The Pensacola Children's Chorus.

CCM Alumnus Alex Gartner Appointed Artistic Director of Pensacola Children’s Chorus

CCM alumnus Alex Gartner.

CCM alumnus Alex Gartner.

CCM alumnus Alex Gartner (BM Music Education, 2012) has been named the new Artistic Director of the Pensacola Children’s Chorus (PCC) in Pensacola, Florida.

Gartner will take over for Allen and Susan Pote, who founded the organization in 1990 in conjunction with the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra.

Gartner’s new appointment ends a long and fruitful partnership with both CCM and the Cincinnati Children’s Choir (CCC), which began in 2000 when he joined CCC as a young choir member and performed with them in their international choral festival, “Worldsong.” Later, during his undergraduate studies, he rejoined the CCC; starting as an accompanist and student intern, he later rose to become the Richard Wesp Assistant Conductor, a position he held until his recent hiring by the PCC.

“Alex has special gifts that uniquely meet the needs of the Pensacola Children’s Chorus,” said CCC Founder, Managing Artistic Director and Conductor Robyn Lana. “He has grown tremendously throughout his years with CCC. It is with great pride, as his mentor, to see him become Artistic Director of his own program. A bright future is in store for Alex and for the Pensacola Children’s Chorus.”

In addition to his work with the CCC, Gartner has been very active in the local music scene. As a choral director, he has served as the director of traditional music and worship at Epiphany United Methodist Church in Loveland, Ohio. He has also served as music director for numerous local theatre productions and founded the Commonwealth Artists Summer Theatre, a summer theatre program based in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, that serves high school students in the Cincinnati metro area.

The Pensacola Children's Chorus.

The Pensacola Children’s Chorus.

This theatre experience and his CCC experience will be merged in his new job in Pensacola. With over 300 students spread throughout seven different youth choirs, the PCC combines traditional children’s choir pedagogy and repertoire with the showmanship of musical theatre. The organization continues to collaborate regularly with the Pensacola Symphony and also works often with the Pensacola Opera and the University of West Florida.

For more information, please visit www.cincinnatichoir.org.
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Story by CCM alumnus Kevin Norton (DMA Saxophone, 2015)

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Beverly Hills Bar Association logo.

CCM Alumnus Darrell D. Miller Named 2016 Entertainment Lawyer of the Year

CCM’s Department of Musical Theatre has produced scores of successful graduates over the years. Alumni of the program have been seen on Broadway, on television, in movies and in theaters around the country. They work as actors, dancers, writers, directors, producers, musicians and lawyers.

Yes, you read that last sentence correctly: lawyers!

CCM alumnus Darrell D. Miller.

CCM alumnus Darrell D. Miller.

Case in point: alumnus Darrell D. Miller (BM Musical Theatre, 1985) has recently been named Entertainment Lawyer of the Year by the Beverly Hills Bar AssociationThe Beverly Hills Bar Association boasts the largest entertainment law section in the country and awards this particular honor to an attorney whose accomplishments contribute greatly to the profession. Throughout his career, Miller has certainly embodied that description.

This is just the latest in a long line of honors for Miller. The CCM graduate has also been recognized in Variety‘s prestigious “Dealmakers Impact Report” for three consecutive years, made Hollywood Reporter’s list of the Top 100 Power Lawyers and was named the National Bar Association Entertainment Attorney of the Year in 2012.

After graduating from CCM, Miller began his professional life as an actor touring with several national production companies. He also landed a lead role in the jazz opera Leo and traveled with an international tour of the musical The Princess and the Pea. Miller then took his career in a slightly different direction.

In 1990, Miller received his Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center, and has gone on to become one of the world’s leading entertainment attorneys, working in film, television, theatre and digital media. Now the managing partner of Fox Rothschild LLP’s Los Angeles offices and the chair of the firm’s Entertainment Law Department, Miller’s client list includes Academy Award-nominated actress Angela Bassett, star of the hit CBS program NCIS (and fellow Cincinnati-native and SCPA alumnus) Roscoe “Rocky“ Carroll, music mogul and actor Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, reality television star NeNe Leakes and more.

In addition to his decorated law career, Miller recently released his first book, The 16th Minute of Fame, which details the serious perils that come with blindly embracing and enjoying the fleeting fun of celebrity fame and fast money.

Miller explains some of his motivation to write the book, “In reflection, I would say that getting into CCM and performing with the CLO was my first 15 minutes of fame, but at the time, I was just enjoying the experience and praying that it would last.”

