Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Named ‘Best Musical Theatre College For Broadway Success’

The educational news site Learn U has placed CCM at the very top of its list for Best Musical Theatre Colleges for Broadway Success. The report states:

“In terms of bang for your buck, CCM’s program comes out the winner – it’s the school we gave the #1 ranking to in our list of the best MT programs, and it’s also one of the more affordable options.”

Long lauded as the “gold standard” of BFA musical theatre programs, CCM Musical Theatre is the oldest program of its kind in the country. Establish in 1968 by Helen Laird, with Jack Rouse serving as its first chairman, the program served as the model for the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) in creating their guidelines for the accreditation of musical theatre programs in the United States.

Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Series production of ‘Carousel.’ Photography by Mark Lyons.

The Learn U report observes, “The thing that really makes CCM stand out is the tremendous success that alumni have had on Broadway. The list of alumni who have gone on to have careers in the entertainment industry is extensive and reads like a who’s who of Broadway stars.” You can learn more about the impressive successes of our alumni by visiting ccm.uc.edu/theatre/musical_theatre/alumni.

You can read Learn U’s full report of top musical theatre programs here.

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Samantha Pollino and Ben Biggers in 'Carousel.' Special thanks to Carol Ann's Carousel, A Gift of The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Presents Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Timeless ‘CAROUSEL’ Oct. 29 – Nov. 1

CCM’s acclaimed Mainstage Series continues this fall with a moving production of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. Directed and choreographed by Diane Lala with musical direction by Roger GrodskyCarousel runs Oct. 29 through Nov. 1 in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium. Tickets for all performances are on sale now.

Samantha Pollino and Ben Biggers in 'Carousel.' Special thanks to Carol Ann's Carousel, A Gift of The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation. Photography by Mark Lyons.Based on the 1909 play LiliomCarousel tells a story of tragedy, forgiveness and timeless love through the turbulent relationship of Julie Jordan, a quiet, naïve millworker, and Billy Bigelow, a swaggering, carefree carnival barker.

CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Diane Lala directs and choreographs the show, which was hailed as the “best musical of the 20th century” by Time Magazine. Fittingly, Lala’s approach to the show is to let the material speak for itself. “Carousel is such a classic piece of musical theatre,” she explains. “My goal is to present the show the way the writers intended it.”

Lala is no stranger to the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein, having previously helmed CCM’s 2011 production of Oklahoma!. Lala notes that although the two musicals were written back to back, they are quite different. “A lot of the uplifting spirit in Oklahoma! comes from the feeling of community around making Oklahoma a state. In Carousel we deal with the much darker issue of a marriage between two people who are completely different but who have this captivating and enduring love for each other.”

Richard Rodgers portrays the love story gloriously in his sweeping score, which he maintained was his personal favorite of all the shows he wrote.

CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Roger Grodsky and second-year graduate student Danny White will co-conduct the 39-piece orchestra for this production. The duo will honor Rodgers by utilizing a restored version of the original 1945 orchestrations. “The restoration process began in 2003 and there are literally hundreds of parts that have been reinstated or corrected,” says Grodsky. “People may be surprised to hear that that the correct lyric for ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ is: ‘When you walk through a storm, KEEP YOUR CHIN up high’ not ‘hold your head’!”

Carousel‘s timeless score also includes such standards as “If I Loved You” and Billy’s powerful seven-minute solo “Soliloquy.”

In addition to the full orchestra, the technical elements of the show will be quite grand. However, Lala notes that the juxtaposition of these elements with the intimacy of the story is what makes this production special. “In the beginning of the show, we transform from a bare stage to a full amusement park including a big carousel, so the set and musical numbers are really big and elaborate but then the scenes are so dramatic and simple. There’s a wonderful contrast all within the same show.”

With its timeless story, glorious score, and stunning visuals, CCM’s production of Carousel is sure to delight audiences and create a memorable evening of theater.

Special thanks to Carol Ann’s Carousel, A Gift of The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel 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/mainstage/carousel.

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

Carousel Production Sponsor: The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation.

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM News
CCM alumnus Chris Fenwick scores Tony win with Broadway's FUN HOME.

CCM Alumnus Chris Fenwick’s Latest Project Wins Big at 2015 Tony Awards

We would like to extend our ecstatic congratulations to CCM alumnus Chris Fenwick (BM Piano, 2001), who serves as music director for the Broadway hit Fun Home! At last night’s Tony Awards ceremony, Fun Home won a stunning five awards, including the Tony for Best Musical! Based on the popular graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel, the musical is also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize!

You can watch a performance from last night’s ceremony featuring the cast of Fun Home below.

