CCM Jazz Studies Alumni Accept Faculty Positions in Tennessee and Texas

Two CCM alumni have accepted faculty positions at major universities; Michael Schults (MM Jazz Studies, 2012) is now an Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the University of Memphis, and Thomas Zinninger (MM Jazz Studies, 2009; DMA Saxophone, 2013) is an Assistant Professor of Saxophone and Jazz at Texas A&M University–Kingsville.

Michael Shults

Michael Shults

For the past four years, Schults has been an Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. During his time as a graduate student at CCM, he taught improvisation and coached jazz combos and bands. He studied with James Bunte, Rick VanMatre, Phil DeGreg and Kim Pensyl.

Shults was a finalist in the 2012 North American Saxophone Alliance Jazz Artist Competition and was the winner of the Graduate College Soloist category in the 2012 Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards Issue. He has performed by invitation as a featured soloist at the North American Saxophone Alliance biennial conference, the Jazz Education Network conference, the Wisconsin Music Educator’s Association conference and the Minnesota Music Educator’s Association conference.  He is a founding faculty member of the Kansas City Saxophone Workshop, along with Zach Shemon, alto saxophonist of the PRISM Quartet. Shults has also served on the faculty of the Eugene Rousseau Saxophone Workshop at Shell Lake Arts Center. He is currently the alto saxophone chair in the Coalescent Quartet.

Zinninger moves to Texas A&M-Kingsville from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, where he taught saxophone and led the jazz ensemble. He was both a graduate student and a faculty member while he was at CCM, where he taught courses in jazz improvisation and jazz appreciation.

His performance credits include the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Frank Simon Band, Chamber Winds of Louisville, Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, RL Big Band and the Don Krekel Orchestra. As a soloist, he premiered new arrangements for saxophone at the 16th World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland as well as the 2012, 2014 and 2017 North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences.

Congratulations to both of these CCM graduates for their success!

Are you a CCM alum with news? Stay in touch by sharing your story with us!
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Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

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CCM Sound Design Alumnus Matthew Tibbs Named Visiting Assistant Professor

Matthew Tibbs

CCM Interim Dean bruce mcclung has announced the appointment of Matthew Tibbs to the position of Visiting Assistant Professor of Sound Design. Tibbs’ appointment will officially begin on Aug. 15, 2018.

A sound designer with experience in live performance, film and advertising, Tibbs’ nearly 100 sound designs have been seen on stages nationally, including in New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City and Portland. His film work has been seen at national and international film festivals and his advertising work has been distributed on the West Coast in local and regional TV markets.

Tibbs’ theatrical sound design has been featured at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Salt Lake City’s Pioneer Theatre Company, the Clarence Brown Theatre at the University of Tennessee, New York City’s Fresh Fruit Festival and Utah Shakespeare Festival. For the past seven years, Tibbs has regularly designed for the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Minnesota.

An experienced educator, Tibbs most recently served on the faculty of Ball State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance. He previously spent three years as Resident Sound Designer for the Pioneer Theatre Company and served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Utah. He has also taught as visiting faculty at Pacific University and as a graduate assistant at CCM.

Tibbs is a member of the designers’ union United Scenic Artists Local 829 and serves as a secretary for the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association (TSDCA).

He holds a MFA in Sound Design from CCM (2007) and a BA in Communication Arts from George Fox University (2004).

On the announcement of Tibbs’ appointment, mcclung commented:

“CCM alumnus Matthew Tibbs’ extensive professional experience as a sound designer for such companies as the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Great River Shakespeare Festival and Indiana Repertory Theatre will be valuable for CCM’s BFA and MFA students.”

Please join us in welcoming Matthew Tibbs to the CCM family!

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CCM Welcomes Judith Mikita As Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance

Judith Mikita

CCM Interim Dean bruce mcclung has announced the appointment of Judith Mikita to the position of Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance, with a focus in modern choreography. Mikita has served as an adjunct dance instructor at CCM for more than 20 years. Her new appointment will officially begin on Aug. 15, 2018.

