A portrait of CCM's incoming TAPAA Division Head, Denton Yockey.

Accomplished Producer and Administrator Denton Yockey is Named Head of CCM’s Division of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration

A portrait of CCM's incoming TAPAA Division Head, Denton Yockey.

CCM Interim Dean bruce d. mcclung has announced the appointment of Denton Yockey to the position of Professor of Arts Administration and Head of the Division of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration (TAPAA) at CCM. Yockey will arrive on campus this July to work with TAPAA’s Interim Division Head, Alan Yaffe, and his appointment will officially begin on Aug. 15, 2018.

In his new position, Yockey will oversee CCM’s Departments of Acting, Arts Administration, Dance, Musical Theatre, Opera, and Theatre Design and Production. He will also serve as producer of CCM’s Mainstage and Studio Series productions.

Yockey is one of the nation’s premier regional theatre producers and presenters of touring Broadway. During a career that has spanned more than 30 years, Yockey has produced or presented shows starring such luminaries as Jensen Ackles, Margaret Colin, Richard Kind, Jack Klugman, Lorenzo Lamas, Donna McKechnie, Lou Diamond Phillips, Tony Randall, Cathy Rigby, Sally Struthers, new Tony winner Rachel Bay Jones and Academy Award-winning June Squibb.

Yockey is currently the Executive Director of the Thrasher-Horne Center at St. Johns River State College in Orange Park, Florida. He is also a principal with A Rising Tide Theatrical Group, LLC, which independently produces theatrical entertainment and national tours while providing counsel for other projects.

Over the course of his career, Yockey has helmed four not-for-profit theatres including Lone Star Performing Arts Association in Galveston, Texas (Executive Director); Casa Mañana Theater in Fort Worth, TX (President and Executive Producer); and Starlight Theatre in Kansas City (President and Executive Producer). Under his leadership, Starlight Theatre received the 2013 Venue Excellence Award from the International Alliance of Venue Managers in the Performing Arts Centers category. Also in 2013, his mini-tour of Miss Saigon was cited in Playbill’s list of “Most Unforgettable Experiences.” During his tenure at Casa Mañana, the landmark theatre underwent its historic renovation and the theatre was the producer and presenter of all the Broadway shows at the newly opened Bass Performance Hall. Upon his departure from Casa Mañana, Yockey received the Silver Dome Award, the theatre’s highest award for meritorious individual accomplishment.  He is one of only three recipients in the 13-year history of the award.

Yockey received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University South Bend. He is a member of the Broadway League and a past Tony Awards voter for over 15 years. While in Texas he was a theatre panelist for the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and the Texas Commission on the Arts, and board member of the Live Theatre League of Tarrant County, Texas Nonprofit Theatres, Inc., and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre.

A native of Plymouth, Indiana, Yockey met his wife of 26 years, Gina, on stage in a production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. They are the proud parents of Gwyneth and Grayson Yockey, both whom are pursuing acting careers.

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

“Yockey’s impressive background in producing, presenting and administration, coupled with his dedication to artistic success, positions him as the ideal head of CCM’s Division of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration. I am grateful to Search Committee Chair Alan Yaffe and committee members Rebecca Bromels, Lydia Brown, Vince DeGeorge, Susan Felder, Qi Jiang and Stirling Shelton for their work and dedication to find CCM’s next great division head.”

Please join us in welcoming Denton Yockey to the CCM family!

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The Pensacola Children's Chorus.

CCM Alumnus Alex Gartner Appointed Artistic Director of Pensacola Children’s Chorus

CCM alumnus Alex Gartner.

CCM alumnus Alex Gartner.

CCM alumnus Alex Gartner (BM Music Education, 2012) has been named the new Artistic Director of the Pensacola Children’s Chorus (PCC) in Pensacola, Florida.

Gartner will take over for Allen and Susan Pote, who founded the organization in 1990 in conjunction with the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra.

Gartner’s new appointment ends a long and fruitful partnership with both CCM and the Cincinnati Children’s Choir (CCC), which began in 2000 when he joined CCC as a young choir member and performed with them in their international choral festival, “Worldsong.” Later, during his undergraduate studies, he rejoined the CCC; starting as an accompanist and student intern, he later rose to become the Richard Wesp Assistant Conductor, a position he held until his recent hiring by the PCC.

