CCM's Mainstage Series presents 'Hamlet' Sept. 28-Oct. 1. Photo by Mark Lyons.

CCM Behind-the-Scenes: Fight Choreography in ‘Hamlet’

 

Catch CCM’s 150th Anniversary Mainstage Series opening production of Hamlet at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28. Presented in the newly renovated Patricia Corbett Theater, the Bard’s classic tragedy runs through Sunday, Oct. 1. Tickets available through the CCM Box Office.

Set in the 1920s, CCM’s production of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet tells a story of lost romance, betrayal, murder and madness. Hamlet Fight Choreographer Gina Mechley gives audiences an inside look at how she prepared students to illustrate the play’s conflict with stage combat.

This is Mechley’s first show at CCM as a fight choreographer, but she is no stranger to the realm of stage combat. She is currently teaching at CCM as an adjunct instructor. One of the few female certified teachers in the country with the Society of American Fight Directors, Mechley has served as the fight director at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Cincinnati Ballet Company and the Cincinnati Opera, among others. Get a sneak peek at CCM’s Hamlet in the photo gallery below:

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Working on CCM’s production of Hamlet has been “the icing on the teaching cake,” Mechley says. She adds that her job was made easier because CCM Acting students are heavily trained in stage combat.

The intensive training in CCM’s Acting program is designed to prepare students for careers on stage, film, television and in the creation of new works. The curriculum includes training in various acting techniques, dialects, voice-over work, as well as armed and unarmed stage combat.

CCM's Mainstage Series presents 'Hamlet' Sept. 28-Oct. 1. Photo by Mark Lyons.

Hamlet Director Susan Felder set CCM’s production of the play in the 1920s, but the contemporary setting does not dramatically change the tragedy’s violent climax that occurs when Hamlet confronts his enemies in Act II.

“Being set in the 1920s did not have a huge impact on the final duel,” Mechley says. “We are still using rapiers as a part of the sport or game that will unfold. Textually, it is set up as a contest and the use of swords would remain the same no matter what year it takes place.”

Mechley’s favorite moments in Hamlet’s fight choreography are when the fights get “close, personal and sloppy.” She looks forward to seeing how the audience will react to certain moments in the stage combat.

The most challenging aspect of the fight choreography was transferring what was learned in the rehearsal hall to the stage, Mechley adds. Hamlet‘s set includes steps and a trap door that opens to a 3-to-4-foot hole at center stage, which is used during the fight scenes.

“Fight direction is about storytelling — physically expanding on an emotional journey,” Mechley says. “The fights in Hamlet are so heavily based in character-driven emotion, that it just didn’t feel right to create a fight from only my viewpoint. It had to be created from the eyes of the director, the heart of Laertes and Hamlet, the physical souls of the actors and the skills of a fight director.”

“Collaboration created what I believe to be an extraordinary journey!”

CCM’s Mainstage Series presents Hamlet through Oct. 1, 2017 in Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 for UC students with a valid ID. Additional student discounts are available through the CCM Box Office. Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/hamlet.

Learn more about CCM’s Acting program at ccm.uc.edu/acting. Applications are now open for CCM’s fall 2018 class; apply online at ccm.uc.edu/info.html.

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Creative Team

  • Susan Felder, director
  • Logan Greenwell, scenic designer*
  • Oliver Tidwell Littleton, lighting designer*
  • Matthew Birchmeier, sound designer*
  • Ashley Berg, costume designer*
  • Meredith Keister, hair and make-up designer
  • Gina Mechley, fight choreographer
  • Anna Naderer, stage manager*

* CCM student

Cast List

  • Chandler Bates as Bernardo/Ensemble
  • Jeremy Maislin as Francisco/Priest/Ensemble
  • Gabriella DiVincenzo as Horatio
  • Will Clark as Marcellus/Ensemble
  • Carter LaCava as Ghost/Gravedigger/Ensemble
  • Landon Hawkins as Claudius
  • Ella Eggold as Gertrude
  • Briley Oakley as Lord Voltemand/Ensemble
  • Madison Pullman as Cornelius/Messenger/Ensemble
  • Rupert Spraul as Hamlet
  • Isaac Hickox-Young as Lord Polonius
  • Nicholas Heffelfinger as Laertes
  • Kenzie Clark as Ophelia
  • Josh Reiter as Rosencrantz
  • Matt Fox as Guildenstern
  • Mafer Del Real as Player King/Ensemble
  • Sarah Durham as Player Queen/Ensemble
  • Abby Palen as Gravedigger/English Ambassador/Ensemble
  • Jacqueline Daaleman as Osric/Ensemble
  • Lauren Carter as Fortinbras/Ensemble

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29
  • 2 and 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 30
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Hamlet are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 for UC students with a valid ID. Tickets to the Sept. 27 preview performance are just $15.

