CCM staff member Dave Colussi with E-Media alumna Melissa Hopkins, professor Kevin Burke and alumnus Tavi Wolf.

E-Media Launches ‘Give One Day’ Campaign for Student Equipment

CCM staff member Dave Colussi with E-Media alumna Melissa Hopkins, professor Kevin Burke and alumnus Tavi Wolf.

CCM staff member Dave Colussi with E-Media alumna Melissa Hopkins, professor Kevin Burke and alumnus Tavi Wolf.

CCM graduate Tavi Wolf (BFA E-Media, 1999) is leading a new alumni giving campaign for the Division of Electronic Media, which encourages graduates to “give one day” to CCM in order to keep current students supplied with industry-level production equipment.

The Give One Day donation campaign launched at the 2017 E-Media Excellence Awards Ceremony in April. The Division hopes it will raise $33,000 by next spring’s Excellence Awards Ceremony.

The campaign challenges CCM alumni and friends to donate, whether it be one day’s wage or $25, so E-Media can keep up-to-date with professional-quality production equipment for students including cameras, lights, lens and tripods.

“As the owner of a small production company, I need to hire crew with the experience needed for time-sensitive productions,” says Wolf. “We don’t have time to train new hires on the job, so I want to help ensure that the current students in E-Media have their hands on the equipment the professionals are using.”

“Lets raise the funds necessary to keep our program competitive, not only with other schools but with the industry work force.”

Wolf says he was motivated to start the Give One Day campaign about a year ago, when E-Media alumni, faculty and community members united to raise $5,000 in one week for an alumnus in need.

Wolf saw how quickly alumni raised money for a fellow E-Media family member and wanted to channel that passion into a campaign that will benefit the entire Division.

One donation helps E-Media students get one step closer to becoming future directors, cinematographers or film-makers.

You can make a donation to the Give One Day: Electronic Media Alumni Campaign online at ccm.weshareonline.org/ws/opportunities/E-Media

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Photo of SCPA.

SCPA and CCM: Partners in Arts Education

At first glance, recent CCM graduates Ryan Donohue (BM Violincello, 2017) and Jack Bogard (BM Jazz Studies, 2017) may not appear to have much in common. However, they have traversed a unique pipeline of talent that runs from Over-the-Rhine to Clifton. Before their time at CCM, both men graduated from Cincinnati’s School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA). They attended the magnet arts school to prepare for their collegiate education, following a long line of SCPA students who chose to continue their training at CCM.

“For the almost half-century since SCPA was founded, the school’s graduates have matriculated to CCM,” says SCPA Executive Director Nick Nissley. “From there they have found their way to Broadway and LA, and places in between, creating and performing as professional artists. They have also become lawyers, teachers and productive citizens in their communities. Many call Cincinnati home.”

“We’re proud to be a wellspring for this talent pipeline that links Cincinnati’s young, diverse talent with CCM — and ultimately — the rest of the world,” he adds. “This year is no exception, with eight SCPA graduates of our Class of 2017 continuing their education at CCM in the fall.”

The two schools have an established connection in furthering arts education and preparing young artists for professional careers. CCM’s Preparatory and Community Engagement Division (CCM Prep) is partnered with the Cincinnati Public Schools to provide private and group music lessons to students at the SCPA. CCM Prep also works with the City Gospel Mission to present after-school arts activities for elementary students in other Cincinnati Public Schools.

CCM is already seeing the benefits of such partnerships, as it counted 16 SCPA graduates amongst its collegiate student population in 2016-17, a number which has increased for 2017-18.

Bogard says the SCPA gave him a “high school flavored analogue” of his experience at CCM. “In addition to the academic coursework I was involved in, the kinds of ensembles and other musical experiences I was fortunate enough to have at SCPA gave me a breadth of experience and knowledge that prepared me well for the challenges and opportunities I was going to have at CCM.”

CCM Professor and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra cellist Alan Rafferty with Ryan Donohue.

Donohue agrees. “At CCM, you are always around music,” he says. “With the amount of practice and rehearsal time necessary to truly capitalize on what CCM offers, you are required to immerse yourself in music. SCPA provided me with a preview of this. Attending a high school that puts heavy emphasis on the arts, I spent much more time with my cello than I would have at a more traditional high school. When I got to CCM, I was already used to having orchestra rehearsals on most days.”

The graduating seniors plan to continue their arts education in graduate school and will use the upcoming year to prepare for auditions. Over the summer, Donohue will spend one month in Japan participating in the Pacific Music Festival. He also performs in the Blue Ash Montgomery Symphony Orchestra and teaches private lessons to young cellists.

“It is vital for people who are interested in playing music to have good teachers — especially young people, so that their interest is nurtured early on,” says Donohue.

“I teach in hopes that what I say resonates with the students and encourages them to build upon their interest,” adds Donohue.

