Through this new Diversity Fellowship Program, students will get to perform with the CSO while completing a graduate degree at CCM.

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Awarded $900,000 by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) are honored to announce the two institutions are the combined recipient of a $900,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This grant will be used to pilot a groundbreaking collaborative fellowship program aimed at developing young, graduate-level musicians from underrepresented populations and preparing them for the professional orchestra world.

The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship Program responds to a need among American orchestras and professional music conservatories, which face issues of underrepresentation, and is driven by the mutual desire of the CSO and CCM to foster a more inclusive environment in the orchestral industry. Selected graduate school Fellows from underrepresented populations will participate in a specialized two-year program that is already garnering attention among leaders throughout the music world. This educational opportunity will consist of frequent performances with the CSO, focused mentorship by professional CSO musicians, and simultaneous enrollment in a master’s or artist diploma degree program at CCM where fellows will be guided by CCM’s illustrious faculty.

Learn more at Cincinnati.com.

Learn more at Cincinnati.com.

“We looked at the data and saw that only four percent of American orchestra musicians were African-American or Latino, a figure that is also reflected in conservatory settings,” said Trey Devey, CSO President. “The CSO and CCM felt it essential to address this issue head-on and provide life-changing experiences within a highly creative and multidisciplinary artistic environment for graduate-level musicians across the country.”

“There are many fine programs designed to address underrepresentation in our industry, but none of those experiences include both a major American symphony orchestra and a major conservatory. Together, CCM and the CSO will provide unparalleled experiential learning opportunities for young musicians on the verge of a professional career,” said CCM Dean Peter Landgren.

“CCM and the CSO are perfectly positioned for this initiative. Our organizations’ recent partnership with the Cincinnati World Piano Competition, our joint Conducting Fellowship, as well as the large number of CSO musicians who are CCM alumni and serve as CCM faculty, speak to the deep connections between our two institutions. As the birthplace of cooperative education, the University of Cincinnati also serves as the perfect backdrop for this new approach to professional mentorship for musicians,” said Mr. Landgren.

CCM's Concert Orchestra, performing at the annual Moveable Feast gala event.

CCM’s Concert Orchestra, performing at the annual Moveable Feast gala event.

How the Fellowship Works
The four-year pilot program, as funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will graduate two classes of up to five Fellows each through June 2019. Fellows will consist of graduate level string musicians who are simultaneously enrolled in CCM’s master’s or artist diploma degree programs. Each class of Fellows will include up to two violins, and one each of viola, cello and double bass. They will perform five weeks per season with the CSO in a progressive sequence of concert weeks based on program difficulty, with one week focused on community engagement and educational activities.

These Fellows will be provided with a unique support system built on intensive professional mentorship. In addition to the community formed with other Fellows, they will receive focused mentorship by CSO musicians, which includes advance coaching sessions prior to a rehearsal cycle, ongoing stand partner coaching throughout rehearsal weeks and post-performance feedback. There will also be structured time for non-performance related mentorship such as career counseling and audition preparation.

Additionally, Fellows will receive a CCM Fellowship Stipend and one time Graduate Dean’s Excellence Award, with opportunities for additional performing and non-performing community engagement activities through CCM, eight career development seminars including mock auditions and full tuition scholarships.

Application procedures and deadlines will be announced at a later date.

The Anticipated Impact
It is anticipated this new fellowship opportunity will attract talented young musicians from throughout the nation.

“I think I speak for all the musicians of the CSO, and particularly those of us who will be deeply involved in mentoring, that in seeking to identify and prepare more underrepresented musicians for orchestral auditions, we will be helping make American orchestras richer,” said Stacey Woolley, CSO violinist. “There is such a varied career path available to musicians in every facet of professional music, and fostering this awareness with the next generation will continue to serve orchestras and communities for decades to come.”

An alumnus of CCM, Landgren has a first-hand understanding of the life changing opportunities this new initiative will provide. “As a student at CCM, I had the rare privilege of performing as an extra musician with the CSO. That transformative learning experience led to my 29-year career as a musician with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,” he explained. “When I returned to CCM as the Dean, developing a program to provide similar opportunities for tomorrow’s professional musicians became a driving priority.”