Mikita is a choreographer and performer with more than 30 years of professional experience. Her choreography has been presented by the American Dance Festival, the New York International Independent Film Festival, Cincinnati’s Aronoff Center and the Biagiotti Art Gallery in Florence, Italy, among others. She has also choreographed for Cincinnati’s Contemporary Dance Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cleveland Fringe Festival, Covington’s Carnegie Art Center and New York’s White Mountain Dance Festival.

As an artist and educator, Mikita has served on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Columbia College and Antioch College and as artist-in-residence at Wright State University and the University of Utah. She has also choreographed at Miami University, Northern Kentucky University and Interlochen Center for the Arts.

As a performer, Mikita has toured nationally with the Chicago-based dance companies of Shirley Mordine, Jan Erkert and Bob Eisen. She has worked with Martha Clarke of Pilobolus Dance Theatre, Lucas Hoving of the José Limón Dance Company, Marnie Thomas of the Martha Graham Dance Company and Gus Solomons, Jr. of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

Mikita is a founding member of the Greater Cincinnati Dance Alliance and has served on the board of directors for OhioDance and Cincinnati’s Contemporary Dance Theater. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Dance from Indiana University and a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from University of Michigan.

On the announcement of Mikita’s appointment, mcclung commented:

“Judith Mikita’s extensive experience in modern dance and professional work with arts institutions, festivals and dance companies throughout the country will benefit CCM’s BFA students in refining their contemporary dance technique.”

Please join us in welcoming Judith Mikita to the CCM family!

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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.

HOW THE FELLOWSHIP WORKS
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.

MEET THE INCOMING FELLOWS

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.”

ENHANCING AND EXPANDING THE EXPERIENCE
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.”

JOIN OUR NEXT CLASS OF CSO/CCM DIVERSITY FELLOWS
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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CCM Welcomes Kathleen Kelly as New Associate Professor of Opera Coaching

CCM Interim Dean bruce d. mcclung has announced the addition of Kathleen Kelly as the college’s new Associate Professor of Opera Coaching. An accomplished opera coach, conductor, pianist and teacher, Kelly’s appointment begins on Aug. 15, 2018.

Kelly currently serves as an associate professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance. She joined the faculty in 2015 as the school’s first coach/conductor of opera. While there, she conducted performances of Giulio Cesare, Così fan tutte, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dinner at Eight, the difficulty of crossing a field and L’heure espagnole/Gianni Schicchi, which won the American Prize in Opera Performance. She also led workshops for The Dream of the Red Chamber, Kept and Black Clown and oversaw the musical preparation for the university-wide performances of the new critical edition of Porgy and Bess.

Kelly was the first woman and first American named as director of musical studies at Vienna State Opera, where she oversaw the daily musical life of more than 50 ensemble singers in more than 50 operas from 2010 to 2013. She also curated a recital series in the opera house’s famous Mahlersaal and served as the series’ principal pianist. She was the recitative accompanist for new productions of The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni, and assisted Maestro Franz Welser-Möst on new productions of Kát’a Kabanová and Z mrtvého domu.

Before moving overseas, Kelly served as the music director of the Houston Grand Opera Studio as well as the company’s head of music staff from 2006 to 2010. Highlights of these years include conducting her own chamber music arrangement of Hansel und Gretel in a remarkable production by Basil Twist, serving as pianist for the Eleanor McCollum competition and curating the HGOS recital series at Rienzi.

From 1997 to 2006, Kelly served as an assistant to the music director at the Metropolitan Opera, specializing in the works of Wagner, Strauss and Berg. During that time, because of her success as a prompter and musical assistant, she was the focus of a Wall Street Journal article and a Metropolitan Opera radio broadcast feature. From 2005 to 2008 Kelly was also the music director of the Berkshire Opera, conducting two productions each summer and overseeing the young artist program.

