current CCM dance students some new moves and shared career advice in a masterclass on Tuesday, Nov. 15. Eicher is currently visiting Cincinnati as part of the national Broadway tour of The Phantom of the Opera, which runs through Nov. 27 at the Aronoff Center.

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Although she is a recent graduate of CCM, Eicher’s resume is already impressive. She has performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Houston Grand Opera, and she was part of the 2014 Under Armour commercial that featured Misty Copeland. Additional credits include Rob Ashford’s Carousel at the Lyric Opera of Chicago featuring Laura Osnes and Steven Pasquale, Die Fledermaus at Houston Grand Opera and Young Frankenstein directed by Kevin P. Hill. Ballet company credits include Nashville Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Ballet Neo and Artisan Dance Company.

Named one of the top programs to consider by Dance Magazine, CCM’s Department of Dance became the country’s second university program to develop a major professional company in 1965. While enrolled, students have numerous opportunities to perform in full-length ballets, one-act ballets or new works by faculty and guest artists.

See what CCM Dance faculty and students have been working on in their upcoming Mainstage Series production, Classics with a Twist, on Dec. 1-4 in Patricia Corbett Theater.
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Story and photos by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle.

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News CCM Slideshows Student Salutes
piano

CCM Student Piano Duo Wins Third Prize at International Competition in Tokyo

Graduate students Yaoyue Huang and Scott Sherman have performed and competed as a piano duo since they arrived at CCM in 2015. Recently their teamwork led them to take third place at the prestigious International Piano Duo Association’s 20th Piano Duo Competition in Tokyo — they were the only duo from the U.S. to advance that far in the competition.

Yaoyue Huang and Scott Sherman.

Yaoyue Huang and Scott Sherman. Photo provided.

Compromise is the ultimate challenge when working with another musician, Huang says, and the duo’s ability to work well together has contributed greatly to their success. Huang and Sherman met in 2011 during their time as undergraduates at Michigan State University, and their musical connection quickly grew into a closer relationship. The piano-playing couple hadn’t given much thought to forming their own piano duo before coming to CCM, but professors Soyeon Kate Lee and Sandra Rivers encouraged them to channel their abilities and connection into their new specialty.

“Forming a duo with a loved one is a double-edged sword,” Sherman says. “Our rehearsals are always so raw, and at times we can be so brutally honest. It really tests your mental strength. But, if a duo can come out through the intensity and find a natural ebb and flow, it will be a successful partnership in the end.”

The duo traveled to the competition in Tokyo with financial support from the Office of the Dean. The International Piano Duo Association’s performance competition occurs every three years, with a composition competition and a gap year in between. It’s open to pianists of all ages and consists of three rounds. This year, 13 duos were accepted into the finals, and Huang and Sherman were the only duo from the U.S. who advanced that far in the competition. As third prize winners, the duo won 100,000 yen, which is the equivalent of $900.

One requirement of the competition is that the players perform the winning piece from the previous composition competition. This year, that piece was Oliver Kolb’s Three Epigrams for four hands. A video of their performance is on the competition’s YouTube page:

“Pianists are so fortunate to have an almost limitless library of music, and yet so many of us find difficulty incorporating lesser-known works or pieces that require a new way of thought,” Sherman says. “I believe it is a dangerous road to only understand and play one dialect of music.”

Not only did they receive a top prize at the competition in Tokyo, but Huang and Sherman also took second place in the Ohio International Duo Piano Competition with an award of $500. With all of their recent success, it should come as no surprise that Huang and Sherman will compete again in January at the finals of the United States International Duo Piano Competition.

The duo thanks professors Lee and Rivers, “who have been so supportive of our efforts to step out into the music world.” They both study piano with Lee and receive duo coaching from Rivers.

“The piano department here always has great interest in supporting all of its students and creating so many diverse opportunities that truly make a difference down the road,” Huang and Sherman said.
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Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

CCM News Student Salutes
CCM Spring Dance Concert

CCM’s Mainstage Series Continues with Classics With A Twist

The Department of Dance at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music presents a selection of traditional works with new choreography in Classics with a Twist, running Dec. 1-4 in Patricia Corbett Theater. This Mainstage Series dance performance also features the world premiere of La nymphe brisée, choreographed by CCM alumnus James Cunningham of the Cincinnati Ballet.

Tickets for Classics with a Twist are available through the CCM Box Office.

Tickets for Classics with a Twist are available through the CCM Box Office.