Student rush tickets will be sold one hour before each performance to non-UC students for $12 or $15, based on availability. UC students can receive one free student rush ticket with a valid ID, based on availability.

Customizable subscription packages are also available for CCM’s 2017-18 Mainstage Series.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/hamlet.

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

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

CCM News

CCM Faculty Member Heather Verbeck Honors Legacy of Jack Wellbaum in Concert

CCM Professor Heather Verbeck.

CCM Professor Heather Verbeck.

CCM faculty member Heather Verbeck commemorates the legacy of her former instructor, late CCM faculty member Jack Wellbaum, in a new work for piccolo and piano composed by internationally acclaimed flutist Timothy Hagen. Verbeck will perform the Cincinnati premier of In a Yellow Wood during her faculty artist recital on Thursday, September 28.

Wellbaum had a legendary Cincinnati presence as a musician, arts administrator and teacher. He graduated from the Cincinnati College of Music in 1948 and began his tenure with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 1950 as its principal piccolo player — a position he held for 38 years. Wellbaum also worked as the CSO’s personnel manager from 1972-1990.

Jack Wellbaum taught at CCM from 1960 until his retirement in 2008.

In 1960, after his alma mater merged with the Conservatory of Music to become the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Wellbaum began teaching flute and piccolo at CCM. He instituted a weekly piccolo class on Monday nights, which continued through his retirement in 2008. Wellbaum passed away in December 2011, at the age of 89.

Now Verbeck, who once sat in Wellbaum’s weekly piccolo class, proudly teaches it.

“Those who knew Jack Wellbaum understood him to be a straightforward man of great character and integrity, someone you could depend on for steadfast friendship and honest but gentle counsel,” Verbeck says.

“He was a treasured mentor and colleague to me and to many others. His piccolo playing, like his teaching style, was a thing of beauty — refined but uncomplicated. The successes of his many past pupils, who were inspired to play better and to work harder in his presence, stand as evidence of his profound influence.”

Wellbaum included his sage and succinct advice as commentary in Orchestral Excerpts for Piccolo, a resource of 36 common orchestral piccolo audition excerpts.

With the permission of Wellbaum’s family, Verbeck organized a consortium of 42 commissioners to raise the funds for In A Yellow Wood, composed by Timothy Hagen. The consortium includes Wellbaum’s former students, colleagues from his time at the CSO, piccolo makers and other professional musicians who recognize the contributions Wellbaum made to the arts world.

“Like many other professional flutists, I have found Jack Wellbaum’s Orchestral Excerpts for Piccolo to be an indispensable resource, full of generous wisdom,” wrote Hagen.

“In writing this piece, I have found myself inspired to be the best composer I could be and, more importantly, the best person I could be….I hope In a Yellow Wood brings joy to all those who play and hear it and keeps alive the legacy of Jack Wellbaum, a truly marvelous human being.”

In a Yellow Wood is a single-movement, 10-minute piece for piccolo and piano. Verbeck performed the piece at the National Flute Association’s Annual Convention in August. She will give the Cincinnati premier of the new work during her faculty artist recital at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28 in CCM’s Watson Recital Hall.

“This Commissioning Project was inspired by a desire to continue to celebrate the legacy of Jack Wellbaum,” Verbeck says. “Seeing this project come to fruition has been a career highlight for me. It is my hope to introduce future generations of piccolo players to Mr. Wellbaum through this new work.”

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Demarre McGill

Acclaimed Musician Demarre McGill Joins CCM Faculty as Visiting Assistant Professor of Flute

Demarre McGill

CCM Interim Dean bruce d. mcclung has announced the appointment of lauded flutist Demarre McGill as Visiting Assistant Professor of Flute. Winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, McGill is a leading soloist, recitalist, and chamber and orchestral musician.

A native of Chicago, McGill began playing the flute at age seven. He attended Chicago’s Merit School and was a member of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. At age 15, he appeared as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony.

McGill received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Julius Baker and Jeffrey Khaner. He continued his studies with Baker at The Juilliard School, where he received a Master of Music degree.

McGill has appeared as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Dallas Symphony, San Diego Symphony and Baltimore Symphony.

