2016-2017 Junior Musical Theatre Intensive Performance Troupe

CCM Prep Presents ‘Singin’ in the Rain Jr.’ Musical

Students in CCM Preparatory and Community Engagement’s Junior Musical Theatre Intensive showcase their talents in a 70-minute junior version of the classic 1952 movie musical Singin’ in the Rain.

Step into the fictional world of Monumental Pictures for CCM Prep’s junior version of Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynold’s beloved musical Singin’ in the Rain. Directed by Dee Anne Bryll with musical direction from Rebecca Childs, Singin’ in the Rain Jr. runs Thursday, May 4, through Saturday, May 6 at CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater.

“This version was faithfully and lovingly adapted by Broadway legends Betty Comden and Adolph Green from their original, award-winning screenplay,” Bryll said. “The snappy dialogue, great songs and hilarious situations will guarantee a great night at the theater for the entire family.”

Singin’ in the Rain Jr. is only 70 minutes but still includes all of the audiences’ favorite tunes like “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Fit as a Fiddle,” “You Were Meant for Me,” “Broadway Melody” and “Moses Supposes.”

Students from CCM Prep’s Junior Musical Theatre Intensive (Jr. MTI) previously presented an excerpt of Singin’ in the Rain Jr. at the iTheatrics Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta, where they earned an Excellence in Dance award. CCM’s Jr. MTI program has presented at this competition for four years and has achieved recognitions of excellence each year. The competition has also led to individual opportunities for students.

“Our students have won individual awards at the festival and have been chosen as Festival All Stars. We have had several students chosen to go New York during the summer and perform in the iTheatrics’ DVD series,” Bryll said.

CCM Prep’s Jr. MTI program provides real-world training to young musical theatre actors ages 9-15. The students receive instruction in audition preparation, vocal music, choreography and performance technique while working toward a full-scale musical production. Students also have the opportunity to work with guest artists throughout the year.

Come see the next generation of CCM’s “stars of tomorrow” as they take the stage for Singin’ in the Rain Jr. on May 4-6 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater.

For more information on CCM Preparatory and Community Engagement, visit ccm.uc.edu/prep.

Production Staff
Dee Anne Bryll, Director and Choreographer
Rebecca Childs, Musical Director
Becca Kloha Strand, Choreographers
Levi Kiess, Set Design
Elanor Eberhardt, Light Design
Mikaela Acton, Stage Manager

Performance Times
7 p.m. Thursday, May 4
7 p.m. Friday, May 5
3 & 7 p.m. Saturday, May 6

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Singin’ in the Rain, Jr. are $15 general, 10 non-UC students, and FREE for 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 now through our e-Box Office! Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice for CCM Box Office hours and location.

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 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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Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM’s Studio Opera Series Presents ‘Bright Eyed Joy!’ Nov. 4-5

'Bright Eyed Joy!' composer Ricky Ian Gordon.

‘Bright Eyed Joy!’ composer Ricky Ian Gordon.

This release has been updated. Click here to read the current version.

CCM’s Studio Opera Series presents Bright-Eyed Joy!, a free cabaret of songs by Ricky Ian Gordon, which opens at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 4 and continues through Saturday, November 5 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater. Tickets to this free production become available on Monday. October 31 through the CCM Box Office.

As one of the county’s most popular and respected composers of art song, Ricky Ian Gordon is a living legend. Bright-Eyed Joy! features his recently composed songs as well as arias from Gordon’s two acclaimed operas, Grapes of Wrath and Morning Star.

The songs tell relatable stories of survival, inspiration and hope. Gordon has been actively collaborating with the CCM students in this production, and he personally hand-selected the program’s songs for each individual singer.

This will be the second instance in which CCM opera students have performed Gordon’s music. In December 2012, students had the rare opportunity to perform in a workshop of Gordon’s Morning Star, as part of the Opera Fusion: New Works initiative with the Cincinnati Opera. Morning Star later premiered at Cincinnati Opera in June 2015.

Oussama Zahr of Opera News praised Gordon for his diverse and “distinctive style — one that seems effortlessly to combine Broadway clarity, art-song melodies and jazzy flourishes with a sophisticated approach to harmony.”

