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


Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

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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



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CCM Philharmonia Presents Program of Grand Symphonic Works on April 26

CCM’s Philharmonia Orchestra will present an exciting concert of new and grand symphonic works at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, in Corbett Auditorium.

The concert will feature a world premiere of CCM student composer Jennifer Jolley’s Le monde du silence and Anton Bruckner’s romantic work Symphony No. 8 in C Minor.

CCM News

CCM Announces Winner of 2011 Orchestral Composition Competition

Jennifer Jolley

Jennifer Jolley

Congratulations to DMA composition student Jennifer Jolley, the winner of the 2011 CCM Orchestra Composition Competition! This annual competition involves several CCM composition students whose works are initially given readings by the Philharmonia. Then, a panel of judges chooses one composer to write a new orchestral work for the CCM Philharmonia for a performance during the following season.

Jennifer’s new piece will be conducted by Professor Mark Gibson and the other piece on the program (a year from April) will be the 8th symphony of Bruckner.

CCM News