Betty Ireland and Marc Scorca

Opera America Office Dedicated in Memory of CCM Alumnus Jim Ireland

The National Opera Center recently dedicated its Technical/Production Office in honor of famed University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music alumnus James D. Ireland (BBA Business Administration, 1966; MM 1970), a well-respected opera administrator who helped develop Opera America into a leading organization for arts advancement in the United States.

Jim Ireland

Jim Ireland

Ireland passed away at the age of 69 in September 2012 after a brief battle with lung cancer. The ceremony and dedication took place this past November at the Opera America headquarters in New York City. Numerous friends and family from around the country were there to honor Ireland, including his sister and UC alumna, Betty Scott Ireland (BS Education, 1967).

“To know Jim was to love and admire him,” said Opera America President/CEO Marc Scorca during the dedication. “With cherished memories and enduring affection, let’s be joyful that James D. Ireland has a permanent home at the National Opera Center in good company with other dynamic leaders who forged an American opera industry.”

“Dynamic leader” is an appropriate moniker for Ireland, who had a long and storied career in the arts. A native of Charleston, West Virginia, he made a name for himself locally, often performing with the Charleston Light Opera Guild and playing organ for several area churches.

Ireland began studying voice at CCM under the tutelage of Helen Laird in 1965, shortly before Laird established the conservatory’s Musical Theatre Program in 1968. During his time at CCM, he also studied conducting with Elmer Thomas and piano with John Quincy Bass.

After graduating from CCM in 1970, he worked heavily behind the scenes to promote opera across the country. From 1972–79, he worked with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and created their opera/musical theatre arm. It was also during this time that he began working with Opera America, which has since developed a glowing international reputation.

From there, Ireland transitioned into one of the leading opera company administrators in America. For 22 years, he served as Managing and Producing Director of the acclaimed Houston Grand Opera and helped the reputation of the company grow through numerous world premieres and other artistic endeavors.

He later served as Director of Hartford Stage in Connecticut (2002–05) and the President and first CEO of the Orlando Opera (2006–09). At the time of his passing, he was working as a consultant for numerous opera organizations across the country.

JoAnne Greiser (BA English, 1968/BS Education, 1969), who was friends with Ireland when they were both students at the University of Cincinnati, attended the dedication with her husband Ron Nyhan.

“In a field that is, by definition, focused on performance and its stars, only a knowledgeable, opera-loving giant on the business side of the house could command the attention of the opera field to make significant changes behind the scenes,” she said. “Jim was that giant.”

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Story by CCM graduate Kevin Norton (DMA Saxophone, 2015)

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CCM Alumnus Brandon Dean Receives Gustavus Adolphus College’s Award for Teaching Excellence

CCM alumnus Brandon Dean (DMA, 2011).

CCM alumnus Brandon Dean (DMA, 2011).

CCM alumnus Brandon Dean (DMA, 2011) has received Gustavus Adolphus College’s 2014 Swenson-Bunn Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence. The award is nominated and selected by students and has been presented annually since 1990. Congratulations!

Dean joined the Gustavus faculty in 2011, after completing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting at CCM. At CCM, he also served as the conductor of the UC Women’s Chorus from 2008-2011.

An Assistant Professor of Music ad Gustavus, he conducts the Choir of Christ Chapel, Lucia Singers and St. Ansgar’s Chorus, and teaches courses in music theory and music history.

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CCM Student Marie Bucoy-Calavan Named As Inaugural May Festival Choral Conducting Fellow

Marie Bucoy-Calavan has been named the inaugural recipient of the May Festival Choral Conducting Fellowship. She will enter her third year of studies in CCM's DMA in Choral Conducting program this fall.

Marie Bucoy-Calavan has been named the inaugural recipient of the May Festival Choral Conducting Fellowship. She will enter her third year of studies in CCM’s DMA in Choral Conducting program this fall.

We are delighted to report that DMA candidate Marie Bucoy-Calavan has been named the inaugural recipient of the May Festival Choral Conducting Fellowship. This new position was established thanks to the incredible foresight and generosity of Ginger Warner and was created as part of an ongoing collaboration between the May Festival and CCM’s Department of Choral Studies. Each year, a May Festival Fellow will be selected from CCM’s pool of Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting students and will serve as the Assistant Conductor of the May Festival Chorus.

“The new May Festival Choral Conducting Fellowship provides unique professional training for CCM’s doctoral choral conducting students,” explains Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers, “providing them opportunities to conduct rehearsals, as well as to attend May Festival Board and Artistic Planning meetings to learn how a world-renowned Choral Festival is successfully produced.”

Bucoy-Calavan will begin her duties with the May Festival Chorus next fall. As Assistant Director she will be responsible for running select rehearsals and smaller sectional rehearsals. In addition Bucoy-Calavan will conduct some concerts within the community. Commenting on her appointment, Bucoy-Calavan says, “I am very excited and honored at the chance to have a mentorship with [May Festival Director of Choruses] Robert Porco. I attended the Conducting Masterclass that the May Festival held a year ago, and was inspired by his musical insights and skill for teaching conducting. I look forward to the fall and to the prospect of working with the May Festival Chorus.”

Learn more about the May Festival Choral Conducting Fellowship.