Zahr wrote that Gordon’s Grapes of Wrath, based on John Steinbeck’s novel of the same name, “has many of the qualities you’d expect from an acclaimed opera in a tonal palette — abundant melody, shining orchestrations — but it is Gordon’s lyrical exuberance that stands out as uniquely his own.”

The audience can expect nothing less from Bright-Eyed Joy!, which opens at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 4 and continues through Saturday, November 5. Admission is free, but tickets are required. They often sell out quickly, so visit our guide to Studio Series tickets for tips and tricks to secure your seats.

CCM students will have an additional opportunity to work with Gordon later this month in the next installment of Opera Fusion: New Works. The 10-day workshop culminates in a free performance of excerpts from the composer’s newest opera, Intimate Apparel at 7:30 p.m. on November 14 at the Cincinnati Club, 30 Garfield Place, Cincinnati, OH 45202.

Program
Once I Was
Morning Star
Poor Girl’s Ruination/The Dream Keeper
Hallie Ann
Souvenir
Afternoon on a Hill
Otherwise
Resume/Wail/Frustration
To the Maid of Orleans
The Spring and the Fall
I Seen Snow
Being Small
Home of the Brave
Bound to Be
Kid in the Park
When Sue Wears Red
Joy
New Moon

Cast List
TJ Capobianco
Eric Heatley
Chandler Johnson
DeRon McDaniel
Briana Moynihan
Fotina Naumenko
Gabriella Sam
Paulina Villarreal

Accompanists
Maria Fuller
John Combs

Performance Times
8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4
8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Admission
Admission is free. Reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 31. Please visit the CCM Box Office or call 513-556-4183 to reserve. Limit two tickets per order.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor & Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Opera Department Sponsor: Mr. & Mrs. Edward S. Rosenthal

Opera Production Sponsor: Genevieve Smith

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Story by CCM Graduate Student Charlotte Kies

CCM News
'Middletown' runs in CCM's Cohen Family Studio Theater Oct. 20-22.

CCM’s Studio Series Continues Oct. 20-22: Welcome to ‘Middletown’

In the next installment of UC College-Conservatory of Music’s 2016-17 Studio Series, the Acting Department introduces audiences to the residents of a small town as they search for life’s meaning. Directed by CCM Acting Professor and Department Chair Richard Hess, Will Eno’s Middletown runs Thursday, Oct. 20- Saturday, Oct. 22 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater.

'Middletown' runs in CCM's Cohen Family Studio Theater Oct. 20-22.

‘Middletown’ runs in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater Oct. 20-22.

Middletown, which won the 2010 Horton Foote Prize for Promising New American Play, was praised by the New York Times for its “tart, funny, gorgeous little comments on the big things: the need for love and forgiveness, the search for meaning in life, the long lonely ache of disappointment.”

Will Eno veers toward the avant-garde with his approach to stark realism in Middletown. His influences include playwrights Samuel Beckett and Don DeLillo, and the recently deceased Edward Albee was a mentor to him. The play was inspired by Thorton Wilder’s Our Town, which was last seen on CCM’s Mainstage in April 2011.

One of the central characters in Our Town is the local milkman, while Middletown gives the spotlight to the town’s celebrity, an astronaut in orbit around Earth. Both plays concern the passing seasons of life and are unapologetically frank and sentimental, according to Hess.

Middletown is about nothing except life and death and everything in between,” Hess says. “With a wry and unexpectedly profound touch, Will Eno has written one of the wisest plays I have ever worked on. Its simplicity is monumental.”

The show will be presented in thrust theater configuration, with set design by CCM student Theron Wineinger. Audience members will be seated close to the action of the play in this intimate setting.

Middletown might make the audience both laugh and cry,” Hess says. “It will hit home for everyone in a deeply personal way. Its wisdom is universal, and, in our crazy world, human to human contact that is sane, rational and open might be a welcome tonic.”

Admission is free for Middletown, but tickets are required. Tickets become available through the CCM Box Office on Monday, Oct. 17. They often sell out quickly, so visit our guide to Studio Series tickets for tips and tricks to secure your seats.

