Getting to Know Susan Yang, CCM Graduate Student and Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Arts Award Recipient

CCM graduate student and Jack Kent Cooke Scholar Susan Yang.

CCM graduate student and Jack Kent Cooke Scholar Susan Yang.

We are thrilled to report that first-year CCM graduate student Susan Yang has been awarded a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Arts Award, based on her outstanding artistic and creative merit in addition to a record of academic achievement!

A Master of Music candidate in Piano at CCM, Yang is one of 20 student recipients of the Foundation’s 2013 Graduate Arts Award. Jack Kent Cooke Scholars receive up to $50,000 per year for up to three years in order to attend accredited graduate institutions like CCM in the United States or abroad.

Now in its third year, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Arts Award elicited 449 applications and portfolios from 43 states and the District of Columbia. The 20 winners represent just four percent of the total applicant pool. They were selected by a 38-member panel of experienced artists and arts educators in the fields of music, dance, theatre, creative writing, visual arts and film.

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CCM’s Amy Dennison Receives 2013 National Guild Milestone Certificate of Appreciation

Jonathan Herman, Executive Director of the National Guild, with CCM Assistant Dean Amy Dennison.

Jonathan Herman, Executive Director of the National Guild, with CCM Assistant Dean Amy Dennison.

We are delighted to report that Amy Dennison, Assistant Dean and Director of CCM’s Preparatory Department, has received the 2013 Milestone Certificate of Appreciation from the National Guild for Community Arts Education for her long-standing, exceptional service to the field! Dennison is one of seven community arts education leaders to receive this honor.

The goal of the Milestone program—now in its second year— is to recognize executive directors or divisional directors at Guild member organizations who have demonstrated a commitment to supporting and advancing community arts education for more than 20 years. Certificates were presented at the Guild’s Annual Meeting at the Conference for Community Arts Education in Chicago last Friday, Nov. 1.

“The National Guild is thrilled to recognize these exceptional leaders for their vision and dedication to community arts education,” said Jonathan Herman, executive director of the National Guild. “Through their decades-long work with communities and their service to the field, this year’s Milestone recipients have each made a powerful contribution to increasing access to arts education for all.”

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CCM Dance Kicks-Off Anniversary Season with Fall Dance Concert Nov. 16 and 17

Photograph from 'Serenade' by Rene Micheo. Choreography by George Balanchine, copyright The George Balanchine Trust.

Photograph from ‘Serenade’ by Rene Micheo. Choreography by George Balanchine, copyright The George Balanchine Trust.

CCM’s Department of Dance opens its 50th Anniversary Season with a demanding and impressive Fall Dance Concert on Saturday, Nov. 16, and Sunday, Nov. 17, in Corbett Auditorium. Department Chair and Professor of Dance Jiang Qi directs. As part of the department’s yearlong anniversary celebration, CCM Dance welcomes honored guests from Cincinnati Ballet for a special performance on Sunday.

The concert features George Balanchine’s ballet Serenade, restaged by guest répétituer and pre-eminent Balanchine scholar Joysanne Sidimus. Sidimus studied under Balanchine at the School of American Ballet and later joined him as a dancer at the New York City Ballet. This is the first ballet that Balanchine choreographed in the United States and is considered to be a masterpiece of 20th century choreography.

CCM seniors Ellyn McCarthy, Christine Humbach, Olivia Lafrenz, Kelly Korfhage and Martin Roosaare, as well as junior dance major Trevor Misplay and exchange student Haojun Xie from the Beijing Dance Academy, will be featured in Serenade. It is a wonderfully energetic piece set to Tchaikovsky’s composition of the same name: Serenade for String Orchestra in C Major, Op. 48. The audience will be delighted by the extensive corps work and enchanted by the poise and mastery of the dancers.

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CCM Student Named Central Region Winner of the Met Opera’s National Council Auditions

CCM student Sofia Selowsky.

CCM student Sofia Selowsky.

We are happy to report that mezzo-soprano Sofia Selowsky is the Central Region Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

A Master of Music candidate studying with CCM Professor of Voice William McGraw, Selowsky will compete in the Semi-Final Auditions on March 23, 2014.

