CCM Arts Administration Student wins Gena Branscombe Project Award

In its inaugural year, the Gena Branscombe Project has awarded its 2020 scholarships to four women, including UC College-Conservatory of Music Arts Administration student Sydney Pepper. The scholarships support the winners in their continuing pursuit of undergraduate and graduate studies and shine “a light on exceptional emerging, talented, women in music.”

CCM Arts Administration student Sydney Pepper. Photo/Provided.

CCM Arts Administration student Sydney Pepper. Photo/Provided.

Named after influential composer and advocate of contemporary American music Gena Branscombe (1881-1977), the Project awarded Pepper the 2020 Emerging Arts Administrator scholarship. It also awarded the 2020 Emerging Composer scholarship to Catherine Willingham, the 2020 Emerging Conductor scholarship to Genevieve Welch and gave a 2020 Emerging Conductor Honorable Mention award to Michaela Gleason. Read more about the award winners in the online announcement.

Pepper will begin her second year in CCM’s MA/MBA Arts Administration program in August. Her experience in Cincinnati spans from working in CCM Preparatory and Community Engagement to the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. She was originally scheduled to serve as a development intern for the Opera Theatre of St. Louis this summer, but COVID-19 cancelled those plans. Instead, Pepper is doing development work for both the Portland Bach Experience in Maine and for the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.

“The [CCM] Arts Admin program has transformed and expanded my love of the field,” says Pepper, who previously attended Clark University to pursue a vocal performance degree. “A year ago, I couldn’t have imagined the amount of knowledge that I would have gained throughout this year, but I am so very grateful. Not only am I grateful for all of the learning opportunities, but I could never express enough my gratitude to Professors Jean Hamilton and Rebecca Bromels as well as my cohort, all of whom have made a year full of uncertainty and challenges so, so much easier.”

Pepper’s first experience as an arts administrator was with the Portland Bach Experience, where she began as an intern and worked her way to Festival Manager. In her senior year at Clark University, she served as the Marketing and Box Office Coordinator for Music Worcester, Inc. and as the President of the Clark University Choirs. Under her supervision, the Clark University Choirs performed a 21st century revival of lost composer Gena Branscombe’s Pilgrims of Destiny.

About the Gena Branscombe Project

The Gena Branscombe Project is dedicated to the revival and performance of the music of American composer and conductor Gena Branscombe. Founded by Branscombe experts and family members, the project seeks to continue the spirit of Branscombe’s lifelong example of inspiring women in music, by awarding three yearly scholarships in her honor. All proceeds of the revived music go to support the yearly scholarships. The project is run by Kathleen Shimeta, Daniel P. Ryan and Regan Siglin.

About Gena Branscombe

The legacy of Gena Branscombe (1881-1977) is that of composer, conductor and leader of women in music. Composing over 150 arts songs, chamber music, piano pieces and choral works, they were available from 23 different publishers. As a conductor she led MacDowell choruses, the Chicago Women’s Symphony, college choirs, women’s club choruses and her own Branscombe Choral. These groups under her direction performed music by American composers and in particular, American women composers. Holding national office Branscombe was a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, National League of American Pen Women, National Federation of Music Clubs, Society of American Women Composers, Altrusa International and more. At meetings on the state and local levels she encouraged women to be active in their communities’ music organizations and to perform at their own meetings. She organized and presented programs of American music for club members to use as guidelines for programming. Branscombe was a wife, mother of four, pianist, composer, conductor and leader of women whose legacy inspires the Gena Branscombe Project scholarships.

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A portrait of CCM's incoming TAPAA Division Head, Denton Yockey.

Accomplished Producer and Administrator Denton Yockey is Named Head of CCM’s Division of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration

A portrait of CCM's incoming TAPAA Division Head, Denton Yockey.

CCM Interim Dean bruce d. mcclung has announced the appointment of Denton Yockey to the position of Professor of Arts Administration and Head of the Division of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration (TAPAA) at CCM. Yockey will arrive on campus this July to work with TAPAA’s Interim Division Head, Alan Yaffe, and his appointment will officially begin on Aug. 15, 2018.

In his new position, Yockey will oversee CCM’s Departments of Acting, Arts Administration, Dance, Musical Theatre, Opera, and Theatre Design and Production. He will also serve as producer of CCM’s Mainstage and Studio Series productions.