Bogard shares Donohue’s passion for teaching and will give music lessons to young musicians through Cincinnati Strings beginning in August. He is thankful to the CCM faculty for providing training for his “rather odd set of musical interests.” Bogard plays the violin, mandolin, tenor banjo, guitar and piano. This summer he will play mandolin in Ottorino Respighi’s Roman Festivals with the National Repertory Orchestra.

“My jazz violin teacher Paul Patterson has really been the pillar of my experience at CCM,” says Bogard. “While officially he teaches me jazz violin, we have covered everything from plectrum choice for orchestral mandolin solos, orchestral violin excerpts, string quartet arranging, how to play under a microphone as a violinist, chord voicings for fingerstyle guitar and so many other things. I can’t put into words how thankful I am that I was able to study with him.”

Bogard regularly freelances with performance ensembles throughout the Tristate including the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Ohio Valley Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. As he prepares for graduate school, Bogard plans to apply to play in pre-professional orchestras such as the New World Symphony Orchestra in Miami and the Chicago Civic Orchestra.

“Looking back at the past four years, perhaps what I am most thankful for is how supportive the faculty at CCM has been,” Donohue recalls. “As a musician and as a person, I have grown more than I had thought possible four years ago, and that is largely due to the faculty, especially my teacher Alan Rafferty, constantly pushing and inspiring me.”

Both students began their path to careers as professional artists at the SCPA and CCM. They were not the first to do so and they most certainly will not be the last.

“SCPA and CCM are natural partners in arts education,” comments CCM Interim Dean bruce mcclung. “From CCM providing Suzuki string training to SCPA Grades 1-3 to the eight SCPA graduates who will be continuing their education at CCM in the fall, I hope that we can continue to grow and to deepen our partnership.”

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CCM Voice Student Performs at Kennedy Center as a VSA International Young Soloist

Natalie Sheppard.

Natalie Sheppard.

As a winner of the VSA International Young Soloist Award, CCM voice student Natalie Sheppard performs at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 25. This year marks the 33rd anniversary of the VSA International Young Soloists Competition, a Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability Program that recognizes talented, emerging artists ages 14-25 with disabilities from all over the world.

In addition to Sheppard, the concert features her fellow award winners including pianist Elliot McClain of Tennessee, pianist Kohlin Sekizawa of California and classical saxophonist Jessica Tucker of Nevada. The award winners each receive $2,000 and the opportunity to perform at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. The performance will be live streamed on the Kennedy Center’s Facebook page and on kennedy-center.org.

Sheppard, a mezzo-soprano, begins her junior year at CCM in the fall, studying with Professor William McGraw. She praises McGraw for “his complete knowledge of the voice, the way he nurtures young artists and his kind heart.”

“He knows how to push his students toward success and gives us the tools we need, but never allows us to be too hard on ourselves,” Sheppard adds.

Sheppard says she has dealt with anxiety and depression for most of her life but that music has been a source of therapy for her. She studies voice and international human rights, and hopes to combine the two disciplines in her work. She currently works with children with disabilities and uses music to teach them life skills.

“I have always believed that as artists and musicians, it is our duty to use our unique medium for good,” Sheppard says. “As a singer, we carry grand responsibility. We posses a public voice. I really want to be a voice for minorities and those who have faced extreme hardships around the world. I plan to combine activism work with recitals.”

At the Kennedy Center concert, she plans to sing a song cycle titled Love After 1950 by Libby Larsen. It features collected poetry written by women. Sheppard will also work with Larsen this summer as a Colburn Fellow at SongFest in Los Angeles.

“Art is an outlet for many,” Sheppard says. “It is crucial that we become more accepting of those with mental illness, and come together as collaborators, not as competitors. I have many friends who suffer from very similar mental disorders. I encourage them to apply for this same award and to be a strong voice for those with all types of anxiety and depression.”

Visit the Kennedy Center’s Facebook page or website to watch Sheppard’s performance at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 25.

 

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CCM Director of Development Sarah Mizelle

UC Alumna Sarah Mizelle Joins CCM’s Office of Development and External Relations

University of Cincinnati alumna Sarah Mizelle has been named CCM’s new Director of Development and External Relations. A graduate of UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business (MBA, 2011) and College-Conservatory of Music (MA Arts Administration, 2013), Mizelle begins her new position on Monday, May 22.

“We are thrilled to welcome Sarah back to the UC Foundation and CCM,” says Karen Tully, CCM’s Senior Director of Development and External Relations. “I had the pleasure of getting to know Sarah while she served as a graduate assistant in CCM’s Development and External Relations Office from 2009 to 2011. She quickly became a valuable member of our team, coordinating many of the outreach and special events sponsored by CCMpower, our volunteer fundraising organization. We are delighted to have her rejoin the CCM family.”