As a conductor, Kelly has led the 2018 Schwabacher Concerts at the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, Francesca Zambello’s critically acclaimed Ariadne auf Naxos at the Glimmerglass Festival (nominated for an International Opera Award), The Marriage of Figaro at Wolf Trap, the premiere of Emmerich Kálmán’s Arizona Lady at Arizona Opera, Carmen and Madama Butterfly at Opera Columbus, Hansel und Gretel at El Paso Opera and the Alexandria Symphony in Virginia. She also conducted the West Coast premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s A Coffin in Egypt, starring Frederica von Stade.

Kelly earned Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in piano performance from Arizona State University and received a Fulbright Scholarship in Music to study at the Musikhochschule Lübeck in Germany.

She has performed internationally as a recital pianist, including performances at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Vienna’s Musikverein and Tucson’s Desert Song Festival. Her recital partners have included Jamie Barton, Thomas Hampson, Renee Fleming, Christine Goerke, Albina Shagimuratova, Valentina Nafornita, Patrick Carfizzi, Michael Kelly, Jill Grove and Troy Cook.

Kelly has taught master classes in the United States and internationally, including at Interlochen Academy, CCM, Baylor University, Vanderbilt University, Arizona State University, Western Ontario University, Peabody Conservatory and Moscow Conservatory, among others. She is also a regular guest coach for Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz program, and works regularly with young artist programs nationally, notably at the Los Angeles Opera, the Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Seattle Opera and in the CoOperative Training Program at Westminster Choir College.

Additionally, Kelly is gaining recognition as a writer of articles, translations and original texts. She has written lead program articles for Wolf Trap, Houston Grand Opera and Arizona Opera. For the Arizona Lady performances, she created a new trilingual adaptation of the libretto. She also wrote the text Texanische Liebeslieder, a song cycle by David Hanlon, which premiered in 2015.

Most recently, Kelly wrote a new English translation Hansel und Gretel for Tri-Cities Opera. She was also commissioned by Wolf Trap Opera to write the libretto for Listen Wilhelmina!, a children’s opera that premiered in May 2017.

Interim dean mcclung thanks the search committee, co-chaired by Alan Yaffe and Robin Guarino, and committee members Amy Johnson, Marie-France Lefebvre and Michelle Conda for their work on finding CCM’s new associate professor of opera coaching. He adds,

“Professor Kelly brings a wealth of experience and artistry both nationally at the Metropolitan Opera and internationally at the Vienna State Opera to CCM’s nationally ranked and internationally renowned opera program.”

Please join us in welcoming Kathleen Kelly to the CCM family!

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Jiaen Zhang.

Piano Student’s Perseverance Takes Her from Hit and Run to Graduation

Jiaen Zhang.

Jiaen Zhang.

After being seriously injured by a hit-and-run in fall 2016, Jiaen Zhang was afraid she wouldn’t be able to fully recover to become a professional pianist. Thanks to her dedication, and the support of faculty and friends, the CCM piano student overcame her injuries and walked proudly with the Class of 2018 at this year’s Graduation Convocation on April 28.

Around 10 p.m. on Sept. 8, 2016, Zhang finished practicing piano in CCM’s Memorial Hall and began her walk home. As she crossed Calhoun Street, she was struck by an SUV, which threw her 20 feet and knocked her unconscious.

She woke up with fractures in her right hand and thigh, brain trauma and bruises on her lung and liver. After multiple surgeries on her thigh and hand, Zhang remained at the UC Medical Center for 20 days in recovery. Her thigh healed rapidly, but her hand remained in a plaster cast for three months.

“The flexibility of the joints in my third finger was completely lost,” Zhang remembers. “I had to start at zero, trying to at least move my injured finger. It took me two weeks before I could move it a single inch.”

While she recovered, her classmates and teachers at CCM sent her “heart-warming” messages, including a card with more than 60 signatures. Interim Dean bruce mcclung and Piano Department Chair Michael Chertock kept Zhang’s family in China updated throughout the ordeal. CCM Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies Scott Lipscomb and the CCM College Office staff helped her make up missed classes so she would graduate on time. Zhang says her appreciation to them all “is beyond words.”