Yockey is one of the nation’s premier regional theatre producers and presenters of touring Broadway. During a career that has spanned more than 30 years, Yockey has produced or presented shows starring such luminaries as Jensen Ackles, Margaret Colin, Richard Kind, Jack Klugman, Lorenzo Lamas, Donna McKechnie, Lou Diamond Phillips, Tony Randall, Cathy Rigby, Sally Struthers, new Tony winner Rachel Bay Jones and Academy Award-winning June Squibb.

Yockey is currently the Executive Director of the Thrasher-Horne Center at St. Johns River State College in Orange Park, Florida. He is also a principal with A Rising Tide Theatrical Group, LLC, which independently produces theatrical entertainment and national tours while providing counsel for other projects.

Over the course of his career, Yockey has helmed four not-for-profit theatres including Lone Star Performing Arts Association in Galveston, Texas (Executive Director); Casa Mañana Theater in Fort Worth, TX (President and Executive Producer); and Starlight Theatre in Kansas City (President and Executive Producer). Under his leadership, Starlight Theatre received the 2013 Venue Excellence Award from the International Alliance of Venue Managers in the Performing Arts Centers category. Also in 2013, his mini-tour of Miss Saigon was cited in Playbill’s list of “Most Unforgettable Experiences.” During his tenure at Casa Mañana, the landmark theatre underwent its historic renovation and the theatre was the producer and presenter of all the Broadway shows at the newly opened Bass Performance Hall. Upon his departure from Casa Mañana, Yockey received the Silver Dome Award, the theatre’s highest award for meritorious individual accomplishment.  He is one of only three recipients in the 13-year history of the award.

Yockey received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University South Bend. He is a member of the Broadway League and a past Tony Awards voter for over 15 years. While in Texas he was a theatre panelist for the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and the Texas Commission on the Arts, and board member of the Live Theatre League of Tarrant County, Texas Nonprofit Theatres, Inc., and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre.

A native of Plymouth, Indiana, Yockey met his wife of 26 years, Gina, on stage in a production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. They are the proud parents of Gwyneth and Grayson Yockey, both whom are pursuing acting careers.

On the announcement of Yockey’s appointment, mcclung commented:

“Yockey’s impressive background in producing, presenting and administration, coupled with his dedication to artistic success, positions him as the ideal head of CCM’s Division of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration. I am grateful to Search Committee Chair Alan Yaffe and committee members Rebecca Bromels, Lydia Brown, Vince DeGeorge, Susan Felder, Qi Jiang and Stirling Shelton for their work and dedication to find CCM’s next great division head.”

Please join us in welcoming Denton Yockey to the CCM family!

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CCM Director of Development Sarah Mizelle

UC Alumna Sarah Mizelle Joins CCM’s Office of Development and External Relations

University of Cincinnati alumna Sarah Mizelle has been named CCM’s new Director of Development and External Relations. A graduate of UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business (MBA, 2011) and College-Conservatory of Music (MA Arts Administration, 2013), Mizelle begins her new position on Monday, May 22.

“We are thrilled to welcome Sarah back to the UC Foundation and CCM,” says Karen Tully, CCM’s Senior Director of Development and External Relations. “I had the pleasure of getting to know Sarah while she served as a graduate assistant in CCM’s Development and External Relations Office from 2009 to 2011. She quickly became a valuable member of our team, coordinating many of the outreach and special events sponsored by CCMpower, our volunteer fundraising organization. We are delighted to have her rejoin the CCM family.”

Mizelle returns to CCM with a decade’s worth of leadership experience in building strong school communities through student, alumni and donor engagement. She most recently served as Executive Director of the Madeira Schools Foundation, where she successfully oversaw a $600,000 capital campaign to build a new fitness center at Madeira High School. During her tenure, the Madeira Schools Foundation’s annual auction also achieved the highest gross profit since its inception in 1985.

Prior to her position at the Madeira Schools Foundation, Mizelle was Executive Director of the Friends of the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA), an organization dedicated to securing resources that enhance SCPA’s creative environment and enable the development of each student’s artistic potential.

Mizelle worked in CCM’s Development Office during her time as a student in CCM’s Arts Administration graduate program. She also served as manger of social media marketing and public relations for a CCM summer festival in Spoleto, Italy, in 2011.

