Donor Spotlight: Dr. Alvin and Jean Crawford

The Crawfords have a deep, lifelong love of music and the arts that led them to connect with CCM

Dr. Alvin Crawford, retired Chief of Orthopedics and founding director of the Spine Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, has had a distinguished, internationally renowned career as an orthopedic surgeon. In his honor, the Spine Center was renamed the Crawford Spine Center.

But his first love was music.

He started playing trumpet in seventh grade, eventually switching to clarinet. He started college as a music major and wanted a career as a studio musician. In his sophomore year of college, he made a decision that changed the lives of thousands of children across the world: he decided to become a physician.

Dr. Alvin and Jean Crawford stand in the corridor of CCM's Mary Emery Hall. Photo/Joseph Rubino

Dr. Alvin and Jean Crawford stand in the corridor of CCM’s Mary Emery Hall. Photo/Joseph Rubino

Dr. Crawford attended Meharry Medical College in 1960, a time when most if not all southern schools were segregated. He applied for admission to the University of Tennessee and became the first African-American to enroll in this southern medical school. He could not transfer because the University of Tennessee did not consider Meharry Medical College an accredited medical school.

“I became an academic orthopedist, but continued to play,” he says. “I was hired by UC to head the Pediatric Orthopaedic service. Once my wife and I found out what CCM was all about, we decided to get involved. After I retired at Cincinnati Children’s, I was able to attend the jazz improvisation course for freshmen and we started coming to performances. Last year I took jazz history.”

Continuing to live out his love of music, Dr. Crawford helped form a group called “The Wannabes,” which plays for nonprofits and has played an opera gala. From there he joined the Queen City Concert band, a community band in Cincinnati.

Jean Crawford’s interest in music stretches back to the piano lessons she took as a child. She was a teacher and high school counselor and sang in choruses through college.

“I always encouraged my students to get involved and take any type of arts as electives,” she says. “When I served on the Cincinnati Opera board, I saw that most of our singers in the chorus were from CCM. When we attended CCM’s Moveable Feast, we realized the caliber of musicianship here and were hooked on CCM.”

Mrs. Crawford talks about the opportunity she did not have, but that she wants all children to have. “I lived in the segregated south and the opportunities to attend and participate in the arts were limited,” she says. “So my goal is to make sure that the performing arts are available to all communities. In this area, school districts have limited support for funding the arts. Through the prep schools, CCM provides arts exposure to them. Also, students from CCM go to public schools to give the children more exposure. I think that’s important. And to do that you need money.“

“I think they’re doing something [at CCM] that’s really important,” Dr. Crawford adds. “I became involved in the CCM Dean’s Advisory Council and I can see that the people here care. They care, and they want to put out a good product. And once I became involved with CCMpower, I was able to meet the kids and see what they’re doing.”

Who will you empower NEXT?

In order to recruit and retain top talent, CCM must be able to offer competitive scholarship and grant opportunities to our students. CCMpower raises funds through membership and special events in order to provide the resources that attract the best and brightest students. Learn more about how you can empower the next generation of CCM stars.

Story by Joseph Rubino

Featured image at top Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, Dena Cranley, Barbara Gould, Jean Crawford and Dr. Alvin Crawford at CCM’s 2020 Moveable Feast. Photo/Andrew Higley

CCM News Student Salutes
CCM Village panoramic photo; Winter of 2015. Photography by Curt Whitacre.

CCM Holiday Gift Guide: Treat Family and Friends to Performing Arts

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music has gifts for all of the art lovers on your shopping list this holiday season. Whether it’s CCM-branded merchandise, tickets to a performance or hiring student musicians for your holiday party, CCM offers something for everyone.

Holiday “CCM Swag”
090116-Ignite 3131-CCM-G185The undergraduate student government (CCM Tribunal) is selling officially branded sweatshirts, long-sleeve T-shirts and hoodies online through Dec. 1. Proceeds benefit student projects throughout the college such as undergraduate masterclasses, Memorial Hall music stands and more.

Prices vary from $18 to $25; items will ship by mid-December to arrive before the holidays. Please visit to place your order.

Book CCM Talent For Hire
Photography by Dottie Stover.Need some carolers for your holiday party? Or a pianist during your family dinner? CCM students and alumni are available to provide live entertainment for your event through Talent for Hire.

Book some of CCM’s “stars of tomorrow” to perform at your event before they go on to the world’s stage. Talent for Hire’s online referral service will connect you with student artists, from singers to actors or instrumentalists. Pay is determined by the individual performers.