Mizelle returns to CCM with a decade’s worth of leadership experience in building strong school communities through student, alumni and donor engagement. She most recently served as Executive Director of the Madeira Schools Foundation, where she successfully oversaw a $600,000 capital campaign to build a new fitness center at Madeira High School. During her tenure, the Madeira Schools Foundation’s annual auction also achieved the highest gross profit since its inception in 1985.

Prior to her position at the Madeira Schools Foundation, Mizelle was Executive Director of the Friends of the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA), an organization dedicated to securing resources that enhance SCPA’s creative environment and enable the development of each student’s artistic potential.

Mizelle worked in CCM’s Development Office during her time as a student in CCM’s Arts Administration graduate program. She also served as manger of social media marketing and public relations for a CCM summer festival in Spoleto, Italy, in 2011.

Mizelle received her BM in Music Education from Miami University, Oxford, in 2004. She has continued her involvement in music and the performing arts throughout her career, volunteering for such organizations as People Working Cooperatively (PWC) Ohio and Cincinnati Music Theatre. At Cincinnati Music Theatre, Mizelle served as vocal director for productions of The Music Man and Sunset Boulevard and artistic director for Crazy For You, each of which won an Orchid Award for Excellence from the Cincinnati Association of Community Theatres.

“The arts have been an enormous part of my life and have shaped who I am today,” says Mizelle. “I am beyond thrilled to return to CCM, an institution where the arts thrive everyday. I am proud to have the opportunity to further the mission of such a truly special place.”

Please join us in welcoming Sarah Mizelle back to the CCM family!

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CCM Summer Merchandise Available for Online Purchase

The countdown to buy official UC College-Conservatory of Music summer merchandise has begun. Red-and-white baseball tees, black tank tops, grey T-shirts and women’s athletic shorts, all emblazoned with the new UC-CCM logo, are available for purchase online through June 2.

CCM's summer line of officially branded merchandise is available online https://uc.ignitecx.com/CCMSummer.

CCM’s summer line of officially branded merchandise is available online https://uc.ignitecx.com/CCMSummer.

Organized by the CCM Student Tribunal, the summer line of “CCM Swag” can be ordered online at uc.ignitecx.com/CCMSummer.

The profits from the CCM merchandise sales help students achieve goals that would be impossible without additional financial assistance, including hosting master classes and putting on undergraduate productions, as well as projects that promote the well-being of the student body in general, such as purchasing additional music stands for the Memorial Hall practice rooms.

About CCM Tribunal
CCM Tribunal is the undergraduate Student Government at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. The Tribunal is comprised of students from every department within CCM.  The organization’s mission is to provide support for CCM students by sponsoring projects that would otherwise not come to fruition. In addition, CCM Tribunal hosts school-wide social events throughout the year, provides concessions for CCM’s Mainstage Series productions, holds fundraisers for community engagement programs like WhizKids and participates in UC’s Relay for Life.  All of these efforts go toward creating ONECCM!

You can learn more about the CCM Tribunal by visiting ccm.uc.edu/tribunal.

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Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

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Alumnus Christopher Allen Receives $30K Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award

The Solti Foundation U.S. recently announced that CCM Alumnus Christopher Allen (MM Orchestral Conducting, 2011) is the recipient of the $30,000 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award — the largest grant awarded to young American conductors in the U.S.

“We are most pleased to announce Christopher Allen will receive this year’s Solti Conducting Award,” stated Penny Van Horn, Board Chair of the Solti Foundation U.S. “Christopher, previously recognized with a Career Assistance Award in 2016, exemplifies our objective of supporting talented young American Conductors as they continue to develop their orchestral and operatic conducting skills. His exceptional young career promises to fulfill our goal and extend Sir Georg’s legacy.”

This year, the Solti Foundation U.S. increased the monetary value of the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award from $25,000 to $30,000 to help “ensure that our young conductors have the opportunity to demonstrate their musicianship, leadership and full potential to the broadest possible audience,” Van Horn said.

Recipients may use the financial grant in various ways to further his or her career, whether it be further studies, purchases of scores, travel, etc. The Award also brings door-opening introductions within the industry and valuable access to mentors. The Foundation’s Board of Directors comprises experts from all areas of the classical music industry.

Christopher Allen.

Recently named the John L. Magro Resident Conductor for Cincinnati Opera, Allen is rapidly gaining attention as a rising conductor on the operatic and symphonic stages. His 2016-17 season highlights include debuts with the Washington National Opera conducting Donizetti’s La fille du regiment, with Florida Grand Opera conducting Cuban-American composer Jorge Martin’s Before Night Falls, and with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis leading the new revised version of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Grapes of Wrath. He also made his Atlanta Symphony Orchestra debut conducting a program of Wagner, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven, and guested at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he led Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas. Recently, he made his UK debut conducting The Barber of Seville at the English National Opera.