“Alex has special gifts that uniquely meet the needs of the Pensacola Children’s Chorus,” said CCC Founder, Managing Artistic Director and Conductor Robyn Lana. “He has grown tremendously throughout his years with CCC. It is with great pride, as his mentor, to see him become Artistic Director of his own program. A bright future is in store for Alex and for the Pensacola Children’s Chorus.”

In addition to his work with the CCC, Gartner has been very active in the local music scene. As a choral director, he has served as the director of traditional music and worship at Epiphany United Methodist Church in Loveland, Ohio. He has also served as music director for numerous local theatre productions and founded the Commonwealth Artists Summer Theatre, a summer theatre program based in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, that serves high school students in the Cincinnati metro area.

The Pensacola Children's Chorus.

The Pensacola Children’s Chorus.

This theatre experience and his CCC experience will be merged in his new job in Pensacola. With over 300 students spread throughout seven different youth choirs, the PCC combines traditional children’s choir pedagogy and repertoire with the showmanship of musical theatre. The organization continues to collaborate regularly with the Pensacola Symphony and also works often with the Pensacola Opera and the University of West Florida.

For more information, please visit www.cincinnatichoir.org.
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Story by CCM alumnus Kevin Norton (DMA Saxophone, 2015)

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CCM Alumnus Adam Wagner Named Executive Director of Twilight Theatre

CCM alumnus Adam Wagner.

CCM alumnus Adam Wagner.

We are happy to report that CCM alumnus Adam Wagner (BFA, 2005) has been named executive director of the new Twilight Theatre and Community Auditorium in Greensburg, Kansas. The four million dollar venue for live entertainment and state-of-the-art moviegoing is designed to provide access to affordable quality performing arts entertainment, educational opportunities and cultural experiences – fostering a positive impact for the City of Greensburg and Kiowa County.

“Adam was the unanimous choice for the position,” Twilight Theatre board member Gary Goodman stated in an official announcement. “He brings youth, experience, passion, creativity and an endless amount of energy to Greensburg and the Twilight Theatre.”

“I am honored, humbled and incredibly energized to join the Twilight team,” Wagner says. “Greensburg runs on wind energy and positive energy, and I’m eager to help my new community celebrate its accomplishments and bring top-notch entertainment for all of Southwest Kansas to enjoy.”

You can learn more about Wagner’s appointment courtesy of the Pratt Tribune.

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CCM Commercial Music Production Student Releases Second Album

CCM freshman Bryard Huggins recently released his second album, 'Visual.'

CCM freshman Bryard Huggins recently released his second album, ‘Visual.’

CCM introduced a new bachelor of music degree in Commercial Music Production (CMP) last fall and that program is already producing young stars!

At the age of 18, first year CMP major Bryard Huggins has recently released his second album, entitled Visual. Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Huggins released his debut album, entitled Artistic Touch, in October 2011. That effort featured music he began writing at the age of 11.

Released in August, Visual is now available on iTunesAmazon, Spotify, Raditaz, eMusic, Soundcloud and Tower. The album is described as a blend of smooth jazz with world music vibes and features four original songs, along with Huggins’ arrangement of the popular jazz standard “Water to Drink (Aqua de Beber).” The album was recorded at Studio One in Jacksonville, Florida. Two of the songs were done completely live featuring a bassist and drummer. Huggins was heavily involved in the production process along with other talented musicians and producers.

CCM News Student Salutes

Discussing ‘Into the Woods’ Wigs and Make-Up with Student Designer Kaitlyn Adams

Kaitlyn Adams with INTO THE WOODS' Witch, played by Victoria Cook.

Kaitlyn Adams with INTO THE WOODS' Witch, played by Victoria Cook.

Into the Woods Wig & Make-Up Designer Kaitlyn Adams recently sat down with CCM Public Information Assistant and Arts Administration student Jenifer Thomas to discuss the work that went into this monumental production. Kaitlyn is handling wig and make-up design for this production alongside CCM faculty member Kelly Yurko.

Jenifer Thomas: Hi Kaitie! Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Kaitlyn Adams: I’m a Senior from Cincinnati. I went to high school at Seton on the West side.

JT: Local girl, huh? So what got you into wigs and make-up?

KA: My mom is actually a wig master and make-up artist, so I’ve grown up with it.

JT: And why’d you choose CCM?

KA: There are only two schools in the country that teach wigs and make-up. The other school focuses primarily on wigs and make-up for film, and that wasn’t where I was interested. I want to do stage work.

JT: So when you found out you were assigned to design Into the Woods, what did you do?

CCM News Student Salutes