Students in UC's Production Master Class documenting 'Expedition Alaska 2015.'

UC Production Master Class Films 2015 Expedition Alaska Adventure Race

This summer, the University of Cincinnati’s Production Master Class changes venues from California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range to the pristine wilderness of Alaska to document Expedition Alaska 2015, a 350 mile, seven day non-stop adventure race from June 28 to July 5.

A crew of seven UC students is in Alaska now, working with media professionals to develop a documentary film covering this extraordinary sporting event!

A premier qualifying race for the Adventure Racing World Series, Expedition Alaska 2015 features ocean kayaking, whitewater rafting, glacier trekking, rock climbing and mountain biking. Four person teams, comprised of the world’s best endurance athletes, will navigate by map and compass through the stunning scenery of the world’s most remote, famous and beautiful terrain, the Kenai Peninsula.

The UC Production Master Class involves an interdisciplinary group of students and faculty from the University of Cincinnati who work with nationally recognized television and film professionals to produce digital media content that reaches a national and global audience.

Since 2012, the UC Production Master Class has involved over 90 UC students hailing from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

UC Production Master Class.Developed by CCM Professor Kevin Burke and UC Alumnus and Emmy award-winning producer Brian J. Leitten (BFA, 2001), the UC Production Master Course was first funded by a three-year grant from the UC Forward Collaborative, an initiative that supports experiential learning and is part of the UC Academic Master Plan. Earlier this year, UC President Santa Ono pledged additional funding, which allowed the production to continue beyond its initial three-year grant period.

The goal was to create a transformative, “hands-on” experience for the students by taking them out of the classroom and into the field to produce the documentary series that could be distributed to a national television audience.

The project’s initial three years focused on the Gold Rush Expedition Race, a grueling 275-mile race through the California wilderness. Three 90-minute films were produced to document that race. All three films have aired nationally on NBC’s Universal Sports Network.

The 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary film was recently nominated for an Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in the professional category of Best Documentary – Cultural/Topical. You can learn more about that nomination by visiting http://www.uc.edu/news/NR.aspx?id=21859.

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Universal Sports Network Premieres Student-Produced ‘2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race’ Film Tonight

Photography by Kaori Funahashi.

Photography by Kaori Funahashi.

The Universal Sports Network presents the premiere broadcast of the student-produced 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary film at 6:30 p.m. ET tonight, Oct. 24!

The Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary films chronicle one of the foremost expedition races in the world. Each 90-minute documentary features an international field of 50 elite athletes tackling a grueling 275-mile course through the California wilderness as they test their mental and physical limits in the toughest competition in North America. Over the course of four days, teams face merciless heat and sleepless nights while trekking, mountain biking, climbing and kayaking amidst the beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The race is part of the Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS) and the winning team receives an entry into the ARWS World Championship.

Each film has been produced by a team of UC students hailing from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP), and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

Working under the guidance of professional television director/producer and CCM Electronic Media (E-Media) alumnus Brian J. Leitten (BFA, 2001) and E-Media Professor Kevin Burke, these students shot, edited, scripted and produced the film on location in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Both Leitten and Burke advise the project and provide professional guidance and feedback to the students during all phases of the documentary’s development.

Earlier this month, GearJunkie.com hailed the Gold Rush Expedition Race project as “undoubtedly one of the most amazing educational initiatives we’ve seen.”

Learn more about the Gold Rush Expedition Race project by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/notations-ovations/student-produced-film-series-airs-on-universal-sports-network.

All broadcast times Eastern and subject to change. Learn more about the Universal Sports Network by visiting http://universalsports.com.

CCM News

CCM E-Media Premieres Student-Produced Adventure Race Documentary Film

2013GoldPoster2014CCM’s Division of Electronic Media proudly presents a premiere screening of the documentary film 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 23, in UC’s MainStreet Cinema in the Tangeman University Center. Admission to this screening is free.

The latest in a series of UC student-produced documentaries, this film follows the “Gold Rush Mother Lode” adventure race, which is one of the foremost adventure races in the world. The documentary follows the story of 56 international racers as they run, mountain bike, kayak, orienteer and climb cliffs during a non-stop, grueling week of competition in California.

Originating in CCM E-Media, the Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary series is sponsored by the UC Forward initiative in the Provost’s Office. The 2013 installment was produced by 31 students from seven different academic programs at CCM, UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) and UC’s McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

In September of 2013, nine students from all three colleges flew to the Sierra Nevada mountains of California to film this documentary with distinguished CCM alumnus Brian J. Leitten (BFA, 2001), a professional film and television producer/director. Upon their return, the larger group began editing the documentary, working closely with Associate Professor Yoshiko Burke and her group of eight designers from the Graphic Communication Design program at DAAP.

CCM alumnus Brian J. Leitten.

CCM alumnus Brian J. Leitten.

About Brian Leitten
Brian J. Leitten is a 2014 recipient of UC’s Jeffrey Hurwitz Young Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award. An accomplished graduate of CCM E-Media, Leitten began his entertainment career with a five-year stint in the Music and Talent Department at MTV in New York working on music programming, development and events such as the VMAs, New Year’s Eve and the Movie Awards. From there he moved to producing and directing the MTV program MADE, ultimately winning an Emmy for his work. Many other projects followed, including establishing his own production company, Hyperion XIII, in 2011, and later becoming the Director of Productions for Vevo, the world’s leading all-premium music video and entertainment platform. He has also produced for Comedy Central and Fuse TV.

