UC's Digital Media Collaborative.

Digital Media Cluster Hires Bring Filmmaking, Program-Building Expertise to UC

Matt Irvine.

Matt Irvine.

Building a digital media program from the ground up comes naturally to Matt Irvine, who joins the University of Cincinnati in fall 2015 as the inaugural director of the Digital Media Collaborative (DMC), a collective effort between the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), the College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning (DAAP), the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences and UC Libraries.

The DMC began with seed funding from President Santa Ono’s Transformation Fund matched by CCM, DAAP and A&S, and was successfully launched as part of Provost Davenport’s Cluster Hiring initiative.

Kristyn Benedyk.

Kristyn Benedyk.

Irvine, who joins UC with appointments across all of the related areas, comes to Cincinnati from DePaul University, where he was instrumental in founding DePaul’s School of Cinematic Arts. The school, which is ranked in the top 20 film schools in the nation, includes bachelor’s degrees in animation and digital cinema, bachelor’s of fine arts in animation and graduate degrees in animation, cinema production, documentary, cinema and screenwriting. Irvine will be joined at UC by Kristyn Benedyk, an accomplished screenwriter and teacher who helped launch DePaul’s screenwriting program in 2011. Benedyk, who is also Irvine’s wife, will also be appointed across the same three colleges and UC Libraries.

“These dual-career cluster hires exemplify the power of aggressive recruitment and collaboration,” said Provost Beverly Davenport, whose office led the call for cluster hiring in summer 2014. “Together, these three colleges and our libraries were able to woo industry and educational leaders to build an exciting and forward-looking program in Cincinnati.”

The Digital Media Cluster includes multiple departments in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences, CCM’s Division of Electronic Media, and Graphic Communication Design and Media Art out of DAAP, as well as technology and other resources from UC Libraries. “Speaking on behalf of my fellow deans who are involved in this collaborative, we are extremely enthusiastic about Matt and Kristyn’s hire,” said Peter Landgren, dean of CCM, the home college for both new faculty members.

“Their talents will enhance the existing strengths of our colleges, allowing us to provide our students with the creative, intellectual and interdisciplinary skills necessary to make an impact in the constantly changing digital media landscape.”

“There’s an excitement in Cincinnati,” Irvine said. “There has been so much support from everybody.”

Benedyk, who leaves her post as chair of the screenwriting program at DePaul, agreed. “There are already so many incredibly talented faculty at UC working in established, interesting and successful programs,” said Benedyk, who founded and produced a successful annual entertainment writers’ conference in Chicago. “I think it is great that the Digital Media Cluster is going to bring all of those people together working towards a shared objective that will result in UC becoming one of the top destinations for media education in the country.”

Both Benedyk and Irvine credited UC’s Cluster Hiring initiative and Dual Career Assistance program, both led by Provost Beverly Davenport, for sparking their interest in and eventually their commitments to Cincinnati.

“We’re better together than we are apart,” he said.

For Benedyk, whose background in Education fuels her passion for teaching, the move, in the end, was about quality of life.

“The dual career program was a huge draw for me,” said Benedyk, who was impressed by the reaction she got from faculty and administrators when she visited campus. “I immediately felt very welcomed as a potential faculty member.”

UC’s Cluster Hiring Initiative, launched by the Office of the Provost, supports existing and emerging partnerships within and between colleges, divisions and areas. Cluster hiring investments harness the power of faculty members focused on solving the world’s biggest challenges through leading-edge research and interdisciplinary collaborations that erase boundaries and embrace creative, bold ideas. Designed to attract top-quality faculty from around the world, UC’s Clusters represent the university’s commitment to investing in faculty and interdisciplinary problem-solving. The Provost’s Dual Career Assistance program dedicates funds and resources to accommodate job candidates and employees with opportunities to sustain healthy, connected families.

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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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Cincinnati Children's Choir, Ensemble-In-Residence at CCM.

The Cincinnati Children’s Choir Premieres the Winner of its 2015 Competition for Emerging Composers During Annual Spring Concert on May 3

Celebrate "Angelic Spring" with the Cincinnati Children's Choir on May 3, 2015.

Celebrate “Angelic Spring” with the Cincinnati Children’s Choir on May 3, 2015.

