A picture of CCM faculty member Donald Hancock holding his Emmy Award.

Emmy Award-Winning Producer Donald Hancock is Named Assistant Professor of Film and Television Production at CCM

CCM Dean Stanley E. Romanstein has announced the appointment of Donald Hancock to the position of Assistant Professor of Film and Television Production in CCM’s Division of E-Media. Hancock joined CCM’s faculty as an adjunct in 2012. His new appointment will begin on Aug. 15, 2019.

A picture of CCM faculty member Donald Hancock holding his Emmy Award.

Hancock is an Emmy Award-winning producer, professor and an active member of the media community. He has an MA in Film and Television from Savannah College of Art and Design and a BFA in E-Media from CCM. Hancock currently works as a producer at CET, Cincinnati’s PBS Member Station. He has produced “The Art Show,” CET’s weekly art magazine program, since 2013. He also produces content for a variety of partners with CET, including ArtsWave and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Hancock won a Regional Emmy Award for “Cincinnati’s Music Hall: The Next Movement,” a 60-minute documentary that he co-wrote, produced and shot. The documentary details the historic $150 million renovation of Cincinnati’s National Historic Landmark. Watch a promotional spot for the documentary below.

In 2013, Hancock was chosen as one of 25 producers from around the country to participate in the PBS/CPB Producer’s Academy, whose goal is to engage a talented pool of diverse producers in public broadcasting. Hancock has also partnered with WGBH and PBS to produce content around national programming including “Finding Your Roots,” “American Experience” and “Downton Abbey.”

For the past seven years, Hancock has been an adjunct professor at CCM, teaching Digital Video and Integrated Media Production courses to sophomore and junior-level students. In his spare time, he serves on the Executive Board for the UC Center for Film and Media Studies, as well as the community advisory board at Elementz Urban Arts Center. He is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, a member of the Broadcast Education Association and volunteers as a Big Brother in the Big Brother Big Sisters Program.

Dean Romanstein thanked search committee members Kevin Burke (chair), Peter DePietroJohn HebbelerTondra Holt and Hagit Limor for their work on finding CCM’s new Assistant Professor of Film and Television Production.

Please join us in congratulating Donald Hancock on his new appointment!

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CCM Alumnus Returns for World Premiere concert:nova Performances

michael ippolito

Michael Ippolito (BM Composition, 2003) returns to Cincinnati this month for a collaboration with concert:nova, an innovative chamber music collaboration featuring members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. The ensemble will present the world premiere of a new work by Ippolito on “Cello+,” a concert featuring two cellists and their respective romantic partners, plus a few other friends.

Ippolito is currently an assistant professor of composition at Texas State University. His works have been performed by the Chicago Symphony, the Milwaukee Symphony and many more. He has received awards from both the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and he earned fellowships at the Aspen Music Festival and the Copland House’s Cultivate program. In addition to his studies at CCM with emeritus faculty member Joel Hoffman and current CCM professor Michael Fiday, Ippolito studied with John Corigliano at the Juilliard School.

The two musical couples featured on the program are violinist Stefani Matsuo and cellist Hiro Matsuo, with CCM faculty clarinetist Ixi Chen and her husband, cellist Ted Nelson. Also featured are concert:nova artistic directors Henrick Heide, flutist, and Michael Culligan, percussion.

“Cello+” will be presented at 7 p.m. on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 2019 at Mercantile Library, 414 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. Tickets range from $25 to $30 and can be purchased via the concert:nova website.

concert:nova is a boundary-pushing ensemble that challenges the audience to engage with the music in various ways. It’s mission is to transform hearts, minds and communities through thought-provoking musical exploration. The musicians collaborate with a cavalcade of interdisciplinary artists from all over the city, region and globe in a diverse array of surprising venues to create provocative, intimate, interactive, and unforgettable experiences that remove the barrier between the artists and the audience.

Learn more about concert:nova at concertnova.com.


Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

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Anita Graef performs with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as a CSO/CCM Diversity Fellow.

Bravos Without Barriers: Inside the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship

CSO/CCM Diversity Fellow Anita Graef performing with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

CSO/CCM Diversity Fellow Anita Graef performing with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Anita Graef really wanted a cello for her birthday when she turned two years old. She remembers being frustrated when her parents made her wait until she was four. Now the 24-year-old graduate student plays cello with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Graef is in her second year of the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship, which connects students with paid professional performance experiences with the CSO while they receive full tuition scholarships to pursue graduate degrees at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). The program is currently accepting applications for Fall 2019.

Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship aims to change the face of American orchestras by making them more inclusive. It provides new opportunities for exceptional violin, viola, cello and double bass players from populations that are historically underrepresented in classical music. The program utilizes a broad definition of diversity that encompasses race and culture while also including first-generation college students and individuals who took non-traditional pathways to higher education.

The program’s tagline — “Bravos Without Barriers” — gets to the heart of its mission: eliminating obstacles that can prevent extraordinary musicians from achieving their full potential.

“All of these people running the program have invested in me, believe in me and support me,” Graef says about her time in the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship. “It’s incredibly moving that all of these people want to see me succeed and are in my corner.”

Anita Graef plays her cello at age four.

Anita Graef plays her cello at age four.

Obviously, Graef eventually received the cello she so coveted. She began studying cello when she was four years old and made her concerto debut at age 12. Her parents are both professional musicians — her father, Richard Graef, is the assistant principal flutist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and her mother, Emily Seaberry Graef, is the founder and flutist of Chicago’s Juliani Ensemble. They encouraged her to pursue any career she desired and did not want to pressure her to follow in their musical footsteps — but she did anyway.

Graef was home schooled until junior high school, which gave her a flexible schedule to practice cello, explore Chicago and get involved in a number of other activities. She was a competitive horseback rider until college, played volleyball for six years, trained in ballet for seven years and studied piano for 10 years. She was also involved in sports, art classes, photography and worked on her high school year book.

“There were a lot of other things that I really enjoyed doing, but I never seriously considered anything else,” Graef says. “I feel like most of my formative years were me planning for the future and banking on becoming a professional musician.”

She was able to sample what life was like for professional musicians through her parents. When her father went on tours with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Graef, her mother and siblings went with him. Together, they visited Europe and China.

Graef earned her bachelor’s degree in cello from the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance. When she arrived at CCM to audition for the college’s graduate cello program, a few professors encouraged her to attend an introductory meeting about the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship.

“I was blown away,” she remembers. “It sounded like an incredible opportunity at a great place while getting a degree, which was really important to me.”

“I think it’s definitely accomplishing its goal in helping prepare you for the future through academic training and professional experience,” Graef adds about her experience in the program so far. “Getting a master’s degree debt-free is amazing.”

The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship accepts up to five fellows each year, and is currently accepting applications for the 2019-21 class. Fellows perform the equivalent of five weeks per season with the CSO while enrolled in a two-year Master of Music or Artist Diploma degree program at CCM. Each Fellow receives full tuition scholarship support from CCM, in addition to a $10,000 per year graduate stipend and a one-time Graduate School Deans Excellence Award of $3,000. Each Fellow also receives compensation of $8,000 per season while performing with the CSO.

As a master’s student, Graef balances her time between course work and performance work. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays tend to be busier days where she is usually at school from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in a mix of classes and ensemble meetings. Her fall semester at CCM includes courses in music theory, music history, a chamber music seminar with the Ariel Quartet and more. After class, she practices cello or works on school projects.

Shannon Lock, violin, Hyeji Park Miranda, piano, and Anita Graef, cello, after their trio recital.

Shannon Lock, violin, Hyeji Park Miranda, piano, and Anita Graef, cello, after their trio recital.

She is the principal cellist in the CCM Philharmonia and she performs in a trio with CCM students Shannon Lock, violin, and Hyeji Park Miranda, piano. Graef’s favorite concert at CCM was when she performed works by Haydn and Shostakovich with the trio.

“I’m always busy, but busy in the way I want to be — working as a musician,” Graef says. “I’m really grateful to be here and am really inspired on a daily basis.”

When she isn’t in class or at the CSO, Graef enjoys exploring Cincinnati and spending time with friends. She has visited many of Cincinnati’s museums and parks — she loves Eden Park — and is always looking for restaurant recommendations. Graef is also passionate about weight lifting, which helps her posture as a musician, and loves cooking and reading.

She stays on top of everything by looking ahead, staying goal-oriented and communicating with her professors, she says. Graef takes private cello lessons with CCM professor Ilya Finkelshteyn, principal cellist of the CSO, who also mentors her at the orchestra.

“One of the most beneficial parts for me has been the one-on-one lessons I get with my teacher,” Graef says.

“Playing with the CSO is really eye opening. It will push you to be even better than you were before and more alert. It teaches you the ins and outs of what it takes to be in a professional orchestra and the kind of skills you need for that kind of work.”

She most recently performed in the CSO’s “One City: Beethoven 9” concert at Cincinnati’s Music Hall. Last year, during her first year as a Diversity Fellow, Graef performed Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 with the CSO. Graef is looking forward to performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 at the CSO’s 2018-19 season finale in May.