The program begins with Schubert’s Winterreise, originally a song cycle that tells the story of a love-struck man whose journey leads him deep into a formidable winter world. With original choreography by CCM Dance Department Chair and Professor Jiang Qi, Winterreise features students dancing to an intimate piano-cello arrangement of this romantic classic.

Up next is the world premiere of La nymphe brisée, composed by Youngwon French and CCM composition student Bradley Harris. Cincinnati Ballet soloist James Cunningham (BFA Ballet Performance, 2010) returns to choreograph the new ballet, which features energy, beauty and lyricism.

Alexander Glazunov’s Scènes de ballet follows with original choreography by Michael Tevlin, associate professor of dance. Using Glazunov’s music for inspiration, Tevlin traces the history of ballet through a series of dance vignettes each reminiscent of the styles of great ballet masters such as Marius Petipa, George Balanchine, Michel Fokine and Frederick Ashton.

For the grand finale, Assistant Professor André Megerdichian choreographs a collage of iconic works from the ‘40s and ‘50s in Warm Hearts and Hot Feet. The piece features old favorites such as Harry Belefonte’s rendition of Banana Boat Song (Day-O) and Ben. E. King’s Stand By Me, among others.

Classics with a Twist
is a collection of diverse works that showcase the versatility of the students and faculty in CCM’s Department of Dance. Tickets are available for purchase through the CCM Box Office.

Performance Times
8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1
8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2
8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3
3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater
College-Conservatory of Music
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Classics with a Twist 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.

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. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors.

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

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

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

The Dance Department gratefully acknowledges the support of the Corbett Endowment at CCM
____

Story by CCM Graduate Student Charlotte Kies

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes

Arts Administration Students Get Work Experience at Local Organizations

CCM is partnered with the University of Cincinnati’s nationally ranked Lindner College of Business in one of the few MA/MBA graduate Arts Administration programs in the country. We train future CEOs and senior managers of nonprofit arts institutions by giving our students real world experience at local and national arts organizations.

Applications are now open for fall 2017 admissions into the program. In the past six years, 100% of arts administration graduates have found jobs in their field. Many go on to leadership positions in small and large organizations, while others launch their own nonprofits. While enrolled, students have multiple opportunities to gain real-world experience through internships and graduate assistantships. This year, two first-year students are balancing school work with internships at local organizations — the Cincinnati Youth Symphony Orchestra and concert:nova. Below you can read about their experiences so far.

Stephanie Calascione | First-year Graduate Student in Arts Administration
Graduate Assistant for the Cincinnati Youth Symphony Orchestra

Stephanie Calascione.

Stephanie Calascione.

The Cincinnati Youth Symphony Orchestra is my new home. I am the current CCM Graduate Assistant for the CSYO and it has been an amazing opportunity for me. The CSYO is under the umbrella of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and consists of the younger Concert Orchestra and the upper Philharmonic Orchestra. My main role within the organization is the active librarian for both orchestras as well as the general operations and personnel administrator for the upper orchestra.

Being a part of the CSYO is a perfect opportunity to experience a little bit of everything in an organization. Although it is linked to the CSO, the youth orchestras seem to operate separately from the major orchestra. This, in part, is attributed to the very small education staff through the CSO that focuses specifically on the youth programs. It is also attributed to the fact that it has its own budget, programming, schedules, personnel and equipment. I have the opportunity to interact with the employees of the CSO and communicate with the CSO musicians.

Growing up, I was a part of the Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestra; this background has given me perspective into how important this program is to kids. Going to a rehearsal every week to play advanced repertoire is imperative to the musical growth of a child. For some kids, this orchestra could be their only opportunity. For others, it is an opportunity to further their musical capacity. For everyone, it is a time each week to make music in an enriching environment with friends.

This experience has affirmed my love for orchestras and enriched my enjoyment of helping today’s youth. I’ve gained useful experience in operations, production, personnel management and librarianship. Expanding my professional connections by communicating with the CSO staff and musicians to get them involved with the CSYO and has opened the door to many opportunities in the future.

Deborah Stevens | First-year Graduate Student, Arts Administration
Internship: Administrative Intern for concert:nova

deborah-stevens-headshot

Deborah Stevens.