Fenwick has served as musical director for a number of recent Broadway shows, including Rocky, The Addams Family and the 2007 revival of Grease. Congratulations Chris!

CCM alumnus Chris Fenwick with the cast and creative team for 'Fun Home' at the 2015 Tony Awards ceremony.

CCM alumnus Chris Fenwick with the cast and creative team for ‘Fun Home’ at the 2015 Tony Awards ceremony.

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Kevin McCollum talks to CCM musical theatre students at a master class.

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer Kevin McCollum Joins CCM’s Faculty as Distinguished Visiting Professor

Peter Landgren, dean and Thomas James Kelly professor of music at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), has appointed leading Broadway producer Kevin McCollum to the position of Distinguished Visiting Professor. McCollum’s initial appointment will be for three years and will become effective in August of 2015.

Alumnus and Distinguished Visiting Professor Kevin McCollum.

Alumnus and Distinguished Visiting Professor Kevin McCollum.

A distinguished alumnus of the University of Cincinnati, McCollum (BFA Musical Theatre, 1984; HonDoc, 2005) is the Tony Award-winning producer of RentAvenue QIn the HeightsMotown the Musical and many other acclaimed Broadway, Off-Broadway and touring productions. Earlier this spring, McCollum received two more Tony nominations for his current productions of Something Rotten! (Best Musical) and Hand to God (Best Play). He also received 12 Outer Critics Circle Award nominations, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical, and nine Drama Desk nominations, including Outstanding Musical.

As a Distinguished Visiting Professor at CCM, McCollum’s influence on the college’s students and programs will be broad, focusing his work on musical theatre, although his entrepreneurial expertise will also be applied to aspects of auditioning, career development, arts administration and more.

Through this new appointment, McCollum will also work with faculty and administrators to develop a new musical theatre incubator program at CCM. A collaborative venture between CCM and Alchemation, McCollum’s Broadway producing office, this incubator will be designed to support the creation of new musical theatre works, utilizing McCollum’s entrepreneurial expertise and CCM’s abundance of talent.

“We are very excited to bring Kevin back to CCM as a member of our faculty,” says Dean Landgren. “Kevin is arguably the most accomplished and successful producer working in theatre today. Given his diverse background and his proven expertise in the business of the performing arts, his presence on our faculty will enhance the already world-class training that our students receive.”

“CCM was an essential part of my professional training and I am thrilled to return to such a top-notch institution,” says McCollum. “There are many things that attracted me to this position on CCM’s faculty; Peter Landgren’s bold leadership and openness to collaboration, the level of excellence found in the faculty, the highly accomplished young artists and the state-of-the-art facilities of my Alma Mater. I am proud to be counted amongst the internationally renowned faculty of this great institution. CCM has a longstanding commitment to presenting new works, and I am equally proud to help develop a program that will usher in the next generation of musical theatre artists.”

Speaking of the significance of an incubator program for musical theatre, Landgren explains, “Keeping with the University of Cincinnati’s proud tradition of cooperative education and experiential learning, this collaboration with Kevin and Alchemation will present our students with extraordinary opportunities to hone their craft while working to develop future theatre classics. Developing Broadway’s blockbusters-of-tomorrow with CCM’s stars-of-tomorrow is a win-win.”

Kevin McCollum (center) with CCM Musical Theatre's Class of 2015 after his seminar at Pearl Studios in New York.

Kevin McCollum (center) with CCM Musical Theatre’s Class of 2015 after his seminar at Pearl Studios in New York.

About Kevin McCollum
With a career spanning 25 years in the theatre industry, Kevin McCollum remains one of the most prolific and successful producers on Broadway today. He has received the Tony Award for Best Musical for In the Heights (2008), Avenue Q (2004) and Rent (1996), which also won the Pulitzer Prize. He produced Motown the Musical (Broadway and National Tour), The Drowsy Chaperone in 2006, which won five Tony Awards, Baz Luhrmann’s production of Puccini’s La Boheme in 2002, [title of show] in 2008, the touring and Broadway productions of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, the off-Broadway hit De La Guarda, the recent hit revival of West Side Story and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.

In 1995 McCollum co-founded the Producing Office, and has since created Alchemation, a theatrical and media producing company committed to new work. In addition to his training at CCM, McCollum earned his Master’s degree in film producing from the Peter Stark Program at the University of Southern California.

In 1995, McCollum received the Robert Whitehead Award for Outstanding Commercial Theatre Producing. In 2005, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Cincinnati. He is represented on Broadway this spring with the original musical Something Rotten! and the New American Play Hand to God. His wife is actress and fellow UC graduate Lynette Perry-McCollum (BM Musical Theatre, 1985).