The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship program is currently accepting applications for its 2019-21 class of fellows. Now in her final year of the program, Graef has some words of wisdom for future fellows:

“It’s a very rigorous program but it’s incredibly rewarding. You learn a lot about music, about yourself, about the process of working and obtaining a permanent job in a symphony orchestra and you’ll meet incredible people along the way and make lifelong relationships.”

Join the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship
CCM and the CSO are now accepting applications for the 2019-21 class of Fellows. The application deadline is Dec. 1, 2018. For application and audition requirements, visit us at ccm.uc.edu/chance2perform.

Apply online now at ccm.uc.edu/admissions/application/gradapplication.

Questions? Email us at ccmadmis@uc.edu.

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Acclaimed Mezzo-Soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano Holds Master Class at CCM this Sunday

CCM hosts acclaimed mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano for a master class featuring CCM students at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, in CCM’s Mary Emery Hall, room 3250. The master class is free and open to the public. Cano visits CCM after she performs as a featured artist in the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s “One: City: Beethoven 9” concert on Nov. 9 and 10.

Jennifer Johnson Cano. Photo by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco.

A naturally gifted singer noted for her commanding stage presence and profound artistry, Cano has garnered critical acclaim in a variety of roles. During the 2018-19 season, she returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Emilia in Otello and Meg Page in Falstaff and makes her role debut as Offred in Poul Ruders’ The Handmaid’s Tale with Boston Lyric Opera. Cano’s orchestral engagements include Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Pittsburgh and Cincinnati symphonies. A dedicated recitalist and chamber musician, she joins tenor Matthew Polenzani and pianist Julius Drake at Carnegie Hall for an evening of Schubert, Beethoven, Brahms and Janáček’s The Diary of One Who Disappeared. She will return to Chamber Music of Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall for a performance of Ravel’s Sheherazade and Falla’s Psyche. Cano will also be part of two world-premiere performances this season: Paul Moravec’s A New Country and Gregg Kallor’s Sketches from Frankenstein Suite.

Cano has given over 100 performances at the Metropolitan Opera, with recent roles including Bersi, Emilia, Hansel, Meg Page, Mercedes, Nicklausse, Wellgunde and Waltraute. Other operatic appearances have included Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Boston Lyric and Arizona operas, the Sharp Eared Fox in Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen with the Cleveland Orchestra, Carmen in Bizet’s Carmen with Boston Lyric Opera, Orphée in Orphée et Eurydice with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Des Moines Metro Opera, Diana in La Calisto with Cincinnati Opera and Marguerite in Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust with the Tucson Symphony. She has recently worked with an impressive array of conductors, such as Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Franz Welser-Möst, Gustavo Dudamel, Manfred Honeck, Marin Alsop, Robert Spano, Louis Langrée, Osmo Vänskä and Sir Andrew Davis.

Cano is a native of St. Louis and made her professional operatic debut with Opera Theatre of St. Louis. She has earned degrees from Webster University and Rice University and was honored as a distinguished alumna and commencement speaker at Webster University last May. Cano joined the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera after winning the Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition, and she made her Met debut during the 2009-10 season. Among her honors are a First Prize winner of the Young Concert Artist International Auditions, Sara Tucker Study Grant, Richard Tucker Career Grant and George London Award.

Learn more about Cano on her professional website at jenniferjohnsoncano.net

Master Class Time
2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11

Mary Emery Hall Room 3250, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Free and open to the general public

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 campus of the University of Cincinnati. 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 U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.

CCM News

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and CCM Announce 2018-20 Class of Diversity Fellows

Four outstanding string players have been selected for the next class of the prestigious diversity fellowship program.

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) have selected four outstanding musicians for the next class of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows. Born out of a mutual desire to make American orchestras more inclusive, this prestigious performance fellowship program launched in 2015 with a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Foundation approved a renewal grant of $850,000 in 2017, providing funding for the innovative program through June 2021.

With this collaborative Fellowship program, CCM and the CSO hope to provide new opportunities for under-served musicians, while simultaneously fostering a more inclusive environment in the orchestral industry.

“Orchestras must better reflect the communities they serve, and this program exemplifies our commitment,” said CSO President Jonathan Martin. “We welcome the new class of Fellows, look forward to the artistic contributions of the continuing class, and congratulate the inaugural Fellows who are now graduating.”

The incoming class of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows is Camellia Aftahi, 22 (double bass), Yan Izquierdo, 33 (violin), Arman Nasrinpay, 23 (violin) and Alexis Shambley, 22 (violin).

