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

Five CCM Alumni on Broadway in ‘Annie’ Revival

Distinguished alumna Faith Prince listens to Emily Rosenfeld in the Broadway revival of 'Annie.'

Distinguished alumna Faith Prince listens to Emily Rosenfeld in the Broadway revival of ‘Annie.’

Until Jan. 5, 2014, Broadway audiences have a chance to catch four CCM alumnae in a Tony-nominated musical — the revival of Annie — plus one more if you wait at the back stage door to meet him after the show.

The biggest name of the group is Faith Prince, CCM ’79, HonDoc ’09, who co-stars as Miss Hannigan, the alcoholic matron at the orphanage. She joined the show at the Palace Theatre in the summer (2013).

Also joining the show this year were Justin Patterson, CCM ’99, who plays F.D.R.; Kirsten Wyatt, CCM ’97, who plays Lily St. Regis; Danette Holden, CCM ’96, part of the ensemble and an understudy for Faith Prince; and Derric Nolte, CCM ’11, assistant stage director.

The current revival of Annie was nominated for a Tony for Best Revival of a Musical. The show is expected to run through Jan. 5, 2014, after which a national tour will be launched.

You can learn more about these CCM alumni courtesy of UC Magazine.

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News

Getting to Know Wesley Fay Yount, CCM Graduating Senior and Stage Management Major

Graduating senior Wesley Fay Yount.

Graduating senior Wesley Fay Yount.

This December, Wesley Fay Yount of Centerville, Ohio will graduate from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from CCM’s highly selective stage management program. At the age of 20, Yount will be the youngest recipient of a bachelor’s degree in UC’s Fall Commencement Ceremony. Thanks to CCM’s immersive stage management program, she has already gained a wealth of professional experience in her field of choice.

Yount was first drawn to the performing arts through Centerville High School’s theatre program and she found the role of the stage manager particularly intriguing. “Stage management always appealed to me because I saw it as the perfect blend between the artistic and the technical,” she says.

“The stage manger’s task is to take care of the details so that the director, designers and cast can be free to develop the art of the production,” explains CCM Professor of Stage Management Michele Kay. In many ways, the stage manager serves as the logistical nexus for complex productions and is often called upon to think and react quickly in critical situations.

In short, Yount characterizes a stage manager as “a leader, confidant, facilitator, conductor, puzzle-solver, handyman and encyclopedia.”

Coming to UC was an easy choice for Yount. “When I discovered in my college search that one of the top technical theatre schools in the country was less than an hour from my hometown, it was a no-brainer,” she says. “The faculty’s real-world experience and connections, the resources available to students and the scale and sheer number of productions set CCM apart from other BFA programs.”

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Professor of E-Media Joins Investigative Team at Cincinnati’s Fox 19

From left to right: Fox 19 General Manager Bill Lanesey and CCM Professor of Electronic Media Hagit Limor welcomed CCM Dean Peter Landgren and E-Media Division Head John Owens for a tour of the WXIX-TV news studio earlier this month. Professor Limor joins Fox 19′s newly expanded investigative team this fall. Photography by Dottie Stover.

From left to right: Fox 19 General Manager Bill Lanesey and CCM Professor of Electronic Media Hagit Limor welcomed CCM Dean Peter Landgren and E-Media Division Head John Owens for a tour of the WXIX-TV news studio earlier this month. Professor Limor joins Fox 19′s newly expanded investigative team this fall. Photography by Dottie Stover.

We are delighted to report that CCM’s award-winning Professor of Electronic Media Hagit Limor will begin reporting for Cincinnati’s Fox 19 this fall, as she joins the station’s newly expanded investigative team.

Professor Limor will continue to teach media writing, ethics and journalism courses at CCM, taking students from the classroom and newsroom to the studio for taped productions.

Fox 19 General Manager Bill Lanesey joined Professor Limor in welcoming CCM Dean Peter Landgren and CCM E-Media Division Head John Owens to the WXIX-TV news studio for a tour earlier this month.

Learn more about Limor’s new role at Fox 19 courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer.  

CCM News Faculty Fanfare