CCM alumnus Alex Smith accompanies Lady Gaga on a performance of the national anthem before Super Bowl 50. (Photo: Cary Edmondson, Cary Edmondson/USA TODAY Sports)

CCM Alumni Help Make Super Bowl 50 Performances a Hit

If you were one of the estimated 167 million viewers watching last Sunday’s Super Bowl 50, then you caught two CCM graduates in action!

For her buzzed-about rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” pop singer/songwriter Lady Gaga was joined on piano by CCM alumnus Alex Smith (BM Jazz Studies, 2001).

CCM alumna Lindsey Grebeldinger-Stewart (MM Voice, 2013) was also featured in the pre-game performances, singing “America the Beautiful” as an alto vocalist with the United States Armed Forces Chorus.

USA Today caught up with Smith after his well-received performance and reported on how the pianist and Soundview Preparatory School music teacher prepared for the most-viewed performance of his career.

“Some of my experience with Gaga had primed me a little bit,” Smith explained to reporter Kevin Phelan. “Doing a nationally broadcast television show with her; that was really nerve wracking for me at the time. And getting to play with Tony Bennett was a huge honor and thrill and was also something that created sort of a nerve-wracking experience for me in terms of wanting to do well for someone who’s such a legend… those moments really provided good practice for something like this.”

As previously reported, Smith is a member of the Brian Newman Quintet, which also includes CCM alumni Brian Newman (CCM, 1999-2003), saxophonist Steve Kortyka (BM Jazz, 2004) and bassist Scott Ritchie (BM, 2003). Newman knew Lady Gaga “before she was famous” and his Quintet first performed with her on the 2011 ABC Holiday Special A Very Gaga Thanksgiving, before playing on Gaga’s duet album with Tony Bennett, Cheek to CheekThe quintet also toured North America and Europe with the duo this past summer.

You can read USA Today‘s profile of Alex Smith here.

You can read Billboard‘s report on the Armed Forces Chorus’ rendition of “America the Beautiful” here.

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Scenes from CCM’s Mainstage Series production of ‘Peter Pan.’ Photos by Mark Lyons.

CCM Slideshows: Peter Pan – The Musical

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CCM’s 2014-15 Mainstage Series continues TONIGHT with the timeless fairytale musical Peter Pan, playing through Sunday, March 8, in Corbett Auditorium. See a complete list of performance times below.

Directed and choreographed by guest artist Joe Locarro, with musical direction by CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Roger Grodsky, this production promises to whisk audiences away to a place where dreams are born and no one ever grows up! Peter Pan features spectacular flying effects provided by ZFX, Inc.

Listen to cast member Tom Meglio give Cincinnati Public Radio’s Mark Perzel a preview of the high-flying musical by visiting wvxu.org/post/ccms-peter-pan.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 6
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 7
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Peter Pan are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 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/peter-pan-mainstage.

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

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Mainstage Production Sponsor: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Peter Pan is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 | Phone: 212-541-4684 | Fax: 212-397-4684 |http://www.MTIShows.com.

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CCM Slideshows: Don Pasquale

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Mary Ellyn Hutton calls CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Don Pasquale a “fast-moving delight start to finish, with beautiful singing, lively acting and a lovely-to-look-at, period production” in her review for the Cincinnati Enquirer! Read the full review here.

This week’s issue of CityBeat features an excellent profile of Don Pasquale‘s director, CCM graduate student Omer Ben-Seadia. You can read that Anne Arenstein-penned story online here.

Don Pasquale plays through this Sunday, April 6, and tickets are still available. 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/donpasquale.

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CCM’s Mainstage Opera Series Presents Donizetti’s ‘Don Pasquale’ April 3-6

William Tvrdik as the title character in CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Don Pasquale.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

William Tvrdik as the title character in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of ‘Don Pasquale.’ Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Opera Series proudly presents Gaetano Donizetti’s Don Pasquale from April 3–6 in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater. This beloved opera buffa is conducted by Mark Gibson with stage direction by accomplished artist’s diploma student Omer Ben-Seadia. The opera will be sung in Italian with English supertitles.

A comedic masterpiece that has captivated audiences since its 1843 premiere, Don Pasquale remains one of the most popular of Donizetti’s nearly 70 operas. On its surface, the opera details the plight of Ernesto, who fights to follow his heart rather than marry the woman his haughty old uncle Don Pasquale thinks he should. Outraged, the lifelong bachelor Pasquale decides to cut Ernesto out of his will and simply father his own heir, instead! A series of uproarious twists and turns ensues as a raucous ensemble of characters begin to take over the Pasquale homestead.

While it is easy to root for Ernesto and true love to prevail, Ben-Seadia suggests that it is Don Pasquale who serves as the true hero of this opera. She explains, “With all that is at stake, Pasquale is the one willing to risk it all… not just for love but for life. Sure we love to see him fail, but after all is said and done we look at Pasquale not with pity, but with the hope that he in fact will try again.”

Don Pasquale's house staff. Photography by Tom Umfrid.

Don Pasquale’s house staff. Photography by Tom Umfrid.

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