“Thanks to the generosity and support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we can continue to recruit highly qualified CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows candidates,” said CCM Interim Dean bruce mcclung. “In turn, these outstanding early-career musicians are helping inspire the next generation of multicultural young artists, which will allow us to continue making American orchestras better reflect the variety of their communities.”

These four exceptional string players will officially join the two-year fellowship program in August 2018 bringing the total number of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows to eight for the 2018-19 academic year and performance season.

The inaugural class of Diversity Fellows, which is comprised of Emilio Carlo, Diana Flores, Vijeta Sathyaraj and Maurice Todd, have recently graduated.

“I have gained valuable experience through my work with the CSO and my graduate work with CCM,” said Flores. “This has been a wonderful experience, and I am excited for what lies ahead.”

“This program positions musicians for a bright future and wish them every success as their careers advance,” said Martin.

“It is a testament to the program’s success that the inaugural class of Diversity Fellows is moving on to next-step career opportunities,” said mcclung.

The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship Program is open to exceptional violin, viola, cello and double bass players coming from historically underrepresented populations in classical music.

The program’s tagline — “Bravos Without Barriers” — gets to the heart of its mission: eliminating obstacles that can prevent extraordinary musicians from achieving their full potential.

Fellows perform the equivalent of five weeks per season with the CSO while enrolled in a two-year Master of Music (MM) or Artist Diploma (AD) graduate degree program at CCM. Each class of Fellows is selected through a rigorous series of auditions, which saw hundreds of graduate-level musicians audition for CCM faculty members. Nineteen string players were invited back to Cincinnati for a final round of auditions judged by CSO musicians at CCM’s Corbett Auditorium on March 24, 2018.

Each Fellow receives full tuition scholarship support from CCM, in addition to a $10,000 per year graduate stipend and a one-time Graduate School Dean’s Excellence Award of $3,000. Each Fellow also receives compensation of $8,000 per season while performing with the CSO.


Camellia Aftahi

Camellia Aftahi, Master of Music, Double Bass
For incoming San Diego participant, Camellia Aftahi, it was the Diversity Fellowship’s aspiration that was part of the appeal. “What drove me to apply for the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship was not only my desire to perform with and learn from a group of high caliber musicians but also to have an opportunity to bring representation to minority groups on stage,” said Aftahi.

Aftahi began playing double bass at the age of 12. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Double Bass Performance at San Diego State University where she studied with Jeremy Kurtz-Harris and Jory Herman.

An avid freelancer, Aftahi has performed with many groups in Southern California, including the San Diego City Ballet, the Opera NEO workshop, the BRAVO Festival and the La Jolla Symphony under the direction of Steve Schick. Aftahi also takes enjoyment in teaching and maintains an active private studio in addition to coaching at local public schools.

Aftahi will begin her master’s degree at CCM in the Fall of 2018 where she will study with CSO Principal Bass and CCM Adjunct Assistant Professor Owen Lee. She hopes that her studies at CCM will allow her to fuse her love for performance and scholarship with her commitment to civic and educational outreach.
Outside of performing music, Aftahi’s interests include reading 20th-century fiction and poetry, going to museums, eating vegetarian food, studying music and its various intersections with social issues, and playing board games.

Yan Izquierdo

Yan Izquierdo, Master of Music, Violin
Born in Havana, Cuba, violinist Yan Izquierdo enjoys an interdisciplinary, cross-genre music career. He has extensive performance experience throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Spain. As a soloist, he has appeared with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and the College of Charleston Orchestra. In 2010, he played the national anthem for the NCAA NIT College Basketball Finals game at Madison Square Garden. He has attended the Aspen Music Festival and performed at Spoleto USA with members of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. He was the winner of the 2004 South Carolina MTNA Young Artist Performance Competition in the strings category.

As an orchestral musician, he has performed with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of New York, the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas and Symphony in C, with notable appearances at Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, Kimmel Center, Kennedy Center and Meyerson Symphony Center. He participated in the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas’ “Music Without Borders” North American concert tour, which included educational outreach programs with youth symphonies in Mexico City, culminating in a joint concert televised by the Televisa network.

Equally, at home in non-classical genres, Izquierdo has appeared with Grammy Award-winning Bluegrass artist Ricky Skaggs, as well as Clay Aiken and Anne Murray. He was a founding member of Shayna and the Catch, acting as a songwriter, violinist, mandolinist and backing vocalist. The band toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada, including appearances at SXSW, CMJ Music Marathon, Summerfest and Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration. His songs have been featured in TV and film, including an international Ford Edge commercial campaign.