Chertock worked with Zhang to create a “back to piano” plan for her recovery. They began with simple pieces to rebuild the muscles in her injured hand. Chertock told her that the technical problems in her playing could be fixed with the right mindset.

“When you have the imagination and passion for music, your hands will find their own way to achieve whatever you want to do,” she says.

On Feb, 7, 2018 — year and a half after the hit and run — Zhang held her senior recital in CCM’s Robert J. Werner Recital Hall. She played a Mozart sonata, Alexander Scriabin’s Prelude and Nocturne for the Left Hand and Brahms’ challenging Op. 118. Chertock calls the recital a “heroic conclusion to a year and half of struggle.”

“She endured surgical screws in her right hand, multiple surgeries on her leg and a great deal of pain and scarring without the slightest trace of bitterness or anger,” Chertock says. “She rebuilt her piano playing and developed a style that is more broad, deeper into the keyboard and sustained.”

Zhang came to Cincinnati from her hometown of Guangzhou, China, to study at CCM. She says she was drawn to the college by its distinguished faculty and the artistry of its students.

“Since my first year here, I’ve learned a lot from the faculty and students,” she says. “In this environment, my studying and growth are not limited to only classrooms and lessons. It’s exciting to feel myself improve every minute. The friendly atmosphere encourages and reminds me to help my peers and people who haven’t had the advantage of studying music.”

Zhang was particularly fond of the piano repertoire class she took with instructor Andy Villemez, who recently won UC’s Outstanding Adjunct Instructor Award. The class gave her a broader understanding and knowledge of piano music, which helped her become more comfortable and confident when she gives lessons and presentations, she says.

“It taught me historical facts of piano music and how to better share this knowledge with audiences,” she says. “Rather than simply teaching my students how to play a nice sound, I can lead them to think about music in a more critical way by giving them the historical context of the pieces.”

She will continue studying with Chertock over the summer to prepare for her solo recital in China in September — it will be her debut in her home country after graduating from CCM with a bachelor of music in piano. After the recital, she plans to give piano lessons at a private music school in China.

“Jiaen’s calmness, courage and perseverance were ultimately able to overcome the reckless act that injured her,” Chertock says. “I will always remember her sincere desire to heal and refusal to live in despair.”

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Photography from CCM's Fall 2017 Mainstage Series production of 'Seussical' by Mark Lyons.

Become a Mainstage Subscriber and See Why CCM Was Voted “Best of Cincinnati”

Photography from CCM's Fall 2017 Mainstage Series production of 'Seussical' by Mark Lyons.

Photography from CCM’s Fall 2017 Mainstage Series production of ‘Seussical’ by Mark Lyons.

Audiences recently declared CCM “Best of Cincinnati,” but the best is yet to come with CCM’s 2018-19 Mainstage Series! New subscriptions are on sale now for CCM’s eight-part series of Acting, Dance, Musical Theatre and Opera productions.

Running from October 2018 through April 2019, CCM presents eight masterworks spanning the spectrum of theatre arts, including the best of comedic and dramatic acting, classic and contemporary musicals, great operas from master composers and innovative dance programs … all featuring CCM’s stars-of-tomorrow!

With new streamlined subscription packages, it’s never been easier to get the best tickets at the season’s best prices. Subscriptions are on sale now! Place your priority subscription order by Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, to take advantage of Subscriber-Only Week (Sept. 4-7, 2018).

To order subscriptions, download the new subscription order form or contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 or boxoff@uc.edu.

The complete 2018-19 Mainstage Series lineup is listed below. Titles and dates are subject to change – rights pending.
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CCM’S 2018-19 MAINSTAGE SERIES
Acting, Musical Theatre, Opera, Dance

"The Government Inspector" promo image by Mark Lyons.THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR
Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher
From the original by Nikolai Gogol
Richard E. Hess, director

When the locals in a small Russian hamlet learn that an undercover government inspector is coming for a surprise visit, a case of mistaken identity sends the whole village spiraling into a world of panic and greed. Part farce, part slapstick and wholly entertaining, this timely and spirited adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s classic play exposes the corruption of a provincial town with biting hilarity.

