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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Brett Scott leading CCM's Chorale at this year's Moveable Feast gala event.

Professor Douglas Knehans’ New Choral Music Album Receives Rave Reviews

Lux Dei features new works for choir composed by CCM Norman Dinerstein Professor of Composition Scholar Douglas Knehans and sung by the CCM Chorale, under the direction of CCM Professor Brett Scott. Recently released by ABLAZE Records, the new album has garnered praise in multiple music reviews for its accessibility and beauty. 

Knehans' "Lux Dei" choral music album is available for purchase through Ablaze Records.

Knehans’ “Lux Dei” choral music album is available for purchase through ABLAZE Records.

“I’ve always admired composers who can write music that sounds modern but feels ancient,” wrote Jean-Yves Duperron in a review of Lux Dei published by the Classical Music Sentinel. “The contemporary style and technique make it seem new, different and fresh, while the general character of the writing allows for an overall outlook that takes you back through the centuries to the days of early music.”

The review applauds Knehans’ music for being “well rooted and accessible and always seems to hit an emotional nerve.” Duperron concludes that the new album “should be of great appeal to anyone interested in new choral music.”

Fanfare Magazine published Colin Clarke’s glowing review of Lux Dei in the March/April edition of the magazine. The review spotlights the CCM Chorale for its “rich, sonorous blend” in the “beautifully balanced recording.”

Clarke praises each of the album’s six stellar works, which includes Knehans’ Three Psalms — a prizewinner at the First International Sacred Choral Music Festival in the Czech Republic. Lux Dei also showcases Knehans’ Panis Angelicus, Epicideum Hathumode, Two Looks at Silence and Symbolum Apostolorum. Organist Christina Haan joins the CCM Chorale on Missa brevis, the album’s only accompanied piece.

“This is a radiant disc of music by a composer who is blessed with a tremendous imagination and who clearly has great affinity with writing for choir,” Clarke wrote. “There is a huge amount of beauty to be found here. Put simply, Knehans locates and amplifies the spiritual within the religious.”

Click to read the full reviews by Classical Music Sentinel and Fanfare Magazine.

Douglas Knehans. Photo by Tina Gutierrez.

Douglas Knehans. Photo by Tina Gutierrez.

About Douglas Knehans
Douglas Knehans is the Norman Dinerstein Professor of Composition Scholar at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has received awards from the American Music Center, the NEA, the Australia Council Performing Arts Board, Yale University, the MacDowell Colony, Opera Australia, The Cannes Film Festival, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The National Symphony Orchestra, The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Meet the Composer and a host of others.

His music has been praised by the Washington Post as “beautiful,” by the Miami Herald as “wildly inventive,” by the Australian as “brilliantly catchy and eerily bright” and by Fanfare Magazine as “…effective…incisive… and hauntingly beautiful.”

Knehans’ music is available on ERM Media, Crystal Records, Move Records, New World Records and ABLAZE Records. His full biography is available online at douglasknehans.com.

For more information on CCM’s Division of Composition, Musicology and Theory visit ccm.uc.edu/music/cmt.

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Story by CCM graduate assistant Charlotte Kies

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Mezzo-soprano Quinn Patrick Ankrum joins CCM as Assistant Professor of Voice in August of 2017.

Acclaimed Mezzo-Soprano Quinn Patrick Ankrum Joins CCM Voice Faculty

Mezzo-soprano Quinn Patrick Ankrum joins CCM as Assistant Professor of Voice in August of 2017.

CCM Interim Dean bruce d. mcclung has announced the addition of acclaimed mezzo-soprano Quinn Patrick Ankrum, DMA, to the college’s roster of distinguished voice faculty members. Ankrum’s appointment as Assistant Professor of Voice becomes effective on August 15, 2017.

Celebrated for her strong lyric voice, sizzling coloratura facility and engagingly sincere personality, Ankrum has performed a wide variety of repertoire spanning the centuries from Claudio Monteverdi to John Harbison. She has sung with opera companies and orchestras throughout the United States, as well as with the National Orchestra of Mexico in Mexico City.

In the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons she demonstrated her versatility as she collaborated on the operatic, recital and concert stages with musicians in Missouri, Texas, New York, Florida and Kansas, along with international engagements in Toulouse, Paris, Mondavio (Italy) and Oban (Scotland). She will return to the U.K. this May where she will appear in a recital featuring the music of American composers at East of England Organ Day at the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, as well as in a concert featuring the music of Rameau with the East Anglian Academy.