You can learn more about the Met’s 2013-2014 National Council Audition Results here.

Earlier this year, Selowsky won the Italo Tajo Memorial Award during CCM’s 2013 Opera Scholarship Competition.

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Remembering the University of Cincinnati’s Wilson Auditorium

UC's Wilson Auditorium.

UC’s Wilson Auditorium.

This month, the University of Cincinnati says goodbye to the 81-year-old Wilson Auditorium, the debut venue for CCM’s Musical Theatre program (with the 1969 production of Sweet Charity) and the onetime home of CCM’s Department of Drama.

Originally opened in December of 1931, the building was constructed in remembrance of Obed J. Wilson, a local self-made businessman and arts advocate. At the time of its opening, the building featured then cutting-edge amenities including a projection room for “motion-and-sound pictures” with the capability of relaying radio broadcasts.

Vacant for the past decade and a half, Wilson Auditorium’s demolition was approved in 2006 and is scheduled to be completed this fall.

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To mark the end of an era, CCM Drama Chair Richard E. Hess looks back on the impressive legacy of Wilson Auditorium:

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CCM Commercial Music Production Student Competes in National Songwriter Competition

Commercial Music Production major Léa Verlin.

Commercial Music Production major Léa Verlin.

You can see and hear second year Commercial Music Production (CMP) major Léa Verlin in action thanks to Guitar Center’s “Singer Songwriter with Don Was” competition. Verlin is participating in this year’s contest, which is open to individual singer-songwriters performing original music and offers the chance to win a four-song EP produced by Grammy-winner Don Was along with $25,000 in cash.

Out of the nearly 10,000 songwriters participating, Verlin’s entry is currently ranked in the top 100! Each week, the 10 submissions with the most online activity will be selected for review by the competition’s judging panel.  Show your support by listening to and then sharing her song “Flying High” here. You can also watch her video for “Flying High” below.

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM’s ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ Earns 4.5 Star Rating by the League of Cincinnati Theatres

CCM’s proudly presents ‘Singin' in the Rain,’ running through Sunday, Nov. 3. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s proudly presents ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ running through Sunday, Nov. 3. Photography by Mark Lyons.

We are delighted to report that panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized CCM’s Mainstage Series production of the classic film musical Singin’ in the Rain with a four and a half star rating!

Panelists praised the production as “Joyful, happy, shining and memorable… An uplifting story and a treat for the eyes.” Diane Lala was commended both for her direction (“a standout production all-around with many delightful and excellent elements that really lived up to the silver screen standard of the film”) and for her contribution to the choreography, along with co-choreographer Patti James: “Covering multiple styles and always challenging the students, the choreography was truly the star of this show, and it was executed brilliantly by the talented performers.”

Ryan Sigurdson’s music direction was also recognized as “solid and impressive”. Scenic Designer Mark Halpin delivered a wonderful set—“layered in a complex, but very functional way that delivered the many silver-screen settings”–and technical director Steve Miller was also given a nod for his contribution to the “fantastic and well-executed” rain effects in the iconic title number. Reba Senske’s costume design was described as “numerous, timely, lush, complimentary to character, and a delight to look at.” Finally, from a technical aspect, CCM Electronic Media students were recognized for the “hilarious” and “seamlessly executed” videos they created for many of the scenes.

From a performance standpoint, the entire ensemble was applauded for outstanding dancing and singing.” Matt Hill, as Cosmo Brown, and Sarah Bishop, as Lina Lamont, were particularly singled out as “dead-on portraying their characters and handling the timing and humor effectively.”

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IT’S A SMASH! Rave Reviews for CCM’s ‘Singin’ in the Rain’

CCM’s proudly presents ‘Singin' in the Rain,’ running through Sunday, Nov. 3. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s proudly presents ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ running through Sunday, Nov. 3. Photography by Mark Lyons.

The reviews are in and the critics are calling CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Singin’ in the Rain a must-see theatre event!

In his review for Theatre Reviews Limited, Rafael de Acha suggests: “the show is one of the best, if not the best production of a musical I’ve seen in my three years in Cincinnati.” Read the full review here.