CCM presents the Cincinnati Children’s Choir’s annual spring concert, “Angelic Spring,” at 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 3, in Corbett Auditorium. A CCM ensemble-in-residence, the Cincinnati Children’s Choir is directed by Robyn Lana.

Highlights of “Angelic Spring” include Ban Ban Caliban, a choral setting of Shakespearean text composed by Dan Forrest. Performed by the Cincinnati Children’s Choir Bel Canto Choir, the piece is a quirky, fun, octatonic setting for treble choir, piano and percussion including cabasa, ratchet, vibraslap and police whistle. The performance of this piece coincides with the CCM Department of Choral Studies’ ongoing Shakespeare Quadricentennial celebration.

The Bel Canto Choir will also premiere the winner of its national competition for emerging composers. This year’s winner is Kevin Padworski from Denver with his pieceVidi Aquam.

In addition to the Bel Canto Choir, the Con Brio, Vivace and Allegro and Piccolo Coro Choirs, as well as the Cincinnati Girl Choir and Cincinnati Young Men’s Choir will be performing music from around the globe, singing of travel, hope and love. The concert will feature many alumni of the Cincinnati Children’s Choir, along with this year’s graduating seniors.

“Angelic Spring” is the start of a very busy season for the members of the Cincinnati Children’s Choir. Later on this summer, the ensemble will travel to Vatican City to perform in a mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. The Cincinnati Children’s Choir has also been asked to represent the USA at the World Expo in Milan, performing under the American flag. The annual Expo gathers countries from around the world to state their thoughts on a chosen theme. This year’s theme is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.”

The Cincinnati Children’s Choir travels often, although international performances generally happen only once every three years. Since the ensemble had traveled to Beijing in 2014 for the International Children’s Choir Festival, this latest international opportunity was an unexpected honor!

Director Robyn Lana explains, “Participation in the program fosters joyful fulfillment, a sense of achievement, increased independence, confidence and leadership qualities in our choristers.”

Performance Time

5 p.m. Sunday, May 3

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets

Tickets to the Cincinnati Children’s Choirs spring concert are $12 for general admission, $6 for non-UC students and FREE for UC students with valid ID.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online now through our e-Box Office! Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice for CCM Box Office hours and location.

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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

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CCM Voice Student Andrew G. Manea Named Albert Rees Davis Scholar by the Singers’ Club of Cleveland

CCM graduate student Andrew Manea.

CCM graduate student Andrew Manea.

Late last year, CCM master of music in voice candidate Andrew G. Manea was named one of three Albert Rees Davis Scholars in the S. Livingston Mather Scholarship Competition sponsored by the Singers’ Club of Cleveland. A previous Albert Rees Davis Scholar, Manea received a $1,250 cash award.

Manea was one of 16 singers selected from 28 applicants to compete for five scholarships funded by the S. Livingston Mather Charitable Trust, the George L. Hackett Scholarship Endowment and the Albert Rees Davis Endowment Fund, Inc. You can learn more about all of the current scholarship winners by visiting www.singersclub.org/scholarship-winners.

Founded in 1892, the Singers’ Club of Cleveland presents a repertoire of traditional men’s choral music, bold commissioned works and modern compositions. In addition, the Club undertakes challenging pieces typically reserved for professional choruses. A cross section of Greater Cleveland, the members come from varied ages and backgrounds, all sharing a love for performing outstanding vocal music.

A baritone, Manea has performed numerous opera roles at Music Academy of the West, Palacio de la Opera in A Coruña, Spain, Castleton Festival and Cleveland Institute of Music. He sang the role of Father in CCM’s production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel earlier this season.

Learn more about CCM’s remarkable students by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/students.

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CCM Chamber Choir and Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra perform Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610. Photo by Andrew Higley/University of Cincinnati.

CCM Performances Make Critics’ “Best of 2014” Lists

In case you missed it, Music for All Seasons Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Enquirer and Music in Cincinnati have each published “year in review” stories, looking back on the great performances of 2014.