Cast List
Sydney Ashe as Mary Swanson
Lauren Carter as Tour Guide/Aunt/Female Doctor
Kenzie Clark as Tourist/Woman on Date/Attendant 2
Mafer Del Real as Librarian
Nick Heffelfinger as Tourist/Astronaut Greg/Freelancer/Male Doctor
Isaac Hickox Young as Cop
Meg Olson as Public Speaker/Cop’s Radio Voice/Ground Control/Hospital Intercom Voice/Science Radio Host/Music Radio Host
Maddie Page-Schmit as Sweetheart
Andrew Ramsey as Mechanic
Graham Rogers as Landscaper/Man on Date/Hospital Attendant
Rupert Spraul as John Dodge

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21
  • 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Admission
Admission is free. Reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 17. Please visit the CCM Box Office or call 513-556-4183 to reserve. 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 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.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor & Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

CCM News

Musical Theatre Alumna Katie Johannigman Returns to Choreograph World Premiere at CCM

Katie Johannigman

Katie Johannigman

Since graduating from UC’s College Conservatory of Music, Katie Johannigman (BFA Musical Theatre, 2012) has worked in New York and started a non-profit, after-school musical theatre training program in Connecticut. She returns to her alma mater to share some tricks of the trade with current students and choreograph They Were You: The Songs of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, a new musical revue that runs Wednesday, Oct. 5-Sunday, Oct. 9 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater.

CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle got in touch with Johannigman to talk about how it feels to return to CCM and her experience working on They Were You.

What’s it like to come back to CCM as a teacher after having spent so much of your educational experience here as a CCM Preparatory student and then as an undergraduate?

It is so wonderful to come home to CCM, where I first started coming when I was 9 months old and my sister was taking ballet classes. It’s fun to reminisce about all of the exceptional training I had from fabulous CCM Prep teachers over my years here, starting when I was three with Jonnie Lynn Jacobs-Percer in the ballet department and continuing on to Dee Anne Bryll and Ed Cohen in the theatre department. I feel so lucky that my parents knew to send me to CCM Prep, and that I then moved on to such an outstanding college program in my own backyard — with so many fantastic professors from whom I learned so much. I also feel lucky to have the chance to pass on to the students what I learned both from going to school at CCM and from having spent a long time working in the business in New York.

When you were in school here, what did you gain from your experiences working with visiting professionals?
I think it was one of the most important parts of my training at CCM, because they kept us up-to-date with the trends in the business. Aubrey Berg and the rest of the faculty supplied us with strong acting, singing and dance training, and guest teachers taught us how that training is relevant and can be applied in New York today. I hope to do the same for these students.

What do you hope to pass along to the students who are currently in the same position that you were in not so long ago?
I hope to teach them that there is not one single definition of success in this business. We get really caught up while in school and are sometimes led to believe that you’re not successful unless you’re working on Broadway, but I have learned in the past four years that that is not true at all. There are so many ways to be successful in the arts, to use your training, to make an impact in the lives of others through the arts and to be a happy, healthy person working in the arts. I have participated in the arts in many ways in the past four years by performing professionally, choreographing shows and, most satisfyingly, helping to start a non-profit, after-school musical theatre training program with my fellow alumnus Connor Deane in Connecticut called Broadway Method Academy, where I am the artistic director. I wouldn’t have been able to do these things without my CCM training and connections.

What’s it been like to choreograph a new work? Have you felt more pressure to create a refined product that will set the show up for success and future productions, or do you feel freer because the audience doesn’t have any preconceived notions about how the show will look?
It has been both challenging and liberating. We are working with material that is mostly unknown, so people have no idea what they are about to see. It’s been very exciting and freeing to work collaboratively with Aubrey Berg, Steve Goers and the cast to decide what we want this show to be, since it can be anything we want it to be. Focusing on the process and not final product is something that I find very exciting. We have an unbelievably talented cast, so I know the audience will love it. We will see what Tom Jones thinks!

Are you borrowing choreography or dance styles from shows by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt or other cabaret-style works? What influenced you while you were creating this piece?
I have made sure not to watch any videos from Jones and Schmidt productions so that our staging and choreography can be completely original. We are using some standard conventions of revue-style works, such as the use of props to illustrate different scenes and styles. What really influenced me was Aubrey’s clever, smart and creative way of linking these vastly different songs together to make a show that reflects the human experience. I tried to focus on the lyrics, texts, themes and telling of stories in order to bring all these gorgeous songs to life. It has been so fun to work collaboratively alongside a professor whom I look up to and admire so much. Aubrey is really pushing and challenging me to become a better choreographer, so I am grateful and honored for this opportunity to come home to CCM. There is still so much learning to do inside this building!

