Old 'Thinking About Music' lecture logo.

CCM’s ‘Thinking About Music’ Lecture Series Resumes on Jan. 29, 2016

Each semester, CCM welcomes distinguished experts for a series of free Friday afternoon musical discussions. This spring, the Thinking About Music lecture series will present five free public talks, beginning with a presentation by Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Professor Blair Johnston on Friday, Jan. 29.

CCM's Spring 2016 'Thinking About Music' Schedule.

CCM’s Spring 2016 ‘Thinking About Music’ Schedule.

Sponsored by the Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, these music theory and history discussions feature diverse topics presented by distinguished experts from all over the United States and are designed to engage participants’ imaginations and to consider music in new ways.

This semester’s guest lecturers also include University of California at Los Angeles Professor Daniel Neuman (Feb. 26), Yale University Professor Brian Kane (March 11), Cornell University Professor Annette Richards (April 1) and Tufts University Professor Emerita Janet Schmalfeldt (April 15). See the listings below for more information on this semester’s presentation topics.

Since its inception in 1997, the Thinking About Music Series has presented nearly 130 lectures and one symposium by guests from a number of different colleges, universities, schools of music, foundations, institutes, museums and publications.

The subjects of the lectures have covered historical musicology, music theory and ethnomusicology, along with the ancillary fields of organology, dance, music business and law, cognitive psychology, and the philosophy, theology and sociology of music.

Event Information
Unless otherwise indicated, all Thinking About Music lectures take place on Fridays at 2:30 p.m. in the Baur Room of CCM’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts, which is located on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.

These events are free and open to the public. All event dates and programs are subject to change. Visit ccm.uc.edu for the most current event information.

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.



'Thinking About Music' guest speaker Blair Johnston.2:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29
Blair Johnston, Indiana University

Orchestration—and, with it, the roles that timbre plays in musical rhetoric, expressive trajectories, and the choices made by performers—deserves more attention from scholars than it has received. In an ongoing project, Blair Johnston is examining the rich ways that orchestrational choices in post-Romantic symphonic works interact with the “structures” described by more conventional music analysis, an area that features music-theoretic vocabularies that do not always allow for easy discussion of certain dimensions of sound—in broad terms, its shapes, its colors, its densities—that are especially essential in music from this era. This talk will explore this through the use of late symphonic works by Sibelius (excerpts from the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Symphonies and Tapiola), music in which complex approaches to musical form and material are fused to a highly individual orchestrational language—indeed, music in which there may be almost no line between form, material and timbre.
Baur Room

'Thinking About Music' guest speaker Daniel Neuman.2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26
Daniel Neuman, University of California at Los Angeles

In this talk, Daniel Neuman considers the role of hereditary musicians in India in the recent past as well as today, as they become increasingly rare in the Hindustani classical music world. Some comparative gestures to Western classical music (and in particular J.S. Bach) highlight the important roles that genealogy, pedigree and biography play as different kinds of authentication markers and historical sources in each classical music practice.
Baur Room

'Thinking About Music' guest speaker Brian Kane.

Brian Kane’s March 11 lecture has been canceled. Stay tuned for information on his rescheduled presentation.
2:30 p.m. Friday, March 11
Brian Kane, Yale University

Philosophers have often considered the ontology of music, worrying over the relation between works, scores and performances. Yet, surprisingly, jazz has not received the same consideration, even though jazz—where performances of works such as “standards” vary widely in their properties—represents an even more challenging ontological problem than found in classical music. In this talk, Brian Kane will argue for a non-essentialist, network-based ontology of jazz standards. This argument will depend on two basic operations—chains of replication and chains of nomination—that together provide a robust basis for judgments concerning a performance’s identity and individuation. Also, just as jazz is an exemplification of a network-based ontology of music, Kane will try to draw out some wider implications for the ontology of music more generally.
Baur Room


'Thinking About Music' guest speaker Annette Richards.2:30 p.m. Friday, April 1
Annette Richards, Cornell University

In Goethe’s Triumph der Empfindsamkeit (1777), sensibility, feeling and sympathy are brutally exposed as trivial obsessions with postures and props. Excess, bad taste and poor behavior are the focus of Goethe’s hilarious critique of the craze unleashed by his own Sorrows of Young Werther. Embodied in this strange and funny text is satire aimed not only at the cult of Empfindsamkeit and at the works of the artist himself, but also at the conspicuous blurring of public and private spheres, the untoward exposure of personal proclivities and private feeling. Given the ubiquitous textbook designation of C. P. E. Bach as the architect of the ‘Empfindsamer Stil’ in music, Dr. Annette Richards takes another look at what ‘Empfindsamkeit’ might mean, especially for the composer’s late keyboard works. By examining this music (along with then-contemporary views on humor, satire and other cultural elements), the audience may have to reconsider Bach’s own claims about the competing aesthetics of public and private music.
Baur Room

'Thinking About Music' guest speaker Janet Schmalfeldt.