Izquierdo began violin studies at the age of seven in Madrid, Spain. At the age of 14, he received a full scholarship to attend the Idyllwild Arts Academy, where he studied with Todor Pelev. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Charleston, studying with Lee-Chin Siow. Additional mentors include Almita Vamos, Herbert Greenberg, and Garrett Fischbach. He currently resides in New York City.
Izquierdo will begin his master’s degree at CCM in the Fall of 2018 where he will study with Professor Kurt Sassmannshaus, the Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Classical Violin.

Arman Nasrinpay

Arman Nasrinpay, Master of Music, Violin
Arman Nasrinpay began playing the violin at the age of 10 through the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra Program. He has since performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center Hall and Millennium Stage, Strathmore Music Center, the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and the Shakespeare Theatre for Performing Arts.

He has held many prestigious positions in orchestras, including assistant concertmaster of the McLean Youth Orchestra, assistant principal second violinist of the American Youth Philharmonic, Principal Second of the Londontowne Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Principal Second of the Aspen Philharmonic and Assistant Concertmaster of Indiana University’s Concert Orchestra, among others.

“Since I was a kid, I have always dreamed of playing violin in a professional orchestra, and I couldn’t think of a better way to pursue this than the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship program,” said Nasrinpay.

Nasrinpay has frequently performed — and to great acclaim — in the greater Washington, DC area, and gained recognition by winning top prizes and honors in numerous competitions. Among these are such prestigious contests as the Washington Performing Arts Society’s Feder Competition, the United States Army Young Artists Competition, the Lions of VA Bland Music Competition, the Asian American International Competition and the Gretchen Hood String Competition, among others.

Along with competitions, Nasrinpay has performed in master classes given by Aaron Rosand, Zino Bogachek, Karina Canellakis, Dmitri Berlinsky, Victor Danchenko, Itzhak Rashkovsky and Ani Schnarch.

“In my first year, I hope to continue to improve my craft and successfully compete in several auditions and competitions. I will strive to learn as much as possible and represent the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship honorably every day. I am also hoping to meet many new people, musicians and otherwise, and engage with them and the community as much as possible.”

During the summer, Nasrinpay has participated in various music programs. These have included the Indiana University Summer String Academy, the Summit Music Festival, Kent Blossom Music Festival, Chautauqua Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival and School, as well as the Bowdoin International Music Festival where he received instruction from Almita and Roland Vamos, Victor Danchenko, Itzhak Rashkovsky, David Halen and Cyrus Forough. Most recently, he studied at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music as a Premiere Young Artist under pedagogue Simin Ganatra of the Pacifica Quartet.

Nasrinpay will begin his master’s degree at CCM in the Fall of 2018 where he will study with CSO Concertmaster and CCM Adjunct Professor of Violin Timothy Lees.

Alexis Shambley

Alexis Shambley, Master of Music, Violin
A native of Dallas, Texas, Alexis Shambley recently received her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from CCM under the tutelage of String Department Chair Won-Bin Yim. Shambley started violin at age four and studied primarily with her mother, Xiao-mei Pelletier of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

She has previously attended the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival and The National Orchestral Institute and Festival as well as performed with local orchestras including Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and Richmond Symphony Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, she enjoys doing outreach performances and participating in chamber music competitions, most recently placing second in CCM’s Annual Chamber Music Competition with her then sextet in 2016.

Shambley will begin her master’s degree at CCM in the Fall of 2018 where she will study with String Department Chair Won-Bin Yim.

“I am so honored to be a CCM/CSO Diversity Fellow and believe the program will help me achieve my goal of winning orchestral auditions,” Shambley said. “This opportunity is also particularly important to me because I aspire to one day create a studio aimed at providing music education to underrepresented youth.”

Earlier this year, the CSO and CCM expanded the opportunities available to the Diversity Fellowship participants through a new partnership with the Chautauqua Institution of New York. Through this new partnership, as many as five CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows will be selected annually to participate in an eight-week summer residency with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, with frequent performance opportunities in the Institution’s 4,000-seat open-air Amphitheater.

The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows will be mentored by the orchestra’s professional musicians, who come to Chautauqua each summer from a variety of home ensembles around the world. Also, the Fellows will mentor minority student musicians in Chautauqua’s Music School Festival Orchestra, and offer performances designed to engage the broader Chautauqua community. Chautauqua Diversity Fellows will be provided housing and receive a stipend to offset their expenses.

For several members of the CSO and CCM’s graduating class of Diversity Fellows, a residency at Chautauqua during the summer of 2018 will be the next valuable step in their performing careers. Carlo, Flores, and Sathyaraj will spend the summer of 2018 embedded at Chautauqua, along with current Fellows Ian Saunders and Weiyi Shao.