Miller’s experience as a performer gives him great insight and has helped him build a career guiding those in the entertainment industry through their first “15 minutes” and maintain their success. Part professional memoir, part insider’s guide to the entertainment industry and part manual for strategic career planning, The 16th Minute of Fame ultimately focuses on the pathways to a more successful life.

Miller will be honored by the Beverly Hills Bar Association during an awards ceremony on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. The entire University of Cincinnati community congratulates him on this latest award and wishes him continued success in the future!

To learn more about Darrell D. Miller and his work in the entertainment industry, visit www.foxrothschild.com/darrell-d-miller.

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CCM Alumnus Edward Nelson Makes Professional Debut in San Francisco Opera’s ‘Two Women’

Janelle Gelfand reviews Marco Tutino’s new opera Two Women, which serves as a San Francisco Opera debut for CCM alumnus Edward Nelson (BM Voice, 2011; MM Voice, 2013)!

You can read her full recap online at here.

janellesnotes

Italian diva Anna Caterina Antonacci took her cue from Sophia Loren as the character Cesira in "Two Women" Italian diva Anna Caterina Antonacci took her cue from Sophia Loren as the character Cesira in “Two Women”

Marco Tutino’s new opera “Two Women,” which takes place in war-torn Italy during World War II, has one stirring moment. Near the end of Act I, Rosetta (sung by Sarah Shafer), the 16-year-old daughter of Cesira, lifts her pure-toned soprano in a poignant prayer for peace. It becomes a touching anthem for the whole village, as they join her a lush chorus, singing “Father, do not abandon us,” as battles are growing closer to their village.

To a full War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco Opera presented the world premiere on Saturday of the hotly-anticipated opera, “Two Women” (“La Ciociara”) by Tutino, to his libretto with Fabio Ceresa. As the creators told us in a panel discussion on Friday, the opera is based on Alberto Moravia’s novel, but not so…

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The Tony-winning writing team of composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens.

CCM Alumnus Stephen Flaherty Composes ‘Little Dancer’ For Kennedy Center

The official poster for the Kennedy Center musical 'Little Dancer.' Illustration/Kennedy Center.

The official poster for the Kennedy Center musical ‘Little Dancer.’ Illustration/Kennedy Center.

Thanks to the brilliant composition by CCM alumnus Stephen Flaherty (BM, ’82), Edgar Degas’ most renowned sculpture “Little Dancer, Aged 14” will magically come to life in the world premiere Kennedy Center musical Little Dancer beginning this Sunday, Oct. 5 Saturday, Oct. 25, and running through Nov. 30, 2014!

Those without tickets to the sold-out world premiere can get a box seat right on their couches when the center streams the show live, beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Flaherty, the Tony-winning composer of the Broadway musical Ragtime, composed the music for what is being called “the splashiest Kennedy Center production of the season.”

His lyricist partner Lynn Ahrens penned the lyrics and book for Little Dancer. In 1998, they both won Tony and Drama Desk awards for Best Original Musical Score for Ragtime. In 1991, they won the Best Musical Tony Award for Once on This Island.

Learn even more about this new musical via Deborah Rieselman and the UC Magazine.

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CCM Alumnus Craig Kier Named Director of Maryland Opera Studio

CCM alumnus Craig Kier. Photography by Cory Weaver.

CCM alumnus Craig Kier. Photography by Cory Weaver.

We are thrilled to report that CCM alumnus Craig Kier (MM, 2001) has been appointed Director of the Maryland Opera Studio at the University of Maryland School of Music. The former Associate Conductor and Assistant Chorus Master with the Houston Grand Opera, Kier will join the UMD School of Music faculty this fall.

“We are delighted that Craig Kier will be joining our faculty as Director of the Maryland Opera Studio,” says UMD School of Music Director Robert Gibson. “His professional work as conductor, coach, accompanist and administrator in the opera world provides an ideal combination of skills and experience for the leadership of our program. Craig’s vision for the future of the MOS is strongly aligned with the teaching philosophy and values of the program that have made The Maryland Opera Studio one of the most respected programs in the nation for training young singers who wish to enter the professional opera world in the US and abroad.”

You can view the UMD School of Music’s official announcement online here.

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CCM Alumni Amanda Woodbury and John Holiday Named 2014 Sara Tucker Study Grant Recipients

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We are delighted to report that two CCM alumni – Amanda Woodbury (MM, 2012) and John Holiday (MM, 2012) – have been named 2014 Sara Tucker Grant Recipients by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation!