About Alchemation
Founded in 2012, Alchemation is a theatre and media company under McCollum’s leadership. Productions under the Alchemation banner include Motown the Musical, Something Rotten!Hand to God and the third season of theatrical web-series Submissions Only. In the summer of 2013, McCollum entered a joint venture with 20th Century Fox to develop titles from the Fox catalogue into stage properties.

About CCM
Nationally ranked and internationally renowned, the University of Cincinnati College- Conservatory of Music (CCM) is a preeminent institution for the performing and media arts. Declared “one of the nation’s leading conservatories” by the New York Times, CCM provides life-changing experiences within a highly creative and multidisciplinary artistic environment.

CCM’s educational roots date back to 1867, and a solid, visionary instruction has been at our core since that time. The synergy created by housing CCM within a comprehensive public university gives the college its unique character and defines its objective: to educate and inspire the whole artist and scholar for positions on the world’s stage.

CCM’s faculty and staff and its state-of-the-art facilities make possible the professional training and exceptional education on which CCM believes the future of the arts relies. The school’s roster of eminent faculty regularly receives distinguished honors for creative and scholarly work, and its alumni have achieved notable success in the performing and media arts.

More than 150 internationally recognized faculty members work with students from around the world, specializing in the areas of Composition, Musicology and Theory; Electronic Media; Ensembles and Conducting; Keyboard Studies; Music Education; Performance Studies and Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration.

The largest single source of performing arts events in the state of Ohio, CCM presents nearly 1000 major public performances each year, ranging from faculty and guest artist concerts to fully supported opera, musical theatre, drama and dance productions.

For more information about the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.

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CCM's Class of 2015 in Musical Theatre: Alison Bagli, Sarah Bishop, Eric Geil, Tyler Huckstep, Nathaniel Irvin, Thomas Knapp, John McGill, Charlie Meredith, Christopher Morrissey, Kaela O'Connor, Dallas Padoven, DJ Plunkett, Madeleine Spacapan, Emily Trumble, Lawson Young and Hannah Zazzaro.

Graduating Musical Theatre Major Eric Geil Joins ‘The Book of Mormon’ National Tour

CCM Musical Theatre student Eric Geil.

CCM Musical Theatre student Eric Geil.

We are delighted to report that senior musical theatre major Eric Geil will join the national tour of The Book of Mormon as Elder Church beginning May 12, 2015!

Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Geil has been seen at Cardinal Stage as Enjolras in Les Misérables, at Musical Theater Heritage in Gypsy, and at Kansas City Starlight in The Sound of Music.

Geil’s CCM credits include Marius in Les Misérables, Tommy Ross in Carrie, Frankie Epps in Parade and in the companies of Legally Blonde, Spring Awakening, The Civil War, Street Scene and Chess.

Geil was a featured vocalist in the 2014 Fort Wayne Philharmonic Holiday Pops Concert. He is a proud member of AEA.

Congratulations Eric! Learn more about CCM Musical Theatre’s Class of 2015 here.

CCM News Student Salutes
Trinidad Rosado, Shannon Stoeke and Danette Holden in CCM's 1994 Hot Summer Nights production of THE FANTASTICKS. Photography by Sandy Underwood.

CCM’s Music in the Library Concert Series Continues with the Music of Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones on April 2

CCM students will celebrate the works of famed musical theatre duo Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt during a free performance at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 2, in CCM’s Albino Gorno Memorial Music Library.

A look back at CCM's 1994 Hot Summer Night's production of Jones and Schmidt's THE FANTASTICS, which featured 2015 Musical Theatre Young Alumni Award recipient Mickey Fisher (far left) in the cast! Photography by Sandy Underwood.

A look back at CCM’s 1994 Hot Summer Nights production of Jones and Schmidt’s THE FANTASTICKS, which featured 2015 Musical Theatre Young Alumni Award recipient Mickey Fisher (far left) in the cast! Photography by Sandy Underwood.

Dubbed “Celebration: The Music of Schmidt and Jones,” this concert, which is part of the school’s Music in the Library Series, will feature selections from the catalogue of the composer-lyricist team behind The Fantasticks and 110 in the Shade.

Pianist Craig Dalton and harpist Rachel Miller accompany students from CCM’s famed musical theatre program on hit songs such as “Try To Remember” and “Soon It’s Gonna Rain” as well as lesser-known gems from Celebration, Philemon and Collette Collage.

The concert will also include a special preview of CCM’s upcoming Studio Series production of 110 in the Shade, which opens on Thursday, April 9 (admission to 110 in the Shade are free, but reservations are required; tickets become available at noon on April 6).