Ankrum is an advocate of contemporary composers. She recently premiered Romanian composer Vlad Burlea’s chamber piece “Oglinda” (Texas and Kansas 2016) and created the role of the Mother in the world premiere of J. Todd Frazier’s opera Breath of Life (Lubbock, Texas, 2015).  In addition, she co-premiered John Harbison’s chamber work Crossroads with colleagues at Texas Tech University (2013). She is the co-creator of Living Song Project with pianist and University of Oklahoma faculty member Elizabeth Avery, DMA. This unique database project promotes the art song and vocal chamber music of living American composers.

In addition to being an active performer and teacher, Ankrum takes an interest in musicians’ health and wellness. She is an Andover Educator trainee, and will be licensed to teach the course What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body when she finishes her training.

Ankrum received degrees from Trinity University in San Antonio (BM, MAT), the University of Colorado at Boulder (MM) and the University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music (DMA), where she studied with Robert McIver. She was a Young Artist in the Glimmerglass Opera Young American Artists Program and the Baltimore Opera Studio, and participated in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Intern Program.

She has been a finalist and winner in numerous regional and national competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions (Rocky Mountain Region) and the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards competition (2nd place winner, 2006). She has served on the faculties of the State University of New York at Fredonia, Nazareth College (Rochester, New York) and Texas Tech University (Lubbock).

Please join us in welcoming Ankrum 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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The Ariel Quartet, string quartet-in-residence at CCM.

Ariel Quartet Continues CCM Concert Series on Jan. 24

Dubbed “rock stars of the classical scene” by the Cincinnati Enquirer, the internationally acclaimed Ariel Quartet rings in the New Year with a program of Beethoven, Bartók and Schubert on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s Corbett Auditorium.

For this concert, the Ariel Quartet will be joined by two of CCM’s newest faculty artists, Rachel Calin and Ran Dank.

Rachel Calin

CCM faculty member Rachel Calin.

An Associate Professor of Double Bass at CCM, Rachel Calin has been called “a lyrical soloist in command of her instrument,” by the New York Times. In 1994 she won the Juilliard Concerto Competition, making her concerto debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall with the Juilliard Orchestra. Subsequently, she has made concerto appearances with the Burlington Ensemble, Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra and the Sejong Soloists. As a chamber musician, Calin has appeared in concert throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. She can be heard on NPR’s Performance Today, both in live and recorded broadcasts, and has collaborated with Myung-Wha Chung, Lawrence Dutton, Frank Huang, Ron Leonard, Itzhak Perlman and Gil Shaham, among others.

Incoming CCM faculty member Ran Dank.

CCM faculty member Ran Dank.

An Assistant Professor of Piano at CCM, Ran Dank has been described as, “a strong player with technique and imagination,” by the New York Times. He has received numerous awards, including a coveted place on the Young Concert Artists roster in 2009. He is a laureate of the Cleveland International Competition, the Naumburg Piano Competition, the Sydney International Piano Competition and was First Prize winner of the Hilton Head International Piano Competition. Prior to his appointment at CCM, Dank most recently served as the Director of Piano Studies at the College of Charleston. He holds degrees from Tel Aviv University in his native Israel, as well as Master’s and Artist Diploma degrees from the Juilliard School in New York City. Dank joins his wife, Soyeon Kate Lee, who became a member of CCM’s faculty in August of 2014.

Repertoire
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet No. 3 in D Major, Op. 18, No. 3
BARTÓK: String Quartet No. 6 in D Major, Sz. 114
SCHUBERT: Piano Quintet in A Major, D. 667 (“Trout Quintet”)
*Featuring Rachel Calin and Ran Dank

Performance Time
8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village, University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets are $25 for general admission, $15 for non-UC students and FREE for UC students with valid ID.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online now through our e-Box Office! Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice for CCM Box Office hours and location.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the campus of the University of Cincinnati. 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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The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation
Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor

Anonymous, The Estate of Mr. William A. Friedlander, Mrs. William A. Friedlander, Dr. & Mrs. Randolph L. Wadsworth, Mr. & Mrs. Frank Bloom, Mr. & Mrs. J. David Rosenberg, Mr. & Mrs. Harry H. Santen, Mr. & Mrs. Paul G. Sittenfeld, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas E. Stegman, Dr. & Mrs. Theodore W. Striker and The Thomas J. Emery Memorial
Ariel Quartet Sponsors

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Composition Professor Writes New Work for Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s theme for its One City, One Symphony initiative is personal for the musicians involved — including Michael Fiday, associate professor of composition at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Focusing on the theme of “home,” the One City, One Symphony initiative is the CSO’s community-wide project that aims to unite people through music. The initiative’s Thanksgiving weekend concert features the world premiere of Fiday’s CSO-commissioned symphony alongside works from American composers Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and John Williams at 8 p.m. Nov. 25 and 26 at the Taft Theatre.

“Cincinnati has been my cultural home base for 14 years,” says Fiday, who began teaching at CCM in 2004. “In that time I’ve become close friends, acquaintances and colleagues with a good number of CSO musicians and gotten to know their sound quite well.”