In September 2017, McGill will return as principal flute of the Seattle Symphony. He previously served as principal flute of the Dallas Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Florida Orchestra and Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. He recently served as acting principal flute of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

As a chamber musician, McGill is a founding member of The Myriad Trio and is a former member of Chamber Music Society Two. He has participated in the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Marlboro Music, La Jolla Music Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Festival and Stellenbosch Chamber Music Festival in South Africa, among others.

McGill is the co-founder and artistic director of the chamber music organization Art of Élan. In 2014, he founded the McGill/McHale Trio with clarinetist Anthony McGill and pianist Michael McHale. The trio’s first CD, Portraits, was released by Cedille Records on August 11.

Media credits include appearances on PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center, A&E Network’s The Gifted Ones and NBC’s Today Show and Nightly News. McGill also appeared on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood with his brother when they were teenagers.

Please join us in welcoming Professor McGill to the CCM family!

Learn more about CCM’s illustrious faculty by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/faculty.

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Violinist Giora Schmidt Joins CCM Faculty as Visiting Assistant Professor of Violin

CCM Interim Dean bruce d. mcclung is proud to announce the appointment of acclaimed violinist Giora Schmidt as Visiting Assistant Professor of Violin.

Praised by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as “impossible to resist, captivating with lyricism, tonal warmth, and boundless enthusiasm,” Schmidt has appeared with many prominent symphony orchestras including Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Canada’s National Arts Centre, Toronto, Vancouver and the Israel Philharmonic. He made his Carnegie Hall debut performing the Barber Violin Concerto with the New York Youth Symphony.

In recital and chamber music, Schmidt has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, San Francisco Performances, the Louvre Museum in Paris and Tokyo’s Musashino Cultural Hall. His festival appearances include the Ravinia Festival, the Santa Fe and Montreal Chamber Music Festivals, Bard Music Festival, Scotia Festival of Music and Music Academy of the West.

Born in Philadelphia in 1983 to professional musicians from Israel, Schmidt began playing the violin at the age of four. He has studied with Patinka Kopec and Pinchas Zukerman at the Manhattan School of Music, and the late CCM faculty member Dorothy DeLay and Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School.

Schmidt was the first prize winner of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Greenfield Competition in 2000, the recipient of a 2003 Avery Fisher Career Grant and won the Classical Recording Foundation’s Samuel Sanders Award in 2005. From 2004 to 2006 he was selected to be a Starling Fellow at The Juilliard School.

Committed to education and sharing his passion for music, Schmidt was on the faculty of The Juilliard School and the Perlman Music Program from 2005 to 2009. Through technology and social media, he continues to find new ways of reaching young violinists and music lovers around the world. Over 70,000 people from around the world follow his Facebook page, facebook.com/gioraschmidt.

Please join us in welcoming Professor Schmidt to the CCM family!

Learn more about CCM’s illustrious faculty by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/faculty.

CCM News Faculty Fanfare

E-Media Professor’s Technology Article Wins International Award for Excellence

Assistant Professor of E-Media Peter DePietro.

Assistant Professor of E-Media Peter DePietro.

Technology is changing the social fabric of cities in Central Europe and pushing them into a new cultural renaissance, according to University of Cincinnati Electronic Media Professor Peter DePietro. His research into this renaissance was praised by the Technology, Knowledge & Society Research Network, which recently awarded DePietro an International Award for Excellence for Volume 12 of The Technology Collection for his article “Tech in Europe: Cultural Reboot.”

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society offers the annual award for newly published research or thinking that has been recognized to be outstanding by members of the Technology, Knowledge & Society Research Network. DePietro’s winning article was selected from the ten highest-ranked articles that emerged from the peer preview process. Published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Technologies in Society, DePietro’s research compares Europe’s “cultural reboot” of today to the existential movements of the past.

“German existentialist Friedrich Nietzsche advocated for cultural rebirth in Europe,” DePietro wrote. “Europe is experiencing such a rebirth with digital media: creating artistic and social cultures that are wildly interesting and progressive and have technology integrated in them.”

His article argues that Vienna is a “hotbed” of innovative applications of digital media in art. Vienna is creating a new kind of “digital modernism” by creating things that are “different, weird and strange.” DePietro also states that Berlin is poised to become a leader in digital media in Europe by integrating it into art, commerce, education and lifestyle.

“Digital media is bringing together high society and bohemianism, in an effort to create a new economy,” DePietro wrote.

