CCM Arts Administration Student wins Gena Branscombe Project Award

In its inaugural year, the Gena Branscombe Project has awarded its 2020 scholarships to four women, including UC College-Conservatory of Music Arts Administration student Sydney Pepper. The scholarships support the winners in their continuing pursuit of undergraduate and graduate studies and shine “a light on exceptional emerging, talented, women in music.”

CCM Arts Administration student Sydney Pepper. Photo/Provided.

CCM Arts Administration student Sydney Pepper. Photo/Provided.

Named after influential composer and advocate of contemporary American music Gena Branscombe (1881-1977), the Project awarded Pepper the 2020 Emerging Arts Administrator scholarship. It also awarded the 2020 Emerging Composer scholarship to Catherine Willingham, the 2020 Emerging Conductor scholarship to Genevieve Welch and gave a 2020 Emerging Conductor Honorable Mention award to Michaela Gleason. Read more about the award winners in the online announcement.

Pepper will begin her second year in CCM’s MA/MBA Arts Administration program in August. Her experience in Cincinnati spans from working in CCM Preparatory and Community Engagement to the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. She was originally scheduled to serve as a development intern for the Opera Theatre of St. Louis this summer, but COVID-19 cancelled those plans. Instead, Pepper is doing development work for both the Portland Bach Experience in Maine and for the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.

“The [CCM] Arts Admin program has transformed and expanded my love of the field,” says Pepper, who previously attended Clark University to pursue a vocal performance degree. “A year ago, I couldn’t have imagined the amount of knowledge that I would have gained throughout this year, but I am so very grateful. Not only am I grateful for all of the learning opportunities, but I could never express enough my gratitude to Professors Jean Hamilton and Rebecca Bromels as well as my cohort, all of whom have made a year full of uncertainty and challenges so, so much easier.”

Pepper’s first experience as an arts administrator was with the Portland Bach Experience, where she began as an intern and worked her way to Festival Manager. In her senior year at Clark University, she served as the Marketing and Box Office Coordinator for Music Worcester, Inc. and as the President of the Clark University Choirs. Under her supervision, the Clark University Choirs performed a 21st century revival of lost composer Gena Branscombe’s Pilgrims of Destiny.

About the Gena Branscombe Project

The Gena Branscombe Project is dedicated to the revival and performance of the music of American composer and conductor Gena Branscombe. Founded by Branscombe experts and family members, the project seeks to continue the spirit of Branscombe’s lifelong example of inspiring women in music, by awarding three yearly scholarships in her honor. All proceeds of the revived music go to support the yearly scholarships. The project is run by Kathleen Shimeta, Daniel P. Ryan and Regan Siglin.

About Gena Branscombe

The legacy of Gena Branscombe (1881-1977) is that of composer, conductor and leader of women in music. Composing over 150 arts songs, chamber music, piano pieces and choral works, they were available from 23 different publishers. As a conductor she led MacDowell choruses, the Chicago Women’s Symphony, college choirs, women’s club choruses and her own Branscombe Choral. These groups under her direction performed music by American composers and in particular, American women composers. Holding national office Branscombe was a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, National League of American Pen Women, National Federation of Music Clubs, Society of American Women Composers, Altrusa International and more. At meetings on the state and local levels she encouraged women to be active in their communities’ music organizations and to perform at their own meetings. She organized and presented programs of American music for club members to use as guidelines for programming. Branscombe was a wife, mother of four, pianist, composer, conductor and leader of women whose legacy inspires the Gena Branscombe Project scholarships.

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CCM Welcomes Rebecca Bromels to Arts Administration Faculty

A familiar face within Cincinnati’s arts community will be joining the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s (CCM) highly regarded Department of Arts Administration this fall.

CCM Dean Peter Landgren has announced the appointment of Rebecca Bromels to the position of Assistant Professor of Arts Administration. Her appointment becomes effective in August of 2016.

Rebecca Bromels, incoming Assistant Professor of Arts Administration at CCM.

Rebecca Bromels, incoming Assistant Professor of Arts Administration at CCM.

Bromels currently serves as director of engagement of ArtsWave, the Greater Cincinnati region’s local arts agency and the nation’s largest community campaign for the arts. With the help of tens of thousands of donors, ArtsWave supports more than 100 arts and community organizations. These beneficiaries include CCM, which has been able to enhance its community engagement efforts through ArtsWave’s Community Partnership grants. In her position at ArtsWave, Bromels oversees volunteer programs and signature events including Macy’s Arts Sampler.

Having moved to Cincinnati in 1999 to pursue a directing career, Bromels discovered her love for arts administration during her 12-year tenure at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. As managing director for eight seasons, she worked to broaden the company’s base of support and provide resources for its innovative productions of Shakespeare and the classics.

Bromels joined ArtsWave shortly after its evolutionary change to impact-based funding and was instrumental in developing the organization’s new messaging and brand identity as director of communications.

She has also directed plays for Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, the SERIALS project at Know Theatre of Cincinnati, New Edgecliff Theatre and St. Croix Festival Theatre in Wisconsin. In addition, she served as a guest lecturer in arts administration at Miami University and for the United Way BOLD board training program. In 2016, she will co-author a Corporate Arts Challenges Tool-Kit for Americans for the Arts.

Bromels holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance from Texas Christian University. She was recognized in the “Forty Under 40” class of 2005 by the Cincinnati Business Courier. She lives with her husband and two children in St. Bernard.

In his announcement of the hire, Landgren commented, “In my initial discussions with Rebecca, it became clear that she was committed to partnering with our faculty to advance CCM’s already remarkable Arts Administration program to even greater prestige. I am confident that her extensive theatre background and strong interpersonal skills will be a boon to CCM students and faculty alike.”

Utilizing the combined resources of CCM and UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business, the Department of Arts Administration offers one of the few joint MA/MBA arts administration programs in the United States. The highly selective program boasts a 100% job placement rate for its past seven years of graduates.

Learn more about CCM Arts Administration by visiting ccm.uc.edu/artsadmin.

Learn more about CCM’s world-class faculty members by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/faculty.

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