James Franco, co-producer of the new film 'Goat,' currently filming in Cincinnati.

CCM Drama Students and Faculty Cast in James Franco Produced Feature Film ‘Goat’

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We are thrilled to report that four current students and one faculty member from CCM’s Department of Drama have been cast in Goat, a feature film currently shooting in Cincinnati. The Andrew Neel directed film stars Virginia Gardner, Nick Jonas and Ben Schnetzer.

James Franco, Christine Vachon, David Hinojosa, Pamela Koffler, Vince Jolivette and David Gordon Green produce in association with Killer Films and Rabbit Bandini Productions.

Goat is the story of two brothers, the younger of whom, after he suffers an assault that leaves him physically and mentally wounded, pledges the same fraternity as his brother.

CCM Drama adjunct faculty member Denise Dal Vera will play the mother of Nick Jonas. Current students Clare Combest and Annie Grove booked speaking roles, and Ryan Garrett and Spencer Lackey booked recurring extra roles in the fraternity.

Casting Director d. Lynn Meyers teaches audition techniques for students in CCM Drama, and helped the four Class of 2017 students be seen for the film. “They did great,” remarked Meyers, who also serves as the Producing Artistic Director of Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati.

CCM Drama embarked on a new film initiative this year, adding film experiences to the curriculum. All Drama students will participate in an annual 48-Hour Film Festival, and the department will produce its first co-produced film with CCM E-Media next year. You can learn more about that new collaboration here.

“CCM Drama students are in demand for film and television roles nationally, and we’re excited to see that trend continue in Cincinnati,” says CCM’s A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair of Dramatic Performance Richard E. Hess.

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CCM Village in the spring of 2014. Photography by Dottie Stover.

CCM Welcomes Diane Petrella as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies

Diane Helfers Petrella, incoming  Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies at CCM.

Diane Helfers Petrella, incoming Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies at CCM.

CCM Dean Peter Landgren has announced the appointment of Diane Helfers Petrella to the position of Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies. This appointment becomes effective in August of 2015.

Petrella comes to CCM from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, where she served as Associate Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy, Chair of the Keyboard Studies Division and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. During this appointment, she also served as President of the Missouri Music Teachers Association from 2010 to 2012.

“Through the interview process, I found Dr. Petrella to be an individual who is committed to excellence, a collaborative and creative thinker, an unflappable multi-tasker and one who is eager to work with all constituents through the full spectrum of disciplines housed within CCM,” Dean Landgren commented.

Prior to her tenure in Kansas City, Petrella held a similar teaching appointment at Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan from 2001 to 2006. She has also taught at Texas Wesleyan University, the University of North Texas and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she was on the piano faculty of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp for ten years, serving as chairperson of the camp’s piano department from 2000 to 2002.

Petrella and her husband—percussionist Nick Petrella —formed the Petrella Ensemble in 2002, which has since taught and performed throughout the United States and in Mexico, Poland, Austria and the Czech Republic, actively performing and commissioning new music. In 2006, the duo published The Musicians Toolbox: Thoughts on Teaching and Learning Music, which has been embraced by NAMM, supportmusic.com and other music advocacy organizations, and was contracted for distribution by Alfred Publications in 2012.  The Petrellas also collaborated on “I’ve Got Rhythm, I’ve Got Phrasing,” an article published in the August/September 2012 issue of American Music Teacher.

Diane Petrella is also extremely active as a solo performer and clinician. She has presented at the national conferences of the College Music Society, Music Teachers National Association, and the National Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Forum. She has appeared as a soloist with several regional orchestras and is active as a soloist, collaborative pianist, speaker and adjudicator throughout North America, including her recent appointment to the College of Examiners of the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, Canada. Petrella served as a member of the Program Committee for the 2014 National Conference of the College Music Society and as Chair of the Collegiate Chapter Award Committee for the Music Teachers National Association. For her service, the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance awarded her the Kauffman Award for Outstanding Service in the spring of 2015.

Petrella holds a DMA in Piano Performance from the University of North Texas, an Artist Diploma from Texas Christian University, an MM in Piano Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BM in Piano Performance and Music Education (magna cum laude) from Eastern Illinois University.