The professor has taught within the E-Media Division at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music since January 2009 and is the founding Director of Digital Innovation Lab: A New Media and Technology Incubator. He’s taught courses at UC that focus on social media, new media, interactive media, electronic game design and development, and digital storytelling and innovation.

“In my career as a scholar, tech artist, digital media leader and teacher, I have known innovation to be the all-important foundation of significant new work,” he said. “Innovation is authentic. Innovators are makers.”

DePietro is especially attuned to the effects of innovative digital media and interactive technologies on culture. He previously served as the founding Director of Digital and New Media for the Clinton Foundation in New York and the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock. DePietro analyzed new technologies and implemented those that best communicated former President Bill Clinton’s post-Washington message, and led a team in the design and development of new media platforms to support Clinton’s initiatives, among other responsibilities. His team’s work won an international award.

DePietro is also the author of the book Transforming Education with New Media, published by Peter Lang International Publishers. He is Associate Editor of the International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, and his research on new media and emerging technologies has been published internationally in academic journals, as well as the mainstream press.

For more information on DePietro’s research, visit http://www.depietro.com/dfsd. 

About the Technology Collection:
The Technology Collection has an acceptance rate of 58 percent and a circulation of over 64,000. This collection explores innovative theories and practices relating technology to society. The collection is cross-disciplinary in its scope, offering a meeting point for technologists with a concern for the social and social scientists with a concern for the technological. The focus is primarily, but not exclusively, on information and communications technologies. Established in 2005 and currently publishing its 13th volume, The Technology Collection is indexed by EBSCO, the Australian Research Council, the China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Cabell’s, Genamics Journal Seek and Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory. This collection offers both personal and institutional subscriptions and is published electronically and in print. For more information, please visit www.cgnetworks.org/journals/slr.

About Common Ground Research Networks:

The Technology Collection contains four among the 70 scholarly journals published by Common Ground Research Networks. Common Ground, which was founded in 1984, seeks to take the pivotal ideas and challenges at play within established disciplines and create spaces for interaction that cut horizontally across legacy knowledge structures. As a result, in addition to providing a space for publication within its catalog of journals and their associated book imprints, Common Ground encourages researchers and practitioners to meet at the annual academic conferences that it organizes around the world and then connect and share their work virtually using Scholar, Common Ground’s innovative social knowledge software. For more information, please visit www.cgnetworks.org.

CCM News Faculty Fanfare

Kevin Michael Holzman Joins CCM Faculty as Assistant Director of Wind Studies

CCM Interim Dean bruce d. mcclung has announced the appointment of the dynamic conductor and educator Kevin Michael Holzman as the college’s new Visiting Professor/Assistant Director of Wind Studies. Holzman’s appointment begins on August 15, 2017.

Holzman earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting at the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Music Director of the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Dr. Mark Scatterday. As the Frederick Fennell Conducting Fellow and 2016 recipient of the prestigious Walter Hagen Prize for Excellence in Conducting, Holzman served as Associate Conductor of the world-renowned Eastman Wind Ensemble and Eastman Wind Orchestra. He regularly appeared as a conductor for OSSIA New Music, including the world premieres of Jo Kondo’s Variations (Triskelion) and Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez’s Welcome Jo! He also studied with Professor Neil Varon, Director of Eastman Orchestras.

In summer 2016, Holzman was invited to serve as an associate conductor on the Eastman Wind Ensemble’s first tour in Europe, where he conducted the Eastman Harmonie in Salzburg, Vienna and Prague. He also collaborated with prominent composers David Maslanka and Bert Appermont for the “Celebration of the Symphony” concert with the Eastman Wind Ensemble. The performance was Eastman’s first live-streamed large ensemble concert, which included the North American premiere of Appermont’s Symphony No. 2 The Golden Age. He also served as an Assistant Producer for the Eastman Wind Ensemble’s recent release Sierra Live and upcoming album featuring the music of Jeff Tyzik.

Beyond Eastman, Holzman has worked with professional ensembles including the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. In April 2017, he was appointed conductor of the Music in the American Wild ensemble, a National Endowment for the Arts grant-funded ensemble that commissioned eleven new works in celebration of the 2016 U.S. National Parks Centennial. Holzman recently completed a studio-recording project of commissioned compositions, set for release this fall. In 2016 Holzman formed and began serving as Music Director of the Upstate Brass Band — an exciting brass ensemble that performs in upstate New York and was commissioned to record a series of new brass band arrangements by renowned composer/trombonist Bill Reichenbach.