Mizelle received her BM in Music Education from Miami University, Oxford, in 2004. She has continued her involvement in music and the performing arts throughout her career, volunteering for such organizations as People Working Cooperatively (PWC) Ohio and Cincinnati Music Theatre. At Cincinnati Music Theatre, Mizelle served as vocal director for productions of The Music Man and Sunset Boulevard and artistic director for Crazy For You, each of which won an Orchid Award for Excellence from the Cincinnati Association of Community Theatres.

“The arts have been an enormous part of my life and have shaped who I am today,” says Mizelle. “I am beyond thrilled to return to CCM, an institution where the arts thrive everyday. I am proud to have the opportunity to further the mission of such a truly special place.”

Please join us in welcoming Sarah Mizelle back to the CCM family!

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A snow-capped CCM Village.

CCM Welcomes Rebecca Bromels to Arts Administration Faculty

A familiar face within Cincinnati’s arts community will be joining the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s (CCM) highly regarded Department of Arts Administration this fall.

CCM Dean Peter Landgren has announced the appointment of Rebecca Bromels to the position of Assistant Professor of Arts Administration. Her appointment becomes effective in August of 2016.

Rebecca Bromels, incoming Assistant Professor of Arts Administration at CCM.

Rebecca Bromels, incoming Assistant Professor of Arts Administration at CCM.

Bromels currently serves as director of engagement of ArtsWave, the Greater Cincinnati region’s local arts agency and the nation’s largest community campaign for the arts. With the help of tens of thousands of donors, ArtsWave supports more than 100 arts and community organizations. These beneficiaries include CCM, which has been able to enhance its community engagement efforts through ArtsWave’s Community Partnership grants. In her position at ArtsWave, Bromels oversees volunteer programs and signature events including Macy’s Arts Sampler.

Having moved to Cincinnati in 1999 to pursue a directing career, Bromels discovered her love for arts administration during her 12-year tenure at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. As managing director for eight seasons, she worked to broaden the company’s base of support and provide resources for its innovative productions of Shakespeare and the classics.

Bromels joined ArtsWave shortly after its evolutionary change to impact-based funding and was instrumental in developing the organization’s new messaging and brand identity as director of communications.

She has also directed plays for Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, the SERIALS project at Know Theatre of Cincinnati, New Edgecliff Theatre and St. Croix Festival Theatre in Wisconsin. In addition, she served as a guest lecturer in arts administration at Miami University and for the United Way BOLD board training program. In 2016, she will co-author a Corporate Arts Challenges Tool-Kit for Americans for the Arts.

Bromels holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance from Texas Christian University. She was recognized in the “Forty Under 40” class of 2005 by the Cincinnati Business Courier. She lives with her husband and two children in St. Bernard.

In his announcement of the hire, Landgren commented, “In my initial discussions with Rebecca, it became clear that she was committed to partnering with our faculty to advance CCM’s already remarkable Arts Administration program to even greater prestige. I am confident that her extensive theatre background and strong interpersonal skills will be a boon to CCM students and faculty alike.”

Utilizing the combined resources of CCM and UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business, the Department of Arts Administration offers one of the few joint MA/MBA arts administration programs in the United States. The highly selective program boasts a 100% job placement rate for its past seven years of graduates.

Learn more about CCM Arts Administration by visiting ccm.uc.edu/artsadmin.

Learn more about CCM’s world-class faculty members by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/faculty.

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Become a CCM Insider: Subscribe to THE VILLAGE NEWS

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A static image of the summer  2014 issue of THE VILLAGE NEWS.

Click here to subscribe to THE VILLAGE NEWS.

What’s the best way to keep up with CCM’s remarkable faculty, students, alumni, friends and benefactors? Subscribe to THE VILLAGE NEWS, CCM’s new electronic newsletter.

  • Learn about the CCM student and alumni-led Whiz Kids Music Program, which is making a difference in disadvantaged schools throughout Cincinnati.
  • Watch all 75 current Musical Theatre majors perform CCM alumnus Stephen Flaherty’s (BM, 1982) “On the Wings of a Dream” in tribute to UC alumnus and supporter Otto M. Budig Jr.
  • Find out where CCM’s latest Fulbright grant-recipient will be studying next year.
  • Read what the New York Times had to say about CCM’s string quartet-in-residence, the Ariel Quartet.
  • Get to know CCM’s newest faculty members.