Please join us in welcoming Diane Petrella to the CCM family!

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Participants from the Music for Youth in Cincinnati's (MYCincinnati's) free youth orchestra program in Price Hill.

CCM Hosts Gathering of Midwestern “El Sistema” Inspired Programs This Weekend

This Saturday, May 9, CCM will welcome “El Sistema” inspired programs from throughout the region for the Fourth Annual Midwestern Seminario.

Hosted by CCM’s Preparatory Department and Office of Community Engagement, the event will draw nearly 200 young performing artists who are involved in programs inspired by “El Sistema,” Venezuela’s National Network of Youth and Children Orchestras. Over the past 35 years, El Sistema has evolved into a world-renowned youth development program, which uses music as a vehicle for social change. El Sistema’s success in helping children build better futures has led to the creation of similar programs in over 30 countries around the world.

Participating programs include North Limestone Music Works (Lexington, KY), Shift: Englewood Youth Orchestra (Chicago), Q the Music (Dayton, Ohio), MYCincinnati (Cincinnati) and the Avondale Youth Orchestra (Cincinnati).

The Seminario‘s guest speakers will include CCM Dean Peter Landgren and UC President Santa J. Ono.

The program on Saturday, May 9, will culminate with a participant’s concert at 4 p.m. in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the general public!

The concert will be conducted by CCM alumni Eddy Kwon (BM Jazz Studies, 2011) and Isaac Selya (DMA Orchestral Conducting, 2014), along with Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras Artistic Director Daniel Chetel.

“We believe in the power of the arts to bring people together to create a strong, vibrant community,”  explains CCM Director of Community Engagement Anne Cushing-Reid. “This gathering reflects our ongoing commitment to community engagement and collaboration. We are also proud to support the efforts of the CCM students and alumni who are working locally with MYCincinnati, through a grant provided by ArtsWave.”

You can learn more about the other community engagement initiatives fueled by ArtsWave’s grant support here.

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Accomplished Director and Choreographer Vince DeGeorge is Named Joseph Weinberger Chair of Acting for the Lyric Stage at CCM

CCM Dean Peter Landgren has announced the appointment of Vince DeGeorge to the position of Assistant Professor and Joseph Weinberger Chair of Acting for the Lyric Stage, a faculty position shared by CCM’s Department of Musical Theatre and Department of Opera. DeGeorge first joined CCM as a Visiting Professor in the fall of 2013. His new appointment becomes effective on August 15, 2015.

CCM Assistant Professor and Joseph Weinberger Chair of Acting Vince DeGeorge.

CCM Assistant Professor and Joseph Weinberger Chair of Acting Vince DeGeorge.

“I would like to thank Dean Peter Landgren, Musical Theatre Chair Aubrey Berg and Opera Chair Robin Guarino for selecting me for this important post,” DeGeorge remarked on his new appointment. “I would also like to thank my colleagues at CCM for welcoming me so graciously. I am grateful and excited to begin this new challenge.”

DeGeorge made a considerable impact during his tenure as a Visiting Professor, directing and/or choreographing seven CCM productions during the last two seasons. Most recently, he served as director and choreographer on CCM’s acclaimed Studio Series production of Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones’ rarely produced 110 in the Shade. “DeGeorge infuses action into a story which could easily be presented in a stagnant fashion,” theatre critic Scott Cain observed in his review of the musical for Talkin’ Broadway, ultimately calling the show, “a praiseworthy one, with strong direction and first-rate performances.”

Local audiences will not have to wait long to see DeGeorge’s next project for the CCM stage. This summer, in addition to directing a feature length film (entitled 18 Mornings), DeGeorge will serve as stage director for the Opera Studio Summer Workshop. He will then direct two productions during CCM’s 2015-16 performance season: a Studio Series production of William Hauptman’s musical Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in October of 2015 and a Mainstage Series production of Leoš Janácek’s opera The Cunning Little Vixen in April of 2016.