Performance Dates: Oct. 3 (preview), Oct. 4-7, 2018
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater

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"Guys and Dolls" preview photography by Mark Lyons.GUYS AND DOLLS
A Musical Fable of Broadway
Based on a Story and Characters of Damon Runyon
Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows
Diane Lala, director and choreographer
Roger Grodsky, musical director

Set in Damon Runyon’s mythical New York City, Guys and Dolls is the perfect musical comedy and a “golden oldie” from the Broadway season of 1950. Nathan Detroit is a gambler trying to find the cash to set up the biggest craps game in town while the authorities breathe down his neck. Meanwhile, his girlfriend and nightclub performer, Adelaide, laments that they’ve been engaged for 14 years. Nathan turns to fellow gambler Sky Masterson for the dough, and Sky ends up chasing straight-laced missionary Sarah Brown as a result. Guys and Dolls takes us from the heart of Times Square to the cafés of Havana, Cuba and even into the sewers of New York City, but eventually everyone ends up right where they belong.

Performance Dates: Oct. 19 and 21, Oct. 26-27, 2018
Note: A special gala performance of Guys and Dolls will be presented on Saturday, Oct. 20, in honor of CCM Musical Theatre’s 50th anniversary; special pricing applies.
Location: Corbett Auditorium

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"The Turn of the Screw" preview photography by Mark Lyons.THE TURN OF THE SCREW
Music by Benjamin Britten
Libretto by Myfanwy Piper, after a story by Henry James
Aik Khai Pung, conductor
Vince DeGeorge, director

Based on Henry James’ classic ghost-story novella, Britten’s compelling chamber opera presents the story of a governess charged with the care of two orphaned children at their absentee uncle’s country estate, where the ghosts of a former valet and his lover haunt the grounds. With a blend of 12-tone techniques, arresting motifs and stirring lyricism, the action moves with incredible fluidity, creating a chilling tale of sexual repression and the corruption of innocence. For mature audiences.

Performance Dates: Nov. 15-18, 2018
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater

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"Birthday Variations" preview photography by Mark Lyons.BIRTHDAY VARIATIONS
Jiang Qi, director

CCM Dance showcases an array of classic and contemporary works restaged and choreographed by CCM Dance faculty members. The thrilling highlight of the evening is Birthday Variations, set to music by Giuseppe Verdi and staged by guest artist Nicole Duffy Robertson, a répétiteur for the Gerald Arpino Foundation. The performance of Birthday Variations, an Arpino ballet, is presented with the permission of the Gerald Arpino Foundation and has been produced in accordance with the Foundation service standards established and provided by the Foundation.

Performance Dates: Dec. 6-9, 2018
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater

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"Our Country's Good" preview photography by Mark Lyons.OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD
By Timberlake Wertenbaker
Based on the novel The Playmaker by Thomas Keneally
Susan Felder, director

Set in Botany Bay in 1789, Our Country’s Good is a darkly comedic tale based on the true story of Australia’s first theatrical performance. A marine lieutenant decides to put on a play to celebrate the king’s birthday. He casts the play with convicts who populate an Australian prison camp. Few of them can read, let alone act, and the play is produced against a background of food shortages and barbaric prison punishments. Our Country’s Good is as an inspiring tribute to the transforming power of drama. For mature audiences.