Rick Pender calls the production “a fabulous recreation of the iconic 1952 movie that featured Gene Kelly” in his CityBeat review. “If you love musicals,” he explains, “you should run, don’t walk to the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music this weekend for the short run of Singin’ in the Rain.” Read the full review here.

David Lyman calls the production “a delight” in his review for the Cincinnati Enquirer, concluding: “It’s pleasurable and immensely satisfying. It is, as Lala wrote in her program notes, like visiting an old friend.” Read the full review here.

In his review for Talkin’ Broadway, Scott Cain says, “The show flows at a quick pace and has apt tone and blocking. The dances, including lots of wonderful tap numbers, are vibrant, fun, and well-executed. Ryan Sigurdson leads a lush 27-piece orchestra that couldn’t sound any better.” Read the full review here.

Singin’ in the Rain runs through Sunday, Nov. 3, in Corbett Auditorium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.

Tickets and subscription packages are on sale now, but only a handful of seats remain, so don’t delay – contact the CCM Box Office today!

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CCM Wind Orchestra Invites Audiences on ‘Romantic Voyages’

CCM's Wind Symphony. Image by UC Photographic Services.

CCM’s Wind Orchestra. Image by UC Photographic Services.

The CCM Wind Orchestra presents a program of musical “Romantic Voyages” at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7, in Corbett Auditorium under the direction of Professor Glenn D. Price.

The CCM Wind Orchestra is poised to deliver an evening of rich music featuring compositions by Brouwer, Graham, Ellerby and de Meij. Despite the diversity of styles among the pieces, each one will similarly transport the listener through the evening’s festive set of romantic programming.

Scottish composer Peter Graham’s Harrison’s Dream was commissioned by the United States Air Force Band and won the 2002 American Bandmasters Association Ostwald Award. Extreme Makeover by Dutch composer Johan de Meij consists of a set of metamorphoses on a theme from Tchaikovsky’s well-known Andante cantabile from String Quartet No. 1 in D. The audience will also hear Cuban composer Leo Brouwer’s famous Cancion de Geste (For the Boat Loaded with the Future) and English composer Martin Ellerby’s Neapolitan Serenade to round out the program.

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CCM Professor Miguel Roig-Francolí’s Compositions Receive New York Premiere at Carnegie Hall on Nov. 17

Miguel A. Roig-Francolí Professor, Music Theory & Composition, College-Conservatory of Music. photo/Lisa Ventre

Miguel A. Roig-Francolí Professor, Music Theory & Composition, College-Conservatory of Music. photo/Lisa Ventre

New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall will host a unique birthday celebration on Sunday, Nov. 17, as pianist Adam Kent and special guests present an evening of music by CCM Professor of Music Theory and Composition Miguel Roig-Francolí, presented in honor of the composer’s 60th anniversary.

The program will include the New York City premieres of Roig-Francolí’s Cinco Canciones con los Ojos Cerrados for soprano and piano, Sonata for violoncello and piano, and Songs of Light and Darkness for piano trio. Cincinnati audiences received a preview of this program at CCM on Oct. 8.

As Roig-Francolí explained to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Janelle Gelfand, “A monographic Carnegie Hall recital is a very exciting event for any musician, let alone a composer – the type of event that happens only every 60 years, if it does at all. So I feel fortunate, grateful, humbled and excited that several institutions and a fabulous roster of performers have teamed together to make this possible.”

The Carnegie Hall performance will feature Jennifer Roig-Francolí, violin; Julia MacLaine, cello; Abigail Santos Villalobos, soprano; Adam Kent, piano; and the Damocles Trio (Airi Yoshioka, violin; Sibylle Johner, cello; Adam Kent, piano).

Mary Ellyn Hutton called the Oct. 8 preview performance “engrossing” in her review for Music in Cincinnati, commenting that “each work on the program was directly appealing and was marked by superb craftsmanship and vibrant color.” You can read Hutton’s full review of the concert at www.musicincincinnati.com.

Learn more about the Carnegie Hall performance courtesy of Cincinnati.com. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 17, in the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall in New York. For more information, or to purchase tickets to the Carnegie Hall performance, visit www.carnegiehall.org.

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