An alumnus of CCM, DeGeorge (BFA Musical Theatre, 1992) recently completed his MFA in Directing and Public Dialogue at Virginia Tech. Following his graduation from CCM, DeGeorge performed as an actor and dancer in regional theaters across the country and was a member of the New York based contemporary dance company dre.dance under artistic directors and choreographers Taye Diggs and Andrew Palermo.

DeGeorge directed numerous works during his time in New York. Highlights include the musical revue Nashville, which he co-wrote and directed in 2009. The production won Nightlife, Bistro and Mac Awards that year. In 2011, DeGeorge directed New York City’s first fully staged production of The Exonerated to critical acclaim.

At Virginia Tech, DeGeorge directed and designed A Dream Play by August Strindberg, and productions of Chekhov’s The Vagabond and Three Sisters. He also developed, directed and designed The Jo Carson Project, a new musical based on the writings and theories of the Appalachian storyteller and playwright, Jo Carson.

During his studies at Virginia Tech, DeGeorge was also a company member of Building Home, a participatory theatre and music engagement project, led by Bob Leonard along with Jon Catherwood-Ginn. Building Home uses theater to foster healthy civic dialogue among the citizens of the New River Valley concerning pressing regional issues and planning for sustainable communities.

As a part of the Blacksburg Summer Arts Festival 2014, DeGeorge was engaged to design and build Life In The Trees – an art installation, purposed as both a gallery exhibition and the theatrical setting for two performance pieces, adapted and directed by DeGeorge as well.  While working on Life In The Trees, DeGeorge collaborated with Alaskan artist Kesler Woodard, as well as novelist Tom Gardner.

DeGeorge has spent the last 14 years researching and developing the Theatrical Awareness Practice, a somatic and experiential theater technique that trains the actor to live fully in their experiential mind/body. This practice consists of deeply researched and highly structured improvisational explorations that are designed to reacquaint the artist with the infinite intelligence and creative capacity of their own human body experience.

You can learn even more about Vince DeGeorge by clicking here. Please join us in congratulating him on his new appointment.

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CCM Professor Kevin Burke and members of the 2014 UC Gold Rush documentary team. Photo by Kaori Funahashi.

Next Installment of Student-Produced ‘Gold Rush Expedition Race’ Film Series to Premiere at the Esquire Theatre on April 28

The 2014 installment of the University of Cincinnati‘s student-produced Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary film series will receive a special premiere screening at Cincinnati’s Esquire Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28. Hosted by the University of Cincinnati Production Master Class, this screening is free and open to the entire UC community.

The event is sponsored and supported by the UC Forward Initiative, the Office of the President, CCM’s Division of Electronic Media (CCM E-Media), McMicken College’s Center for Film and Media Studies and the UC Alumni Association.

Join us at Cincinnati's Esquire Theatre on April 28 for a premiere screening of the 2014 'Gold Rush Expedition Race' documentary film.

Join us at Cincinnati’s Esquire Theatre on April 28 for a premiere screening of the 2014 ‘Gold Rush Expedition Race’ documentary film.

The 2014 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary will have its national broadcast premiere on NBC’s Universal Sports Network on May 27, 2015. The documentary program will air 10 times on USN. The cable network aired the 2012 and 2013 installments of this action-packed documentary series last October. You can learn more about those initial broadcasts by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/notations-ovations/student-produced-film-series-airs-on-universal-sports-network.

Educationally grounded, professionally driven and student produced, the UC Production Master Class has been transforming the college classroom since its inception in 2012, bringing together an interdisciplinary group of UC students and faculty who are working with nationally-recognized digital media professionals to produce a documentary film series that is currently airing on national television.

To date, this course has involved three UC professors, a UC alumnus, a cadre of film professionals and over 90 UC students from nine different academic programs at CCM, DAAP and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

This group has fused its skills on the production of a three-year, 90-minute documentary film series about the Gold Rush Expedition Race, one of the world’s premier expedition races that features an international field of 50 elite athletes trekking, mountain biking, climbing and kayaking along a grueling 275-mile course amidst the beauty of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. The race is part of the Adventure Racing World Series.

