CCM faculty member Scott Belck, DMA.

CCM Director of Jazz Studies Scott Belck Performs at Carnegie Hall This October

CCM Director of Jazz Studies and Ensembles & Conducting Division Head Scott Belck, DMA, will perform at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall next Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015.

Belck will perform as a member of the acclaimed trumpet ensemble Tromba Mundi. The evening’s program is dubbed Sinfonia Americana and will include a musical journey from the Renaissance to the Old West, with stops in Hollywood and New Orleans along the way. Tromba Mundi released an album of the same name in 2013.

Poster for Tromba Mundi's Oct. 7, 2015, performance at Carnegie Hall.Founded in 2007 for the sole purpose of the exploration, promotion and performance of new works for trumpet ensemble, Tromba Mundi has recorded several world premiere compositions and continues to commission new music for the genre. The ensemble is comprised of professional performers and pedagogues from various universities across the United States.

The groups members also include Bryan Appleby-Wineberg, Jean-Christophe Dobrzelewski, John Marchiando, William Stowman and Joey Tartell.

In addition to his work with Tromba Mundi, Belck has recently toured as a member of Grammy Award-winning funk legend Bootsy Collins’ Funk Unity Band as lead trumpet. He has also served as trumpet and cornet soloist with the Air Force Band of Flight in Dayton, Ohio, where he held the post of musical director for the Air Force Night Flight Jazz Ensemble.

His playing credits include recordings as lead trumpet/guest soloist with the Cincinnati Pops featuring the Manhattan Transfer and John Pizzarelli, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Van Dells and jazz soloist with the University of North Texas One O’clock Lab Band with whom he recorded four CDs as jazz soloist and section trumpet.

Belck was named head of CCM’s Division of Ensembles and Conducting this fall. He directs CCM’s Jazz Orchestra and teaches applied Jazz Trumpet. Belck is a Yamaha Performing Artist.

You can learn more about Belck’s Carnegie Hall performance with Tromba Mundi by visiting

Learn  more about CCM’s world-class faculty members by visiting

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The CCM Chorale. Photography by Lisa Britton.

CCM Presents Dave Brubeck’s ‘The Gates of Justice’ in Concert at the Knox Presbyterian Church on April 19

CCM’s Choral Concert Series comes to a close this month with a special performance of Dave Brubeck’s The Gates of Justice at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 19.

The CCM Chorale, with music director and conductor Brett Scott. Photography by Lisa Britton.

The CCM Chorale, with music director and conductor Brett Scott. Photography by Lisa Britton.

Under the direction of CCM Associate Professor of Ensembles and Conducting Brett Scott, the CCM Chorale and Brass Choir will welcome the Phil DeGreg Trio and special guests from the Martin Luther King Chorale for this performance. This powerful and moving work will be presented at Hyde Park’s Knox Presbyterian Church.

Originally premiered in 1969 for the dedication of Cincinnati’s Rockdale Temple, Dave Brubeck’s The Gates of Justice was a co-commission by CCM and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, with a premiere conducted by the legendary Cincinnati Pops conductor and former CCM faculty member Erich Kunzel.

Brubeck’s second large-scale sacred composition, the piece was a plea for brotherhood between blacks and Jews during a period of strife in the 1960s, immediately following the 1968 death of Martin Luther King, Jr.

“It was a tremendous hit,” Kunzel recalled of the premiere in a Cincinnati Enquirer feature in February of 2004. “There was a standing ovation. I remember it very vividly; it was very exciting. Everyone loved it. It’s a very meaningful piece, and we were all so happy with what the result was.”

In that same story, Brubeck observed, “It was an emotional time. The idea was to bring these two cultures together, to show similarities rather than their differences.”

The Gates of Justice
 is a cantata based on biblical and Hebrew liturgical texts—together with quotations from Martin Luther King’s speeches, as well as from Negro spirituals and from the Jewish sage Hillel, and with lyrics by Brubeck’s wife, Iola, with whom he collaborated on this and other works.

Brubeck pointed to the explicit connection between the historical experience of the Jewish people and that of American blacks, and he expressed his conviction that both peoples possess traditional spiritual values with important meaning for contemporary society.

Performance Time
3 p.m. Sunday, April 19


Knox Presbyterian Church
3400 Michigan Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45208

Purchasing Tickets

Tickets to The Gates of Justice are $12 general, $6 non-UC students, UC students FREE. Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at Tickets will also be available beginning at 2 p.m. on the day of the performance at Knox Presbyterian Church; cash and check only at the door.

Parking and Directions

Please note that this performance does not take place on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Knox Church is located on the corner of Observatory and Michigan, at 3400 Michigan Avenue, in the heart of Hyde Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Parking at Knox can be a bit challenging. The best advice is to arrive a little early for the event you are attending.

Please visit for more details on parking and directions.

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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Sponsored by: The CCM Harmony Fund: Challenging Hate and Prejudice through Performing Arts

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The Boston Pops.

CCM Piano Professor Michael Chertock Performs with the Boston Pops This February

CCM Professor Michael Chertock. Photography by Lisa Ventre.