For the 2016-17 school year, I’m serving as an Administrative Intern for concert:nova, a small chamber music organization that creates innovative and collaborative classical music performances. My duties span a variety of administrative areas, including donor solicitation and acknowledgment, email marketing blasts, grant writing and reporting and box office management. With an undergraduate degree and several internships in theatre, this has been my first opportunity to work with a music organization. It has allowed me to broaden my horizons to different art forms, and to utilize the skills I am learning in the classroom.

concert:nova is known as “Cincinnati’s Music Lab” because of its artist-driven collaborations that create multidimensional performances. Seeing these performances evolve from concepts to artistic experiences and knowing that I have contributed has been incredibly rewarding. concert:nova’s first event of the season was a caffeinated collaboration with Deeper Roots Coffee, inspired by composers who loved coffee. It featured a myriad of musical selections — from Bach’s Coffee Cantata to “Taylor the Latte Boy” — all interspersed with narratives about the history of coffee. Running the box office, I had the opportunity to connect with the attendees of this event and hear the overwhelmingly positive things they had to say about the performance.

Another exciting aspect of concert:nova’s programming is their educational program, Next:Generation, which gives music students at local universities, including CCM, the opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills in order to pursue a career in music. This year concert:nova is expanding its educational programming to include more community engagement events. In mid-October, it held the first of a series of free Late:Night events targeted at young professionals. An experience in synesthesia, it featured solo instrumentations of Berio works paired with wine. With complimentary admission and wine tasting, this event was successful in bringing in students who otherwise may not have attended a concert:nova performance, due to time, cost or other constraints.

concert:nova is such an innovative organization, and I am delighted to join it this season. Working there has given me the opportunity to see how a musical organization runs, an experience I would not have undertaken were it not for the Arts Administration program. I am gaining invaluable knowledge in grant-writing, marketing, communication and non-profit administration — skills that will prepare me to work in any art form.

The deadline to apply to CCM’s Arts Administration program is Dec. 1. Learn more about the program online at ccm.uc.edu/theatre/arts_admin.

 

 

CCM News Student Salutes
People enjoyed performances during the University of Cincinnati CCM Moveable Feast. UC/Joseph Fuqua II

CORRECTION: CCM Presents A Jazz Holiday Extravaganza on Sunday

An earlier version of this release incorrectly stated that CCM’s Jazz Holiday Extravaganza concert takes place on Saturday, Nov. 20. The concert is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 20.

Swing into the season at this year’s Jazz Holiday Extravaganza at 4 p.m. Sunday, November 20 in Patricia Corbett Theater. The CCM Jazz Orchestra, led by Professor and Director of Jazz Studies Scott Belck, will perform alongside the CCM Jazz Lab Band, led by Assistant Professor Craig Bailey.

This year the CCM Jazz Lab Band brings you a host of holiday favorites, including arrangements of Jingle Bells, White Christmas, Greensleeves and I’ll be Home for Christmas. Tickets are available for purchase; UC students have free admission.

The CCM Jazz Orchestra celebrates the holiday season with the hot rhythms and cool sounds of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Claude Thornhill and Stan Kenton.

Jazz up your holiday spirit at this annual, can’t-miss event!

Performance Time
4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to CCM’s Jazz Holiday Extravaganza are $15 for general admission, $10 for non-UC students and free for UC students with valid university ID. Concert flex ticket packages are also available.

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

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

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Story by CCM graduate student Charlotte Kies

CCM News Student Salutes
People enjoyed performances during the University of Cincinnati CCM Moveable Feast. UC/Joseph Fuqua II

CCM Presents A Jazz Holiday Extravaganza on Sunday

An earlier version of this release incorrectly stated that CCM’s Jazz Holiday Extravaganza concert takes place on Saturday, Nov. 20. The concert is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 20.

Swing into the season at this year’s Jazz Holiday Extravaganza at 4 p.m. Sunday, November 20 in Patricia Corbett Theater. The CCM Jazz Orchestra, led by Professor and Director of Jazz Studies Scott Belck, will perform alongside the CCM Jazz Lab Band, led by Assistant Professor Craig Bailey.

This year the CCM Jazz Lab Band brings you a host of holiday favorites, including arrangements of Jingle Bells, White Christmas, Greensleeves and I’ll be Home for Christmas. Tickets are available for purchase; UC students have free admission.

The CCM Jazz Orchestra celebrates the holiday season with the hot rhythms and cool sounds of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Claude Thornhill and Stan Kenton.

Jazz up your holiday spirit at this annual, can’t-miss event!

Performance Time
4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to CCM’s Jazz Holiday Extravaganza are $15 for general admission, $10 for non-UC students and free for UC students with valid university ID. Concert flex ticket packages are also available.

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

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.

____

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

____

Story by CCM graduate student Charlotte Kies

CCM News Student Salutes