“Celebration: The Music of Schmidt and Jones” will take place in the Gorno Library Reading Room, 6th Floor, Blegen Library. The performance is free and open to all.

CCM News Student Salutes
CCM's Class of 2015 in Musical Theatre: Alison Bagli, Sarah Bishop, Eric Geil, Tyler Huckstep, Nathaniel Irvin, Thomas Knapp, John McGill, Charlie Meredith, Christopher Morrissey, Kaela O'Connor, Dallas Padoven, DJ Plunkett, Madeleine Spacapan, Emily Trumble, Lawson Young and Hannah Zazzaro.

CCM Musical Theatre Presents Annual Senior Showcase March 26 and 28

Cincinnati audiences will get a sneak peek of an original showcase created by the 2015 graduating class from CCM’s Department of Musical Theatre during the annual “Not Famous Yet” Showcase, which runs on March 26 (Friends of CCM benefit performance) and March 28 in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

The March 26 benefit performance starts at 7 p.m. and features dinner by the bite and a post-performance celebration. Tickets for this benefit event are on sale now. For tickets and additional information, visit ccm.weshareonline.org/ws/opportunities/NotFamousYetShowcase2015.

The March 28 performances take place at 4 and 8 p.m. and are free, but reservations are required. Tickets for these free performances become available at noon on Monday, March 23.

Each year, seniors from CCM’s musical theatre program travel to New York to present a showcase for the leading agents, casting directors and managers in the business. The show takes the format of a Broadway audition, with the actors showing off their solo and ensemble skills through song and dance numbers. The work is created by the students themselves under the supervision of program chair Aubrey Berg and with the assistance of musical director Julie Spangler.

This year’s performance is the 23rd edition of the CCM “Not Famous Yet” showcase. The annual showcase began with the establishment of the Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre in 1991. At the time of its inception, it was the only academic chair of its kind in the United States. Learn more about the Musical Theatre Class of 2015 here.

Friends of CCM Benefit Performance
The opening performance of the Musical Theatre Showcase on March 26 is part of a benefit for the Friends of CCM. The event begins at 7 p.m. and includes dinner by the bite.

CCM alumnus Mickey Fisher.

CCM alumnus Mickey Fisher.

This event also includes the presentation of the Musical Theatre Young Alumni Award, which recognizes outstanding professional achievement by graduates of CCM’s musical theatre program from the past two decades. This year’s recipient is Mickey Fisher, who graduated from UC in 1995.

A writer, director and actor, Fisher created and serves as executive producer for Extant, a science fiction television program developed by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television and CBS Television studios. The thriller stars Academy Award-winner Halle Berry and is currently shooting its second season. Fisher’s credits also include the films King of Iron Town and Summer Nuts, as well as the musical Something in the Water.

Tickets for the March 26 benefit are:

  • Patron Tickets: $100 each; includes a patron reception before the performance honoring Mickey Fisher, general performance seating, dinner by the bite and garage parking.
  • General Public Tickets: $75 each; includes general performance seating, dinner by the bite and garage parking.
  • Friends of CCM Member Tickets: $50 each; includes general performance seating, dinner by the bite and garage parking.
  • Young Professional (40 and under) and CCM Alumni Tickets: $35 each; includes general performance seating, dinner by the bite and garage parking.

Proceeds benefit student career development grants and scholarships. Seating is limited. To reserve a ticket, call CCM External Relations at 513-556-2100 or visit ccm.weshareonline.org/ws/opportunities/NotFamousYetShowcase2015.

CCM Hosts FREE Performances of the Showcase on March 28
Admission to the Musical Theatre Showcase at 4 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 28, is FREE. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, March 23; please visit the CCM Box Office or call 513-556-4183 to make a reservation. Limit two tickets per order.

Performance Times

  • 7 p.m. Thursday, March 26 — Friends of CCM Benefit
  • 4 & 8 p.m. Saturday March 28

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing and Reserving Tickets
Tickets to the Friends of CCM benefit performance are on sale now. Ticket options include $100 patron level tickets (includes pre-show patron reception), $75 general public tickets, $50 Friends of CCM member tickets and $35 young professional (age 40 and under) and CCM Alumni tickets. Seating is limited.

To purchase, call CCM’s Office of External Relations at 513-556-2100. Learn more at ccm.weshareonline.org/ws/opportunities/NotFamousYetShowcase2015.

Admission to the 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 28, performances is FREE, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, March 23. Please visit the CCM Box Office or call 513-556-4183 to make a reservation. Limit two tickets per order.

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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

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