Soprano Amanda Woodbury, 25, is a member of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program at LA Opera and was a winner of the recent Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. She made her LA Opera debut as Micäela in Carmen and also appeared as Papagena in The Magic Flute. This summer she will make her debut at the Cincinnati May Festival as a soloist in the Mahler 8th Symphony and will join the Merola Opera at San Francisco Opera to sing Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. She was a second place winner at the McCollum Competition in Houston and received degrees from Indiana University and CCM.

Counter-tenor John Holiday, 29, has been heard recently as Radamisto at the Juilliard School and will debut with Wolf Trap Opera this summer in the title role of Giulio Cesare and be heard this fall as the Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas with LA Opera. He will also return to the St. Paul Chamber Festival in concert. Other recent engagements include Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” at Carnegie Hall with the Atlanta Symphony, covering Nereno in Giulio Cesare at the Met, and Glass’ Galileo Galilei at Cincinnati and Portland Opera. Holiday was an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera and holds degrees from SMU and CCM.

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CCM Alumnus Stuart Skelton Named Male Singer of the Year at 2014 International Opera Awards

CCM alumnus Stuart Skelton. Photo by John Wright.

CCM alumnus Stuart Skelton. Photo by John Wright.

We are thrilled to report that CCM-trained tenor Stuart Skelton has been named male singer of the year at the 2014 International Opera Awards!You can view the full list of this year’s award recipients here.

As previously reported, both Skelton and alumna Joélle Harvey were announced as finalists this year.

The mission of the International Opera Awards is to promote excellence in international opera and provide funding for the operatic community through the Opera Awards Foundation. You can learn more about the awards by visiting www.operaawards.org.

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CCM Alumni Yi Li and Amanda Woodbury Named Grand Finalist Winners of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2014 National Council Auditions

From left to right, CCM alumni Yi Li and Amanda Woodbury.

From left to right, CCM alumni Yi Li and Amanda Woodbury.

CCM alumni Yi Li (AD, ’13) and Amanda Woodbury (MM, ’12) have been named Grand Finals Winners of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2014 National Council Auditions.

A tenor, Li is a member of the Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program.

Woodbury, a soprano, is in her second year at the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at LA Opera.

Li and Woodbury were among nine singers competing in the Met’s prestigious and highly competitive Grand Finals Concert this past Sunday, March 30. The finalists were accompanied by the Met Orchestra led by Marco Armiliato. You can learn more about all of the 2014 National Council Winners here.

This marks the second consecutive year that CCM trained singers have won the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions: bass-baritone Thomas Richards was named a Grand Finals Winner in 2013.

WQXR, New York’s Classical Music Radio Station, will broadcast performances and interviews with all of this year’s winners at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1. Learn more by visiting www.wqxr.org/#!/story/video-webcast-metropolitan-opera-national-council-award-winners.

Learn more courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer here.

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CCM Alumnus Andrew Hungerford Named Incoming Artistic Director of Cincinnati’s Know Theatre

CCM alumnus Andrew Hungerford.

CCM alumnus Andrew Hungerford.

CCM alumnus Andrew Hungerford (MFA ’05) was officially introduced as Know Theatre of Cincinnati’s incoming artistic director at a special meet-and-greet event last night (Feb. 12). Over the next few months, Hungerford will be working closely with Know Theatre’s current artistic director Eric Vosmeier to ensure a seamless transition.

A graduate of CCM’s Lighting Design and Technology program, Hungerford is also a stage director, playwright, actor, scenic designer and sound designer.

He has served as Know Theatre’s scenic and lighting designer for the past seven seasons and scenic and lighting designer for Cincinnati Shakespeare Company for the last four seasons. He also spent eight seasons as lighting designer for the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati.

You can learn more about Hungerford’s new position courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer here and Cincinnati CityBeat here.

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CCM Alumni Stuart Skelton and Joélle Harvey Named 2014 International Opera Award Finalists

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We are delighted to report that CCM alumni Stuart Skelton (MM ’95) and Joélle Harvey (BM ’07, MM ’09) have been named 2014 International Opera Award finalists!

Skelton, a tenor, is a finalist in the Male Singer category, while Harvey, a soprano, is a finalist in the Young Singer category! Congratulations to you both! You can view a full list of finalists here.

The mission of the International Opera Awards is to promote excellence in international opera and provide funding for the operatic community through the Opera Awards Foundation. After the success of the inaugural awards last year, the International Opera Awards return in 2014 and will be held on Monday, April 7, at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London. You can learn more about the awards by visiting www.operaawards.org.

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