CCM Professor Michael Fiday teaching a composition student. Photo by Andrew Higley.

CCM Professor Michael Fiday teaching a composition student. Photo by Andrew Higley.

Fiday, whose recent work with the CSO was featured in Movers and Makers magazine, chose to incorporate the “home” connection in symbolic ways. The piece’s title, Three for One, is an allusion to the One City, One Symphony initiative and how Fiday approached the orchestra.

There aren’t many solos in Three for One. Fiday treated the orchestra as if it were “a collective body moving together towards a common goal.”

He began working to create his 15-minute piece with the CSO in January 2016. Three for One isn’t a symphony in the traditional sense, Fiday says. He describes it as a three-movement work with a fast-slow-fast format that is similar to the emotional arc of a full-length symphony.

The three movements each focus on a family of instruments — woodwinds in the first movement, strings in the second and brass in the third. The other instruments join the fray to reinforce the sound as the music builds with the entire orchestra playing as one.

Fiday titled the first movement “starting over” and describes it as “brief, punchy and puckish.” The second movement, “presence/absence” is a slow elegy dedicated to composer Richard Toensing, a former teacher, mentor and friend of Fiday’s who passed away two years ago. “Twitter,” the final movement, is fast and split into two halves. Fiday describes the first half as “gossamer and transparent” and the second half as “fairly blunt and aggressive.”

The CCM-based composer brings his own unique style to the One City, One Symphony concert’s all-American program but also celebrates the American roots nested within the musical styles of all of the composers.

“I think it’s impossible for me, or any other American composer for that matter, to not have American elements in our work,” he says. “Sometimes we don’t even notice them because they’re bred so deeply in our bones.”

Fiday favors using perfect fifth harmonies, which create that great “open” sound that is instantly recognizable as American-bred. His love of jazz found its way into Three for One as well. Some of the “crunchier” harmonies in the piece harken back to legendary jazz artists Bill Evans and Thelonious Monk, Fiday says.

“The rhythmic profile, which is a very important element of almost all of my music, stems from my love for both jazz and popular music — music that is propulsive and energetic, yet also unpredictable.”

Although Fiday has been commissioned to write compositions for multiple organizations, including the National Flute Association and the American Composers Orchestra, Three for One is his first commission for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

“I’m very proud of the CSO for their increased interest in commissioning new music; a situation I think has improved greatly in the time I’ve been in Cincinnati, particularly during the past four or five years,” he says.

Fiday not only works to create his own new music but also fosters that creativity within his students. CCM has one of the nation’s top 10 music composition programs, according to the US News & World Report. Student composers enjoy opportunities to work with CCM ensembles and community organizations for hearings and performances.

Engaging one of CCM’s own composers exemplifies One City, One Symphony’s “home” theme, uniting the community through locally-made music. According to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, “By connecting music the CSO performs to themes relevant in our everyday lives, One City, One Symphony inspires us, provokes our thinking, and celebrates our shared humanity.”

For more information about the concert, visit www.cincinnatisymphony.org or call the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at 513-621-1919.

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Story by CCM graduate student Charlotte Kies

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Richard Hess taught a Viewpoints Training master calss in Estonia.

Acting Department Chair Visits Estonia To Teach Viewpoints Training Master Classes

Richard Hess traveled to Estonia to teach two Viewpoints Training master classes

Richard Hess at the Tartu Uus Teater.

CCM Professor of Acting and Department Chair Richard Hess recently traveled to Northern Europe to teach Viewpoints Training master classes to professional actors working in two Estonian theaters — Theatrum and Tartu Uus Teater.

Hess has shared Viewpoints Training master classes across the U.S. and internationally for the past 20 years. Initially developed for dancers in the 1970s by choreographer Mary Overlie, Viewpoints Training was then adapted for actors by director Anne Bogart and the SITI Company. It focuses on improvisational movement techniques that brake down two dominant issues performers deal with — time and space — into nine categories or “viewpoints”: tempo, duration, kinesthetic response, repetition, shape, spatial relationship, architecture, floor pattern and gesture.

Hess engaged the Estonian actors in a series of improvisational movement exercises where unified group action was the desired goal. “What you create with another actor is always more interesting than what you can create alone,” Hess said. “Needing and being needed are core principles of good acting.”

In the final exercise of the master class, Hess instructed the actors to pair up and — without speaking or planning — support a portion of their partner’s body weight to create a new shape that they couldn’t create alone. Hess first told them to support 50 percent of their partner’s weight, then directed everyone to support the entire weight of one person. “This requires actors to give generously and to be supportive in undeniable ways,” he said.