“Inclusiveness — of race, gender, sexuality, ideas — is the Chautauqua ideal. We aim to be a leading force in evolving the field of symphony orchestras by diversifying the makeup of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and investing in inclusion,” said Deborah Sunya Moore, vice president of performing and visual arts at Chautauqua Institution. “By making it a priority to help musicians from underrepresented communities early in their careers, the Institution hopes to be instrumental in their ability to compete for and win jobs in American orchestras. Diversity in the Arts changes lives not only for the artist but also for audiences.”

On Sept. 1, CCM and the CSO will begin accepting applications for the 2019-21 class of Fellows. The application deadline is Dec. 1, 2018.

Live auditions with CCM faculty will be held Jan. 18-19, Jan. 25-26 and Feb. 15-16 of 2019.

Finalists will audition for the CSO in Cincinnati in March of 2019.

*Download the Informational Flyer (590.8 KB)

Learn more about the application process by visiting ccm.uc.edu/admissions/application.

About the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, which also performs as the Cincinnati Pops, is one of America’s finest and most versatile ensembles. With a determination for greatness and a rich tradition that dates back 123 years, the internationally acclaimed CSO has performed the American premieres of works by the likes of Debussy, Mahler, Ravel and Bartók, and commissioned important compositions that have since become mainstays of the classical repertoire including Aaron Copland’s iconic Fanfare for the Common Man. With new commissions and groundbreaking initiatives like the Pelléas Trilogy, LUMENOCITY, and One City, the Orchestra is committed to being a place of experimentation. As Cincinnati’s ambassador, the Orchestra has toured extensively, most recently to Asia and Europe in 2017, and sold millions of recordings around the globe. As Cincinnati’s own, the Orchestra elevates the City’s vibrant cultural scene not only through CSO and Cincinnati Pops performances, but also through an array of education and community engagement programs and by serving as the official orchestra for the Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati May Festival, and Cincinnati Opera.

About the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
Nationally ranked and internationally renowned, CCM is a preeminent institution for the performing and media arts. CCM’s educational roots date back to 1867, and a solid, visionary instruction has been at its 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 1,000 major public performances each year, ranging from faculty and guest artist concerts to fully supported acting, dance, musical theatre and opera productions. CCM is an accredited institution of the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), as well as a member of the University/ Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA).

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CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship Featured in ‘Symphony’ Magazine

CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship Program 2017 banner image featuring Diana Flores with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

CSO/CCM Diversity Fellow Diana Flores with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

The inaugural musicians in the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/CCM Diversity Fellowship reflect on their first year in the program in a feature story published in the fall 2017 issue of Symphony, the quarterly magazine of the League of American Orchestras.

“This program is truly devoted to helping us get symphony jobs,” says fellow Maurice Todd. “They have given five people of color a chance to experience a professional orchestral setting where every member is approachable and willing to help.”

Titled “Pipeline to Inclusion” the full Symphony feature story is available to read online via issuu or you can click here for a PDF.

CCM News

CCM’s 2017-18 Season Brochure Now Available In Print and Online

Welcome to CCM’s Sesquicentennial Performance Season!

The cover to CCM's 2017-18 Season Brochure.This season, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) celebrates the 150th anniversary of its founding with an unparalleled series of performances and special events designed to highlight a tradition of innovation and excellence dating back to 1867.

The history of CCM’s success involves three institutions separate in their origins but united by a common cause: the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, the College of Music of Cincinnati and the University of Cincinnati. Sometimes partners and sometimes rivals, these three institutions would eventually join forces to establish one of the world’s premier schools for the performing and media arts.

In the year ahead, we will look back on CCM’s illustrious history, celebrate the careers of our impressive alumni and showcase the talents of our incredible students and faculty members. We look forward to welcoming you to the CCM Village to experience our ongoing history, the artistry of our alumni and a chance to experience the stars of tomorrow.

Download a digital copy of CCM’s 2017-18 brochure today (7.1 MB). Physical copies are also available at the CCM Box Office.

Subscription and flex ticket packages are on sale now. Single tickets go on sale Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. For more details about CCM’s 2017-18 performance schedule, contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 or visit ccm.uc.edu.

Learn more about CCM’s Sesquicentennial by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/notations-ovations/sesquicentennial-celebration.

This is our story. This is your season.
Join us for a celebration 150 years in the making!

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Arts Administration Students Get Work Experience at Local Organizations

CCM is partnered with the University of Cincinnati’s nationally ranked Lindner College of Business in one of the few MA/MBA graduate Arts Administration programs in the country. We train future CEOs and senior managers of nonprofit arts institutions by giving our students real world experience at local and national arts organizations.