Holzman became the founding Music Director and conductor of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Wind Ensemble in fall 2016. He successfully recruited and led the ensemble’s inaugural year, and it is now the college’s largest instrumental ensemble. While pursuing his MM in conducting at the University of Arizona (UA), Holzman had the opportunity to teach and conduct as Interim Principal Conductor for the Wind Symphony at UA’s Fred Fox School of Music during the director’s extended absence from 2012 to 2014. He also served as the Director and Coordinator of the UA Symphonic Band and High School Honor Band, where he collaborated with local and regional music teachers to provide the experience of college-level ensemble training to talented young musicians.

In his six years of teaching university-level instrumental conducting, Holzman has designed innovative curriculum and course materials for beginning and intermediate conducting courses as part of undergraduate music performance and education curricula. Holzman is a passionate advocate for access to music in all schools. He recently served as Volunteer Coordinator for ROCmusic, an El Sistema-inspired community music program in Rochester, New York, and he assisted with the UA Outreach Honor Band during his tenure in Tucson, Arizona. He is an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha, Tau Beta Sigma and Kappa Kappa Psi music fraternities.

Please join us in welcoming Holzman to the CCM family this fall!

Learn more about CCM’s illustrious faculty by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/faculty.

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Summer scenes on campus, CCM.

Thank You: CCM Celebrates Faculty and Staff Retirements

As the academic year comes to a close, we celebrate the careers of nine retiring faculty and staff members who have given nearly 250 years of combined service to UC’s College-Conservatory of Music. These members of the CCM family have dedicated themselves to continuing the college’s legacy as a leading training center for the performing and media arts.

View photos of their time at CCM:

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Retiring Faculty Members Share Memories:

This year marks my 48th year of continuous work — 21 years as a singer/actress, and another 20 years as a college professor and theatre producer. In 2009 my husband and I retired to Cincinnati, where I received an unexpected invitation to return to CCM — my alma mater — to teach musical theatre voice as an adjunct professor. These past seven years have been a total joy. I call it simply “the gift I gave myself.” As an older professional, it means so much to continue to contribute and feel appreciated. I’ve been truly honored to work with wonderful colleagues, and to have been given the opportunity to teach and mentor my talented and remarkable students. A number of my students surprised me in New York with a champagne brunch on April 2 to celebrate my retirement. I have no words to express what that meant to me, and the joy I feel, seeing them claim their places on Broadway and other stages, following their dreams. I would like to thank UC for recognizing and honoring the work of adjunct faculty. It is rare for a university to recognize adjunct contributions, and I salute UC for doing so. I’ll be forever grateful that I have been able to come full circle, and share the training I received at CCM with another generation of students. CCM is about to celebrate its 150th anniversary. I look forward to continuing to serve on the CCMPower board, raising money for scholarships, and helping to ensure that CCM will be here for another 150 years, training and graduating outstanding music professionals. – Kimberly Daniel de Acha
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Some of my favorite times at CCM revolve around hearing and interacting with such a wonderful faculty, be it at their concerts, at committee meetings, or in day by day interaction. I feel honored to have worked with such stellar teachers and artists! – Mary Stucky
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When I started fall 1975, DVAC was the Schmidlapp Gymnasium, Memorial was a women’s dorm, the main way to the garage was from Calhoun down to CCM garage — the connector tunnel didn’t exist. Werner Hall and Starbucks weren’t here and CCM had about half of the students it does now. It was an exciting time for me, as I was starting in LaSalle Quartet. We did four concerts a year in Corbett and two to four international tours a year. I worked with so many wonderful colleagues over all these years, some are sadly no longer with us. Almost my whole professional life has been at CCM, more than four decades worth of experiences. – Lee Fiser
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In 1999, I received a call asking me to teach at CCM. Who would have thought that almost two decades later my passion for teaching has only increased because of the talented students and faculty that I have had the pleasure of working with! Thank you all so much! – Patti James
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There’s something a touch poetic for me about retiring along with Lee Fiser — the final retirement from the LaSalle String Quartet. I came to the CCM faculty as a quite young person. It was the Quartet who were instrumental in getting Percussion Group Cincinnati the appointment to CCM. Some of my strongest memories of that first decade here are the Quartet’s concerts on Corbett stage, and I endeavored to live up to the beautiful standards that they had set. I wanted a percussion group in the late 20th century to be able to function just as the greatest string quartets always had, and I am grateful to CCM for giving me and my colleagues that opportunity and support. – Allen Otte

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