In the final Viewpoints exercise, Hess told the actors "all hands must support the entire weight of Karl Edgar."

In the final Viewpoints exercise, Hess told the actors “all hands must support the entire weight of Karl Edgar.”

“The Estonian actors were so powerful and focused,” Hess added. “There is an obvious muscular quality to their work and it was gratifying to see them embrace the master class with enthusiasm and bravery. Estonian theatre is extremely impressive.”

The actors traveled from theaters across Estonia to participate in Hess’ Viewpoints Training master class, he said. They gathered in Uus Teater in Tartu, Estonia and Theatrum, which is headed by playwright and director Andri Luup in Tallinn, Estonia. Luup, who is known for writing and directing the film “Kinnunen,” arranged for Hess to offer the master classes.

“The work was simply on the nose,” said participant Karl Edgar Tammi, a professional actor from the Teater Must Kast in Tartu. “I was introduced to a set of great exercises, improvisation, stage presence and awareness, creativity, working with partners, space and, of course, music. It was colorful, refreshing and inspiring. I will practice and try and mix it into the current theatre scape of Estonia!”

As chair of CCM’s Acting Department for the past 22 years, Hess has taught actors who work throughout the world on stage, television and film. He is no stranger to traveling internationally in the name of theatre. In 2011, Hess brought eight CCM Acting students and alumni to Kenya as part of the Dadaab Theatre Project. He returned to Kenya in 2014 as a Fulbright Scholar and spent a semester teaching and conducting research at Kenyatta University’s Department of Theatre Arts and Film Technology. In 2015, Hess brought six students and one faculty member from Kenyatta University to CCM so they could participate in the 48-Hour Film Festival.

Look for a Village News post later this week about Hess’ upcoming production of Middletown, running in Cohen Family Studio Theatre Oct. 20-22 as part of CCM’s Studio Acting Series. Admission is free but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 17.

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Peter Landgren, Dean of the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM)

A Message From Peter Landgren

Dear CCM Community,

The power of CCM, which is fueled by you – the college’s faculty, staff, students, alumni, volunteers, donors and advisors – is as strong as ever at the University of Cincinnati. As such, I have accepted an offer from Interim President Beverly Davenport to fill the role of Interim Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, paralleling her interim presidency. You can learn more about this appointment here.

This is an interim role for me, I’m not going far – just a few buildings away from the CCM Village – and CCM will have an excellent individual at the helm as Interim Dean.

brucce mcclung will be Interim Dean at CCMWe are fortunate to have a leader amongst leaders who has agreed to serve as CCM’s Interim Dean, Dr. bruce mcclung. A member of CCM’s faculty since 1992, Dr. mcclung has most recently served as head of the Division of Composition, Musicology and Theory. Dr. mcclung is a highly respected musicologist, a consummate researcher, pedagogue, advisor and mentor. He is detail-oriented, focused on excellence and possesses a watchful eye on fiscal health. He is a strong communicator and a leader who naturally turns listening and collaboration into action.

Dr. mcclung received his bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory, two master’s degrees from the Eastman School of Music and his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. He has been awarded several campus-wide accolades from the University of Cincinnati, including the A. B. “Dolly” Cohen Award for Distinguished Excellence in Teaching in 2013, the UC Graduate School Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring Award in 2009 and was elected to the University’s Academy for Fellows of Teaching and Learning. You can read the official announcement of bruce’s interim appointment here.

When I asked if he would fill the role as CCM’s Interim Dean, bruce’s first question to me revealed his insight and dedication as a leader and creative individual: How could he continue to propel the ONECCM initiative forward during this interim period? Yes, there were other questions to follow, yet this lead enquiry told me a great deal about bruce’s desire to maintain the positive trajectory that the college has enjoyed. I am confident that bruce will assist each of you who hold an individual role in propelling the college beyond all imagination.

As a university community, we are equally fortunate to have a compassionate and compelling leader in Dr. Davenport. I cannot thank Dr. Davenport enough for her confidence in my leadership abilities. As Interim Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, I will support her as Interim President in a unified vision for UC, and will assist all of the university’s deans and colleges in attaining or superseding their goals. My term will begin today and parallel Interim President Davenport’s.

Please join me in thanking bruce as he steps into this new role of intellectual and artistic guidance at CCM. I also want to thank you – the CCM community – for supporting Interim Dean mcclung, Interim President Davenport and me as each of us enter new positions to guide our university forward.

CCM is the college that has given me my career. I will always be a proud alum of this great college, and my pride and respect extends to each of you. Both CCM and UC have made great strides in recent years. Working together, we will continue to build upon those accomplishments and achieve even greater successes.

Sincerely yours,

DeanSignature
Peter Landgren, Dean
Thomas James Kelly Professor of Music
College-Conservatory of Music
University of Cincinnati

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