The Production Master Class was the idea of CCM Professor of Electronic Media Kevin Burke and distinguished UC Alumnus and Emmy award-winning producer, Brian J. Leitten. The initiative was originally made possible by a three-year grant from the University of Cincinnati’s UC Forward Collaborative, which supports experiential learning and is part of the UC Academic Master Plan.

The Production Master Class was designed to create a transformative “hands-on” experience for the students by taking them out of the classroom and into the field to produce a documentary film series that could be distributed to a national television audience. “The idea was to totally re-invent the college classroom,” notes UC President Santa J. Ono, PhD, “focusing interdisciplinary teams of faculty and students on real world projects.”

Over the past three years, the Production Master Class has brought dozens of UC students to California to work alongside educators and a select crew of film and media professionals. The interaction with professional mentors and students from different disciplines enhances experiential learning and prepares the students for professional careers in the television and film industry. Both Burke and Leitten serve as Executive Producers, advising the project and providing professional guidance and feedback to the students during all phases of the documentary’s development.

Students take on the roles of supervising producers, story producers, editors, scriptwriters, music supervisors and narrators. Leitten joins Burke for each class session via social media applications from New York, where he serves as the Director of Production at the internet media entertainment giant, VEVO.com.

The Production Master Course is also taught by DAAP Associate Professor of Graphic Communication Design Yoshiko Burke, whose students create all motion graphic design and animation content. CCM Assistant Professor of Electronic Media Lorin Parker provides professional guidance and expertise to those students who create the audio mix and sound design for the documentary. At each stage of the project, the students are held to the standards and expectations of professionals in the discipline, providing them with invaluable industry experience.

The Production Master Course has resulted in both academic and professional recognition in peer-reviewed competitions and film festivals. The 2012 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary was selected from over 1,300 global entries for the Best of Festival Award in the 2014 Broadcast Education Association Film Festival, capturing its highest honor of the Festival, the prestigious Chairman Award. The film went on to win professional recognition with two bronze Telly Awards, and most recently, the student design team was recognized with a Silver Award at the prestigious Graphis New Talent Annual 2015 for their work on the 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary.

In August 2015, the 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race film will screen at the University Film and Video Association conference in Washington, D.C.

Screening Time
7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28

Location
Esquire Theatre
320 Ludlow Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45220

Admission
Admission to the premiere screening of the 2014 Gold Rush Expedition Race is free. Reservations are not required. Learn more about the screening by visiting goldrushracedoc.com/2014-premiere.

Parking and Directions
The Esquire Theatre is located in Clifton’s Gaslight District, just a short drive from UC’s campus. The theatre  validates tickets for moviegoers for two hours of parking in the “Merchant Lot” on Howell, located one block from Ludlow Avenue (a side street off Clifton Avenue, behind the former IGA Grocery Store). Howell Avenue is parallel to Ludlow Ave. On street parking is also often available on or near Ludlow Avenue.

Everyone is welcome to use the Valet Parking available in front of La Poste Eatery on Telford St. (just around the corner from the Esquire, off Ludlow). This valet service costs $7.00 and is available Mon. – Sat., from 5-10 pm.

For more information on parking and directions, please visit www.esquiretheatre.com/location.

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Talya Lieberman in CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Hansel and Gretel.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Artist Diploma Student Talya Lieberman Wins Outstanding Performance Award at 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition

CCM artist diploma student Talya Lieberman.

CCM artist diploma student Talya Lieberman.

We are happy to report that soprano Talya Lieberman, an Artist Diploma candidate in CCM’s Opera program, won the Lys Symonette Award for Outstanding Performance of an Individual Number during the final round of the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition.

Sponsored by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, this year’s competition was held at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music on April 18. Named in honor of Weill’s musical assistant on Broadway, the Lys Symonette Award comes with a cash prize of $3,500.

Now in its 18th year, the Lotte Lenya Competition is an international theatre singing contest that recognizes exceptionally talented young singer/actors, ages 19-32, who are dramatically and musically convincing in a wide range of repertoire, from opera and operetta to contemporary Broadway musicals, with a focus on the works of Kurt Weill. The judges of this year’s competition were Rebecca Luker, James Holmes and Theodore S. Chapin. You can view a full list of this year’s competition winners by visiting www.kwf.org/previous-winners.