Devised and directed by Aubrey Berg, the Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre, They Were You runs Oct. 5-9 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. It features songs from some of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt’s most beloved musicals including The Fantasticks, Celebration and 110 in the Shade, with musical arrangements by CCM faculty member Stephen Goers.

Admission to They Were You is free, but tickets are required. CCM’s Studio Series productions often sell out quickly, so visit our guide to Studio Series tickets for tips on how to secure your seats.

The logo for THEY WERE YOU: The Songs of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt.THEY WERE YOU: The Songs of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt
Lyrics by Tom Jones
Music by Harvey Schmidt
Aubrey Berg, director
Stephen Goers, musical director
Katie Johannigman, choreographer

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7
  • 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Admission
Admission is free. Reservations are required. Tickets are now available. Please visit the CCM Box Office or call 513-556-4183 to reserve. 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 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.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor & Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

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Story by Alexandra Doyle

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News
Cohen Studio

Student Compositions Showcased in CCM’s “A View from the Edge” Recital

The University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music offers a few recitals each semester called “A View from the Edge.” These free concerts showcase original works of student composers and give audiences a look over the precipice of current compositional techniques.

The first of this season’s student composition recitals is at 8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. The concert program includes a set of three songs for soprano and piano inspired by the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, a freshman composer’s first piano sonata and How I Lost My Voice, a piece for flute and guitar that a student wrote in response to the Nov. 13, 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris.

Daniel Harrison

Daniel Harrison.

Daniel Harrison, a third-year doctoral candidate studying music composition, is one of the student coordinators for this installment of “A View from the Edge.” CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle got in touch with Harrison to get a preview of the upcoming recital.

Can you tell me a bit about “A View from the Edge” and the goals of these recitals?
The “View From The Edge” series was created as a way to showcase the newest compositions from the students in the CCM composition studio. At these concerts, you will hear premieres of chamber music, which range from solos to small ensembles and occasionally works that incorporate electronics. One of the outstanding characteristics of our composition studio is how diverse all of our compositional voices are; everyone has something different to say and their own way of saying it.

What’s it like to work with student performers to hone your pieces? Have you found that you make a significant amount of changes after rehearsals have begun?
Working with other students is great! I love it when there is a sense that we, as a team, are collaborating together to create an experience for a concert-goer. As a composer, I view my role in this as only a third of the equation; the audience and performer make up the other two thirds. I have gotten advice from performers that has led to some significant revisions, both in terms of idiomatic treatment of the instruments and notional choices.

Which three pieces on the program stand out to you, and why?
One of the three pieces on the concert that I’m really looking forward to hearing is Phillip Robert‘s Her em Iteru, which is a set of three songs for soprano and piano based on texts found in the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. Another is our incoming freshman composer Maksym Mahlay‘s first piano sonata, which looks like a fiery and virtuosic piece for solo piano. It’s also worth noting that the composer himself will be performing the piece. Lastly, my piece for flute and guitar, How I Lost My Voice, will be premiered at the recital. This piece attempts to capture the feeling of not being able to express oneself vocally and contains extended techniques in the flute and guitar that give the illusion of a voice becoming hoarse and transparent.

Did a personal experience inspire your work, How I Lost My Voice?
While I was composing this piece, the Nov. 13, 2015 Paris attacks occurred. After the initial shock, I vividly recall feeling this wave of absolute hopelessness. What could I do? As someone whose profession is to write music, in a country thousands of miles away and separated from France by an ocean, ‘not much’ is as a gross understatement. This event radically refocused my perspective and reframed the project I was working on for a reading session, which was a simple, short piece for flute and guitar.

I began asking what purpose music served in response to tragedy. I imagined that even if I screamed until I lost my voice, there was nothing that I could do to undo what happened. My only recourse was to respond through music well after the fact.

What should people who haven’t experienced much new music expect if they come to “A View from the Edge”?
I would come in to these concerts with an open mind. Our composition studio is filled with students who have different aesthetics. No two recitals will offer the same sounds. One bit of advice that I would offer to someone who is looking to experience a new music concert for the first time is to listen to the music in the same way one would taste a new dish­ – just be open to the experience!

The first “A View from the Edge” recital is at 8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. Composition students will have another opportunity to showcase their new works in the second concert at 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 31 in Patricia Corbett Theater.