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM’s Choirs Celebrate the Life of Elmer Thomas on Sept. 30

Elmer Thomas at CCM for the occasion of his 80th birthday in October, 2010.

Elmer Thomas at CCM for the occasion of his 80th birthday in October, 2010.

CCM’s Chamber Choir and Chorale, UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses, Cincinnati Children’s Choir and Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble combine at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30 in Corbett Auditorium to celebrate the life of Elmer Robert Thomas, a pioneering choral director who left an enduring legacy in Cincinnati. Thomas died of respiratory failure at the age of 81 on June 13, 2012.

Professor emeritus Elmer Thomas founded CCM’s choral studies program over 45 years ago and built it into a program recognized far and wide for its excellence. His caring nature and passion for his art made him an admired mentor by his students and a revered colleague and friend by his peers. He remained director of the program until 1995.

CCM News

CCM Announces Fall 2012 Calendar of Major Events

CCMFall2012CalendarCover(web)

CCM is delighted to announce its fall schedule of performances. The largest single source of performing arts events in the state of Ohio, CCM presents more than 100 public performances this fall, ranging from faculty and guest artist concerts to fully supported opera, drama and musical theatre productions.

This fall’s schedule includes a Beethoven Festival (Sept. 14 – Oct. 12), a Kurt Weill Festival (Oct. 19 – March 10) and a Cage Centennial Celebration (Nov. 5 – Nov. 29). CCM also collaborates with Cincinnati Opera on public workshop performances of two new American operas (Oct. 27 – 28 and Dec. 4 – 5) and presents a pair of concerts in conjunction with the Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts (Oct. 10 and Oct. 28).

Download a digital copy of CCM’s Fall 2012 Calendar of Major Events today. Physical copies are also available at the CCM Box Office in the Corbett Center for the Performing Arts.

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CCM Celebrates 50 Years As a UC College With 50 Major Performing Arts Events

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is delighted to announce its 2012-13 schedule of major events. From September through May, CCM will present a series of 50 performances spanning the spectrum of the performing and media arts.

This series begins with the internationally-acclaimed Ariel Quartet’s inaugural concert as CCM string-quartet-in-residence on Tuesday, Sept. 11 and concludes with a Sunday, May 5 performance by the Cincinnati Children’s Choir, gold medal-winners at the 2012 World Choir Games.

The 2012-13 performance schedule also features festivals showcasing the works of German composers Ludwig van Beethoven and Kurt Weill, jazz tributes to the music of Stevie Wonder and Frank Zappa, a dynamic revival of the rock musical Chess, a performance of J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor presented in conjunction with the Constella Festival and much more.

These creative collaborations are part of a year-long celebration, ushering in CCM’s second half-century as a college of the University of Cincinnati (UC). In August of 1962, the then century-old Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music joined UC as its 14th college. This merger created the institution now known as CCM, an institution built on the synergy of education, innovation and performance. Learn more about CCM’s history by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/history.

CCM News

CCM’s 2012-13 Season Brochure is Now Available Online

Subscription and flex ticket packages are now on sale for the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s 2012-13 performance season. This year’s season includes 50 major events, ranging from fully staged operas and musicals to intimate chamber music concerts and holiday-themed choral extravaganzas.

Download a digital copy of this year’s season brochure today. Physical copies are also available at the CCM Box Office.

CCM News

In Memoriam: CCM Choral Studies Founder Elmer Thomas

Professor Emeritus Elmer Thomas

Professor Emeritus Elmer Thomas

The Cincinnati Enquirer‘s Janelle Gelfand has penned a moving remembrance of Elmer Robert Thomas, professor emeritus and founder of the department of Choral Studies at CCM. You can view her story here.

Professor Thomas died of respiratory failure on June 13 at University Hospital. He was 81.

“He often spoke of the joy of living his life surrounded by the great music of great composers, and he frequently reminded his students that in their careers they would always find joy, and solace, as needed, in great musical works,” said Earl Rivers, CCM director of choral studies. “Elmer remained my mentor throughout our relationship. He was the first person whose insight and opinions I sought when studying, preparing, and executing masterworks for chorus and chorus and orchestra.”

We would like to express our sincerest condolences to all of the members of the Thomas family.

CCM News

A Video Preview of Bach’s ‘St. Matthew Passion’

CCM Electronic Media student Greg Shurts provides us with a video preview of this weekend’s staged production of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.

Tickets for the Nov. 20 performance at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral are on sale now and you can save $5 off of general admission by ordering your tickets in advance! Contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 or boxoff@uc.edu for more information.

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CCM’s Staged ‘St. Matthew Passion’ a First in the Midwest

Shawn Mlynek, tenor, as one of the Evangelists in CCM's rare staged performance of Bach's 'St. Matthew Passion.'

Shawn Mlynek, tenor, as one of the Evangelists in CCM's rare staged performance of Bach's 'St. Matthew Passion.'

CCM’s Chamber Choir, Philharmonia Orchestra and Cincinnati Children’s Choir combine for an afternoon featuring one of the timeless masterworks of choral music: J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. This massive staged undertaking, the first of its kind in the Midwest, will be held at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral (Eighth and Plum Street, Downtown Cincinnati) at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 20.

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