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CCM’s Bearcat Piano Festival Presents 2013 World Piano Competition Gold Medalist Marianna Prjevalskaya in Concert on Feb. 8

World Piano Competition : Gold winner Marianna Prjevalskaya of Spain performs during The World Piano Competition in the final round in the Corbett Auditorium Theater at the College Conservatory of Music on the University of Cincinnati campus. Courtesy of Enquirer Media.

World Piano Competition : Gold winner Marianna Prjevalskaya of Spain performs during The World Piano Competition in the final round in the Corbett Auditorium Theater at the College Conservatory of Music on the University of Cincinnati campus. Courtesy of Enquirer Media.

CCM proudly presents 2013 World Piano Competition Gold Medalist Marianna Prjevalskaya in concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8, as part of the fifth annual Bearcat Piano FestivalTickets for this performance are on sale now.

This concert marks the first time in the history of the World Piano Competition that the winner is presented in a public recital. You can listen to CCM Piano Department Chair Awadagin Pratt speak to the novelty of this exciting performance courtesy of Cincinnati Public Radio here.

Prjevalskaya will perform Debussy’s Preludes Book II, along with the following works by Rachmaninoff:

  • Etude-Tableau in D Minor, Op. 33, No. 4
  • Variations on a Theme by Corelli, Op. 42
  • Etude-Tableau in C-sharp Minor, Op. 33, No. 8
  • Prelude in D-flat Major, Op. 32, No. 13

CCM News

CCM Performances and Collaborations Highlighted on Several “Best of 2013” Lists

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As we ring in a new year, several local arts writers have released their “year in review” lists for 2013. Rafael de Acha, Mary Ellyn Hutton, Kirk Sheppard, Rick Pender and Janelle Gelfand help us take a look back at the year that was:

In his “best of” roundup for Music for All Seasons, Rafael de Acha commented, “(CCM) consistently achieves professional level in its numerous productions of operas, musicals and concerts which approached the four-digit mark this past year.” Last spring’s original production of Into a Lamplit Room: The Songs of Kurt Weill and the recent concert production of Verdi’s Don Carlos, along with CCM’s Mainstage Series productions of Singin’ in the Rain and Owen Wingrave, all received special mention in de Acha’s review.

Mary Ellyn Hutton presented her top 16 performances for Music in Cincinnati, which included three CCM productions: Verdi’s Don Carlos, Bach’s St. John Passion and Britten’s Owen Wingrave. Of Verdi’s Don Carlos, Hutton commented, “This gets my vote as perhaps the single finest concert of 2013 in Cincinnati.”

Compiled for The Snappy Critic, Kirk Sheppard‘s list of favorite theatre productions of 2013 included last spring’s Mainstage production of The Threepenny Opera and the Studio production of Parade produced in collaboration with the Carnegie in Covington. This past fall’s CCM productions of Carrie and Singin’ in the Rain also made Sheppard’s list.

Rick Pender included two CCM productions in his 2013 round up of theatre in Cincinnati for CityBeat. Last spring’s co-production of Parade with the Carnegie and the recent Mainstage production of Singin’ in the Rain received special attention.

Janelle Gelfand also included CCM’s massive concert production of Don Carlos in her list of “Top 13 Classical Music Shows in 2013” for the Cincinnati Enquirer. In addition to her performance-specific list, she published a summary of “arts highlights” for the year, which included the work of the MYCincinnati after-school program in East Price Hill (learn more about CCM’s connection to the organization here) and the new partnership between Cincinnati’s World Piano Competition, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and CCM.

What were your favorite performances of 2013? What are you looking forward to most in 2014? Get a first look at what’s coming up at CCM in 2014 here!

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CCM and the ‘Mary Poppins’ Connection

CCM alumna Ashley Brown (far left) as Mary Poppins on Broadway.

CCM alumna Ashley Brown (far left) as Mary Poppins on Broadway.

Saving Mr. Banks opens in movie theaters today to remind us how in 1962 Walt Disney turned the original Mary Poppins into something magical. But its magic continued to grow in the following half a century with each doll, storybook and set of branded building blocks that were created.

Perhaps its biggest spoonful of sugar might have been the 2006 Broadway opening of Mary Poppins the musical, starring CCM alumna Ashley Brown (BFA, 04) in the title role. All told, five CCM alumni appeared in the cast.

On Broadway, Brown was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for her performance as Mary Poppins. The musical won one Tony and was nominated for seven more, including best musical. It also won two Drama Desk Awards and was nominated for five more. Ultimately, the musical won 44 major theatre awards around the globe.

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Four Current and Former CCM Students Featured in Fort Wayne Philharmonic’s Holiday Pops Concert

From left, Blaine Krauss, Kelsey Crismon, Christine Cornish Smith and Nathaniel Irvin will perform at the “Holiday Pops.”

From left, Blaine Krauss, Kelsey Crismon, Christine Cornish Smith and Nathaniel Irvin will perform at the “Holiday Pops.”

Keiara Carr recently profiled CCM alumna Kelsey Crismon (BFA, 2013) for Fort Wayne’s Journal Gazette.

Crismon will be joined by fellow Musical Theatre alumna Christine Cornish Smith (BFA, 2013) and current Musical Theatre majors Blaine Krauss and Nathaniel Irvin for Fort Wayne Philharmonic’s annual “Holiday Pops” concert on Dec. 20 and 21.

Speaking of her ability to jump from her recent work in New York to this holiday concert with classmates she has not seen in nearly a year, Crismon  says, “That’s what CCM teaches you – it teaches you how to multitask so that you’re able to give everything you do 100 percent.”

Read the entire profile online courtesy of the Journal Gazette.

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