Subscribe to THE VILLAGE NEWS and we will deliver these transformational stories to your inbox throughout the year. If you missed our SUMMER 2014 issue, sign up today and we’ll send you a copy!

Have a story of your own? Share it with us today.

And don’t worry: we will continue to provide you with breaking news through the CCM Blog, too!

Find out more about THE VILLAGE NEWS by visiting ccm.uc.edu/villagenews.

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CCM Alumnus Adam Wagner Named Executive Director of Twilight Theatre

CCM alumnus Adam Wagner.

CCM alumnus Adam Wagner.

We are happy to report that CCM alumnus Adam Wagner (BFA, 2005) has been named executive director of the new Twilight Theatre and Community Auditorium in Greensburg, Kansas. The four million dollar venue for live entertainment and state-of-the-art moviegoing is designed to provide access to affordable quality performing arts entertainment, educational opportunities and cultural experiences – fostering a positive impact for the City of Greensburg and Kiowa County.

“Adam was the unanimous choice for the position,” Twilight Theatre board member Gary Goodman stated in an official announcement. “He brings youth, experience, passion, creativity and an endless amount of energy to Greensburg and the Twilight Theatre.”

“I am honored, humbled and incredibly energized to join the Twilight team,” Wagner says. “Greensburg runs on wind energy and positive energy, and I’m eager to help my new community celebrate its accomplishments and bring top-notch entertainment for all of Southwest Kansas to enjoy.”

You can learn more about Wagner’s appointment courtesy of the Pratt Tribune.

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Discussing ‘The Magic Flute’ Costume Designs with CCM Professor Dean Mogle

From left to right, Tara Deieso (who sings the role of First Lady in CCM's production of 'The Magic Flute'), Assistant Costume Designer Kaitlyn Munro, Professor Dean Mogle and Draper/Dressmaker Christie Peitzmeier.

From left to right, Tara Deieso (who sings the role of First Lady in CCM’s production of ‘The Magic Flute’), Assistant Costume Designer Kaitlyn Munro, Professor Dean Mogle and Draper/Dressmaker Christie Peitzmeier.

CCM Professor of Costume Design Dean Mogle recently gave CCM Public Information Assistant and Arts Administration student Sara Kissinger a behind-the-scenes tour of the costume shop, which is in full swing in these last crucial weeks before the opening of The Magic Flute. All photography by CCM Arts Administration student Shawn Kelly.

Sara Kissinger: Dean, thank you so much for inviting me to visit the shop today. The Magic Flute is an iconic work in opera repertoire – have you designed for this show before?

Dean Mogle: I have not designed a production of Flute before. The last time CCM did Flute was the 1986-87 season, before I joined the faculty.

SK: Did you have a specific concept for your design?

DM: There were two major influences on the design. The first is the 18th century influence, which is a nod back to when Mozart wrote the opera. This is the Queen of the Night’s world. It’s midnight: there are a lot of blues and everything is deep and dark and rich. The second influence is a sort of modified Egyptian style, which is Sarastro’s world. The costumes are warm colors – gold and bronze.

Dean Mogle shares the original costume rendering for the Queen of the Night.

Dean Mogle shares the original costume rendering for the Queen of the Night.

SK: What was the process of making the costumes like?

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CCM’s Arts Administration Students Gain Experience With Prestigious Arts Organizations

Class of 2012 Front row L to R: Jenifer Thomas, Kristi Russell, LeAnne Anklan, Anna Backer, Zack Germain, Helene Herbert. Back row: Tyler Roe, Stephanie Saunders, Tony Zancanella, Taj Seyal, David Walker, Jason Hurwitz.

CCM’s Arts Administration students are posed each year with the challenge of finding an internship for the summer as part of their graduate degree. Based on the wealth of knowledge these students have gained in their studies, the students of the Class of 2012 have earned summer spots with the leading arts organizations in their fields of interest. Each student’s strong basis of understanding, stemming from dual-degree coursework in UC’s College of Business and CCM Arts Administration, assisted in earning these highly competitive internships.

The program has consistently prepared its students for real world experience, as is represented by the 100% job placement of last year’s graduating class! Throughout the country (and abroad!) this summer, CCM will be well represented by the Arts Administration students.

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