Performance Dates: Feb. 13 (preview), Feb. 14-17, 2019
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater

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"Hunchback of Notre Dame" preview image by Mark Lyons.THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Book by Peter Parnell
Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney film
Originally developed by Disney Theatrical Productions
Aubrey Berg, director
Stephen Goers, musical director
Katie Johannigman, choreographer

Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature, The Hunchback of Notre Dame begins as bells sound through the famed cathedral in fifteenth-century Paris. Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer, observes all of Paris reveling in the Feast of Fools, but he is held captive by his devious caretaker, the archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo. He escapes for the day and joins the boisterous crowd, only to be treated cruelly by all but the beautiful gypsy, Esmeralda. Quasimodo isn’t the only one captivated by her free spirit, though — the handsome Captain Phoebus and Frollo are equally enthralled. As the three vie for her attention, Frollo embarks on a mission to destroy the gypsies and it’s up to Quasimodo to save them all. The musical premiered as Der Glöckner von Notre Dame in 1999 in Berlin.

Performance Dates: March 7-10, 2019
Location: Corbett Auditorium

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"La Clemenza di Tito" preview photography by Mark Lyons.LA CLEMENZA DI TITO
(THE CLEMENCY OF TITUS)
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Caterino Mazzolà
Jiannan Cheng, conductor
Robin Guarino, director

Mozart’s last opera seria displays some of his most memorable and marvelous arias! The story centers on Roman emperor Titus (Tito) who must choose a wife, but is unable to find a suitable match. In his search for an empress, Tito narrowly avoids an assassination plot instigated by his protégé Sesto and the former emperor’s daughter, Vitellia, who wants the throne for herself. Caught between his duty and his heart, the emperor must choose whether to rule with mercy or with an iron fist.

Performance Dates: April 12-14, 2019
Location: Corbett Auditorium

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CCM Dance preview image by Mark Lyons.CINDERELLA
Deirdre Carberry and Michael Tevlin, co-directors
Karen Russo Burke, choreographer

Celebrate spring’s arrival with a fully staged fairytale ballet choreographed by guest artist Karen Russo Burke, Artistic Director of the Dayton Ballet. A poor girl wishes to escape the authoritarian rule of her evil stepmother and stepsisters, so her fairy godmother gives her a ticket to the ball! The girl meets Prince Charming and they fall in love, but she vanishes when the clock strikes midnight. Set to music by Sergei Prokofiev, Cinderella is known for its jubilant melodies, lush scenery and graceful retelling of the timeless romance by Charles Perrault.

Performance Dates: April 26-28, 2019
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater

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Mainstage Series Subscriptions
The 2018-19 CCM Mainstage Series of Acting, Musical Theatre, Opera and Dance productions includes subscription packages for combinations of Eight Shows, Six Shows, Four Shows or Three Shows. Newly streamlined subscription packages make this process easier than ever before. Simply choose your shows and select whether you want seats in Section A (the best views) or Section B (the lowest prices)!

Subscription packages are on sale now, with packages ranging in price from $81-$192.

Place your priority subscription order by Friday, Aug. 31, to take advantage of Subscriber-Only Week (Sept. 4-7, 2018).

Single tickets go on sale beginning Sept. 10, 2018, but subscribing is the only way to guarantee your seats and your savings for CCM’s Mainstage Series!

To order subscriptions, download the new subscription order form or contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 or boxoff@uc.edu.

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2018-19 MAINSTAGE SERIES PERFORMANCE TIMES

THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR
Performance Times:

  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3 (preview)
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7

Location: Patricia Corbett Theater

GUYS AND DOLLS
Performance Times:

  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 (CCM Musical Theatre 50th Anniversary gala performance; special pricing applies)
  • 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21
  • 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27

Location: Corbett Auditorium

THE TURN OF THE SCREW
Performance Times:

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18

Location: Patricia Corbett Theater

BIRTHDAY VARIATIONS
Performance Times:

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8
  • 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9

Location: Patricia Corbett Theater

OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD
Performance Times:

  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13 (preview)
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17

Location: Patricia Corbett Theater

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
Performance Times:

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, March 7
  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 8
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, March 9
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, March 9
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 10

Location: Corbett Auditorium

LA CLEMENZA DI TITO
Performance Times:

  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 12
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 13
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, April 14

Location: Corbett Auditorium

CINDERELLA
Performance Times:

  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 26
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 27
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, April 28

Location: Patricia Corbett Theater

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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

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