Lieberman is the latest in a long line of CCM-trained singers to take home top honors at the Lotte Lenya Competition. CCM alumna Lauren Roesner (BFA Musical Theatre, 2013) took Third Prize in the 2013 installment of this prestigious international theater singing contest. CCM alumna Caitlin Mathes (MM Voice, 2009; Artist Diploma in Opera, 2010) earned First Prize in 2011 and fellow alumna Alisa Suzanne Jordheim (BM Voice, 2008; MM Voice, 2010; DMA candidate) progressed to the final round of the competition that same year.

About Talya Lieberman
Originally from Forest Hills, New York, Talya Ilana Lieberman is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at CCM as a student of CCM Professor of Voice William McGraw.

A soprano, Lieberman will be singing Susanna in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro with Wolf Trap Opera as a Filene Young Artist this coming summer. She has been invited to make her recital debut with the San Francisco Opera Center as part of their Schwabacher Debut Recital series this spring. She was most recently seen performing Gretel in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel.

This past summer she sang the title role in Handel’s Semele as part of the Schwabacher Concert Series (Merola Opera Program). Highlights from 2013-14 include performing selections from Canteloube’s “Chants d’Auverge” with the CCM Philharmonia, as well as performing David del Tredici’s “Haddock’s Eyes” with CCM’s Café MoMus ensemble. She won the Irma M. Cooper Vocal Competition (Columbus Opera, 2014) and Alida Vane International Voice Competition (2013) in Latvia, where she studied on a Fulbright scholarship for the 2012-13 school year.

Lieberman made her New York City debut prior to departing for Latvia, singing in concert with Schubert & Co. In the summer of 2012 she participated in the voice program at the Chautauqua School of Music, where she was featured in Villa-Lobos’ “Bachianas Brasileiras” with the cello studio.

Lieberman is a convert from the orchestra pit and started singing after receiving her master’s degree in trumpet performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the tutelage of Judith Saxton. She completed her BA at Duke University with highest distinction in linguistics (Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude). She is a two-time winner of full tuition and stipend—winning the Russell-Seybold Award and Italo Tajo Award, respectively—at CCM’s annual Opera Scholarship Competition.

Lieberman has lived a few lives before coming to opera full-time; she worked on sleep apnea research as a research coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, served as program coordinator for the El Sistema inspired program Play On, Philly!, and had a short stint as a singer-songwriter. She is an avid student of contact improvisation and various forms of meditation. She loves reading, writing, editing, working with children, teaching and being an aunt.

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CCM Drama and E-Media film collaboration.

CCM Drama and E-Media Announce New Film Collaboration

We are thrilled to announce that CCM’s Department of Drama and Division of Electronic Media have launched a new collaborative project, which will bring original scripted films to CCM’s performance season beginning next spring!

Utilizing the expertise and resources of both programs, students will receive hands-on experience in the development of a new film by serving as screenwriters, actors, directors, cinematographers and film editors, as well as location scouts, prop masters, costume designers and more.

“This exciting new film project will allow CCM students to collaborate across departments in the creation of a new and original film,” explains CCM’s A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair of Dramatic Performance Richard Hess. “Our students have artistic voices and artistic visions that they need to practice articulating. What a fantastic opportunity.”

Scripts for this project’s inaugural film were solicited from students in January and February of 2015, with submissions coming from not only CCM Drama and E-Media students, but also from students in McMicken College and UC Clermont.

CCM Drama student Owen Alderson.

CCM Drama student Owen Alderson.

This year’s winning submission – entitled Binary – was written by sophomore drama major Owen Alderson.

A coming of age tale set in a private boarding school in Massachusetts, Binary is the story of a character named Emmett as he begins to transition to his true self, Julia.

Binary will be cast, rehearsed and filmed in the fall of 2015. The film will be edited in the spring of 2016 and will have a special showing in April of 2016 at UC’s MainStreet Cinema.

Stay tuned to The Village News for more information on Binary‘s production.

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