Both the CSO and CCM extend sincere gratitude to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its extraordinary impact in making this Diversity Fellowship Program a reality.

“Without the extraordinary support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this groundbreaking new fellowship program simply wouldn’t be possible,” said Mr. Devey. “It advances the Orchestra’s already strong and award winning commitment to more inclusiveness, a goal we share with the community we serve.”

“This generous gift from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will enhance the already world-class UC College-Conservatory of Music and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra by enabling a unique partnership between two great Cincinnati institutions,” said UC Foundation President Rodney Grabowski. “The collaboration is a great example of the university’s commitment to inclusion initiatives, focus on the cooperative education and dedication to the performing arts.”

For more information about about this historic announcement, check out Janelle Gelfand’s coverage on Cincinnati.com today and be sure to pick up the Sunday, July 19, edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer for the full story!

CCM News
Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s ‘Legally Blonde’ Receives Rave Reviews

Photography by Mark Lyons.The critics are praising CCM’s current production of Legally Blonde – The Musical, which plays through a matinee performance on Sunday, Nov. 2!

In his review for the Sappy Critic, Kirk Sheppard writes, “Legally Blonde – The Musical is an energetic, satisfying show and CCM has brought all of the elements together continuing their reputation as one of the best musical theatre programs in the country.” Sheppard singles out the performance of senior Lawson Young (one of two CCM students playing Elle Woods in this double-cast production), going so far as to say, “Of the five [different] productions I’ve seen, she’s by far the best and that includes the national tour and the [Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera] last summer.”

David Lyman has similar praise for the production and for senior Sarah Bishop in his review for the Cincinnati Enquirer. “What’s really refreshing about this production,” he observes, “is that, as Elle, Sarah Bishop gives a measure of humanity that we rarely get to see. We see Elle develop a conscience and compassion and – heaven forbid – come to love a man to whom she never would have given the time of day at the outset of the show.”

The News Record‘s review praised the entire company, with Aidan Smith writing, “The humor offered by every cast member made this musical stand out, and it showed in the audience’s constant giggling.”

“Featuring strong performances, fun choreography, and a superb set design, this mounting is a true crowd pleaser,” Scott Cain observes in his review for Talkin’ Broadway.

In his review for Behind the Curtain Cincinnati, Rob Bucher calls CCM’s production, “a very fun and entertaining show. Excellent work.”

Rick Pender profiles Legally Blonde director/choreographer and CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Diane Lala in his “Curtain Call” column for Cincinnati CityBeat, observing that “the evidence of her success is currently onstage at CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater.”

You have five more chances to catch this all-singing, all-dancing production… and tickets are still available!

Performance Times

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

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets

Tickets to Legally Blonde are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 UC students with a valid ID, with $12-$15 student rush tickets available for the Saturday matinee beginning at 1 p.m. on Nov. 1.

Customizable subscription packages are also available. 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/legally-blonde-mainstage.

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

Mainstage Production Sponsor: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Legally Blonde: The Musical is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 | Phone: 212-541-4684 | Fax: 212-397-4684 | http://www.MTIShows.com

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM E-Media Welcomes Emmy Winning Newscaster and Media Personality Jerry Springer for Guest Lecture

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Yesterday, Emmy winning newscaster and media personality Jerry Springer discussed his multifaceted broadcasting career and hosted a lively Q&A session for students in CCM’s Division of Electronic Media.

The Cincinnati Enquirer‘s John Kiesewetter caught up with Springer and his former co-anchor Norma Rashid (now a CCM E-Media adjunct instructor) before the lecture and asked the two to look back on their time at WLWT-TV together. It was 30 years ago this week that Springer and Rashid anchored their first newscast together on WLWT.

You can watch Kiesewetter’s video, shot at CCM’s Walter and Marilyn Bartlett Television Production Center, here.

CCM News

CCM Drama Grad Diana Maria Riva Returns to Primetime TV

CCM alumna Diana Maria Riva on television's 'Saint George.' Photo courtesy of FX.