Applications are now open for fall 2017 admissions into the program. In the past six years, 100% of arts administration graduates have found jobs in their field. Many go on to leadership positions in small and large organizations, while others launch their own nonprofits. While enrolled, students have multiple opportunities to gain real-world experience through internships and graduate assistantships. This year, two first-year students are balancing school work with internships at local organizations — the Cincinnati Youth Symphony Orchestra and concert:nova. Below you can read about their experiences so far.

Stephanie Calascione | First-year Graduate Student in Arts Administration
Graduate Assistant for the Cincinnati Youth Symphony Orchestra

Stephanie Calascione.

Stephanie Calascione.

The Cincinnati Youth Symphony Orchestra is my new home. I am the current CCM Graduate Assistant for the CSYO and it has been an amazing opportunity for me. The CSYO is under the umbrella of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and consists of the younger Concert Orchestra and the upper Philharmonic Orchestra. My main role within the organization is the active librarian for both orchestras as well as the general operations and personnel administrator for the upper orchestra.

Being a part of the CSYO is a perfect opportunity to experience a little bit of everything in an organization. Although it is linked to the CSO, the youth orchestras seem to operate separately from the major orchestra. This, in part, is attributed to the very small education staff through the CSO that focuses specifically on the youth programs. It is also attributed to the fact that it has its own budget, programming, schedules, personnel and equipment. I have the opportunity to interact with the employees of the CSO and communicate with the CSO musicians.

Growing up, I was a part of the Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestra; this background has given me perspective into how important this program is to kids. Going to a rehearsal every week to play advanced repertoire is imperative to the musical growth of a child. For some kids, this orchestra could be their only opportunity. For others, it is an opportunity to further their musical capacity. For everyone, it is a time each week to make music in an enriching environment with friends.

This experience has affirmed my love for orchestras and enriched my enjoyment of helping today’s youth. I’ve gained useful experience in operations, production, personnel management and librarianship. Expanding my professional connections by communicating with the CSO staff and musicians to get them involved with the CSYO and has opened the door to many opportunities in the future.

Deborah Stevens | First-year Graduate Student, Arts Administration
Internship: Administrative Intern for concert:nova


Deborah Stevens.

For the 2016-17 school year, I’m serving as an Administrative Intern for concert:nova, a small chamber music organization that creates innovative and collaborative classical music performances. My duties span a variety of administrative areas, including donor solicitation and acknowledgment, email marketing blasts, grant writing and reporting and box office management. With an undergraduate degree and several internships in theatre, this has been my first opportunity to work with a music organization. It has allowed me to broaden my horizons to different art forms, and to utilize the skills I am learning in the classroom.

concert:nova is known as “Cincinnati’s Music Lab” because of its artist-driven collaborations that create multidimensional performances. Seeing these performances evolve from concepts to artistic experiences and knowing that I have contributed has been incredibly rewarding. concert:nova’s first event of the season was a caffeinated collaboration with Deeper Roots Coffee, inspired by composers who loved coffee. It featured a myriad of musical selections — from Bach’s Coffee Cantata to “Taylor the Latte Boy” — all interspersed with narratives about the history of coffee. Running the box office, I had the opportunity to connect with the attendees of this event and hear the overwhelmingly positive things they had to say about the performance.

Another exciting aspect of concert:nova’s programming is their educational program, Next:Generation, which gives music students at local universities, including CCM, the opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills in order to pursue a career in music. This year concert:nova is expanding its educational programming to include more community engagement events. In mid-October, it held the first of a series of free Late:Night events targeted at young professionals. An experience in synesthesia, it featured solo instrumentations of Berio works paired with wine. With complimentary admission and wine tasting, this event was successful in bringing in students who otherwise may not have attended a concert:nova performance, due to time, cost or other constraints.

concert:nova is such an innovative organization, and I am delighted to join it this season. Working there has given me the opportunity to see how a musical organization runs, an experience I would not have undertaken were it not for the Arts Administration program. I am gaining invaluable knowledge in grant-writing, marketing, communication and non-profit administration — skills that will prepare me to work in any art form.

The deadline to apply to CCM’s Arts Administration program is Dec. 1. Learn more about the program online at ccm.uc.edu/theatre/arts_admin.



CCM News Student Salutes

The Application Deadline is Approaching for the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship!

Time is running out to apply for the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship! The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra are accepting applications for the next class of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows through Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2016!

Diversity Fellow Emilio Carlo in rehearsal with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Diversity Fellow Emilio Carlo in rehearsal with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this one-of-a-kind program provides an unparalleled learning experience for violin, viola, violoncello and double bass players coming from populations that are historically underrepresented in classical music. The inaugural class of fellows are halfway through their first year in the program; read more about them in this UC Magazine feature story.