Upcoming 2017 summer engagements include leading the Cincinnati Opera’s Washington Park concert for the second year in a row and conducting Barrie Kosky’s production of Die Zauberflote. Next season, Allen returns to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis to conduct a new production of La traviata directed by acclaimed soprano Patricia Racette. He will also conduct the North Carolina premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain and make his Atlanta Opera debut conducting La fille du regiment.

Allen’s previous honors include a Bruno Walter Conducting Award and Memorial Career Grant, which launched his career. He was then fostered by Placido Domingo and James Conlon, who brought him to Los Angeles Opera as an Associate Conductor. He is also a recipient of a 2016 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award. As a CCM student, his production of Benjamin Britten’s Turn of the Screw was awarded a National Opera Association prize.

“It is with special joy that the Artistic Committee has chosen Christopher Allen for this year’s larger Solti Conducting Fellowship award,” said Elizabeth Buccheri, Artistic and Awards Committee Chair of the Solti Foundation U.S. “Christopher has already successfully begun his journey into both the operatic and symphonic worlds. Sir Georg Solti would indeed be pleased.”

About The Solti Foundation U.S.
Now in its thirteenth year of assisting outstanding young U.S. conductors to further develop their talent and careers, The Solti Foundation U.S. is the foremost organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to helping young conductors.

Established in 2000 to honor the memory of Sir Georg Solti by lending significant support to career-ready young American musicians, in 2004, the Foundation concentrated the focus of its award program to exclusively assist talented young American conductors early in their professional careers (its original mission was of a more general arts nature). Since then, it has awarded over $412,500 in grants to American conductors.

The Foundation endeavors to seek out those musicians who have chosen to follow a path similar to that followed by Sir Georg himself. In keeping with the spirit of Sir Georg’s active approach to his career, young conductors must apply to be considered for the awards.

While dedicated to identifying and assisting young conductors early on, the Foundation is also concerned with the long-term development of its award recipients, continuing to offer support and maintaining a constant interest in their growth and achievements.

The Foundation currently awards the following grants annually:

The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award – The largest grant currently given to American conductors in the formative years of their careers, the prestigious $30,000 grant is given annually to a single promising American conductor 38 years of age or younger. The Award, also known as The Solti Fellow, includes door-opening introductions, ongoing professional mentoring, and introductions to two of Chicago’s most prestigious performing organizations: Lyric Opera of Chicago and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Past recipients include Karina Canellakis, Vladimir Kulenovic, Cristian Macelaru, James Feddeck, Case Scaglione, Eric Nielsen and Anthony Barrese.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award – The amount of the Career Assistance Awards varies.

Opera Residency Program – Introduced in the 2014-15 season, the program places former award recipients with a distinguished opera house for one-on-one mentoring and coaching of an opera during the company’s professional season. Conductors cannot apply, but are instead selected by the Artistic and Awards Committee.

The Foundation is currently the only American Foundation to grant these kinds of awards each year to young American conductors. Citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are career-ready artists in the field of conducting are eligible to apply.

For more information on the Solti Foundation U.S., visit soltifoundation.us.

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CCM Alumna Betsy Wolfe to Replace Sara Bareilles in Broadway’s ‘Waitress’

CCM Musical Theatre alumna Betsy Wolfe (BFA 2004) has made a name for herself by winning major roles, including Cordelia in the current Broadway revival of Falsettos, which was recently nominated for five Tony Awards. She will take on her next Broadway role as Jenna Hunterson in Waitress on June 13.

Waitress features music and lyrics by six-time Grammy Award nominee Sara Bareilles, who is currently playing Jenna on Broadway. Bareilles is leaving the show on June 11, and Wolfe will take her place.

The musical is about a waitress and excellent pie-maker (Jenna) who feels trapped in her loveless marriage and small town. A baking contest and the arrival of an attractive young doctor help her realize her dreams, giving her a chance at a fresh start. With a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson and direction by Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus, the musical is based on the 2007 film of the same name.

Wolfe was recently awarded CCM’s 2017 Musical Theatre Young Alumni Award, which recognizes the outstanding professional achievements of young graduates of the college’s Musical Theatre program. She returned to CCM in March for the annual Musical Theatre Senior Showcase and spoke to students about her career.

Local audiences may remember Wolfe from the enormously successful semi-staged version of The Music Man, which she starred in with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra in May 2015.

Since graduating from CCM, Wolfe has starred in 110 in the Shade, Everyday Rapture, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Bullets Over Broadway and Falsettos. She also starred in the off-Broadway revival of The Last Five Years and in Merrily We Roll Along at City Center Encores. She’s been a hot commodity on the concert circuit as well, having soloed with the Cincinnati Pops, New York Pops, New York City Ballet and more.

For more information about Wolfe visit broadwayworld.com/people/Betsy-Wolfe/.

For more information on Waitress visit waitressthemusical.com.

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Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

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