CCM Professor Michael Chertock. Photography by Lisa Ventre.

CCM Associate Professor of Piano and Keyboard Studies Division Head Michael Chertock will perform as a soloist with the Boston Pops during the beloved orchestra’s tour of Florida next month.

Affectionately known as “America’s Orchestra,” the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra will be performing a “best of” program throughout Florida from Feb. 3 – 9. Conductor Keith Lockhart promises, “a broad spectrum of styles, from jazz to pop, indie rock to big band, film music to the great American songbook, and Broadway to classical.” Learn more about the tour here.

Chertock will also conduct and perform as soloist with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra on March 6 in the Grand Hall of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory.

You can view Chertock’s full 2014-15 performance schedule by visiting

Recently, Chertock performed as soloist with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the Santa Barbara Symphony, the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, and the Richmond Symphony Orchestra.

He also recorded two Piano Concerti by John Alden Carpenter with the BBC Concert Orchestra in Abbey Road Studios in London, with Keith Lockhart conducting. The recording will be released on the Dutton Epoch label in February.

Learn  more about CCM’s world-class faculty members by visiting

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CCM Alumna Marie Speziale to Receive Pioneer Award at International Women’s Brass Conference

CCM alumna Marie Speziale (BM, 1964).

CCM alumna Marie Speziale (BM, 1964).

We are thrilled to report that CCM alumna and former faculty member Marie Speziale (BM, 1964) will be presented with a Pioneer Award at the International Women’s Brass Conference (IWBC) at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 4, at Northern Kentucky University’s Greaves Hall.

Acknowledged as the first woman trumpeter in a major symphony orchestra, Speziale served as Associate Principal Trumpet with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for 32 years, from 1964 until her retirement in November of 1996. At this year’s conference, she will be honored as a musician whose career and spirit exemplifies the goals and traditions of the IWBC. Congratulations!

At each IWBC, beginning with the first in 1993, the IWBC has recognized women who have been pioneers in the top levels of brass performance, breaking down barriers and living their lives effecting change for those who followed. A full list of past award recipients may be found on the IWBC web site at

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NBC’s 2014 Olympic Coverage Features the Iconic Music of CCM Alumnus Randy Edelman

NBCSochiLogoTelevision viewers of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi have a CCM alumnus to thank for the rousing theme music featured in NBC’s coverage of the games.

Beginning with the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, the NBC television network has used music originally composed by distinguished alumnus Randy Edelman (CCM ’69, HonDoc ’04) extensively in its televised sports broadcasts.

A prominent singer, songwriter, arranger and film scorer, Edelman has led a prolific career since concluding his studies at CCM and has regularly seen his film and television scores find a second life in NBC’s sports coverage. Below, you can listen to the closing credits soundtrack for NBC’s Olympics coverage, which features Edelman’s “World of the Heart” and “Finale.”

As the Los Angeles Times has previously reported, the heroic music used by NBC to promote upcoming Olympic competitions was originally the theme for the comedy-western television series The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. You can view the original title sequence for that program (complete with Edelman’s score) below:

This theme has come to soundtrack NBC’s Olympic coverage for nearly 20 years and has also been used in the network’s coverage of Major League Baseball playoffs and other major sporting events.

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CCM Dance Showcase Spotlights Student Choreographers March 7 – 9

CCM showcases the work of student choreographers March 7-9. Photography by Will Brenner.

CCM showcases the work of student choreographers March 7-9. Photography by Will Brenner.

CCM proudly presents the next Studio Series production, featuring the original works of student dance choreographers, March 7-9 in UC’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. This production is free and open to the general public, but reservations are required. The 2013 Choreographers Showcase is directed by Assistant Professor of Dance Deirdre Carberry.

CCM Dance is constantly innovating and presenting new choreography, and this showcase is no exception. Junior ballet major Elizabeth Ernst found her inspiration in a set of traditional Latin pieces arranged by Cincinnati’s beloved “Prince of Pops” Erich Kunzel. “I knew that I wanted to choreograph for the show,” she explains. “But I had no idea what I wanted to do until one day I was cleaning my room and listening to music when one of the songs [arranged by Kunzel] came on, and I could not stop dancing! I knew from that point on that if I was going to choreograph, it was going to be to that music.” Ballet with a Latin twist was the result of Ernst’s vision, involving dancers performing to a recording of the Cincinnati Pops.

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In Memoriam: Van Cliburn

Janelle Gelfand looked back on the life and career of pianist Van Cliburn in yesterday’s issue of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The internationally acclaimed pianist had a number of Cincinnati ties, starting with his mother, Rildia Bee O’Bryan Cliburn, who graduated from CCM with a Bachelor of Music in 1915.

Van Cliburn was a generous supporter of CCM, establishing the Rildia Bee O’Bryan Cliburn Student Lounge in the old Mary Emery Hall in honor of his mother and funding an undergraduate piano scholarship at CCM for many years. He will be missed but never forgotten.

Learn more about Cliburn’s indelible legacy here.

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