Find more information and book CCM Talent for Hire online at

Feast of Carols Holiday Celebration, Dec. 3 and 4
CCM's Feast of Carols Holiday ConcertThis annual concert features yuletide favorites performed by the CCM Concert Orchestra, CCM choral ensembles and outstanding high school and community choirs from the Tristate. Performances take place at 2 and 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4 in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for non-UC students and free for UC students with a valid ID. For tickets and information, contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 or online at

cccholidayconcertCincinnati Children’s Choir, Dec. 10
CCM ensemble-in-residence, the Cincinnati Children’s Choir, presents its annual Holiday Concert with performances at 2 and 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10 in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium. All 450 members of the ensemble, including CCM resident choirs and satellite choirs from across the Tristate area, will perform holiday songs from around the globe.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for non-UC students and free for UC students with a valid ID. For tickets and information, contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 or online at

Join us in 2016-17 as CCM presents a season of passion, courage and romance.Mainstage Series Subscriptions and Single Tickets Available
For the acting, dance, musical theatre and opera lovers in your life, CCM offers a variety of Mainstage Series subscription packages. The final performances of the 2016 season occur Dec.1-4, featuring Classics with a Twist from the Department of Dance.

The series continues February through April with suffragette drama Her Naked Skin, Broadway master Jerry Herman’s powerful musical Mack and Mabel, Mozart’s epic opera Idomeneo and the Department of Dance’s celebration of Masterworks and Beyond

Choose between 4-Show or 3-Show Subscriber Packages to ensure the theater aficionados in your life get the most from their Mainstage experience. Packages range from $69 to $112.

Or pick and choose your favorite shows by purchasing single tickets. Prices range from $17 to $35.

For more information on Mainstage Series tickets, please contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 or online at

CCM has hundreds of additional performing and media arts events from December through May. Visit for more information and a schedule of events.


CCM News
ONECCM Student Giving Campaign Logo

Introducing the ONECCM Student Giving Campaign

We are very proud to announce the kick-off of a new fundraising campaign organized entirely by CCM’s student population. Through the ONECCM Student Giving Campaign, our students are coming together to invest in the future of the arts and the Cincinnati community!

ONECCM Student Giving campaign logo.

Click here to learn more.

The funds raised by this new campaign will support CCM After School, in collaboration with Whiz Kids. This remarkable partnership provides students at low-income elementary schools with the opportunity to actively participate in the arts. The program allows CCM student leaders to travel directly to these schools, and give disadvantaged students the opportunity to experience instruments, singing, movement, art and spoken word.

You can learn more about this student-led initiative by visiting our ones can make a big impact.

CCM News Student Salutes

UC’s College-Conservatory of Music Receives $1 Million Gift from the Corbett Foundation

Patricia Corbett was named a great Living Cincinnatian in 1994. She died on January 28, 2008, and was honored with a special memorial concert at Music Hall performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the CCM Musical Theatre program.

Patricia Corbett was named a great Living Cincinnatian in 1994. She died on January 28, 2008, and was honored with a special memorial concert at Music Hall performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the CCM Musical Theatre program.

We are honored to announce that the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) has received a $1 million gift from the Corbett Foundation, designed to enhance the Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre, the first chair of its kind in the world.

“CCM cannot be more grateful to the Corbett Foundation for this significant gift,” says Peter Landgren, Dean and Thomas James Kelly Professor of Music at CCM. “This gift will allow the musical theatre program to increase existing focus on student scholarship, enhance relationships with professionals in the field by bringing them to campus for master classes and support the senior showcase experience in New York City, which is the most important audition for graduating seniors in our musical theatre program.”

When Mrs. Corbett established the Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre more than 20 years ago, it was the first chair of its kind in the United States. Mrs. Corbett allowed CCM to “do it first and do it best.” Her vision has guided musical theatre students to audition in New York City, to compete successfully on Broadway and national touring stages, and ultimately to win the coveted Tony, Drama Desk and Fred Astaire Dance Awards.

“I wish to extend a personal word of gratitude to Karen McKim, Executive Director of the Corbett Foundation, for her stewardship of the love and support that the Corbett’s have showered upon CCM for many decades,” says Landgren.

About the Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre at CCM
Since its establishment in 1991, the Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre has provided invaluable support for the Musical Theatre Program at CCM. At the time of its inception, it was the only academic chair of its kind in the United States, the American equivalent of the Chair in Musical Theatre endowed by Cameron Macintosh in honor of Stephen Sondheim at Oxford one year later.

Mrs. Corbett’s generosity has helped scores of students with scholarship aid, enabled the program to invite master teachers to campus, established New York and Chicago showcases for graduating seniors and underwritten admission-free Studio productions, CCM’s gift to the Cincinnati theatre-going community.

CCM News

CCM’s Lonely Instruments for Needy Kids Program Holds Collection Dates March 10 & 11

CCM holds its annual LINKS (Lonely Instruments for Needy Kids) Collection Days on Saturday, March 10, and Sunday, March 11, at Joseph-Beth Booksellers (2692 Madison Rd., Rookwood Pavilion, Cincinnati). The hours for the collection drive are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday and noon – 5 p.m. Sunday.

CCM News