2:30 p.m. Friday, April 15
Janet Schmalfeldt, Tufts University Professor Emerita/Boston University Visiting Professor
Location: Baur Room


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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM’s Thinking About Music Series is sponsored by the Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, Ritter & Randolph, LLC, Corporate Counsel; along with support from Dean Landgren’s Office, the Graduate Student Association, and the Division of Composition, Musicology and Theory at CCM.

CCM News
Angela Ammerman was named Virginia Orchestra Director of the Year for her work as an enthusiastic, engaging music teacher at Annandale High School. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

‘The Washington Post’ Spotlights the Innovative Teaching Methods of CCM Alumna Angela Ammerman

CCM alumna Angela Ammerman, née Hamester (BM Music Education, 2006), is gaining a great deal of attention thanks to her engaging approach to music education. In a recent Washington Post profile, reporter Moriah Balingit suggested, “If there was ever a music teacher prodigy, Angela Ammerman might be it.”

A teacher at Annandale High School in Fairfax County, Virginia, Ammerman was recently named the Virginia Orchestra Director of the Year by the American String Teachers Association. The Washington Post describes the honor as follows:

“It’s an award she earned for her one-of-a-kind method of teaching music, engaging students who range from the experienced elite to recent immigrants who are picking up an instrument for the first time.”

CCM alumna Angela Ammerman.

CCM alumna Angela Ammerman.

In describing her approach to the classroom to the Washington Post, Ammerman explained, “The kids don’t realize they’re learning. I just try to make the class environment really fun.”

A native of Cincinnati, Ammerman earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree from CCM and then pursued her masters degree at Boston University. She is currently working on her PhD in Music Education at George Mason University.

In the course of her studies, Ammerman has performed under the direction of distinguished conductors James Levine, Erich Kunzel, Xian Zhang, Steven Coker and Mark Gibson. She studied piano with Michael Chertock and Richard Morris. Additionally, Ammerman studied music education theory and practice with authorities Lizbeth Wing, and McGraw Hill’s Multi-Cultural Specialist Rene Boyer.

Upon graduation from CCM, Ammerman taught general music classes for Miamisburg City Schools in Miamisburg, Ohio. In 2007, she and her husband relocated to Jacksonville, North Carolina, where she was appointed Orchestra Director of Swansboro Middle and High School. While in North Carolina, Ammerman drastically increased orchestra membership, consistently received superior ratings at festival, and was selected Beginning Teacher of the Year.

In 2010, Ammerman was awarded the position of Orchestra Director at Robinson Middle School and Bonnie Brae Elementary School.  While living in Stafford, Ammerman also conducted the Rappahannock Youth Symphony’s Primo Orchestra from 2011-14

Ammerman currently maintains an orchestra program of nearly 150 students at Annandale High School in Fairfax County Public Schools.

Ammerman’s research has been featured in the American String Teacher Association’s 2014 Fall Issue and the National Association for Music Educators’ 2014 National Research Conference in St. Louis. Ammerman has presented research and practical sessions at International, National and State Music Education Conferences.

Ammerman’s studies and experiences have laid the groundwork for her philosophy of music education: that Critical Pedagogy provides students with a transformative and synergetic learning environment. Ammerman looks forward to helping students realize that music is a culturally valuable activity for everyone’s enjoyment; that music is historically relevant, provides a lab for students to apply the scientific method, and is a universal form of self and group expression.

Ammerman lives with her husband, Allen Ammerman, and three dogs in Alexandria, Virginia. She is a member of the Music Educators National Conference, American String Teachers Association and has been a guest conductor in All County and All City Orchestras. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, watching The Office, shoe shopping and practicing!

You can read her profile in the Washington Post at www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/fairfax-music-teacher-lauded-for-her-electrifying-methods/2015/12/06/d587163c-9ace-11e5-8917-653b65c809eb_story.

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