Fellows receive full tuition scholarship support while earning a Master of Music or Artist Diploma degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

The inaugural class of Diversity Fellows with CSO music director Louis Langrée.

The inaugural class of Diversity Fellows with CSO music director Louis Langrée.

Fellows perform the equivalent of five weeks per season with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Each fellow receives compensation of $8,000 per season while performing with the CSO.

Fellows receive a $10,000 per year graduate stipend and one-time Graduate School Dean’s Excellence Award of $3,000 from CCM.

The deadline to apply is Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. For application and audition requirements, visit us at ccm.uc.edu/chance2perform.

Apply online now at ccm.uc.edu/admissions/application/gradapplication.

Questions? Email us at ccmadmis@uc.edu.

CCM News

Composition Professor Writes New Work for Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s theme for its One City, One Symphony initiative is personal for the musicians involved — including Michael Fiday, associate professor of composition at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Focusing on the theme of “home,” the One City, One Symphony initiative is the CSO’s community-wide project that aims to unite people through music. The initiative’s Thanksgiving weekend concert features the world premiere of Fiday’s CSO-commissioned symphony alongside works from American composers Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and John Williams at 8 p.m. Nov. 25 and 26 at the Taft Theatre.

“Cincinnati has been my cultural home base for 14 years,” says Fiday, who began teaching at CCM in 2004. “In that time I’ve become close friends, acquaintances and colleagues with a good number of CSO musicians and gotten to know their sound quite well.”

CCM Professor Michael Fiday teaching a composition student. Photo by Andrew Higley.

CCM Professor Michael Fiday teaching a composition student. Photo by Andrew Higley.

Fiday, whose recent work with the CSO was featured in Movers and Makers magazine, chose to incorporate the “home” connection in symbolic ways. The piece’s title, Three for One, is an allusion to the One City, One Symphony initiative and how Fiday approached the orchestra.

There aren’t many solos in Three for One. Fiday treated the orchestra as if it were “a collective body moving together towards a common goal.”

He began working to create his 15-minute piece with the CSO in January 2016. Three for One isn’t a symphony in the traditional sense, Fiday says. He describes it as a three-movement work with a fast-slow-fast format that is similar to the emotional arc of a full-length symphony.

The three movements each focus on a family of instruments — woodwinds in the first movement, strings in the second and brass in the third. The other instruments join the fray to reinforce the sound as the music builds with the entire orchestra playing as one.

Fiday titled the first movement “starting over” and describes it as “brief, punchy and puckish.” The second movement, “presence/absence” is a slow elegy dedicated to composer Richard Toensing, a former teacher, mentor and friend of Fiday’s who passed away two years ago. “Twitter,” the final movement, is fast and split into two halves. Fiday describes the first half as “gossamer and transparent” and the second half as “fairly blunt and aggressive.”

The CCM-based composer brings his own unique style to the One City, One Symphony concert’s all-American program but also celebrates the American roots nested within the musical styles of all of the composers.

“I think it’s impossible for me, or any other American composer for that matter, to not have American elements in our work,” he says. “Sometimes we don’t even notice them because they’re bred so deeply in our bones.”

Fiday favors using perfect fifth harmonies, which create that great “open” sound that is instantly recognizable as American-bred. His love of jazz found its way into Three for One as well. Some of the “crunchier” harmonies in the piece harken back to legendary jazz artists Bill Evans and Thelonious Monk, Fiday says.

“The rhythmic profile, which is a very important element of almost all of my music, stems from my love for both jazz and popular music — music that is propulsive and energetic, yet also unpredictable.”

Although Fiday has been commissioned to write compositions for multiple organizations, including the National Flute Association and the American Composers Orchestra, Three for One is his first commission for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

“I’m very proud of the CSO for their increased interest in commissioning new music; a situation I think has improved greatly in the time I’ve been in Cincinnati, particularly during the past four or five years,” he says.

Fiday not only works to create his own new music but also fosters that creativity within his students. CCM has one of the nation’s top 10 music composition programs, according to the US News & World Report. Student composers enjoy opportunities to work with CCM ensembles and community organizations for hearings and performances.

Engaging one of CCM’s own composers exemplifies One City, One Symphony’s “home” theme, uniting the community through locally-made music. According to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, “By connecting music the CSO performs to themes relevant in our everyday lives, One City, One Symphony inspires us, provokes our thinking, and celebrates our shared humanity.”

For more information about the concert, visit www.cincinnatisymphony.org or call the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at 513-621-1919.


Story by CCM graduate student Charlotte Kies

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