CCM alumna Diana Maria Riva on television’s ‘Saint George.’ Photo courtesy of FX.

We are thrilled to report that CCM Drama alumna Diana Maria Riva (BFA, ’91; MFA, ’95) returns to primetime television as a series regular in a new comedy starring George Lopez. The half-hour Saint George premieres at 9 p.m. ET tonight (Thursday, March 6) on the FX channel!

Riva plays Lopez’s “tough and sexy” boss, as described in FX press materials. Her character, Concepcion, is the assistant principal at a downtown Los Angeles school, where she supervises Lopez teaching an evening history class — his way to give back to the community.

You can learn more about the program courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer here and courtesy of UC Magazine here.

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News

CCM Welcomes Greater Cincinnati Chinese Music Society for New Year Concert on Feb. 15

Jin Shan performs the matouqin, or horse-head fiddle.

Jin Shan performs the matouqin, or horse-head fiddle.

The Greater Cincinnati Chinese Music Society (GCCMS) presents its 13th annual Chinese New Year Concert at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 15, in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium. This unique event celebrates the increasing cultural diversity in the tri-state region with music from East and West.

Conducted by CCM’s Director of Orchestral Studies Mark Gibson, the CCM Philharmonia kicks off the celebratory concert with the much-anticipated masterpiece The Grand Canal Symphonic Suite by Chinese American composer Zhou Tian.

The Grand Canal Symphonic Suite tells a story of history, culture and lives along the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, the longest canal in the world. This piece was selected as theme music for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

The soul of the concert emerges from the performance by Matouqin virtuoso Jin Shan, highlighting the concert’s theme: Melodies of the Prairie. A traditional bowed stringed instrument, the Matouqin produces an extraordinary sound, like a wild horse neighing, or a breeze in the grasslands. Jin Shan has performed at numerous national and international concerts and events, whose astounding performance frequently earned him standing ovations.

CCM News

CCM’s Preparatory Department Celebrates 35 Years of Cincinnati Junior Strings

Cincinnati Junior Strings founding maestro Gerald “Gerry” Doan.

Cincinnati Junior Strings founding maestro Gerald “Gerry” Doan.

CCM’s Preparatory Department (CCM Prep) celebrates the 35th anniversary of the Cincinnati Junior Strings ensemble with a winter concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15, at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College Muntz Theater. This special event will honor recently retired Cincinnati Junior Strings founder Gerald Doan and new director Rachel Bierkan.

The 43 talented string students performing in this orchestra range in age from 9 – 14 years old. Under the direction of Bierkan, Jennifer Cox and Betty Anne Gottlieb, they will perform a variety of classical works, many arranged by Doan specifically for the Cincinnati Junior Strings!

Alumni of of the Cincinnati Junior Strings are encouraged to attend the Dec. 15 concert and perform with the orchestra. A reception will follow the performance, and both the concert and reception are free and open to the public.

Donations will be accepted for the Doan Scholarship Fund, which recognizes an outstanding member of Cincinnati Junior Strings. For further information about the event, please contact Amy Dennison, Assistant Dean and Director of CCM Prep at 513-556-946.

You can learn more about the Dec. 15 concert courtesy of Janelle Gelfand and the Cincinnati Enquirer here.

CCM News Faculty Fanfare

‘CityBeat’ and Cincinnati.com Preview Upcoming CCM Opera Productions

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Pick up today’s edition of Cincinnati CityBeat for a first look at both this week’s regional premiere of Benjamin Britten’s opera Owen Wingrave and next Tuesday’s public reading of the Opera Fusion new work Fellow Travelers.

When asked about the scenic design of Owen Wingrave, stage director Kenneth Shaw tells CityBeat‘s Anne Arenstein, “We’re doing a lot with light and suggestions of scenery. Our student designers are incredible. We do this kind of transition all the time here.”

You can read the full CityBeat feature online here and view a first look at CCM student Gabriel Firestone‘s scenic designs for Owen Wingrave in the slideshow above.

Read Shaw’s Q&A with the Cincinnati Enquirer‘s Janelle Gelfand here.

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