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Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Showcases the Songs of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt with a World Premiere

CCM continues its popular Studio Series with the world premiere of THEY WERE YOU, a musical revue showcasing the songs of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt. Devised and directed by Aubrey Berg, the Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre at CCM, THEY WERE YOU plays Oct. 5-9 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free, but reservations are required.

The logo for THEY WERE YOU: The Songs of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt.Conceived and curated by Berg with musical arrangements by CCM faculty member Stephen Goers and choreography by alumna Katie Johannigman, THEY WERE YOU features songs from some of Jones and Schmidt’s most beloved musicals, including The Fantasticks, Celebration and 110 in the Shade. The production represents the first comprehensive revue of Jones and Schmidt’s work.

Jones, a Texas native, is widely known not only for his lyrics and librettos but also for his directing and acting chops. He directed a New York City revival of The Fantasticks in 2006, and also played the role of Old Actor in that production. He has written a screenplay for that show and a book called Making Musicals: An Informal Introduction to the World of Musical Theater.

Schmidt, also a Texan, attended the University of Texas at Austin to study art, but began to play piano as an accompanist for Jones during his time there. In addition to composing some of the world’s most beloved musicals, Schmidt has also continued to work as an illustrator for Life, Harper’s Bazaar, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and other publications.

The duo’s work together earned them several Tony Award nominations and the 1992 Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, as well as induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

THEY WERE YOU is organized thematically, moving from “innocence” to “experience” through the course of the performance. Each song along the way showcases some universal emotion and lauds the resilience of humanity in the face of sorrow and disillusionment. The program promises favorites like “Try to Remember” from The Fantasticks and “My Cup Runneth Over” from I Do! I Do! alongside other songs from throughout the celebrated duo’s oeuvre.

Admission to THEY WERE YOU is free, but tickets are required. CCM’s Studio Series productions often sell out quickly, so visit our guide to Studio Series tickets for tips on how to secure your seats.

THEY WERE YOU: The Songs of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt
Lyrics by Tom Jones
Music by Harvey Schmidt
Aubrey Berg, director
Stephen Goers, musical director
Katie Johannigman, choreographer

Cast List:

  • Gabe Wrobel
  • Emily Fink
  • Stavros Koumbaros
  • Aria Braswell
  • Karl Amundson
  • Michelle Coben

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7
  • 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Admission
Admission is free. Reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 3. Please visit the CCM Box Office or call 513-556-4183 to reserve. 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 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.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor & Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

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Story by Alexandra Doyle and Curt Whitacre

CCM News
Cohen Studio

Professor Aik Khai Pung Gives Inside Look into Polish Festival Experience

With more than 700 audience members in attendance, the Sept. 9 opening concert of CCM’s Polish Festival was a great success! Far from being over, the Polish Festival events continue on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. with a performance by CCM’s preeminent modern music ensemble, Cafè MoMus, in Cohen Family Studio Theater.

Led by CCM Assistant Professor of Music Aik Khai Pung, the Cafè MoMus concert features an evening of exciting new sounds, including a world premiere by Artur Słotwiński and a grand finale performance of the first movement of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Sextet (2000). Audience members can meet with Słotwiński and Café MoMus after the performance for coffee and conversation.

Also as part of the Polish Festival, Professor Pung will direct the CCM Concert Orchestra in a performance of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Górecki’s breathtaking Symphony of Sad Songs on Saturday, September 17 at 8 p.m. in Corbett Auditorium.

CCM graduate student Charlotte Kies had the pleasure of speaking with Professor Pung about his experience participating in the Polish Festival so far.

Why is it important that CCM produce a festival of concerts and lectures devoted to Polish music?
Most of our students spend about two to four years at CCM. All teachers will try to squeeze in as much materials to the students as possible during this short amount of time. These materials are important of course, but not necessarily connected. When we learn a piece of music, it is crucial that we know the background and be able to connect it with visual arts, cultures and related artists, etc. By producing such a festival, the students get an opportunity to learn about a specific topic in depth.

Hopefully this will influence and inspire them to discover more about the music they will play in the future, rather than merely playing all the right notes and rhythms. For this Polish festival, we have living scholars, artists, soloists and composers all gathered here at CCM to help our students understand more about Polish music, which is extremely valuable.