Rafael de Acha selected 10 special performances from 2014 for Music for All Seasons Cincinnati, including:

  • Professor Emeritus Frank Weinstock‘s return to the CCM stage as part of the 2014 Bearcat Piano Festival;
  • Guest artist Andreas Scholl‘s all-Lieder recital at CCM;
  • CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Les Misérables, which “won them a fine judgment from judicious lovers of the musical,” according to de Acha;
  • CCM’s Studio Series production of Chabrier’s L’ étoile;
  • CCM’s Opera d’arte Series production of Ravel’s L’ enfant et les sortilèges;
  • and CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Don Pasquale, directed by the-graudate student Omer Ben-Seadia, who was in “full command of the style that infuses the spirit of Donizetti’s masterpiece,” by de Acha’s estimation.

Janelle Gelfand picked her 14 highlights of 2014 for the Enquirer, including:

Mary Ellyn Hutton widened her selection to 21 highlights for 2014 for Music In Cincinnati, including:

The magic continues in 2015, as CCM presents over 125 major public performances during UC’s Spring Semester, beginning with a faculty artist recital by Pat Linhart and Julie Spangler on Sunday, Jan. 18, and concluding with the CCM Prep Jazz Extravaganza concert on Sunday, May 17!

See a full schedule of events at ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/notations-ovations/spring-2015-calendar-of-events!

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Photo of SCPA.

UC’s College-Conservatory of Music Announces New Scholarship for SCPA Students

Logo for Cincinnati's School for Creative and Performing Arts.CCM is proud to announce a new scholarship opportunity for students graduating from the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA), Cincinnati’s world-class public arts school. This scholarship will be offered to the top SCPA student who successfully applies for admission to CCM each year. The award will cover full tuition for all four years of an undergraduate’s course of study at CCM.

“This commitment to support local talent is in my mind unprecedented and long overdue,” says Peter Landgren, Dean and Thomas James Kelly Professor of Music at CCM. “It is my hope that this full scholarship to CCM will serve as a catalyst for all SCPA students, affirming that a college education at CCM – a nationally ranked and internationally renowned institution for the performing and media arts – is an attainable goal.”

“This scholarship opportunity will have a profound impact on our programs at SCPA and will serve as a powerful motivator to our high school students,” says Isidore L. Rudnick, Artistic Director at SCPA.

The inaugural scholarship to CCM will be offered for Fall of 2015 and will cover full tuition through the 2018-19 academic year. CCM’s Dean will select the scholarship recipient each year.

This newly endowed scholarship has been made possible by the funding support of the Friends of CCM volunteer organization and an anonymous family foundation.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the visionary thinking of the local family foundation that agreed to accept the Friends of CCM’s match to fund this initial scholarship,” says Landgren. “While we regularly attract students from 47 US states and 37 countries, this new scholarship allows us to better support the talent that SCPA is nurturing in our own backyard. I am confident that this investment in Cincinnati’s best young artists to study at CCM will yield incredible dividends in the years ahead.”

SCPA students interested in learning more about this opportunity should contact CCM’s Office of Admissions at 513-556-9479 or ccmadmis@uc.edu.

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CCM Prep’s Youth Ballet Company Presents Its Annual Fall Concert Dec. 12 and 13

CCM Prep's Youth Ballet Company performing "Sleeping Beauty" at a previous concert. Photography by Ann Choe.

CCM Prep’s Youth Ballet Company performing “Sleeping Beauty” at a previous concert. Photography by Ann Choe.

CCM’s Preparatory Department presents its annual Fall Youth Ballet Concert with a mix of traditional and contemporary ballet on Friday, Dec. 12, and Saturday, Dec. 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the Patricia Corbett Theater. Jonnie Lynn Jacobs-Percer directs.

This year’s program highlights the junior company’s production of Les Sylphides originally choreographed by Michel Fokine with music by Frédéric Chopin. This lighthearted “romantic reverie” unfolds while selphs, greek mythological spirits of the air, dance in the moonlight.

The junior and mini companies will perform an adaptation of Hansel and Gretel with music by Engelbert Humperdinck as well as Les Patineurs with original choreography by Sir Frederick Ashton and music by Giacomo Meyerbeer. This lovely one-act piece depicts a skating party on a frozen lake during a quiet winter’s eve.

The CCM Preparatory Ballet Company consists of three companies: the Mini, the Junior and the Senior Company. There are 50 dancers in the program ranging from age eight through adult.

To receive a program brochure, or receive further information please contact us at 513-556-2595, email ccmprep@uc.edu or visit ccm.uc.edu/prep.

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