How did you pick the repertoire for the Concert Orchestra’s Sept. 17 performance? What can you tell me about your decision to pair Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Górecki’s Symphony No. 3?
For the piano concerto, it is an opportunity for a piano student to play with a real orchestra. This year we have eight participants who competed to be featured in the concert. Piano students practice in a tiny room most of the time and rarely have a chance to play with an orchestra so it is important for us to create these types of opportunities. Górecki’s Symphony No. 3 is gorgeous and very much appropriate for training a young orchestra, especially the string section. The work requires over 50 minutes of playing with a very disciplined bow. We all know that playing slow bow exercises is essential, but how many of us really practice that daily? By programming Górecki’s Symphony, we kind of force the young string players to play beautifully and with a well-controlled bow.

In addition to directing the CCM Concert Orchestra, you also direct Café MoMus, CCM’s modern music ensemble. What can you tell me about the unique experience that MoMus will bring to this festival?
Exploring new sound is fun and exciting. I enjoy working with living composers and exploring the world of sound with them. For this festival, Café MoMus is presenting three Polish composers from different generations and backgrounds. Although all three of them were born in Poland, Krzysztof Penderecki became the professor at Yale School of Music around the mid-1970s and Bettina Skrzypczhak spent a lot of time in Switzerland and some time in Germany. Artur Słotwiński has remained in Poland for most of his life. They received different influences of cultures, which affects their compositional styles.

Instead of programming all works of well-known composers, the goal of Café MoMus is to discover young talents as well. I find Artur Słotwiński’s works energetic, well-crafted and effective. The student musicians have enjoyed playing it, but of course there are some tricky passages. Słotwiński will be here to coach us himself for the world premiere of his Piano Quintet. Bettina Skrzypczhak’s Mirrors is one of the most difficult pieces I have ever conducted — not only the complexity of construction, but also the philosophical idea behind each poem. I would say the music matches the texts and poems 100%, as if you could see the words in the music. Penderecki of course is very well-known and the Sextet is one of his few chamber works. Some scholars consider this to be one of his finest works. This is a very unique pairing and I hope it will create some sort of chemistry.

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The Polish Festival runs Sept. 9-Oct. 2 throughout the CCM Village. You can learn more about the festival’s future events below or by visiting ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/concerts/orchestras/polishfest.

8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13
• Orchestra Series •
PENDERECKI, SKRZYPCZAK AND SLOTWINSKI
Café MoMus
Aik Khai Pung, music director
As part of the Polish Festival, Café MoMus will present works of Polish composers from three different generations: Krzysztof Penderecki, Bettina Skrzypczak and Artur Słotwiński. Join us for coffee and conversation with Artur Słotwiński and the musicians after the performance.
Location: Cohen Family Studio Theater
Admission: FREE
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8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17
• Orchestra Series •
CHOPIN AND GÓRECKI
CCM Concert Orchestra
Aik Khai Pung, music director and conductor
CHOPIN: Piano Concerto No. 1
Featuring the winner of the CCM Piano Competition
GÓRECKI: Symphony No. 3 (“Symphony of Sad Songs”)
Featuring the winner of the CCM Voice Competition
Location: Corbett Auditorium
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.
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7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18
• Jazz Series •
THE MUSIC OF VIRTUOSO JAZZ PIANIST AND COMPOSER WLODEK PAWLIK
CCM Jazz Orchestra and Faculty Jazztet
Featuring guest artist Wlodek Pawlik, piano
Scott Belck, conductor
Join us as we celebrate the stunning music and musicians of Poland and feature Grammy Award-winning pianist and composer Wlodek Pawlik as he performs his original compositions and arrangements.
Location: Corbett Auditorium
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.
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4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2
• Orchestra & Choral Series •
POLISH FESTIVAL CLOSING CONCERT
CCM Philharmonia, CCM Chamber Choir and Xavier University Concert Choir
Featuring faculty artist Daniel Weeks, tenor
Mark Gibson, music director and conductor
MONIUSZKO: Overture to Halka
PENDERECKI: Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima
SKROWACZEWSKI: English Horn Concerto
SZYMANOWSKI: Symphony No. 3 in B-flat Major, Op. 27 (“Song of the Night”)
Featuring Daniel Weeks, soloist
Location: Corbett Auditorium
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.

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